By Jon Hobbs, #RideTheWave Coach
On Friday 8th and Saturday 9th January, I had the pleasure of engaging with 18 wonderful people on a coach training programme with #RideTheWave.
I came into the course with no formal experience of coaching and only a vague understanding of the entire concept.
I was excited to finally engage in some meaningful professional development; the last time I had paid for any form of education was at university. Over the years I’ve had some notions of starting an MBA or gaining formal accreditation for a niche skill relevant to my career but I had not seen the value nor had a golden opportunity to do so.
I was fortunate to have witnessed the development of #RideTheWave through a connection with one of the co-founders - Lucy Mullins. Over the past few years I’ve known she’s been thoroughly enthused by the community that has been building and the work they’ve been doing and that enthusiasm was infectious.
So I took the plunge and decided to see if this coaching world was for me.
Within an hour on Friday morning I was already convinced of one thing - this would be an entertaining journey and I would get to know some fantastic people. Participants had been attracted to this course from many different walks of life and just the first few snippets of conversation let me know that at the very least I’d be exposed to some interesting perspectives and stories.
Some latent misconceptions about a stereotypical “life coach” were popping into my mind and being burst by the scientific approach to the work we were carrying out - the peer reviewed models and processes informing the learning.
By lunchtime on Friday my head was swimming with ideas about how I would use the skills I was about to learn - I was hooked. One of my early reflections was that when I’m learning, I am usually more comfortable in the “listening to the authority” mode but in this environment, I found myself craving the practical elements. I couldn’t wait to practice the skills we’d just been taught in supportive and encouraging pairs, triads or groups.
A passion had been unlocked and I could tell that amongst my training cohort light bulbs were being switched on left, right and centre.
In the short term I already feel better equipped to be a better manager and colleague through deep listening, inquisitive questioning and a truly open mind.
I said goodbye to the group on Saturday evening with that exhilarating feeling of being on the start of an important journey that could lead me in many directions, all of which will enrich my professional and personal life.
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