'Being paid to Learn' by Aubrey Rebello

Learning through Coaching

As a Coach, I encounter talented Clients from diverse backgrounds. At the end of each Coaching Session I become a ‘richer’ person in both my learning and monetary.

I have been lucky to have had a diversity of clients: College Principals, Priests, Owners of family-managed Listed Company’s and Leaders in Indian and Multinational Corporates. I have also had a rare experience of Coaching in parallel, a Chairman and MD of a Company and his son, who was a Director in the Company. Each of these interactions has given me new insights.

When you're working as a Business Leader, you are also learning.

This learning is however through interactions with a relatively less diverse diaspora: your team, colleagues, customers, competitors, social and professional circles.

As a Coach you get to observe and interact with a wider variety of people from diverse Businesses and Professions.  These people open up to you.  A friend or even a spouse would not open up to you in the same way as a Client opens up to you during a Coaching Journey.

This ‘opening up’ I would say enriches me and hopefully all my fellow Coaches in ways you may not achieve from interactions in normal Professional, Business or Social Circles.

As a coach you are making the Client take certain actions in order for him to reach his goals.  The Client learns 100% from his actions and for me, as the coach, I also learn at least 30 or 40% from the process.

It is said that during Coaching the client goes through two Journeys:

  1. The Goal (Specific and measurable) journey which is very obvious; and

  2. An emotional journey which makes each of them a changed and improved person.

While guiding the Client to his Goals the Coach is also virtually a Partner in the journey.  The Coach therefore also goes through an emotional journey and comes off as changed and improved person.

It is a Mutual enrichment for which the Client pays and hence my refrain “Why am I getting paid when I am learning?”

Applying Learning’s in Coaching and Cross Utilisation

Having had the opportunity to work with diverse individuals across multitude of sectors and organisations, I would say several of the issues faced are common across Clients and Organisations.

There is therefore an opportunity for cross-utilization of learning to my other assignments. And many of the learnings I have received from one Client Session can be many times gainfully used to help another Client.  In a way a Coach becomes a catalyst for skill sharing.

And so summarising from my 4+ years of Coaching Practice I have identified 8 key factors that has helped me be success in business and cross-utilization of learning from each assignment; this is what I bring, these experiences and insights, into those conversations:

  1. Agility

  2. Customer Focus

  3. Team Engagement & Goal Alignment

  4. Behavioural Issues

  5. Time Management: A Leader is free and available and not bogged down

  6. Anticipating Patterns in so called “Unforeseen Events”: With 80% of unexpected events occurring this show a pattern in which the Client, being in the midst of so many actions, frequently fails/misses to notice this.

  7. Managing & Leveraging different stakeholders.

  8. Business specific Skills.

Relooking at my Coaching Journey

Believe me, we as Coaches also have a journey of improvement. Whilst helping our Clients to enhance their capabilities, Coaches can also look at their Clients as a mirror and correct their own deficiencies.  Luckily, we are paid by our Client on this Journey.

When I relook at my Career and Life, I sometimes feel if I had taken a break from being a CEO, worked as a Coach for a few years and then returned to Managing Business, I could have been an even better CEO.

Would some of You Business Leaders take a Sabbatical and try this out; alas for me it’s too late in the day.

What next

I am being paid to learn. I am continuously learning about patterns of behaviours and events because I am able to work with a diverse range of individuals in a wide variety of sectors which I wasn’t able to work with previously in my role as a CEO.  I hope to continue sharing my learning experiences in future posts.

Having worked as a coach for 4 years and with my learning’s from Client interactions, I believe I would have been a better CEO today.

Would you consider taking a break and becoming a Coach, as part of your own personal and professional learning and development?

Especially if there was a guarantee that you will perform even better when you return to your original work role. 

To connect with Aubrey:

Executive Coach and Mentor  aubrey_rebello@rediffmail.com Mob: +91 9821019731

Executive Coach and Mentor

Mob: +91 9821019731

Aubrey brings to the table over 40 years of rich & varied Corporate Experience as CEO, Director, and Business Head with Tatas & Bayer.

Aubrey has strategised & managed a major merger, was CEO of a large NBFC, & Profit Centre Head of a large Business. In all his assignments he has rapidly scaled up revenues & profits. In many areas he has also built up Structures & Processes from scratch.

Post retirement Aubrey continues as an Advisor to a Tata Company.   Aubrey is also an Executive Coach to several Indian & Foreign Corporates He is also an expert in Family managed Businesses serving as a Business Consultant & Mentor to Business Families. Having had Leadership Roles in different work Areas & Industries   Aubrey’s expertise is in Financial Services , Automobile Industry, Mergers & Integration , Materials Management , & Learning & Development .

Aubrey is an Engineer from IIT Bombay & a First Rank Gold Medallist MBA from IIM Ahmedabad. He is also a Certified Executive Coach - International Coach Federation & NEWS Switzerland. He has several hundred hours of coaching experience at the MD & CXO levels.