Two professional International Coaching Federation (ICF) coaches are uniting to challenge the traditional coaching model. It is, they argue, a social injustice for coaching to remain the preserve of the pockets of people who have the privilege to access it.
I couldn’t imagine that by the age of 25 I’d have had the opportunity to coach senior leaders in a bank, helping them to secure promotions and feel more confident about themselves. I couldn’t imagine that I would have helped coach job seekers to overcome challenges and barriers due to their age, experience and other macroeconomic factors. I couldn’t imagine that I would have had the opportunity to offer my coaching to charities and hospitals to support the wellbeing of their workforce.
Coaching has made me understand how to be confident, challenge my inner critic, and be intentional about the way I communicate with others. These lessons are helping me be a better version of myself. Hopefully, I have been able to show you how coaching can make a change.
Before I had any exposure to coaching, I was a very nervous public speaker, and I had very little confidence going into ‘important conversations’ such as interviews or class presentations. The content in the Make Your Mark programme (step one of the Coachsters journey) helped me to connect the dots between my inner critic and my fear of public speaking and subsequently gave me tactics on how to deal with it. This helped me gain a little bit of confidence, and I noticed during class presentations that, although I was still nervous, I now had a few tactics to fall back on.
If future competence is a door, coaching is the key to unlock it.
Coaching develops an equality mindset — its conversations encourage me to have an equal power dynamic between myself and my coach/coachee. Different from mentoring or consulting dialogue, it gives me courage to have open-minded conversations with a coach/coachee. It also fosters a more relaxed environment that allows me to be present in the moment.
Coaching is by far the most powerful tool I’ve been privileged enough to be introduced to. It has helped me both directly and indirectly, in personal and professional settings, and guided me to be more conscious and present when making important decisions or handling difficult situations.
Before experiencing coaching, I had little knowledge in understanding myself. For example, I didn’t see the interconnections between how you think and how you both look and act.
We all know when it comes to our inner critic there’s no right or wrong answer. It’s really personal to us and while my research into the inner critic was a small anonymous survey, it gave some interesting insights:
Tracy and Susan’s focus to bring coaching to 18-25 year-olds fully embodies what it means to be inclusive. They are working to make the offer, their industry, inclusive to a largely excluded community of young people. They’re creating that inclusion by making coaching accessible to younger audiences.