Why I left applied coaching for life coaching

I have been a community change agent for as long as I can remember. I gathered the local kids to put on plays, created little clubs, and put the highschool talent show on the big stage. Each time, new connections were created and stronger communities emerged.

Inevitably, I was drawn to team-based work… but I was repelled by the way many managers treated those around me. The discovery of Agile software development, based on values of respect and transparency, was a breath of fresh air for me.

I spent the next six years working in and with Agile teams. I know the fun, and the difficulty, of fostering team synergy. I love the moment when “the light goes on” for someone, when they see hope to employ their strengths and enjoy their work again. I am creative at heart, and my canvas is my community, my workplace.

As a change agent, I know, too, the disappointment of being labeled or shut down; and the frustration of seeing possibilities that will never be realised in a given setting.

Over time, I have learned to listen to my intuition in order to navigate a joyful path through the possibilities and the disappointments. Looking back, I see a lifetime of “co-incidences” that have enriched me and others, and created a life of meaning and contribution. Looking back, of course, it is always clear. But looking forward… ah there’s the trick! I found myself anxious and uncertain – how could I handle all the things thrown at me?

Accepting an offer of life coaching from a trusted colleague, 5 years ago, was a turning point for me. As I grew more in tune with my values, passions, and strengths, I became calmer, more client-focused, and began to experience even more happy “coincidences”. I believe, in fact, that these seemingly un-planned opportunities resulted from many small choices I made – choices about how to treat myself and others; about which risks to embrace joyfully, and when to say no.

Thanks to coaching, I saw such an increase in effectiveness in my work, that I wanted to share these skills with other change agents, and so in 2008 I signed up for training in professional coaching skills: with The Coaches Training Institute (Co-Active Work/Life Coaching) and Newfield Network (Coaching Excellence in Organisations).

Now my work centers on coaching individuals, because that’s where transformative change starts. I find confirmation of this shift in the way I feel after working with my amazing coachees… I feel happy, in-the-right-place. And I see this happening for my clients, too.

I am open to working in the world of Agile again, and occasionally still collaborate with colleagues on Agile projects. But my heart is firmly set on this ‘calling’ of life coaching.

We are all different – and this is great! We complement and complete one another. I hope you find your fit, too, and enjoy your work and your life more and more with each passing year! This is more than a wish… I’m betting the farm on doing it :-)

Comments (3)

  1. I like the term “applied coaching.” I think it captures some of the difference between co-active coaching and coaching teams and organizations. There’s certainly some overlap. As you say, transformative change starts with individuals. But when doing applied coaching, arranging patterns of interaction also counts a lot.

    It would be helpful for me if you would blog further on the differences between applied coaching and life coaching. I feel that I meet people who don’t make a distinction–coaching is coaching–and, not having done life coaching, I can’t articulate the differences.

    P.S. I’m thrilled to hear how happy you are.

Comments are closed.

content © 2016 Deborah Preuss, unless otherwise indicated.

Mentor theme © copyright 2015 OceanThemes