What prompted you to try coaching?
I was at a crossroads in my career. I’d been investigating by myself a number of ideas and different things that I was interested in. It was two-pronged: partly to do with my existing job and the difficulties I was having there, trying to advance or move in the direction I wanted to head within that role and could see that coming to an end; and also pursuing these other directions that I was interested in. I felt I’d done a lot of reading and research and study, in a lot of different directions, but I needed to start unpacking what that all meant. I had quite a few options at that time in front of me, going onto different avenues of study or different job.
I was wanting to bounce an idea off someone of whether I could try and make this role and the current position that I had work for what I wanted. I think it was partly because I didn’t have a mentor; and although I don’t see the role of a coach and a mentor as being the same thing, I felt like I didn’t have anyone in a position to bounce those ideas off. And I think my friends had heard me talk about the same things in circles for a while, so it was time to go and have a chat to someone else. So I found Janet.
What was the main obstacle that could have prevented you from hiring Janet as a coach?
I mentioned not having a mentor before. I felt some of the queries I had were quite specific to being in a creative field, which has its quirks and personality traits, which sometimes I feel aren’t found in other areas of business. Not that I didn’t think Janet could handle it, but I just wanted to raise that and I didn’t know whether, if someone was unfamiliar with the way that creative agencies work and hierarchies and structures, whether I would need to fill in that information or not fill in that information. Whether that was not really relevant to the conversations. But I guess it was something in my mind and I didn’t really even know where I would find a dedicated creative coach anyway; I guess there must be some out there and they must exist, but I guess what stopped me worrying about any of those things was really I think first and foremost you need to have a connection with whoever you’re going to have coaching with, and I found it really easy to talk to Janet and I think we got along from the first conversation like we’d known each other for about 10 years. And I think that makes all the difference, and people should definitely make their decision based on that. So having the sample session with her, just – yeah, I forgot that instantly and just went, ‘Cool, when can we start?’
What did you experience as a result of the coaching?
It was amazing to have someone who could speak back to me everything that she was hearing coming out of my mouth. Which sounds odd! – Or out of my brain, or however you want to say it. I guess her role isn’t to tell me what I should do, which isn’t what I was after, but the way that coaching works and someone able just to speak back to you what they are hearing makes the ideas seem a lot clearer when you’re at the junction that I was.
And giving me suggestions on different avenues to follow for particular issues I was having. So in one instance there was a conversation that I needed to have with someone inside the business and just being able to get ideas on how to approach that specifically, to broader things about directions and idea finding and articles to read and things like that. So it can be as general or as specific as you need, and things like that – being able to bring what you need to the meeting and you know, that you may have an idea about what the meeting will be but then something might come up in the immediate future that you need to get a handle on and be able to jump onto that, so it’s good to have the flexibility.
What specific thing did you like most?
The unpacking of my mind and reformulating it in a way that I could actually take back in, if that makes sense, was just a real eye-opener for me. That, you know, everything I wanted to say to myself was there but having someone say it back to me from the words that they heard come out of my mouth, it was, I don’t know – like someone turning on a light. I was like ‘Oh, yeah, cool. OK, great; all right. Fine.’ It was a kind of rapid advancement of my thinking and I guess part of it was culminating in me going overseas to review this MBA course which I was possibly going to do overseas; and it just put me in a great frame of mind to do that, and that actual journey of going overseas as well was the catalyst to make all the decisions for everything that’s happened in the last twelve months. And it’s been an amazing ride, but I think the start of all that journey was the coaching period that I did with Janet and yeah, it’s been fantastic. Yeah, you know, it carries on and it’s something that I go back to and it’s great.
What would be 3 other benefits of this service?
Janet has such a great depth of knowledge in a number of different fields that I was really interested in as well. So we could talk about things that kind of interest me, back and forth, that are on related topics. Not that we ever got distracted from what we were talking about, but she’s great on following up, like ‘Further to our discussion, here are some links which you might find interesting.’ And great to keep things on track, and push me – the right amount, I think, which is important. Going through busy or difficult times – you know, everyone is busy at work and it’s important to keep on top of these things to keep it rolling, and it’s good to have someone to kind of be accountable for it. In a very nice way! She was very good at that.
Would you be comfortable recommending to others?
No hesitations, I would be very comfortable in recommending Janet. She is a fantastic person to get along with, she is very insightful, very knowledgeable and I think anyone within her coaching services would gain a lot out of it and I would recommend anyone to her.
If you were recommending her to somebody else, what would you say?
Janet’s professionalism and depth of koweldge within the field really makes her an insightful and warm and engaging person to talk to and that is really important. She is a great human being, and I think during coaching which can be a great process – which I find and it was a mind-expanding process for me but can be difficult for some people, I think it’s really important to have that human element and Janet has that in spades.
I think being a nice person is number one priority and she achieves that greatly ☺.
Anything else to add?
I’m super-excited doing this new project that I’ve started and I really feel like that coaching period was a fantastic start to what has been a really brilliant year and I would like to thank Janet for all her awesomeness.