29 Sep, 2011
Coach in the spotlight – Genevieve Knight
Genevieve Knight 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 Genevieve’s story:-
What brought you to coaching?
Two years after graduating and working as an Analyst Programmer I changed career and trained to become a teacher. I had a burning desire to help others to improve their lives and achieve their dreams. I remember people saying to me that I was crazy to leave such a good job to go into teaching but I knew it was the right thing for me to do. I stood by my decision and never looked back. I focused on developing my teaching skills and then broaden my skillset to include coaching. I developed my passion for helping young people to increase their attainment in education, develop their employability skills and improve self motivation using my coaching skills.
What were your original thoughts for applying the coaching?
Whilst teaching I could see a great opportunity to blend coaching and teaching to create a framework that would effectively motivate and engage young people to think big and achieve their goals. Their focus on their goals doubled and so did their attainment in education.
What was the most rewarding part of the training/journey?
I set up my business whilst training to become a coach. I used my coaching skills to develop our flagship training programme for young people. The programme was so successful that the college where we were delivering it won two national beacon awards in 2007 and 2008. They even created an award for their students. Thousands of young people have benefited from our training and achieved fantastic results; going to university, getting apprenticeships, winning awards, starting their own business and performing on stage.
What is your coaching niche and why did you choose it?
Our work is primarily focused on developing young people’s employability skills and a personal brand to enable them to stand out head and shoulders above their competition to get into university or to get the job they really want. We also give them strategies to create their own employment and career opportunites.
I had chosen jobs because I had the ability to do the work but not because I enjoyed or felt passionate about what I was doing. That was my biggest mistake and that’s why even though I was excellent at my jobs I was never able to sustain them. My greatest fear was to leave university being educated and unemployed and this fear drove me to ensure that that didn’t happen. I was always successful at getting employment. I share strategies that I developed to help young people to get a head start in their careers and also to avoid the mistakes I did.
Where are you now? How are you using your coaching skills?
We have developed an employability toolkit for schools, colleges and other education providers. This toolkit also includes powerful career coaching questions for students.
Our first bootcamp event will train students to take a proactive approach to create their own career and employment opportunities, to passion proof their careers and make their free time count. Four major employers will be joining forces with myself, Dan Schawbel, personal branding guru from the US and Bev James, MD of The Coaching Academy.
Using coaching strategies that will be used at the bootcamp, a graduate that I have been working with has just been shortlisted for a finance position. His application stood out among over 500 applications.
What is the best thing that could happen to your coaching business in the next 2 years?
I would love to train young people from all over the world at our student career bootcamps. Young people’s lack of employability skills and youth unemployment is a global issue.
What is your favorite coaching question?
What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
What do you enjoy most about being a coach?
Coaching can facilitate amazing transformations. In working with students, we regularly observe that students often struggle to present their best qualities to employers and universities resulting in an obvious barrier to entry. Helping young people to develop a coaching mindset means that they are better placed to support themselves and be resourceful long term.
People who are looking at coaching?
Decide on what you are trying to achieve and then do your research to find out whether coaching would add value to what you want to do.
Those coaches currently in training?
Decide on a niche and test it whilst training. I recommend that coaches read Bev James’ book “Do It! or Ditch It” to help them to evaluate their ideas.
Coaches that are about to qualify?
Ask clients you have coached for testimonials and use this to market your coaching practice in your chosen niche. Start twittering on your topic to attract followers in your chosen niche and then create a squeeze page with an ethical bribe to build your list quickly.
People that are in a similar situation to yourself?
Become an expert in your chosen field. Learn everything you need to know, get to know your competitors and then intelligently position your business. Read books and take courses to develop your marketing and selling skills.
by Genevieve Knight