By Coach Dom (#RideTheWave Alum)
There’s not been a lot of light for many of us in the last few COVID-dominated weeks, but today a brilliant ray of sunshine flashed into my life when the Association for Coaching informed me that I had achieved my Executive Coaching certification – and I was now an accredited Foundation Executive Coach.
There have been few things in my life that have given me so much satisfaction, such was the brilliance of the #RideTheWave Coaching Programme which provided me with the training – and so much more – to enable me to achieve this gold standard.
I had had little thought about accreditation when I joined the first #RideTheWave module in October 2019. I had benefitted personally from coaching during my 27 year career at all levels of Higher Education, and had seen its value through the engagement of Executive Coaches with my senior team, but my initial interest in this training course was because of its intellectual stimulation rather than its journey to Executive Coaching certification and its professional possibilities.
But it soon became apparent that this was a very special training course indeed (and I’ve been on a few!). Our cohort of 12 diverse, motivated and engaged fellow RideTheWavers was superbly guided, inspired and marshalled by two extraordinary individuals, Lucy and Sonya. Their passion, enthusiasm and firm conviction that Executive Coaching had the potential to open people’s eyes – for both the coach and coachee – as well as facilitate the discovery within individuals of solutions to seemingly intractable problems was, well, inspiring.
I loved the learning style – relaxed, reassuringly interactive and always practically focused. I appreciated the huge number of coaching tools that we were introduced to – and given the opportunity to practice. And I particularly appreciated the way our tutors enabled us as a group to consider each other as a huge learning resource – and we have continued to work together long after the three modules were completed, in supervision sessions, in 1-2-1 coaching and as friends.
It's all been huge fun.
The three modules, each covering three days, became oases as the world darkened with COVID. (And I so admire the way that with typically consummate ease, #RideTheWave has now gone online to adapt to COVID). I suddenly discovered that I had an appetite to be a coach and a coachee; to my surprise I became interested in achieving the Executive Coaching certification (for which Sonya and Lucy provide enormous support); and, as I started to undertake some supervised coaching in my own professional context, I realised that this could open up so many more doors for me than I had considered.
So, I have now started to coach Partners for a top 4 Accountancy Firm. I am offering coaching support to children in India whose education has been disrupted by COVID. And during a period of enforced personal isolation – which so many millions are also experiencing - I feel I have learned some tools to help me navigate a very challenging time.
It is as unexpected as it is personally thrilling.