Updated: Jan 15, 2019
The very first time I had a coach it completely turned my world around. I was one of those people who had no idea what to do with their own life, choosing a major in university was the hardest thing I had to do, way more difficult than passing exams.
When I happily graduated and realized that I don’t want to work in my professional field, a familiar feeling of confusion and being completely lost crept over me. I thought trying something different would help, so I moved to Shanghai, the city of opportunities, and successfully fell in and out of love with different industries.
Every time, when the rose-tinted glasses through which I viewed my work lost their tint, I would get a cold sweat from not knowing what to do next; the necessity of starting from ground zero excited but mostly terrified me. If only I could be one of those people who are born with one passion in life and always dreamed of becoming a doctor or a dancer, they don’t realize how lucky they are, I thought.
Seven years ago, when the feeling of wanting to leave the food & beverage world dawned on me, my good friend who is also my mentor, recommended that I meet an American coach and development specialist named Susan.
Sue had decades of experience. She worked with so many executives around the world, and was professional and passionate about people’s growth. We met at a quiet corner of Le Meridian hotel overlooking People’s Square. I was excited and curious, not knowing what to expect. We talked for an hour and a half and she gave me some homework. It felt really different from any conversation I had ever had. We met again reviewing the things I wrote, and that’s when the magic happened - clarity!
Questions that were unanswered for years no longer worried me. I had direction and the confidence to move forward. There was this curious sensation, that Sue didn’t actually tell me what to do, she brought me carefully to my own unique realization.
There was something else, beautiful and new. Only years later did I understand what it was. I was truly listened to, accepted, and celebrated for who I was.
I met Sue again years later when I picked her brain on what it takes to become a coach. Later on, when I was sitting in a classroom in Hong Kong to obtain my first coaching education, I couldn’t believe that I was becoming part of this magic.
The beauty and impact of coaching that keeps fascinating me is in creating this perfect safe space for your client. This allows them to explore who they are, their goals and aspirations, obstacles and limiting beliefs that block them from success, and open access to internal and external resources to achieve what they truly want. A coach doesn’t have your answers, a coach helps you to find the answer that is uniquely and truly yours.
People hire me as a coach for variety of reasons: to deal with new challenges in the workplace, to help start or move their business to the next level, to navigate career or private life changes, to gain confidence for dealing with the world. Each circumstance is different, what is similar is that there is a desire to change the status quo and invest their own time and energy into the process.
The first step is always defining the goal and what the new desired reality would look like for a client. From there we move on to explore their situation, resources, internal and external obstacles and further to creating a new set of mindsets, behaviours, habits and actions that bring them to what they wish for.
Through a variety of coaching tools and techniques I help clients to take ownership and accountability over their lives and answer their questions and doubts, deal with anxieties and insecurities and get a skill set that will stay with them after coaching sessions are over. Coaching is not for life; the period of coaching is finite and normally doesn’t exceed one year.
My goal is to coach my clients out of the situation so that they won’t need me anymore. The most rewarding and touching moment is the last coaching engagement, where there is almost nothing left to be said, just to enjoy an overwhelming sensation of being proud and happy for the client’s achievements which they truly own. And what keeps on coming up in their feedback is that sensation of truly being listened to, the possibility to be fully open and have the courage to look back at themselves.
I would recommend coaching to anyone who is looking for a change, who wants to achieve something and either doesn’t know the way to get there, or has tried some ideas but did not make the progress they wished for.
Coaching as a development tool is recommended for managers of all levels, as they not only deal with their goals and tasks but also lead others to their achievements. Finding a good coach can be challenging as not everyone who is called a coach is an actual professional. International Coaching Federation directory and personal recommendations of people who were coached before are good places to start searching for a coach. To get to know a potential coach, a “chemistry check” meeting or call is a great way of getting to know each other and seeing whether this coach’s style suits you. I have a mentor, a coach and a supervisor for different aspects of my life and continue to be amazed by the power of coaching and what a powerful coaching moment can do!
By Mila Dorosh
Apart from being a coach herself, Mila Dorosh is genuinely passionate about other people’s development and also happy to help you navigate the coaching world and recommend someone who would be a good fit. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org