By Carlota Estera, Managing Director of ESEI International Business School and professional coach.
Everyone has daydreams. We might imagine ourselves walking down a white sandy beach in the Caribbean, perhaps speaking on a podium at the top of our profession, or maybe even winning the final set at Wimbledon. Sadly those dreams often seem so far beyond our reach that they fade away and turn into nothing but disused tennis rackets and regret.
But it doesn’t have to be like that – professional executive and life coaching is designed to put you in touch with your goals so that you may turn them into something realistic and achievable. Coaches work with you hand in hand to identify your goals, overcome your challenges, and accomplish what you set out to do, one step at a time.
Those who benefit from coaching come from all walks of life, from students to investment bankers, to sports players, celebrities, creatives and consultants – and when it’s done right, they see real results.
That’s why, at ESEI we are introducing a new coaching programme and integrating it with our careers service.
Our aim is to help our students and graduates start their lives and professional journeys in a purposeful and focused way, finding happiness, fulfilment and reaching the goals they set for themselves – no matter how ambitious they might sound at first. At the same time, students will also be able to apply the coaching techniques they learn with their future employees and teams.
Individual and group coaching sessions for ESEI students
We’ll be offering group and individual coaching sessions throughout the year. If you are a student at ESEI you will not only benefit from coaching sessions themselves, but will learn all about active listening and other techniques, which you can then apply in your day-to-day lives.
In these coaching sessions you’ll gain active listening skills, which will help you in future job interviews, networking events, and meetings with clients, line managers or employees.
These skills include:
- Being attentive to the person speaking – this means listening with the intention of understanding the other person, avoiding interrupting them, and summarising what was said.
- Asking open and exploratory questions – this means the other person will reflect on their feelings and ideas and also challenge their own assumptions about themselves.
- Avoiding guesswork – this means asking questions when you don’t understand something, or clarifying when you are unsure of what the other person means.
- Recapping – this means summarising what they other person has said to reinforce the message and to make sure you understand clearly.
- Being empathetic – reflecting how the other person feels through your words, actions, and body language, leading them to know you understand their emotions.
Connecting with inner values
In group and individual sessions, we will also help you identify and understand what your most important values are. Whether you value personal freedom, inner peace, self-awareness, professional success, happiness, or something entirely different, you will come to understand yourself better and be able to define your goals more clearly.
During the coaching sessions we assign a score to the current state of each value and a score for your desired state. Then by calculating the averages, we can see the difference between the two. You’ll see what’s okay and what needs to be boosted, which creates a life map that lets you start working towards a better future.
Our overall aim in this is to help students connect with inner values, and be happy, positive and free.
Another approach to coaching is using the TOTE method (Test Operate Test Exit) – a problem solving strategy based on models from behavioural psychology.
The method is to identify an objective and develop a series of steps to achieve it, followed by a test to determine whether it has been achieved, and how the person feels if it has not. It’s a simple, useful way of of seeing progress in almost any area.
During our sessions, our students will write three TOTEs:
- Team TOTE – for example the objective could be “I want the team to work well together”. The students will determine what that looks like, how it will be achieved, and then measure their progress.
- Group TOTE – this will be based on a whole class objective and will follow the same structure as the team TOTE.
- Individual TOTE – this is for each student to ensure they are progressing in personal and professional areas.
Creating Visualisation Collages
During the sessions students will also create collages, using photographs, images, quotes and text from newspapers, magazines and other sources that illustrate where they are in their careers, where would they would like to be, and how they will get there.
This helps with the visualisation of goals – and then, later in the year, when they repeat the activity, they will see how far they have progressed and what is left to do.
Careers and a happy future
Finally, everything we work towards in our coaching sessions will be integrated with career-focused workshops. Job candidates who are conscious of their objectives and professional strengths are more likely to shine in job interviews and apply for jobs that they really want, not just what’s available.
Do you have any questions about coaching and how it could benefit you? Or do you have career goals and you’re not sure how to get underway? Talk to me today and find out how we can help.