Sandra Richardson was working as a PR professional, and though she loved her job, she “felt like a square peg in a round hole” with things becoming more tech based at work. Her PR job had taught her great people skills which she wanted to put to use. Of all the things about her work, Richardson found helping people express themselves the most interesting. Hence, when she decided to call quits to her PR life, she already had planned out her next career move. She’ll be into co-active coaching!
Before she embarked on her coaching stint, Richardson got trained in counselling but it was a co-active coaching session with someone that opened her eyes to the new style. She says, “I came out of it feeling so positive and so much clearer about everything. It was just two hours but it was a transformation for me.”
What after all is co-active coaching? Richardson says that it focuses on the holistic development of people, “One of its foundation beliefs is that people are naturally creative, resourceful and whole. We’re not trying to change people – my job is helping them become aware of their strengths and the mindsets that sabotage them. We focus on the whole person rather than compartmentalising people into “this is you at work, this is you at home”.
She is introducing the essence of co-active coaching among her clients. Interestingly, Richardson believes that the coaching style of leadership can have a far reaching and highly positive impact on the staff. As someone in the shoes of a leader and running her own coaching business, Richardson confesses that she was caught unaware by the implicit challenges of the trade.
“I thought I’d love it because it felt so right, and I thought that I would get to make a really positive difference in people’s lives. I thought I’d have the freedom and flexibility to work anywhere in the world and I do have all those things.” Hence, she’d like to advise others “considering becoming a coach to make sure they understand that they’ll need to develop both coaching and business skills – you can’t just be good at one.”
What Richardson enjoys the most about her job is the sheer freedom, as she quips, “Now I can make the decision that I want to do it and just go for it.”
Image credit: crysaliscoaching.co.uk