As a Clore Social Fellow, a leadership development programme supporting leadership in the social sector in the UK, I was allotted a budget to be coached over a two-year period. Having never had the resource or the exposure to coaching previously, the experience was totally novel for me and ultimately proved transformative.
At the time, I was considering whether and when to leave the post that I then held, as Chief Executive of Survivors Fund (SURF). The coach with whom I worked through the questions enabled me to develop a better understanding of my motivations for the position I was then taking, and challenged me to consider the matter from a range of different perspectives. The result was that I rethought the approach that I previously was considering undertaking, and changed course in a way that I would never have done if I had not been coached. Together this ultimately led to a decision which was more positive for both the charity and myself, in setting a new path for the transition.
As importantly, the process opened my eyes to the value that access to coaching offers, through supporting individuals to take a more systematic approach to address issues which they require (and often do not otherwise) have support to tackle through working with an expert independent party. As such, in recent years I have begun to informally coach a number of individuals who have approached me for support. This includes the Director of a charity, and the Chief Executive of a start-up social enterprise.
To develop a better grounding for that coaching, from September 2018 to December 2019 I attended the Tavistock Executive Coaching Programme which enabled me to explore my interest in how coaching can be made more accessible to small charities and social enterprises, having benefited myself from that opportunity. As well, how coaching can be used to strengthen the organisations which I support through sharing and applying some of the learning across the leadership of those charities.
The programme is rooted in a systems-psychodynamic approach to organisations and is practice-based, and is validated by the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) to Senior Practitioner Level. If this is of interest to you, or your organisation, then please do contact me. Thank you