This week, it’s a Guest Post from recent client Rachel Sparrow, Research & Development Consultant at EDF Energy, to explain more about the experience of working with a coach.

Many thanks and over to you, Rachel.

I chose to work with Spring in 2010 due to the personal nature and genuine interest lead coach Luke Thomas demonstrated.

He had helped me out with a project on industry best practice at no charge – just because he loves what he does! So I took the opportunity to get his external view of my personal impact and branding. This led us to working together more.

The best communication skill is listening

I had a few self-doubts that I wanted to work on to help me progress at work. In particular I wanted to address my communication style with internal and external stakeholders, and Luke helped me to ‘talk in their language’ – sounds obvious really, but he used various approaches and techniques to allow me to really understand this, including listening to me in action to be able to provide real-time feedback.

It was coaching in the moment, as I did my job.

The encouragement I received allowed me to really power through what I wanted to achieve. I think the biggest shock to me was the result of the work when I was preparing to speak at the World of Learning Conference.

I am a confident public speaker and I am very passionate about what I do, however, I tended to over prepare – and then when I was speaking my natural enthusiasm was lost and I became ‘scripted’.

Doing the unthinkable

Luke made me do the unthinkable – and gave me the confidence in my own knowledge to be able to talk from the heart.

So, there I am standing in front of a lot of people about to introduce myself and my role and lead in to the topic – this is something that should normally have been scripted to the exact detail for me, but I have no notes (not even bullet points) and I start to speak – the rest just flowed.

Deliver everything with passion

The feedback from the audience was wonderful due to my passion coming across and I felt on top of the world for achieving this! I even had someone comment on the session being the best they’d attended at the conference – I couldn’t believe it and rang Luke immediately to leave him a voicemail

It has given me the ability to put my natural enthusiasm and passion in every style of conversation I embark on.

I have also extended my reading for my own development – not self-help books, but various reading to understand many different topics and approaches.

Luke always has what he is reading on his LinkedIn page and there are some great books and topics posted on there.

I recently read The Alchemist and really enjoyed it as it helps you to take a step back and really look at life. Another very interesting book that I have read is Know Me, Like Me, Follow Me – it is a great insight to the world of social media.

Happy = Motivated

I think that it is important that people embrace a Coaching Culture, as it enables individuals to achieve so much in a short space of time, and makes for a truly motivated and enhanced workforce.

It’s something that we’ve put a lot of investment into at EDF Energy and continue to.

I’m happy to chat with anyone reading this blog about my experience if it means they could benefit too.