I don’t wish to write on the how of coaching – there are plenty of more suitably qualified people than me to do that. Instead, I thought I would use these posts to reflect on becoming a coach. I doubt that journey will ever end. I agree with Christian van Nieuwerburgh who writes in An Introduction to Coaching Skills, that to be a coach is not something you are taught, it is something you become, a way of being. I suspect it is something I will always be ‘becoming’.
#Educoach was the first Twitter chat I participated in. Back in 2011 I stumbled across it by accident. At that time the only form of coaching I was aware of was sports coaching. I knew nothing about coaching in an educational context and It sparked my interest. That chat is what started me on my journey to becoming a coach.
Last year, again by accident, I came across the Growth Coaching International website, and signed up for their Coaching Accreditation Program (CAP). I’d been wanting to learn coaching skills for so long, and this looked perfect. I self-funded the training as it was too expensive for my school, but I don’t regret a cent. Becoming a coach has been transformative. It’s one of the most worthwhile things I have ever done.
You see, before becoming a coach, I would carry people’s burdens. If a teacher came to me with a problem I believed it was my job to find a solution. Like Christopher Pyne, I was a ‘fixer’. At least I tried to be.
But I was stressed and burning out carrying my own load while picking up the loads of others. If a team member felt stressed, I’d feel guilty. I believed I had let them down or failed them in some way. It was taking its toll.
I went into coaching to better support teachers, but through the process, I learned how to support myself. I no longer carry people’s burdens and try to solve their problems. Instead I walk alongside them and empower them to unlock solutions for themselves.