Last Updated: December 13, 2021
-Further Along The Journey-
A personal post about where I currently find myself in the coaching world....
It’s Monday here again and it’s time for the Monday post here on the Andreas Philip Gross Enterprises blog! We are due for another Coaching is… post today, and this post is going to be a little review – a little update – on my own journey; my journey through running my own business, my journey through coaching, my journey through life!
Where to start? If you want some backstory as to who I am and how I got to the point I am at right now in life and with this current website you are now reading, these blog posts: Post 1 and Post 2, should be good places to start. Andreas – a would-be small business owner and private practitioner continually in the making, you could say. That’s more or less my life story in a nutshell. For our purposes today, let’s jump forward to October 18, 2021, to when I relaunched Andreas Philip Gross Enterprises. You see, during the Spring of 2021 I buckled down and got an ICF-approved coaching certificate. Taking the 8 months to go through the International Coaching Federation Approved Coach Specific Training Hours course – all 161 hours – was just what I needed at that point in my life. You see, with all the “wheel turning” I had been doing for years before that, I had finally slowly started to actually “up my game” just a few years prior, and the coaching course brought things to the whole next level still.
After taking the coaching course, I see things clearer. It is easier for me to see what I am doing wrong. No, that doesn’t mean that I instantly became a perfect human being overnight! Nowhere close! However, my eyes were opened in ways that I didn’t necessarily think they would be. Essentially, half a year after graduating from the coaching course, these are the two major take-aways of mine as I continue on my own coaching journey.
1. Barking up the wrong tree:
First up, I should mention that I graduated with my ACSTH Coaching Certificate right in the same month (June 2021) that my wife gave birth to our youngest son. The graduation milestone also occurred right before starting a new position at my current school, having been promoted from Deputy Curriculum Coordinator of our small international section, a job I had really enjoyed for the past three years, to full-on Academic Coordinator of our much larger English language teaching and learning department (both part of the same school, though). This new department, while it was still within the same school, was largely unknown to me in terms of scope, dynamic, and navigability. I had chosen to get my coaching certificate when I did, because I knew these changes were coming, and I knew there wouldn’t be much time – if any – for “extraneous” new learning type experiences outside of the new job and away from the baby for next year or so.
Well, the new job, while GREAT in terms of being promoted and “climbing the ranks” and all that stuff, has definitely been eating me alive. My health has been suffering. Last year I was FINALLY in the process of getting super fit, had lost close to 50 pounds and was almost down to under 300 pounds for the first time in many years in my adult post-turning-30 life……well, the weight all came back, and I work almost constantly at the new position, largely, what feels like, turning my wheels.
I am not complaining, as I knew this new job would be busy and come with its own challenges, but suffice it to say for now that there was a lot I didn’t bargain for that also came with it - a lot of last minute changes within the department, to be clear, that indirectly affected my position as Academic Coordinator GREATLY, like cheap shots thrown below the belt at the 11th hour right as I was stepping in to the position. Again, no complaints. I have given it an honest shot, and now I know that this particular job isn’t for me. Does that mean I am “giving up?” Hell no! It just means that this particular job at this particular school isn’t the right fit for me in particular at this very specific point in my life.
With that, I will be leaving my current employer in less than 6 weeks and going back to becoming a regular Elementary teacher. I can’t believe it! And it was a tough decision to make! I thought of it as giving up at first and wouldn’t consider it; but now I see it as freeing my time up for other things – for health, for family, for personal pursuits. Something I cannot do at my current job. And, the new position, even with giving up all the administrative responsibilities, pays more!
So, when I say “barking up the wrong tree,” I mean that I need to focus on what I really want both right now and in the long run. I have been pursuing school leadership for years now, but I also keep telling myself I want to run my own show and be my own boss…..to a certain degree, I can see clearly now that these can be (depending on the job), conflicting messages in some cases. If pursuing the school leadership is taking all your time away from your other business pursuits; well, then, you can’t create more time in the day, but you can reorganize it!
2. Taking the ICF Coaching Course has made me a better problem solver, administrator, and leader:
You thought I was going to say “a better coach,” right? Ha, ha! So did I! The funny thing is, over these past 6 months since graduating from the course, I have become a much better leader and administrator, and I’m talking about the skills that have to do with the EXACT OPPOSITE of coaching! I mean a better administrator in the sense of when I have to tell people what to do. This is something I have been weak at for much of my life. Coaching is not about telling others what to do – actually coaching isn’t even about politely advising others what they should do! I have also gotten better at saying “No” at the right times (instead of the wrong times, like I use to), which has also greatly enhanced my leadership abilities. So how have I gotten better at these skills because of the coaching course, you ask?
Bottom line: my confidence, decision-making skills, and communication skills have become honed and sharper.
The coaching course has made me better at filtering “useful” and “extraneous” information. During a coaching session, coaches filter information like this all the time, but then use their findings in non-directive ways (i.e. to keep the coaching session on track, but not to advise or be directive towards the client). Getting better at this skills as the result of the coaching course has allowed me to use this skill outside of coaching, where I can use it in a very directive way as a school coordinator.
The coaching course has also showed me what I want, what I think I want, and what I don’t want in life (or a least ways of thinking about these things), and how to help other people think about these things as well. Again, in a coaching context, the coach helps the coachee become of aware of these things all through a very non-directive manner. As an administrator with this skill, though, I have found that this can and DOES help GREATLY in making directive, decisive decisions.
Even down to intentionality of asking coaching questions in a coaching sessions has made me a more intentional question asker in my role as coordinator.
I feel that I can add to this list, but suffice to say that is this enough for now.
In His grip,
Better life, better business, better you!
Ideas, inspiration, opportunity,
Andreas Philip Gross Enterprises
Washington State Certified K-8 Educator, K-12 International Education Consultant, Professional Coach, Proofreader/Editor, Affiliate Marketer, Popsicle Stick Crafter, Print-on-Demand Products Designer, and Webmaster
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