It is Thursday evening. I am sitting with my computer feeling simultaneously exhausted and happy. I have just returned from the prison in which my colleague and I facilitated group coaching sessions for young men on their way to freedom.
The sessions started slowly. Coachees were distrustful and closed at the beginning of the group, but with every minute that passed their engagement and interest grew exponentially. At the end they stayed for longer than planned, to finish various discussions about their life and future and it really felt like a breakthrough. Thanks to coaching, there is a great chance that these young men will reform and stay out of prison. The impact of this is not only a step closer to a more positive environment for us all, but a group of young people are now able to think more positively to create a better life for themselves and avoid similar mistakes.
And this is the point: versatility and effectiveness are some of the reasons why I’m so fond of coaching. This exceptional mix of tools and techniques has a very high score of success, regardless of whether you coach high net worth individuals, mothers seeking a work-life balance or prisoners.
So, maybe it is a good moment to introduce myself. My name is Ewa Kubín and I am proud to say that I am a transformational life coach. I love the exceptional moment when my clients start to shine. It’s funny that for a long time I was not ready to realise that I work with a specific type of client. Then, suddenly I noticed that what fascinates me the most is a moment of change, of transformation and the point at which clients accept “the big new”. I am still amazed that such simple tools – deep listening and powerful questions – can help them to pass the bridge of change with calmness and positive excitement in their heart.
It all started many years ago when, as a manager, I had a chance to work with some great teams. I noticed that in a creative work environment especially, people need space and attention. They are much more effective and happier, when in charge of their work and life. Since my teams were big and diverse I couldn’t know the details of work of each of individual team member. As a result, I decided to give them a lot of freedom and positive attention. I simply asked carefully selected questions and then I listened to their responses. I was amazed with the results of this approach and started to feel that there must be a special name for it. Indeed there was – coaching.
Initially, I was afraid to became a life coach. I was of the mindset that If you are not a doctor, lawyer, or at least a manager of some description you do not have a real profession. Ultimately, I wanted to be proud of my job…
Being professionally fulfilled was always a very important part of my identity. But how could I be proud of something that seemed to be so unrealistic at that moment in time?
The second problem was the ‘not so great’ reputation of coaching in my environment. Since there is no strict certification required to become a coach, the bar to enter the profession is quite low. It just so happens that the loudest people that call themselves coaches cannot be sat further from the core principles and beliefs of the practice. Most of those so called ‘coaches’ devote their life to telling other people what to do. What to do to become happier, healthier, skinnier or more stress-free. I hate it when somebody tells me how to live my life! How could I do it to others?
Time passed and I found myself in a new situation. My kids grew up a bit and I had the space to start a new chapter of my life. Part of me wanted to find a ‘real job’, but the other suggested that if I want to try something new, then this might be the best moment!
After careful consideration and many discussions with my husband, I put the confidence in myself and went with my heart not my head, as a result my life started to change very quickly. During my first module with Animas I realised that coaching is not a new name for witchcraft but a real working knowledge with strong psychological and philosophical roots. Soon after this realisation I began to understand that there is a profound difference between coaching, mentoring and advising. I started to practice deep listening techniques and collating my collection of powerful questions. Oh wow, thinking back now that really was a great time!
In the end it took many hours of practice to be able to call myself a life coach. Surprisingly, not because of my lack of trust in coaching but the opposite! I understood just how great the positive impact our work could have on individuals, companies and the community. I wanted to be one hundred percent sure of my abilities before I started using the term ‘coach’.
One day it just happened. After a great session in which I could sense a profound rapport and see a deep trust in my client’s eyes, I decided that I was ready. It was an incredible and somewhat liberating feeling!
Since then I’ve helped many people by using that beautiful, pure coaching approach. Even now, I still feel thrilled when I see that extraordinarily unique experience of watching and assisting clients on their journey from chaos and confusion to clarity, acceptance and refocus. I love working with each and every one of my clients who come from so many different environments but have the same goal in mind; to start truly living every moment of their life. They are all so different, and yet so similar. We are all unique, yet at the same time we have so much in common.
Today I am proud to say that I am a life coach. I have the power to change your life with one simple question.