Whenever I get asked about my experience with coaching, one particular instance comes to mind.
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. I found myself reminded of my learning and I was able to focus on the positives, something I couldn’t do before. My confidence continued to grow after I had one-to-one coaching sessions exploring that topic. It gave me the time to fully unpack why I lacked confidence and, with the help of my coach, build a stronger toolkit for dealing with it.
All of this work came to a head when I applied for my first job after graduating from university. With a first-class degree and a handful of extracurriculars, I had the potential to secure a fantastic job with a company that I’d be excited to work for. There was just the small problem of getting that potential across well in an interview.
The ‘particular instance’ I mentioned at the start came around when I was offered an interview for a company I was excited to have the opportunity to work for. Even now (over a year later), I can vividly remember how I felt during that interview. All of my coaching work and all of the effort I put in seemed to come flooding into me as soon as I joined the call. It was the best public speaking/important conversation that I had ever experienced. Because I now had this toolkit from my coaching, I was able to eloquently get across all the reasons that I would be a good fit for the role what I could bring to it. I was offered the role, and I attribute it wholly to the coaching I received in the months leading up to my interview. I would have never been that confident without coaching, and chances are I would have never gotten that job. I wouldn’t have been able to fulfil my potential.
I often find myself coming back to reflect on that moment and how I felt. I might have gotten the job, but being at the start of my career there are still so many opportunities ahead of me — opportunities that will require me to speak in public or be interviewed. I no longer feel the need to shy away from opportunities like these. The confidence that coaching has given me means that I don’t need to worry about wasting my potential or missing out on important things just because I’m nervous to speak. If anything, I view those opportunities as a chance to practise and develop my skills. Coaching has not just opened the door to new experiences for me, it has blown the door off its hinges.
I know I’m not the only young person who struggles with public speaking; it’s a pretty universal experience. That’s why I think the work that Coachsters is doing is so important. Being able to provide the same coaching opportunities to more young people will hopefully result in more of them getting that amazing feeling — the way I did during my interview — and living up to their full potential.
Article by Kirsty Mitchell, Founding Coachster
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