Over my winter creative retreat, I completed the final task I needed to finish my coaching certification: a knowledge exam administered through the International Coach Federation.

Before that exam, I also:

  • completed over 125 hours of training in weekly 2-hour sessions for almost an entire year
  • accumulated over 100 hours of coaching experience in one year’s time
  • was evaluated multiple times by more experienced coaches
  • was peer-mentored by other coaches in my training cohorts as we experimented with tons of different tools and strategies

Going through this professional development experience was so valuable for me. It had been several years since I was a student, so being “graded” on my coaching was definitely humbling!

I learned so much through this process as well. For example:

  • Academic clients are different than other kinds of coaching clients my peers were working with. Because we’re trained to be experts, it can be an extra challenge to support these clients in deep reflection since it can be a vulnerable place to go. Also, coaches are the opposite of experts, so it’s a personal challenge for me to keep my coaching hat on rather than shifting to my “consultant-expert” hat.
  • Coaching is incredibly powerful. Over the past year, I have had clients make large-scale and life-changing decisions based on our work together. They have changed jobs, decided to stay in current jobs, pursued professional development and training to level-up their skills in a particular area, started and finished major writing projects, and gained a ton of confidence as they practiced the elements of radical self-trust.
  • Group coaching has some amazing benefits. I created my virtual writing group programs on a gut instinct that my clients would appreciate a program like that and I’ve seen such growth and lasting relationships come out of these groups. Working with writers in this medium has become one of my favorite things.
  • Coaching is a perfect way to communicate and help people to practice cultivating the elements of radical self-trust. I’ve had a lot of coaching clients approach me specifically to learn more about and be coached around the RST framework. I cannot wait to see the outcomes of the new 7 Weeks to Radical Self-Trust group coaching program I’m running (it starts this weekend and there’s still time if you want to join in!).
  • And, perhaps most importantly, I learned how much I really do love coaching. I knew I was missing the one-on-one consultation work that I previously did as a faculty developer, but diving back into coaching has really affirmed how much I enjoy this kind of personalized support system for my clients.

If you’ve been thinking of taking a leap with investing in some professional development or training in a passion area, I couldn’t recommend it more.

To think on:

  • What area of your life would you like to gain more experience or knowledge?
  • What was your favorite past professional development experience? What made it so powerful for you?