- Jun 03rd 2021
I worked and grew as an HR generalist in a global oil and gas company for twenty seven glorious years. Twenty of those years were in supervisory/managerial positions and I eventually led the HR function for seven years. As a leader in the organization, you were expected to integrate ‘coaching’ in the performance management process, so apart from the planning, interim and formal reviews, you were to constantly coach and guide, to ensure the employee’s performance is at optimal level. I also trained and got certified as a 360 degrees ‘coach’ so I was an experienced ‘coach’ in my former place of work. I enjoyed coaching because I love developing people and impacting their lives positively.
When I retired from my company in March 2019, I was not quite sure how to stay active beyond setting up an HR consulting firm and offering my experience and expertise to organizations, especially start- ups. I was introduced into the world of COACHING by a friend who was a certified coach, leading the International Coaching Federation in my country. She assured me that my experience as an HR leader will make me a good coach. She successfully stoked my interest in coaching and she advised me to join ICF and get ‘properly trained’. In my first couple of weeks in the organization, I attended a number of online webinars and learnt that what I was doing all the while as an HR leader was more of counseling and mentoring. I started seeing nuances in coaching that I never knew before. I now realized that I had a lot of unlearning and relearning to do but I was excited! I read books and attended online summits but I knew I needed and wanted to know more about this new passion.
I eventually got into real training with Coach To Transformation and realized that it was not just my coaching skills that I needed to unlearn and relearn but my personal habits! I needed to hone my listening skills, completely stop my impatience with listening to people who did not go straight to the point. I also needed to be genuinely interested in the conversations so I can ask powerful questions – driven by my curiosity in order to understand and help the client remove the fuzziness in their minds as the real issues gain clarity. I needed to deal with my discomfort with silence and give space and time to the clients so that deep reflections can take place. In the 16 weeks’ journey with amazing learners from India, Malaysia and Sri Lanka, I learnt to be authentic, present, empathic and confident as I logged 14 hours of peer to peer coaching. I also learnt to be a client and through my wonderful peers, I dealt with my fears and honed my skills. During those weeks, I also offered myself for pro bono coaching. So today, my confidence has grown and I can proudly say I am a professional COACH as I get ready for the credentialing process!
About The Author
Ihuoma is a Human Resources Generalist, a life, leadership and talent coach. She has more than 27 years HR experience in the Nigerian subsidiary of Chevron, a global company, where she rose to the position of Director, Human Resources & Medical and member of the board of Chevron Nigeria Ltd. She has more than 20 years experience as a leader, and more than 10 years as a trained 360 degrees Feedback Coach.
Program Attended with CTT: ACC
Reason for taking this program: The learn right and effective coaching skills
What worked for you: The mixture of classroom learning tied to ICC competencies, review of contextual books and peer to peer coaching
What benefits you got: A new network of coaches and support base, more confidence with my coaching
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Coach-To-Transformation or its parent company.