3 Ways Coaching Ignited my Passion

Terentia Browne

Written by: Terentia Browne

5 minute read

Early on in my career I was under the misconception that coaching was set aside for senior leaders. You take on a coach later in your career when you already know where you want to go. This couldn’t be further from the truth. We all need coaches at different life stages to help us course correct and change direction if necessary. Being coached by someone that cares about you is truly a gift.

I was recently reading a book written by John C Maxwell called the 15 invaluable laws of growth and the chapter on the law of modelling explained where the word ‘coach’ originated from. Kevin Hall’s book, Aspire explains that the word derives from the horse-drawn coaches that were developed in the town of Kocs during the 15th century. The vehicles were originally used to transport royalty, but in time they also carried valuables, mail and common passengers.

Kevin remarks, ‘ A coach remains something or someone, who carries a valued person from where they are to where they want to be.’ So if you had a coach you would end up at your desired destination. A coach is, ‘one who goes before and shows the way.’

Andy Stanley, the author of The Next Generation Leader asserts that, ‘you will never maximise your potential in any area without coaching. It is impossible. You may be good. You may be even better than everyone else. But without outside input you will never be as good as you could be. We all do better when somebody is watching and evaluating…Self-evaluation is helpful, but evaluation from someone else is essential.’

Impel Talent
Image: 3 Ways Coaching Ignited my Passion – Terentia Browne, Director of Leadership Development and Career Coaching

John goes on to describe the 5 common characteristics of good coaches. They…

Care for the people they Coach

Observe their Attitudes, behavior and performance

Align them with their strengths for peak performance

Communicate and give feedback about their performance

Help them to improve their lives and performance

I have benefited from so many heroes along the way who spent their valuable time sowing into my life and career. So many of them challenged me when I was in my comfort zone and encouraged me to step out even if that meant my absence would make it more difficult for them.

My TOP 3 learnings from my coaching experiences are:

1.    Learning about me – I have always loved learning and absorbing information in various subjects, but I never took the time to learn about ME. This past year I was asked to be open minded and go on a journey to discover who I am so that I can become a better leader. It was one of the most difficult but rewarding learning experiences to date in my life. Lesson learned: I can’t add value to others if I don’t first add value to myself.

2.    Being held accountable – At the end of each residency, I was expected to answer questions related to what I’ve learnt, how I propose to explore these learnings and the best part about it, there were no ‘RIGHT’ answers just right questions. It was perfectly okay to right down more questions as long as I showed that I am taking the time to reflect and be transparent with myself. There were no masks, no reason to perform and no competition in any way. Lesson learned: This journey is not meant to be taken alone. Allow someone who has gone ahead to support me through the growing pains.

3.    Hearing myself talk – we live in a world where it’s very rare for people to keep quiet and actively listen to your thoughts and ideas. Being listened to without any interruption for 5 minutes may seem like nothing but in our world today 5 mins is an eternity for someone to think while they are speaking. The other person is waiting for a gap to jump in with their thought. Lesson learned: I got to practice this lesson described by Nancy Kline in her book, Time to Think. She says, ‘to be interrupted is not good. To get lucky and not be interrupted is better. But to know you will not be interrupted allows you truly to think for yourself.’ 

All these opportunities that I was blessed to have has been a catalyst for this next adventure I will be starting in 2020. I have been trained and certified as a Leadership Coach and Trainer who will be providing services to professionals who are at an early stage in their careers. I believe that teaching people to see their strengths and value early on accelerates their growth and helps them forge a way for themselves with courage and confidence.

This is a CALL TO ACTION if you feel like you are not able to articulate your purpose, your values, your strengths and most importantly your unique gift that only YOU can bring. Reach out to someone that you trust and start this conversation. Don’t start your journey alone. There are many people willing to help you if you just ask.

We live this life only once, so we need to make every minute count.