Every time I was asked the question, ‘What Am I?’ I find myself responding immediately with the answer ‘I am a Mother’. Of everything that I am, I relate to the ‘tag’ of being a mother, most of all.
I had never been a stay-at-home mom. I have a career and had worked the typical 9-5 job for over 20 years. However, I was lucky to be able to build myself a career alongside my children’s need, giving me the opportunity to be by their side every step of the way. As the Head of Finance of a Company that operates Private & International Schools, I was able to relocate my office to be within the school premises where my children study. This gives me the opportunity to be in the same environment with them, throughout their schooling years.
I started my formal training as a coach 2 months ago. It has been an awesome journey so far. It feels familiar, a bit like the feeling of how an old pair of jeans feels comfortable. Somehow it feels like I have been doing this for much longer than 2 months. I have come to the realization that the coach in me has always been there, in the form of a mother, a friend, a sister..
As the training takes me through the PCC Markers of the ICF Coaching Competencies, I started to better understand the role of a coach, and understood why it feels so familiar.
Of all eleven competencies, I can relate most to i) coaching presence, ii) active listening and iii) powerful questioning, most of all. I soon realize that these three competencies are not exclusive to the coaching profession alone, they are also important in the role of a mother, a friend, a sister…
Memories of all those long talks with the children came back to me. The discussion I had with my eldest daughter 7 years ago, on what path she would like to take on, upon completing her A-Levels, was very much along the line of being present, listening actively and asking powerful questions. She feels my presence as I actively listen to her as she shares her worries, talk about her strength and slowly let her plan her way forward by asking powerful questions like, ‘what makes you happy?’, ‘how do you define success?’, ‘what are your strengths?’ ‘what can you do to overcome your weaknesses?’
The sessions I have with both my sons were also sessions where these three elements were present. Both boys are very much into sports and I came to this realisation, from being an active listener to them. They talked about how important sports is to them, plan ahead about what they can do to improve their timing in the 100mtr & 200mtr sprinting events, how much winning the ‘Sportsman of the Year Award’ means to them and the answers to all these questions drove them to do the best they can do.
Sessions I have with my youngest are filled with powerful reflections. I am lucky to be able to present myself wholeheartedly to her, having left my full time job a few years earlier. Our sessions are also very laid-back, she with her glass of milk & me with my mug of nescafe, going through, in vivid detail, the events of her day. Presence, active listening & powerful questioning are regular flavors of these sessions.
Now, having understood the principles and objectives of coaching, I am more convinced that I am meant to do this. Helping others gives me the satisfaction that nothing else can ever come close to. I hope I can be a vehicle from which people can find answers to their questions, solutions to their problems. I hope to be able to walk alongside them as they discover their next course of action, a quiet yet steady support beside them, urging them on.
And so my coaching journey begins…
About the Author: ‘Roslina is a mother, a wife and a daughter. The youngest girl in the family yet an older sister to many. A friend to talk to, a shoulder to cry on. A source of strength when strength is needed. A slave of Al Mighty above all others.’