At the start of this year one of my goals was to complete an Executive Coaching qualification mainly to rubber stamp my many years experience, and as a backup for tenders and other business requirements, not really appreciating just what a difference it would make.
1. Bolting on Coaching to Consulting had already started to make important differences and adding value
I have been coaching for many years formally and informally and through feedback I had always considered myself to be a good coach who listened, inspired, facilitated and believed that my coachees would leave my sessions being able to be their better selves as a result of my interventions.
Feedback came from coachees
- who had gained promotion after many years in the same role,
- coachees who had challenged bullies and succeeded,
- coachees who changed careers because their values were misaligned to the sector they worked in,
- coachees who have made complete life changes so that they could be their authentic selves,
- and from coachees who had influenced policy and organisational change. Something to be proud of!
2. Finding the vehicle to move further into my approach to Coaching
In March, I found a course that I liked and joined another five inquisitive people on an incredible journey.
I call it a ‘course‘ – but I have realised I was looking for something that was quite different from the ‘directive‘ approach to learning that training courses typically adopt. This is especially important in understanding Coaching after all!
On reflection, the things I realised I liked were quite particular.
- The clear link between Coaching and creating more inclusive leaders.
- That Coaching can appear simple and yet complex at the same time.
- That self-reflection is so important to the learning.
- That the answers are always within the coachee.
3. Making the most of this ‘ course ‘ experience
I discovered that coaching was so much more than I had thought!
Well, it’s incredible how much you can learn about yourself, when you give yourself time to be you, time to reflect and time to explore your ‘present self’.
Being on the course was an eye opener, I attended the six days, which were run over a three month period, allowing a great deal of reflection time in between sessions.
It gave me the opportunity to expand my knowledge, grow and apply my learning with people who were on a similar journey.
It helped me realise:
- How Coaching helps me achieve my purpose of ‘helping organisations implement change through maximising on the potential of their people’
- Just how important listening is and I have become so much more conscious of how much I listen and keep reminding myself of ‘you were born with one mouth and two ears for a reason’.
- That one of my main values, that of ‘sharing’ needs to be considered.
4. Coaching and Consulting compared
Through the experiential learning gained on the course,
- I discovered so much about how my consulting background had influenced my style of coaching and I realised that my consulting background lead me to do a lot more telling than I had realised and a lot less asking, guiding and or nurturing.
- How much more effective my coaching would be with small tweaks here and there.
- I realised that much of this was unconscious and that if I was to become a better coach I would need to spend more time asking and less time telling which appeared to be my ‘default’.
- I would need to pay more attention to coachees and spend less time thinking about how my knowledge and experiences can influence change and focus on how my coachees could uncover much more of their own solutions, which could provide them with much better outcomes, opportunities to learn more about themselves and how their own attitudes, bias and behaviours would impact on the outcomes of their challenges and opportunities.
- This meant being 100% present in my sessions to enable the coachee to get more from the session.
- Over the three months I learnt a great deal from the tutor, my colleagues who allowed me to experiment on them and from the reflection time that I rarely afford myself.
I am now looking forward to being a better ‘good coach’!
To connect with Gamiel Yafai
Gamiel Yafai is an executive coach and facilitator who specialises in Diversity, Inclusion and inclusive leadership. Gamiel developed his Leadership skills in the publishing and advertising industries with over 20 years’ experience at Publisher and Director level.
Gamiel left the world of advertising, to follow his passion to support others, particularly those that are disadvantaged by society. Gamiel set up Diversity Marketplace in 2005 to help executives and organisations implement change to support inclusion. Gamiel has refined his consulting skills to become a passionate coach and to help people become their true selves.