I often get asked, ‘Why Coaching?’ And my answer has always been, ‘That is who I am, it was what I was meant to be.’
It might sound like a cliché, though I believe I was born to be a coach.
Being part of a start-up (way before the word become crazily popular) and assimilating experiences across the world, what would prompt someone to give it all up (well that’s how the world sees it, not me) and become a coach? That too after a successful career in Sales, Marketing and Business Management in marquee organisations.
Let me explain…
I did a life transformation programme in 2007 and a realisation dawned that I am the possibility of Space, a space in which people are free to be themselves. That ignited a dream to spread this possibility, still the word coach wasn’t anywhere in my vocabulary. When I tried tracing this trait back into my life, I could recall how friends, neighbours, colleagues and classmates were able to share their life situations with me.
There are many such incidents in both personal and professional life. Let me share two incidents that are etched in my memory.
A friend in need is a friend indeed
I can distinctly remember it was New Year’s Eve 1992. A friend was sharing the story of his heartbreak with me, he was distraught and had lost complete hope in life, and we ended up at Aksa beach in Malad. He was stone drunk and kept repeating how the girl was making a mistake by choosing someone else over him, all I did was listen to him patiently and kept asking him to look at his entire life in front of him and not just this incident. He passed out close to midnight on the sands of the beach and all I did was watch others revel in the party mood and wonder, how I could help my friend when he wakes up.
When he did come around in the morning, we spoke, laughed and he could reason out that it was not the end of the world, and he made a resolve to never let himself go in such a way. He thanked me for being a friend, and not judging him for his misdemeanour. All I could do was smile and be happy that I was some help in this horrid situation.
My career isn’t going anywhere, what do I do?
This is an incident from early 2002, a colleague and I were travelling by train on our regular commute back home. He wasn’t particularly happy with how his career was shaping up and wasn’t sure what his next steps could be. He opened up and told me he was confused.
We had an hour of commute and during this I asked him what changes he could make in his approach at work and his personality, that can brighten up his chances, he almost had a light bulb moment and narrated a few things that were within reach and easily implementable. After getting off the train, he immediately wrote them down in his notepad (remember this was pre-smartphone era) and true to his word acted on them. Today he resides in another country and is in a leadership position.
Now, when such incidents happened, I hardly could say I was coaching (I didn’t even know what that meant then), all I understood was people need a good listener, who doesn’t judge them and can trust the person, enough to open up their issues to. That is what kept happening, early on in my career I was blessed to be in leadership positions and was responsible for others’ growth and the one theme that kept emerging from team members was: “Makarand, doesn’t behave like a typical boss”.
While this was very flattering to hear, I have always believed that there is no such being as a boss. All you are doing is playing a role and you do that with utmost honesty, integrity and humility. Thankfully, it has kept me in good stead throughout my life.
I realised eventually that my life’s purpose is to help others succeed, I find tremendous joy and fulfilment when I can play a part in someone’s life that can help them scale new heights. To me that is a life well lived. So, from being a stutterer who couldn’t speak a full sentence without being mortified (stories stuck in the throat), I became a person with whom people of various ages shared their stories and sought counsel from.
I became a COACH! Needless to say, to hone the craft I did the relevant certifications that validate my ability and skill (Being a coach is a serious responsibility).
So here I am being a possibility of space for you to become who you are meant to be.
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