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08 Feb, 2012

Coach In The Spotlight – Arifa Chakera

Posted by: The Coaching Academy In: Coach Spotlight|In The Spotlight|Personal Success|Success Stories

Coach In The Spotlight - Arifa Chakera

Arifa Chakera qualified through The Coaching Academy programme and has enthusiastically agreed to share her coaching experience, so we have put her in the Coaching Hot Seat.

Here is Arifa’s story:-

What brought you to coaching?

I was a typical “Chartered Civil Engineer” who worked with teams to build things and everyone were always task oriented.

As my experience grew and gradually moved away from design and construction projects to leading Change and Transformation projects, I realised that people were an important aspect to enable a successful delivery.

I wanted to learn more about how people work and how to motivate and drive people with sensitivity and support. All in all, wanted to understand what makes people tick and how to ensure I could get the best out of them (and myself).

What were your original thoughts for applying the coaching?

Coaching to me is a valued proposition for my company as I lead and manage large transformations projects.

I believe by really understanding what drives people and what motivates them, I have been able to create ownership from the start during a time on uncertainty. This has lead to successful project completion and delivery.

I have delivered a number of Mergers and Acquisitions and Organisational Transformations.

By focusing on both the hard project delivery timelines and understanding / supporting the behaviour of individuals has made a drastic improvement in project delivery by focusing on ownership and sustainability.

What did you find most interesting to learn?

I think the most interesting thing I found through coaching was how I think, work and play.

By really understanding myself and my drivers, I was able to be honest with people and get the best out of me. Subsequently by understanding myself better, I am able to understand my clients, colleagues, friends and family better and support them appropriately.

I have become a more sensitive person and moved away from assuming they way I think is the way everyone thinks and vice versa.

What was the most rewarding part of the journey?

I believe the most rewarding part of the session in meeting like minded people and sharing knowledge and supporting each other though the training sessions. This has given me the much needed confidence to growing my business.

Where are you now? How are you using your coaching skills?

As I continue to grow my business, I use my coaching skills pretty much every day.

Majority of my work is within transformation projects therefore helping people adapt to new environments, new processes and new ways of working in the quickest sustainable way requires in depth coaching.

In parallel, I have learnt to be sensitive, supportive and the art of active listening, which has helped within my personal life.

What is your coaching niche and why did you choose it?

My coaching niche is coaching companies, employers and employees through change to make them more successful.

I mainly work in the corporate sector. I chose this sector as I enjoy the challenge of transformation and making the change sustainable.

What is the best thing that could happen to your coaching business in the next 2 years?

The best thing that could happen is that I break into the local Yorkshire and North East market and get known to be an excellent coach.

What do you enjoy most about being a coach?

Really invoking their beliefs, especially when someone says I don’t think I can do that? Explain to me what is stopping you. This always brings people to highlight their beliefs and challenging them is fantastic, especially when they have a light bulb moment saying “wow, I did not realise I am stopping myself”

What are your top tips for:

- People who are looking at coaching?

Get someone who complements you; get recommendations, test them out yourself and see if you feel comfortable with them challenging you.

Coaching is like a relationship and needs to be built on trust, openness and confidentiality. If there is no mutual trust and comfort, coaching will be superficial and therefore you don’t feel right about the coach, tell them. Follow your instincts of getting the right coach.

- Those coaches currently in training?

If you are training, nearing qualifications or qualified, I would say the most important aspect is be keep your CPD up to date whether it is through coaching, meeting colleagues, reading manuals and attending more training.

Keep all the tools and models in a central place and review them regularly so that it becomes second nature.

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