What is a professional coach really like?

To all my new connections...........hello!

You may have found me by an internet search, or from a link in a post or someone else’s post for that matter. What I realise is I may not know you personally – yet. And you don’t know me, or very much about me anyhow. I hope that changes soon. Until then, I’d like to share a little of my personal journey to becoming a Professional Coach. Thanks for the inspiration, Kathy Brooke!

I've just added this article to my blog page on my website. I've just realised it's not there. Or any of my profiles, come to that. I work with people who want to get more from their career. We have a chat about the things that they are good at and some of that chat might include things that are bothering them, too. Things like wanting to be a good leader and finding it a bit tougher than they first thought. Wanting to communicate well, speak up at meetings and work on their confidence. All that stuff IS on my website

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be here when I was packing drumsticks and love hearts at Swizzels & Matlow in New Mills, Derbyshire, after I left school. With very few qualifications to my name I was earning an adult wage instead of wasting time getting myself a better education. Result, I thought. Or not. I quickly learned that I wanted more from life and after waiting on tables at the Little Chef (I did love that job) cleaning, bar work (I loved that, too) and a stint at bookkeeping (!) I soon found that if I wanted to get more from life, I had to go back to school.

I’m a mum to two daughters and an auntie to five and great-auntie to five more – I’m from a big family and it’s great, most of the time! With lots of support from sisters and parents, cousins and aunties I eventually qualified as a Social Worker. What that means is I’m good at working out how to sort stuff out, basically.

I worked as a drugs worker with homeless people, alongside the probation service, police, prisons and courts, for social services as a care manager and for the NHS as a service manager. I worked out, with clients, systems, and processes how to help people get off drugs. I used a wide range of interventions: detox, rehab, medication, cold turkey, peer support, grit, sheer determination and self-will, tears, and bloody challenging work (both theirs and mine!) I became a team leader, team manager and service manager. See my about me page. I loved all of it.

Until one day I didn’t.

I took redundancy in 2012 added coaching to my leadership and management qualifications and went out on my own. *Takes a deep breath*

Starting up my own coaching business is where I learned to pull it all together. The customer facing roles, training, qualifications and experience helped but most of all the learning from the people I worked with along the way. I’ll never forget my first client to successfully complete rehab. (You know who you are my dear friend!) I’ll never forget the ones that didn’t make it, either. Or my managers, staff, mentors, peer groups and teams where I learned mostly how not to do it (and hopefully got it right in the end). All of this is what has given me the experience to coach people now. Find their own way, inner strength, determination and learning curve on their own terms. Follow their own path, with a helping hand now and again.

What else? I’m a yoga freak and bring this off the mat into my coaching. I won't ask you to do a downward dog, but I may ask you to dig deep and take a deep breath. I’m a wobbly cyclist and still think one of the best feelings in the world is the freedom of playing out on my bike! I’m a hiker – well, I’ve got the boots at least. And I need ten minutes of meditation every day. Except when I’m busy. Then I need thirty minutes…..

I'm extremely fortunate to have this life with my husband, family and friends complete with gardening, travel and holidays. Oh, and love our EV – it’s the future! I also love to share my skills and experience and connect with new people so please do tell me about you. I know you are more than your public profile.

So come on then, who are you?

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