When I was a teenager, when some well-meaning adult would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I’d tell them about my love of personal growth and psychology. Then they would reply that I should be a therapist when I grew up – in the 1980’s, counseling was the career path recommended to anyone interested in working with our inner lives.
Yet, that path of therapist never quite called to me. I explored other avenues to pursue my love of human psychology and human potential – literature, theater, dance, and the fields of social innovation and social entrepreneurship.
As a business school student at Stanford, studying how to grow mission-driven organizations, I got my first exposure to coaching. Coaching training was part of the MBA curriculum; coaching skills were seen as something all future managers should possess.
I was fascinated by the coaches I met in those classes. They were working at the intersection of inner lives and outer outcomes – right where I wanted to be working. They spent their hours immersed in conversations about unleashing potential, clarifying goals, and developing inspired plans. And there was a dynamism to their work, as they partnered with a range of leaders, individuals and teams.
A couple years later, I enrolled in a coaching training program – but not with plans to become a coach. I simply longed to take some meaningful steps toward some career that was about our inner lives; I wasn’t sure exactly what at that time.
That coaching training was an awakening. An awakening to a new way of thinking about human thriving. An awakening to a new kind of conversation. An awakening to how pointed, efficient, and joyful personal growth work could be.
I began working with practice clients, and over the next couple years, transitioned to the work I do now – teaching, writing, leading groups and workshops, developing and sharing ideas – all with a coaching approach.
I don’t see myself so much as “a coach” but rather someone who uses a coaching approach as a powerful way to serve my larger goals of helping women’s voices be heard, helping human beings connect to their own wisdom and compassion, and helping to advance a more sane and compassionate culture for all of us.
I also use a coaching approach in my own life, in my daily work on myself, around my emotions, my aspirations, and wellbeing, and in the parenting of two young kids, too.
10+ years into coaching, I have developed my own style of coaching, grounded in the Co-Active Coaching model in which I was originally trained, but now blended with my own ideas and on-the-ground-with-clients-learning in the realms of women’s leadership, spiritual practice, creativity, entrepreneurship, and culture change. Through this course, I’ll be unpacking the core ideas, mindsets, and favorite tools that underlie how I coach.
Again and again, in my work and personal life I have seen the immense power of a coaching approach to:
• help us create change
• bring a sense of purpose and our full brilliance to our careers
• and, perhaps most important of all – to help us experience more connection and meaning, in workplaces and relationships.
If you too feel intrigued by coaching as a pathway to your own growth and to more impactful work, or if you have already been coaching but are ready to deepen your skills, this course is for you.
I hope you’ll join me for this journey.