Coaching was where I had been able to safely, without consequence, explore and understand my reality and eventually take steps to fundamentally change my life for the better. As part of this change I had identified career aspirations and the need to find a new work role that fitted with my values. As a result, my professional career took an interesting turn, which resulted in me gaining a leadership post with the responsibility of developing the use of coaching in the clinical field of adult mental health care.
Over the past 25 years I have been a clinician, leader and manager within the National Health Service. I have been fortunate enough to have been employed by different organisations that have supported my professional development and enabled me through mentoring, training and reflective practice or supervision to grow and develop into my managerial role, which I have held for the past 15 years. It is interesting to note that at no time was coaching offered over this period and it was only when I hit a personal and professional crisis point that coaching was suggested to me by my manager. However this was not on offer within the organisation and I chose to seek private coaching to help me overcome the challenges I faced.
As I embarked on this journey I was not entirely sure what I had signed up for. My initial impression was that I did not believe that the coaching had helped me in any way. Some years later, when I found my notes from these coaching sessions, I realised that the coaching process had been the catalysis to significant changes in my professional and personal life.