My experience with coaching
I bring to you my experience with coaching and its positive impact on me. I wish you the utmost pleasure and benefit from this experience I will be sharing in this article.
First of all, let me ask a question that has been popping into my mind a lot. How many of us have looked for change and did not find it actually, how many of us have taken many courses and read many books and are still the same with only little or no change at all!?
The journey of change is undoubtedly a long and arduous journey that requires a lot of will and persistence, but why isn’t the change we desire not taking place? The change we hope for, the change that makes us really say that we have changed..and changed for the better, and everyone around us has witnessed that.. How wonderful it feels to reach this moment and continue to develop ourselves!
My journey for change began four years ago, in January 2015. I often prayed to God to harness for me knowledge that would make me in continuous development and real inward change before the outward change. And indeed, the Almighty answered my supplication. Thus, I started entering the world of coaching.. that world with matchless depth.. I joined the Level 1 Coaching Certification course with the professional coach Abdullah Alyahya; and here the real change really began!
It was five days, five hours a day.. Each hour brings a lot to me, inspiring and profound messages that contributed to changing me significantly.
I always came back home with great excitement for the next day to gain more knowledge through this science.
I learnt a lot through coaching. I can’t keep this for myself only, let me tell you about the most important thing I learnt through coaching, “NO JUDGEMENTS.”
I do not know why this was the first thing that affected me greatly and changed me on all levels. Did I use to make judgments on others frequently? Maybe ..
In this aspect, I began to practice what I had learnt and began to “ be aware” of how to stop myself from making judgment on whomever, regardless of circumstances or events.
I am not here claiming that I have completely abandoned making any judgment on others .. Human nature implies and sometimes drives us to judge even if we don’t utter that judgment!
But we always strive to make the largest part of our lives free from judgments, with God’s help of course.
In the truth, it hurted me very much when I discovered that whoever makes a judgment on someone may sin even if his judgment is correct! Or he may fall in arrogance and vanity seeing himself as better and more superior than the one who is being judged! The feeling of making judgments is in itself a feeling that carries a lot of condescension over others or viewing yourself as supreme and favoured over them, without taking into consideration that when we judge a person of anything, the life will turn around and make us commit the same mistake or incident for which I will be judged, and as Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya said:
“Whoever shames his brother for a sin will not die until he does it too, beware of gloating over your brother, God may forgive his sin and afflict you.”
I changed a lot in terms of making judgments; I became more keen a lot on seeking excuses for others and assuming good intentions as the basis of their deeds and behavior.. I no longer believe all that is being said about people, because it is not my role in life to watch others, nor to track them down, nor to blame them for what they do.
I am deeply grateful to God Almighty for the blessing of awareness and then for coaching for this conscious development.
The art of asking questions
The second thing that changed me from within is not to give direct advice to anyone I meet in my life except for those who want it in a direct manner. I learnt the method of asking questions and I found out that it is more useful with a more profound impact than giving advice to someone directly! I often used to do that the wrong way..I advised directly, directed, and expressed my opinion on many of the problems of others..the result was that my advice was not taken into consideration, and the failure to actually achieve the desired result, because I simply presented my opinions and advice from the reality of my experience, my experience and my mental map, but I did not consider that there is another map specific to another person that carries a lot of different connotations, meanings, and analyses about his problem..so my solutions to it did not work, because I am not him.
With coaching, I started to acquire the skill of asking questions; and I discovered the importance of this skill, and how questions broaden perceptions and make the other think and search for solutions to his problem. You only have to help them by asking the right question and support them in thinking about it, for example:
A person who is faced with a high difficulty in managing his time, all I have to do is ask the right questions that help him to see his problem and trigger his self-awareness so that he can find solutions that help him organize and manage his time and list priorities to achieve his goals. This implies that I will avoid directing him based on my opinion, experience, and expertise because as I mentioned before, I am not him. Some of these questions may be about inquiring about how he spends his day, or about the challenges he is faced with in managing his time, or about the rooted beliefs he holds about time and himself in managing time… and so on.
Listen more than you speak!
The third most important thing that I learnt from coaching is that listening attentively to others, whatever their goal in speaking, will value your position with them, increase your modesty, and make them keen on your presence in their lives.
While the style of interrupting or not listening to those around you - and that you are always the main speaker - will make social alienation increase around you, and it will make you look arrogant and others will not care about your presence in their lives!
For that, why not being the person who tries to contain others by listening deeply to them.. This will increase your wisdom, peacefulness, and social acceptance with others.
In coaching sessions, what makes clients trust the coach and speak without hesitation and with peace of mind is the art of listening and not interrupting.. and containing them with this high attention of good listening skill.
The fourth thing I learnt from coaching is to manage the sessions professionally. After completing the Advanced Coach level in coaching, which was approved by Octarium, the local Saudi Center, as well as the International Coaching Federation (ICF), I learnt at this level to dive deeper into the personality of the individual rather than his problem, which made me discover that each of us has a story about which we try to show the bright side and hide the paining side. Indeed, the level of my management of the sessions has changed very much and moved forward significantly, praise be to God. Thus, I began to delve deeper into the person himself and through him.. I developed a long-winded breath to delve into the roots of the problem; and sometimes just through making the client aware of the depth of his problem, the problem ends! Because triggering cognizance will raise awareness and increase a person’s ability to analyze the events around him and get rid of the roots of the problem and the awareness of not repeating it in the future, in addition to learning more skills at the advanced level, such as intuition and other models of coaching that enabled me, supported me, and strengthened me more.. I am grateful for this fine science greatly.
Subsequently, thanks be to God, I obtained the ACC certificate from the world's largest coaching accreditation body, the International Coaching Federation (ICF), after I had passed the approved test and the criteria for obtaining the ACC certificate from the ICF website. For more details, visit the previous article ‘How to Become an International Accredited Coach’
This certificate did not only qualify me to give coaching sessions, but also to practice coaching with accredited training courses; and I am proud that my name is currently on the list of professional coaches at the ICF website. (My personal page on the ICF website)
Coaching did not benefit me only on the level of my career, but I have also benefited from it greatly on the personal level. It made me progress, develop, and change on a personal level, besides providing me with support in my mission to help others overcome their difficulties and overcome everything that impedes their progress or success in life.
For all of this positive impact, I encourage everyone, without exception, to possess the skills of coaching from zero to professionalism.. and you will feel the profound change that will affect you and make you in a higher level of awareness in your thinking than you were before, in addition to developing a different vision of your problems and the problems of others, which would make you an important person in society, a person who benefits those around him with love and modesty.
Written by Coach Zainab Orabi