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The Review: The Coaching Academy @coachingacademy


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coaching academyWOW.  All I can say is WOW. Don’t you just love it when something stops you in your tracks and hands you a big fat lesson on a plate?

This is what happened to me when I attended The Coaching Academy’s 2 day coaching course.

Gemma (long time friend) throws it apologetically into a conversation that she had signed up and was going to attend a free coarse on coaching.  I was quite excited at the idea (even though I didn’t really know what a coach was) and signed up immediately. Happy that I wasn’t parting with any money and knowing full well, that if I hated it, felt the slightest bit uncomfortable or plainly, just had something more exciting going on, I didn’t have to go.  I didn’t have to COMMIT. Ahem.

Funny, on reflection, as I thought I was the ‘committed’ type.

So we arrive at the Devere Event space opposite the BBC building on Saturday morning at 9.30am. It wasn’t easy, I can tell you.  A full on blizzard, winds of up to 40 mph and temperatures below freezing were doing their very best to put me off. We imagined a scenario similar Jim Carey in ‘Yes Man’ or big Hollywood has-beens or people on the cliff edge screaming ‘Help!’ and where the audience were all hollering ‘Hell Yeah!” at everything they agreed with.  Gulp.

So we had our ‘if it’s really terrible’ chat and worked out ‘the look’ that said it all and felt in control enough to enter and do this thing.

It was full. 150 people. Their target market was varied. Girls and boys from 20 through to 60 and friendly types, all I’m sure, with the same thoughts as Gemma and I rattling through their minds. Within, and I kid you not, 15 minutes, we were SUCKED IN! And I use those words lightly because it was through choice and intelligent judgement that we most definitely wanted to be the glamorous lady at the front, Pam Lidford.

She took us through solo exercises, tasks with total strangers, she got us to realise the goals we have set for ourselves, subconsciously and surreptitiously and managed to me us feel that they were both achievable AND realistic. She also told us the difference between a coach, a mentor and a counseller. Three very different guises. A coach ‘listens’. He doesn’t advise, nor offer options. He asks the right questions to empower the client and help them achieve their goals through positive thought and allowing them to find answers within themselves.

We spent the afternoon with Ruth Morris, looking at “The Wheel of Fortune” which enabled us to focus on what we wanted to achieve and look at practical ways in which to take action and the following morning with the effervescent Sarah Urquhart. Who not only had us in stitches for the duration of her session but was just what we all needed having to brave another morning commute through the adverse weather conditions on a Sunday morning in London. She helped us look at ‘the belief system’, what limits us and what enables us to move positively forward achieving.  And the last session we were back with glam Pam who perfectly brought the whole weekend to a close with her enticing yet powerful way of coaching, sharing her experiences and unlocking those last few closed barriers that we all still had!

We built confidence and a trained way of thinking throughout the 2 days that I hope I will never lose. Whether folk where there thinking coaching was a possible career choice for them, or whether they were there purely for personal development, it was most definitely one of the most productive, motivational, empowering and inspiring things I have ever done.

To find out more about The Coaching Academy and their free courses (which run pretty much every weekend) click HERE.