21 Years in Coaching

My 21 benefits to being a coach.

When I started coaching back in 2002 there wasn’t a lot of ‘noise’ around coaching.  If anyone had heard of coaching they immediately thought of life coaching – but in the main, most people’s awareness around coaching related to sport coaching, and not at all related to what I did.

Over the years as a qualified coach, mum and wife I’ve uncovered numerous benefits that keeps me inspired and motivated to still be a coach 21 years later (and hopefully beyond).  Our personal ‘whys’ are not something we often share, so I thought I’d disclose some of the reasons, benefits and passions I have around coaching.

So, in no particular order, here are my top 21 benefits to being a coach.

  1. Being inspired by the passion and motivation of the people I coach. Inspiration is one of my core values and I find I am often inspired and feel humbled by the commitment and bravery of the people I coach.
  2. Working with clients on a one to one or group setting encourages me to walk my talk. Stopping me being complacent about the power of coaching, mental fitness and inner leadership.
  3. Every day is a school day as a coach, as new issues and terminologies are banded about. Who knew I would be a Mental Fitness Coach 21 years ago or that being confident as a Trauma Informed Coach would be important.
  4. Bringing my full self to work by being authentic, honest, transparent, and brave with my clients. I don’t turn up as an expert on life, only someone who is passionate about coaching and whose life isn’t perfect.
  5. Getting to play with clients, by challenging their thinking using different techniques that encourages them to pause and consider their situation differently.
  6. No day is the same when working with coaching clients. Even when working with a team what issues they bring, or how they communicate, or their specific process in thinking makes for lots of variety.
  7. Over the years I’ve also collaborated with some wonderful coaches and trainers, and each time I’ve learnt something about my approach, my presence and my impact. Coaches have a weak-spot for giving and receiving constructive feedback.
  8. Coaching is a partnership, where between coach and coachee we agree on what to focus on, how and where. We come to the session with a blank piece of paper and go away with it filled with hopes, ideas and ponderings.
  9. Being a witness to my clients’ triumphs and tears, and at times being the only person in the world they’ve been able to share this with.
  10. Most coaching and training clients naturally move on, yet there have been occasions when our paths have crossed again, and it humbles me how they so readily recount what we had worked on and difference it made to them.
  11. Making a difference seems too small a phrase to express what coaching and training provides for me, yet making an immediate or long term difference in someone’s life is what coaching is all about.
  12. I get to practice on my kids some of the tools of my trade. Having tangible techniques to help distressed teenagers navigate through life is a wonderful gift to have.
  13. Coaching has helped me be a better wife, reminding me that when I’m annoyed or hurt with my other half to first consider ‘what did I do or not do?’ and ‘what do I need to change?’ instead of expecting him to make the changes.
  14. There are no secret ingredients to being a coach, which means that there is often a trickle-down effect from the coaching with a client, to them and the people around them. Often clients begin to think, speak and act like a coach with others.
  15. I feel fortunate that I have a job where I really believe in the positive impact coaching and positive wellbeing has on people.
  16. Even better, I hear their success stories and wrap-up feedback to confirm the benefits the coaching time has had on them, their team, their organisation and even their family.
  17. Free coaching! Having been a coach for over 21 years I have an armful of trusted colleague who I can call upon for some impromptu peer coaching.
  18. I bring tried and tested tools to my coaching, invariably ones I’ve used on myself over the years and have found the benefits of them personally.  Or on occasion, I ask for test clients to help me iron out the ‘how to’s’ of it all (so free coaching for them!).
  19. I love the flexibility that coaching offers – it can last for 20 minutes or 2 hours, take place within or around working hours, it can be done on the phone, PC, outside and even on a bike (yes, I really did say on a bike).
  20. Working for myself I get to choose who I work with and when. Something that become even more valuable when I become a parent.
  21. Having my own coaching business for the past 21 years, like many other business owners I get to ‘make it all up’ and try new programmes out, give something a go, learn from my mistakes and follow the direction that brings me the most joy and abundance in my life.