Recently I began one to one coaching with an executive coach. This was a follow-on from a 6-week group coaching programme that I took part in earlier in 2022. Coaching was unknown territory for me, so after starting out with an open mind, I’m delighted to say that both group and one-to-one have proved really beneficial. Let me share a little more about my positive coaching experience.
In March 2020 I took on the role of Programme Manager in The Wheel. This was a new role in the organization, it took a little time to shape and fully understand how best it fit into the team. After the prolonged surge period of working remotely through Covid, which I’m sure many of us experienced, it was time for me to take stock and put my own learning and development back on the priority list. As a new manager of projects and people, I thought group coaching might be a good place to start and it absolutely was!
After some research into the group coaching format, and a check-in call with the coach, I confirmed my place on the 6-week programme. Every fortnight I joined the coach online for two hours alongside three other colleagues from the nonprofit sector. The structure of the programme was unique in that we came together from four different organisations, each working at different levels and with different skills sets. Together with our coach Mary Roche, we listened and supported one another through challenging workplace scenarios. Our discussions remained confidential and judgement free – there was no issue too big or small for the group. As well as our challenges, we also talked about what works well, exchanged tips and shared our wins!
I was fortunate to find myself in a great group of supportive and engaged colleagues. Many different topics were presented during each session and the opportunity to talk through problems or successes with impartial and unbiased input from the other members was really valuable. Group coaching offers new perspectives and ideas that I don’t think I would have unlocked myself, and maybe not within my organisation either. It exposed me to new ways of thinking, and I benefited from the life experience of others in the group too. I would absolutely recommend group coaching if you are interested in
Building on the momentum of the group coaching programme, I decided to continue to hone my leadership skills and focus more closely on my professional development. After some consideration, I committed to one-to-one coaching. The coach remained the same as we worked very well together, this is important to consider when choosing a coach. In preparation for the sessions, we discussed the areas and competencies that I wanted to cover. This encouraged me to think about where I would like to improve and in what areas I am in need of support. We also left space to cover whatever came up between sessions that needed a bit of attention.
I found the one-to-one sessions to be really insightful. Working with a coach encouraged me to proactively reflect on my leadership role and develop my level of self-awareness. Mary, my coach, provided a space to openly talk about important work-related issues. She actively listened and offered objective guidance, while at the same time nudging me to consider solutions and come up with the answers to my own questions.
Coaching allowed me to become more confident in my leadership style. It was an invaluable support to me and something I will come back to again. Mary fostered a really safe space to open up into and was particularly skilled at focusing on the real issue at hand, even if the conversation to get to the issue was long or complicated!
Get In Touch
If you want to learn more about group coaching with The Wheel please visit Group Coaching for Nonprofit Leaders – Leadership Academy (leadersacademy.ie) or drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions.
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