During my career in Human Resources, I have had the opportunity to try my hand at number of different functions. Over the years I discovered areas that I loved and those that drained my energy. Interestingly, Employee Relations fell into both those buckets. While I found investigations, discipline, and dismissal incredibly difficult, the flip side was being able to work one-on-one with individuals where I could support them to become their best selves. It is not surprising, therefore, that when I began my own consulting business, I was drawn to coaching and mentoring as a possible niche. But, even though I had lots of practical involvement from my previous work, I was concerned that I didn’t have specific education in coaching; I didn’t want to give less than the best experience for people who might want to hire me as a coach.
My go-to response to this dilemma was to do some research on coaching courses. Since there is no regulatory body outside of athletics coaching, there are many courses and individuals who have hung up their shingles, calling themselves everything from Life Coaches to Personal Coaches to Solution-Focused Coaches. After a little searching, I found a couple of organizations that provided coaching certification training. The Certified Coaching Federation (CCF) appeared to be one that had been around for a while and respected. When I looked up the courses available, I was excited to find an intensive certification course was scheduled in Niagara Falls in April. I decided to make the investment and signed up.
A few days before the two day session, the instructor contacted me to let me know the location (which turned out to be just down the street from me) and what to expect. There were 8 people enrolled and we would be working from 9 to 6 on Saturday and Sunday, including working lunches. As we chatted, I discovered that Sam, and her partner Chris, we’re opening a holistic wellness centre in Niagara Falls called Grounded Roots Wellness (http://groundedrootswellness.ca/) which will include coaching, DDP yoga, float pod therapy, salt rooms, infared sauna, fitness and nutrition. As well, Sam told me she was a psychic medium and spiritual advisor. We had a great conversation and I was excited about the training.
On the first day of the course I was the first to arrive. The wellness centre was not yet open so we were set up in a large open space that also housed giant plastic-covered objects that I later found out we’re the float pods which were awaiting set-up. Sam greeted me and was as bubbly and welcoming as she had been on the phone. Shortly, others began to arrive and we settled in to begin the day.
We started by introducing ourselves and telling others something interesting about ourselves. I, of course, mentioned my blog site. It was a very diverse group with backgrounds that included financial, fitness, corporate sales, and human resources. We spent the morning learning a little about the coaching process, and soon were partnered up and role playing client and coach. Using a framework of questions provided, we discussed our goals and gained more bang for our buck by not only practicing the coaching role, but actually receiving personal coaching ourselves in the process. Our homework was to craft the information we gleaned into a script that we would share with our coaching partners the next day and thereby tap into their subconscious through painting a picture of their successful accomplishment of their goals.
Day 2 began with an individual review of our scripts by Sam which allowed me time to chat with the woman who was sitting beside me. The Universe does work in mysterious ways and it turned out that she and I had many things in common, including a passion for supporting mentally healthy individuals. It was wonderful to talk to her about her experiences and the opportunities she was exploring and I have no doubt that she will bring magic and healing to the world.
It was then time to share our scripts with our coaching partners. I was very taken by how much I was motivated by the description of my goal success; my mind was able visualize all the steps as I listened to the description. When I read the script I had developed for my partner, she was actually tearful and I realized how powerful this process could be. By the end of the second day we had moved from complete strangers to colleagues and friends. We had a small “graduation” ceremony and everyone contributed heartfelt cheers in support of our success as newly certified coach practitioners.
As I reflected on the experience that evening, I felt energized and confident about my ability to support others in developing an understanding of and a path for accomplishing their goals. Another exciting feat fulfilled!
Next up: ACTTing with the Region.