Invenio: Coaching and Mentoring May 2016 IIC&M - Page 33

Department of Excellence

by Adele McCormack APC


Celebration of Coaching

International Coaching Week

When I first heard about International Coaching week, it made me think about why we should celebrate coaching. This took me on a trip down memory lane and to why I became a coach in the first place.

I have previously trained as a counsellor and for a few years worked with drug users in the criminal justice system, then I trained as a Social Worker and got into Mental Health. I remember someone saying to me, that the clients we were working with had such terrible lives and she felt sorry for them. I pondered this and wondered if there was anything that was going well in these people’s lives. I realised that mental health and substance misuse were all about ‘problems’, looking at the cause, exploring childhood trauma and then working with the person to ‘fix’ the problem. I also realised that we were programmed to look at what was wrong. When you ask what is wrong then you are only focussing on the negative and clients are then drawn to always thinking about what needs fixing. So one day, I started all my sessions with ‘What is working for you?’. The difference that this created in the responses, the focus and the outcome was vastly different and I went home buzzing. You see I really enjoyed working with people but found it to be emotionally draining. But the moment when someone had a break-through, a light-bulb moment, an epiphany, I just felt so alive. And that is when I found coaching. Coaching, for me, whilst inadvertently helping people with problems, is more focussed on goals and achievements and reaching your potential. When you are achieving your best you can’t help but feel alive.

During my training and endless hours of doing reciprocal sessions with other trainee coaches, my life literally transformed. I used the sessions to help me train for a marathon, deal with a difficult work dynamic, get through a Divorce and set up my own coaching business. I have achieved all of this in the last 3 years and am emotionally different to the person who started my coaching course. My self-esteem is high, I have job satisfaction, I deal with stressful situations better. I have lost many of my limiting beliefs and know when one pops up, how to deal with it so it doesn’t stop me. I owe all of this to coaching. It has been the single most empowering tool in my life. So to me, that is why we need to celebrate coaching, not only does it provide career satisfaction, it gives people the gift of life. I am so passionate about coaching which is why I am working with the team at the IIC&M to get it to be a regulated profession. When coaching is done right, it is life changing and we should want that for all our clients.

We can’t do this on our own, so if you would like to join the Department of Excellence to help raise the profile and ensure high standards in the field then please contact me at