Becoming a Coach: My Insights and Experience

Richard Yu, MA, PCC
May 16 2024 | Insights
An Asian man with glasses wearing a grey blazer over a black EZRA shirt looking up with trees in the background.

Coaching is a process of companionship through trust, empathy, questioning, and listening. It’s aimed at helping individuals or organisations achieve their desired goals, enhance their capabilities by tapping into their potential, and live the life they want by addressing the challenges they face in their current lives. Additionally, coaching involves collaborating with clients or team members to set goals, develop plans to achieve those goals, establish specific and achievable action plans for execution, and stimulate motivation for execution through a series of processes.

Coaching can be utilised in various fields ranging from everyday situations to business, sports, and personal development. The primary objective is to maximise the potential of individuals or organisations and achieve goals. To accomplish this, coaches utilise their diverse experiences, management, psychological tools, and skills. There are various forms of coaching, including individual coaching, group coaching, and team coaching. Additionally, coaching can take place in various aspects such as psychological, technical, and occupational aspects.

The essence of coaching is to assist clients or team members in finding answers themselves and developing new perspectives. This means that coaches support clients in discovering and utilising their own resources through questioning, reminders, challenges, and listening, rather than simply providing answers.

My path to becoming a business coach

Now, let's explore some of the advantages of becoming a coach and the motivations behind it, drawing from my personal experience and journey.

In 2000, I stumbled upon a program exploring the mind and consciousness by sheer coincidence. Until then, I had never experienced or been interested in such seminars or lectures, but it opened my eyes to a whole new world. The program not only astonished me with its content but also provided me with the joy of exploring myself and others in a quest of self-discovery and personal development.

Then, in 2008, I discovered coaching and started studying it. I became captivated by the allure of coaching. While my previous studies and explorations were primarily focused on understanding and nurturing myself, coaching made me realise that it's an excellent tool or methodology for helping others based on self-reflection and exploration of humanity. With that realisation, I felt confident and passionate about walking the path of a coach in the future.

Eventually, several years later, I quit my job in Australia and embarked on the path of a community worker and freelance coach. Initially, I focused on personal coaching despite having over 20 years of diverse work and business experience. Due to the conditions of immigrant society in Australia, I encountered many clients who were more interested in resolving past and present issues rather than moving towards growth and development. In other words, there were more clients with a desire to resolve issues related to relationships with partners or children, difficulties in workplace relationships, career development, and dealing with underlying negative emotions.

Through this experience, I felt the need to study psychology and thus pursued coaching psychology. In the process, I discovered that most of my colleagues preferred business coaching and were working in related fields. I became connected with global coaching companies and started coaching employees of global corporations as an affiliated coach. While coaching employees connected to businesses, I realised that the experiences and knowledge I gained from my previous work and business world, along with personal coaching and various studies, were incredibly useful. It was like being able to offer a variety of dishes in a buffet rather than a single dish. As a result, I began coaching clients in various c-suite positions in companies – including those in medical, electronics, pharmaceuticals – to various clients with positions ranging from accounting, research and development to production management.

While coaching a diverse range of clients, I realised that many of them also had challenges beyond the scope of business coaching than I had anticipated. In such cases, I used breathing techniques and emotional processing methods to help.

What have I learned from being a coach?

Coaching a diverse range of clients, from individuals to business owners, and covering many topics, I have learned several things:

  1. The most important aspect of coaching is not the coach's excellent skills but rather the authentic attitude and the trusting relationship with the client based on it. This aligns with the International Coach Federation (ICF) philosophy thatclients are already creative, resourceful, and holistic, and they already have their own answers.

    Clients just need someone sincere and profound to share and discuss their insights with. Therefore, when a deep trust is formed between the coach and the client, the client opens up about their thoughts and emotions and finds solutions and directions by sorting them out. In fact, there was much feedback indicating that being able to have honest conversations with me as a client was very helpful and enjoyable. This becomes increasingly important as clients climb higher in their positions.

  2. Especially in business coaching, sometimes it's necessary to provide clients with information or advice on certain skills or methodologies that are immediately applicable in the field.

    However, when providing such advice and information, it's essential to be cautious to stimulate self-motivation through self-determination in the client. This is because external advice often leads to a decrease in the client's execution power.

  3. Many clients want to grow and develop and want to have a positive influence on others around them.

    This becomes a powerful motivating factor. From frontline employees to CEOs, they all have similar desires as human beings. I think helping them fulfil and demonstrate this desire is the role of a coach.

Experiencing these things and witnessing clients change and grow, I am active as a coach to feel the joy of it. It's also fascinating to see myself as an expert coach helping clients adapt to the fast-paced changes of the VUCA era and create visible results. However, the most important reason for working as a coach is that it allows me to have a positive impact on the world and brings me joy and fulfilment. I hope many coaches enjoy this joy and continue coaching.

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