I'm going to start by introducing myself here and in following posts
share some practical tips and news from my coaching world.
I grew up in England with Anglo-Italian parents, so switching between languages and cultures was my world from day one. I must have been about 4 when I had my first little blackboard and someone who really needed to learn English – my adorable Nonna Ida. She would enjoy playing the game as much as I did, both falling over and crying with laughter at her funny attempts to pronounce the ‘TH’ sound!
It makes sense that my first job was teaching English in Italy. Grazie Nonna!
I was so nervous when I started in northern Italy. It felt like a huge responsibility, but it did come naturally. Once I’d evolved as a teacher and settled down, it became clear to me that this job could take me to countries further afield. And so it was – first Tokyo and then Bangkok. It was thrilling. There I was, completely out of my comfort zone, teaching people from all walks of life and wildly different cultures, getting by in rudimentary / embarrassing Japanese and Thai.
For most of my language students though, it’s been about necessity rather than choice. They pick up some basic English at school or work and to progress in their careers they have no choice but to improve their English. They confess they weren’t looking forward to doing it, fearing boring grammar exercises and textbooks and the feeling that they have way too much to learn and zero time to do it. Often their comments at the start are telling: “It’s torture”, “I really don’t enjoy anything when I have to speak English”, “I’m so stressed”.
You can imagine the faces!
Well, I’m happy to say that after a few sessions they began to see and feel things differently.
I help them find a way to actually enjoy the learning experience and get the results they want. It’s the confidence, new opportunities and stories they tell that make it such a joy. This is what still drives me today.
..... TO COACHING
A few years ago, I was lucky enough to work alongside an inspiring coach called Alison, who was passionate about developing people. My job was to work on her clients' English. Luckily for me, she encouraged me to do a bit more, so I signed up for a coaching course myself. I didn't know much about coaching and had no idea what it would lead to, but I felt compelled to explore. That's how I started what has become an exciting and richly rewarding new chapter in my life. I’ve been doing it for 6 years now – in a nutshell, helping people be brave and live the life they want to live. Yes, I kid you not! Interestingly, the use of language and communication are always there, part of everyone’s story.
A COACHING STORY
I have witnessed so many beautiful stories unfold in my coaching role, but here’s one just to give you an idea.
Tim (not his real name) considered himself very fortunate, with a wonderful job – but he wasn’t happy as he was spending all his free time (and salary) rushing to airports and travelling abroad for his social life. Oxford just didn't feel like home to him. His life was disconnected.
He was stuck, going around in circles, incapable of taking action – one day he decided to hire me.
In his coaching sessions Tim explored his life, his ideal job, and crucially what was holding him back. He asked himself some tough questions, discovered beliefs and feelings he wasn’t even aware of. He began to embrace his intuition, and to think more creatively about his career opportunities. When the programme ended, he was approaching companies and applying for jobs exactly where he wanted to be. Lots of doors were opening. Fast forward a few months: he’s now with a new company, new job and in a city that he loves, living a very active life. Last week he told me he was “living the dream”.
Is your life as good as you'd like it to be?
What would you change if you could?
What's stopping you?