My
Coaching
Journey

I first came across the word coaching in a learning and development context in 1999.  I used to conduct a program called Professional Sales Coaching- a program to help sales managers to coach their team members to achieve their targets. It was always very well received. I also used to facilitate a workshop called Coaching for Results, a GE program for employees at Genpact. These workshops taught me the basics of coaching. Since then my knowledge and understanding has expanded.

In 2009, I started using coaching as a tool to embed the learning from my workshop. It worked extremely well for workshops on Presence and presentation skills where I coached participants to become better at speaking in public. In 2011, I completed my certification as a coach through Leadership That Works. It was a transformative experience for me. I learnt about the power of coaching and the contribution that a skilled and well intentioned coach can make to the holistic growth and development of a client. Coaching is a philosophy. It is a conversation that can change lives for the better.

Over the past few years I have enjoyed every coaching interaction. I have grown along with my clients. I find that I am less judgmental and more compassionate.After almost 600 hours of coaching, I am fully convinced that this is one of the best ways to transform individuals and organizations.

What is coaching?

There are many definitions of coaching out there.

“Unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance.  It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them”

– Whitmore 2003

“A professional partnership between a qualified coach and an individual or team that support the achievement of extra-ordinary results, based on goals set by the individual or team “

– ICF, 2005

“Coaching psychology is for enhancing well-being and performance in personal life and work domains underpinned by models of coaching grounded in established adult and child learning or psychological approaches”

– Special Group of Coaching Psychologists (part of the British Psychological Society)

Coaching is a partnership I forge to enable my client to achieve his or her highest potential.Coaching is a journey undertaken by the client and coach for the purpose of the client’s growth and development. A coach offers empathetic listening, powerful questioning, taps into her intuition and always believes in the resourcefulness of her client.

The Coaching Process

I have seen that without a structured process, coaching can be just a wonderful conversation but without tangible results. While even a single coaching session can be powerful and act as a trigger for change, a process  helps to make this journey enriching, creates trust and transparency  and delivers the desired outcomes.

Here is how I approach it.

Pre Coaching

  • Determine Coaching Chemistry between client and coach through a 30 minute call
  • Establish time frame and commercials for coaching
  • Sign the Coaching agreement

The Coaching Sessions

The Coaching sessions follow the   Establish-Explore- Ensureprocess.Each session is usually for a period of 60 minutes. A minimum of 6 sessions is recommended for significant progress. I recommend 10 sessions for substantial and sustainable results.

Establish

The Coach and client agree on the client’s Goals and Vision, ground rules for engagement, mutual expectations and reinforcement steps. This is done in the first session. The Goal for each conversation is also established at the beginning of each session. This is incorporated into the Coaching Plan.

Explore

In each conversation, the coach uses a variety of coaching techniques and pathways like empowering questions, identifying needs and values,deep listening, body work, challenging, envisioning etc. to engage and align the client. The coach taps into the clients’ resources and enables them to realize their full potential. During the coaching conversation, the coach can also explain and interpret assessment tools and 30 degree feedback for the client.

Ensure

At the end of every conversation, the coach ensures accountability by gaining agreement on action plans and post session activities that the client will execute to ensure movement towards the coaching goals. The action plans will be specific, time bound and grounded in reality and will form a part of the Client’s coaching plan. The coach may also suggest reading assignments, assessments and other activities to the client.Each subsequent call will begin with a review of agreed action plans.

Post Coaching

  • The coach will stay in touch with the client through emails post every coaching session.
  • The Coach may also contact the boss, subordinate and peers of the client to validate and get feedback about the client if required.
  • At the last Coaching session, the coach will help the client to prepare a long term development plan for the continued growth and learning of the client.
  • There will be a review after completion of half the agreed number of coaching sessions for mutual feedback and realignment if required.

Coaching Services

While the process and skill of coaching can be applied to any client and in any situation, I offer specific coaching services based on my experience and passion.

Executive Coaching

In these days of increasing complexity and constant change, employees face several challenges in delivering performance and developing leadership abilities. Leadership is becoming more about caring and connecting than command and control. Conventional performance management tools and training do not give the results that are expected. I offer executive coaching for middle to senior leaders to enhance performance and potential. I have worked with 12 different organizations across diverse sectors on coaching engagements.

Many of the challenges sound similar but each client is unique. Each client has different life experiences and mindsets. As a coach, I help my clients understand themselves first and then address the issue. I coach the person, not the problem.

Here are some typical challenges my clients have stated:

  • “I need delegate more but I am just not able to do it”
  • “I want to be more assertive and influence others”
  • “I wish I could speak up in front of my seniors but I am just not able to say anything during important meetings.”
  • “I have got feedback that I need to improve my presence- I have no idea where to start”
  • “I haven’t been getting the promotion I deserve”
  • “I find it difficult to give tough feedback”
  • “I am shocked by the feedback I just got- my team members don’t like me much.”
  • “I am not good at marketing myself. I don’t like talking about myself but I have to do it to get ahead.”
  • “I want to get more clarity on my career and what I want to do with my life.”
  • “I want to take risks and innovate but I feel hesitant.”
  • “I wish I could take quick decisions.”
  • “I need better work life balance”

Mentoring and coaching for women leaders

According to a Mckinsey study , in a full potential scenario, where women play an identical role to that of men, $28 trillion or 26% could be added to the global annual GDP by 2025.

However, according to a study by Grant Thornton in 2014, the percentage of women in senior positions is only 24% globally. In India, it is only 14% with the percentage of women on boards being only 5%.

I believe that in South Asia, it is important for women to take up leadership positions, as entrepreneurs, corporate managers and professionals. This is an area I am passionate about and am keen to contribute to the growth and development of women leaders as a way of building a more inclusive and compassionate society.

I am a Mentor with the Cherie Blair Foundation where I offer my services to women entrepreneurs across the world. I can provide the following specialized services for women leaders. I would also coach women managers as a part of executive coaching engagements with organizations.

For Organizations

  • Setting up Mentoring Programs within the Organization
  • Building and Facilitating Coaching clinics and Support Circles
  • Mentoring select women leaders for minimum period of 1 year

For Individuals

I offer coaching and  mentoring for women professionals and entrepreneurs.

  • 1 Pro Bono session for 60 minutes (this session can cover any of the following topics or a specific area the client would like to address)
    • Identifying my Life purpose
    • Clarifying vision and goals
    • Identifying the roadblocks
    • Leading a balanced Life
    • Managing Stress
    • Getting unstuck
    • Understanding my true identity
    • Tapping into my greatest strength
  • Long term coaching and mentoring engagement at concessional rates