Every path is unique to get into professional coaching, and I have my own story to share. I do not think I have ever wanted to become a coach. Not consciously. I always took pleasure in supporting people around me so that we enjoy working together. I think people can achieve more than they realise, and I am reluctant to think otherwise. These are not empty motivational words or promises. I faced situations when a few people told me that I would not be able to make certain things happen. As a result, I would have been discouraged from getting into the university I want, studying and working abroad, or changing jobs between different countries.
It was later in my life when I became aware of coaching professionally. At that time, fortunately, I was part of a team where we supported and trusted each other. We had a very similar mindset and we wanted to improve how we work, no matter what the product is. It was a joy to see that we challenged ourselves, and also caught each other if we fell. I learned that even if we perform at a high level, the excitement is how that can be even better. That is how I got into coaching.
Do you want to possess power, position and influence? That is not coaching. I see some people trapped in a position where they might be struggling to become a coach for the goals mentioned above. It is not enough to read all the books and attend all the training. Coaching is more around your attitude and behaviour towards people, work and life.
Fortunately, there is an ever-growing and improving trend towards promoting coaching within organisations. However, if there is a lack of education, it is hard to hire the best talent for positions, where I believe coaching skills should be essential. I experienced that some behaviours of power-driven individuals set the wrong environment for attracting the right people. It is a vicious loop. It can be only broken if the right behaviours are appreciated, recognised and supported by you at your organisation.
Why should you care? It is a comparative advantage to be aware of what supports you and your environment better. If you recognise when coaching is transforming, challenging, empowering, supportive and providing safety, then you can tell whether that matches your environment. Think about the following questions. How do you build relationships with people? What is the definition of success for you? How do you celebrate?
I could improve both personally and professionally so much better when I met fantastic coaches who empowered, coached and mentored me. Coaches also have coaches but a job title cannot make anyone a coach. It is important what behaviours we support and please recognise the people who are there for you and coach you through difficult times. Help make this more visible. It starts with you.