What I Bring to the Discipline of Coaching

I recently wrote this essay as an assignment for my year-long Professional Coaching Course (PCC) with New Ventures West (NVW) and wanted to share it because it tells you what led me to coaching.

I was drawn to NVW because of the depth of the program and the first-hand experience we go through in our training of being coached and coaching others.  What I’ve learned and now appreciate is the scientific and philosophical foundation of the methodologies we use in our coaching. Coaching and working with the whole human being in their inner and outer world.

This year has been a journey of deeper understanding and self-awareness of myself, it’s deepened some of my relationships, strained others, has me asking more questions and putting more thought into easy to complex things, while deepening my compassion for self and others. Helping and empowering people, listening and understanding them, wanting them to succeed, empathy, pride in my work… are part of who I am before I even started coaching and it’s what led me to do this work.

It’s important to me be certified because it’s the credentials of the hard work I put in over the last year in my own personal transformation and developing the skills, knowledge and effectiveness as a coach.  It shows the integrity of the program and encourages long-term learning and practice to re-certify every year while deepening our knowledge to be a better coach.

I want to help reduce people’s suffering, see them succeed, be happy, empower them, and help them learn more about who they really are as a human being. I’m idealistic, but it’s what keeps me positive and have faith in this work I now do.

What I bring to coaching is a warm, comforting connection with the client.  This builds mutual trust and openness.  I’m also genuinely invested in my client’s success. Perhaps this is a reflection on my Enneagram 3 personality that if my client’s succeed, I’ve done a good job.  I’m aware of that and have noticed it when I’m working with my clients then reflect on it. I begin most coaching sessions with a short centering practice and my clients like this. It’s also beneficial for me to get centered in order to focus solely on my clients and this has been very helpful. I’ve noticed it’s much easier for me to stay connected to my client giving them my full attention and I attribute this to my sitting meditation practice.

I look forward to ongoing education and deepening knowledge of what we’ve been exposed to in our PCC.  Particularly, somatics and the body/mind connection has really been fascinating to me. I’ve also found it helpful in my own development and understanding of what’s going on inside.  Leadership Embodiment, SomaYoga, and the Enneagram I will continue to explore and take more in-depth classes.  Improving communication using Language Action is another area I will further explore and intend to take a course from Fernando Flores. 

It was my intent from when I started the PCC to bring in a nature element to my coaching.  I’m still exploring how I can do that and I do this when I see opportunity in coaching my client.  Currently I add some elements of nature into various practices depending upon the client. Walking in Nature practices or Walking in Nature meditation.

I look forward to this evolution of my coaching and deepening my own experience.

caterpillar to butterfly

Curious what Integral Coaching is all about and if it’s right for you?  I’m offering a free coaching session for you to try it on.  Contact me now to set it up. amy@amyklous.com

A change in paths, my path to coaching

This was a letter I wrote with my application for the Integral Coaching Professional Coaching Course (PCC) through New Ventures West.  I’m sharing it with you in this inaugural post because it was the beginning of my coaching journey.  It’s real, it’s my background story, and it’s my WHY.

I’ve done a lot of research and interviews with other coaches and practitioners who utilize ontological and integral coaching and believe this program is exactly what I’m looking for to help me further develop my skills and understanding to provide greater value to clients and live a more fulfilling life.

For the past three years I’ve had a marketing consulting business that has evolved from project-based work to training to consulting.  I noticed my consulting clients had more needs than I was able to help them with and found myself in positions of coaching but didn’t feel I had the skills to help them at the level they needed.  I work with mainly female small business owners who feel stuck and need help with understanding their vision, clarity, their WHY, and accountability to make it happen.  I felt they also needed help with empowerment and I want to help them.

I had been working with a client, let’s call her Mary, who has a consulting business.  We were working on her strategic plan and were making excellent progress, set attainable stretch goals, and short term tactics.  Mary was really excited and was telling her colleagues and friends about the great work we did and how I helped push her out of her comfort zone, made her think about new approaches, and her excitement for growth.  Then she stalled with no action at all.  Mary would have several excuses for lack of progress or action and it was frustrating to me after all the work we did.  She finally admitted to me she was scared and didn’t know if she wanted to go on with her business and felt like she needed a change but didn’t know what.  I wanted to help and talk her through this but didn’t know how.

Another client, Dawn, ran two e-commerce businesses.  She needed training on several marketing platforms as well as overall strategy.  Dawn would not follow through on her action items or the things she learned in our meetings and we spent most of our meetings working on the same things.  I questioned myself and my approach, was frustrated with Dawn and lost interest in working with her if she wasn’t going to follow through with what we worked on together.  She had also mentioned a few times that she would like an accountability partner.  I wanted to be that partner and take our sessions to a deeper level but didn’t know how to do that.

I have many examples similar to Mary and Dawn, female entrepreneurs who are stuck and lack clarity, stifled by fear, and wondering if what they’re doing is aligned with what they really want.  I want to help them, guide them, and empower them to break through these blocks.

The blocks some of my clients are facing are the same blocks I’m experiencing in my own life and business.  I want to help women like this and earlier this summer decided I needed to make a change.  Coaching is how I can help these women at a deeper level so I’m in the process of changing my business.  I’m also questioning whether I want to continue in the marketing realm at all.  It’s a time of exploration for me and that’s what I’m hoping to gain from the PCC is what area of coaching I want to focus on.  I feel drawn to empowering female entrepreneurs and utilizing nature and other modalities – which is another reason I’m really interested in Integral Coaching.  I’m very open to where this journey can take me.

Taking my business from a consultative approach to a coaching approach feels more sustainable from the client perspective.  Rather than telling my client what they “should do” I can work with them to truly understand them and their needs and guide them to outcomes they truly desire while helping empower them for long term growth.

In addition to my consulting business I also teach professional development classes and am a senior lecturer in the College of Business and Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.  I enjoy teaching and inspiring college students looking to get into the workforce and the working adults getting a degree to advance their careers.  They look to me for advice and inspiration.

It’s not just from a business perspective I’m drawn to this PCC.  I also want to learn how to live a more fulfilled life, understand myself and others more, and have more meaningful conversations.  I grew up in a family that didn’t talk about things, lacked depth in conversation, and got uncomfortable with emotions. The personal development part of the course is something I’m most looking forward to if I’m approved to this course.  I think it will be the most challenging but rewarding thing for me to experience.

The result of going through the NVW PCC will transform me as a human being. It will help me understand the type of coaching I want to do, how I want to help people, and who I want to work with.

Do you relate to Mary or Dawn? Reach out to me to see how coaching can help you!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton