I thank God and thank my husband’s wisdom, I got out of a kind of silly thinking. He convinced me to continue working as an elearning instructional designer and a performance coach, since I am good at it. My husband was firm with me and said, “you’re on the right track, which is why you are getting extreme comments and remarks.” I looked at him as though questioning him, and he said, “When this happens, one must know that they’re on the right track (this goes for any profession and even for personal life).” And that is absolutely true. Wondering what am I talking about? Well you’ll know as you read on.
The question mentioned on the headlines, pops up in direct or indirect conversations, each and every time when I speak with my clients, friends, fellow L&D professionals and even family. At first I have to explain my profile – instructional design and performance coaching – and when people do understand, they want to immediately start questioning your credibility. It is true that there is a certain credibility attached to this profession, besides being certified, and qualified, one also needs to project – how much one knows, versus, how can one enable another person’s learning and development.
As a performance coach, you are not only liable to ensure YOU are performing optimally, but also have another person’s performance in your hands. Coaching (whether for one on one or one to many) is a journey and no results can be seen in one day’s time or in the one hour session (as performance coaches like me take).
Being a coach requires a lot of personal and professional mental shifts and definitely a highly optimistic attitude (because let’s face it, you’re changing a lot of bad habits or others and you could fall prey as well). But, when you sound and are, really optimistic in life, two kinds of people check in with you: first, the ones want to join the happiness bandwagon and be happy with you; second, who want to judge you for your state, and throw any kind of negativity possible; whether in terms of comments, sarcasm, “just kidding” remarks or simple rude behavior.
The above happened to me as well. Initially, I felt deterred by the haters who questioned my credibility and even qualification, after all I am a normal human being. But I went back to what I my husband always tells me I realized what makes me good in my profession, which I am sharing with you as well, in an attempt to ensure you are confident about your chosen path too.
Basically, when you begin any kind of venture independently, people question you. However, the key is in consistency, and I have that. Besides my hard work, domain knowledge and actual client success, I have to ensure that I already practice what I preach- which I proudly do. If there is something that I don’t believe in, it doesn’t go on my blog or I don’t get associated with it. I realized this was the most common issue, which makes individuals to not perform optimally, at work and in life – the image they envision of themselves in other people’s mind always pops in and halts the future events to occur.
I knew I had to put the information out in my blog, for the world to read – what makes me and people like me (coaches and trainers), good at what they do, besides proving the credibility by practicing what they preach: I’ve
- Experienced failure and sprung from it: Even though with my compassionate nature and training for compassion, I do believe, it is easy to empathize with situations better, since I’ve personally been through failure and sprung from it, successfully. One can empathize with another person better, once they really know what it feels like. The strategies work better and solutions provided are more effective because of prior experience (personal or others).
- Worked hard towards every endeavor for success: Coaching practices don’t come easy, one really needs to work hard on the “hardest skills: soft skills.” I had to and still ensure that before I suggest anything to anyone, have I tried them? There are situations where it might not be applicable to me, but I have to myself in other people’s shoes to really know what am I getting at and how effectively will the strategy be.
- Consciously chosen to learn everyday:
I personally believe in learning something new everyday, even it is a dish, a practice, domain skills or anything that adds to my knowledge. It is my motto, if we are not learning, we are dead. Earlier, I tried to incorporate the practice of reading a book everyday, then every week but since that couldn’t happen on a regular basis, my OCD crept in. I finally started reading at least two books a month. I decided to learn something new everyday, even if it was a new word. And wrote about my learning in a journal. This aids my performance and growth everyday.
- Chosen optimism and positivity, each and every day: Being positive is really hard and being negative is the easiest thing to do. I faced too many criticisms before venturing out independently. The only constant was my constant choice of being positive. Because until and unless I as a coach wont be positive, how will I transfer that to my distressed client? Also, life looks way better when we all take things optimistically.
- Learned to overcome judgement: I really knew it too soon that my brain was meant for better things than judging people. I practice and I preach non-judgement for character. When we are judgemental not only our brain gets consumed in negativity but also gets unnecessarily drained.
- Learned to appreciate more through active listening: I had to really work on my active listening skills. Often the person speaking in front of an active listener may not understand or appreciate the listening skills but it is crucial for communications skills development as well, conflict management and especially for effective coaching and coachability.
- Chosen to be firm but approachable: Whoever knows me knows me to be approachable and honest with my communications. However, they also know I am not the one to be messed with in terms of work, schedules and deadlines. While I do understand situations, I am firm about coaching timings and slots, since it lays the foundation for not only a good relationship, serves good etiquette and also make the situation more professional.
- Gotten myself qualified and educated towards training and coaching: While mind training and lifestyle change is crucial for performance coaching, it is also important to be qualified and educated towards the profession. It not only adds to my credibility but also lays the foundation for this humble profession.
I’ve put educational qualifications last not because anyone can get a degree and get qualified, but because it takes a lot to actually be consistent and practice a lifestyle.
Now, I want to hear from you: If you are a coach, how do you make yourself different. And if you look for a coach, what qualities do you look for? Write it in the comments below because you will ensure to help someone through your insight. Go on… 🙂
My posts are a labor of love. So, I would be really appreciative of you, if you share it with your friends, family or across your social media. Share away!
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