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Work therapy: my coaching journey

Two girls looking out over the sea

If you had asked me a year ago what I wanted to achieve in terms of professional development, I’d have told you that I would like to gain a particular certification relevant to my field and to become a manager. These were the crucial steps in the corporate development plan I was engaged with, and it never occurred to me to look beyond them. But something wasn’t right; I felt trapped in my role and unable to move forward.

Ten months ago, I joined Mayden. Through conversations with new colleagues, I learnt of Mayden’s coaching initiative. I’d never actually heard of coaching before, but was curious and quickly put myself forward to participate.

I have now attended three coaching sessions and after each one, I leave feeling I’ve learnt something new about myself. It’s like work therapy! By asking the right questions, my coach has helped me to spot trends in the way I think, and as a result I’ve learnt to question my thoughts and behaviours in a way I never knew to before.

Looking back over the time since I started coaching, I can see that the way I approach obstacles has changed, particularly in terms of the way I communicate. Previously, I would air my frustrations and focus on how I could solve the issue by myself, but today I find myself putting more attention on understanding the bigger picture and others’ perspectives, and then looking for common ground in order to move forward.

Before coaching, I subconsciously separated the things I learnt during professional development from my personal life. But because of the way coaching works, I’m able to use what I learn at home too. I have now started to approach giving advice and support to friends and family – as well as colleagues – with a coaching mentality. (Although, you’d have to ask them whether they see this in the same positive light that I do!)

Thanks to my coach, to the members of my team who coach me on a daily basis, and the culture of trust and responsibility at Mayden, I no longer feel the need to have an outlined, step-by-step model of my future. I am now aware of endless opportunities for me to grow personally, as well as in my career.

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