Coaching Chronicles

Coaching Chronicles with Kavita Atroley

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About Kavita Atroley

Kavita Atroley is a Life Empowerment and Confidence Building Coach. She enjoys working with people from diverse fields; be it a homemaker, an intern, a mid-level executive, a student, or an individual who wishes to explore their thoughts about professional and personal shifts.

She believes that everybody has innate capabilities and strengths and that people work towards being their best selves. Her belief is that each person is unique and special and strives to be the best of themself, which has been validated through the process.

On the personal and professional front, she has had rich and varied experiences from being an executive at an export house, a play school teacher, a Montessori Teacher Trainer and a home maker.

She has found her calling as a coach, a role that she has been training for and enhancing my skills at, for over four and a half years. Her aim is to work with people who believe they can do more, collaborating with them in a realistic and meaningful manner, and co- create realistic outcomes.

Coaching Chronicles with Kavita

Tell us about your professional journey. Where did you start from and where are you now?

Kavita: I learned about coaching a couple of years ago, and it appealed to me. I began to explore this field. and after much research, I was convinced that this is what I would love to do. I underwent some training programmes to qualify and practice as a coach.

Long before this I had started out as a textile designer. I worked at a garment export house as a merchandiser.

Years later, I trained in the Montessori method of education and worked with children and then as a Montessori teacher trainer. In between all this I have been an involved homemaker!

The many shifts in my careers have taught me different skills and I bring them now, to the fore, when I practice as a Personal Empowerment and Confidence Building Coach. That’s my professional journey.

Well, that’s an interesting one. That’s I think that’s the first time I’ve heard somebody from your background to become a coach. 

Kavita: It’s a life skill. The varied experiences have surely given me a wider view of how to approach different situations

The challenge was to be in the same space with people who had been in the corporate world and in the HR area for several years. But in a way that’s what I’ve done too, as a homemaker and in the various roles as a teacher and a trainer, I’ve dealt with people all the way! 

Now, in this role, I have found great support and a lot of encouraging friends. And my own journey has provided me with a lot of insights.

Yeah, that’s all matters. So, when did you decide to become a coach?

Kavita: After a lot of research, talking to people, understanding the details of what it entails and what it would require of me, I embarked upon the training programmes and skill enhancement and was finally convinced that this was my calling. I wanted to make sure that this would be my final shift so I spent a lot of time over this decision.

How long have you been coaching?

Kavita: It’s been about five years now, since I’ve been training and practicing.

So tell us about your coaching journey. The transformations, achievements, client interactions, something interesting about it.

Kavita: I didn’t actively start coaching professionally. I used the skills that I learned during the training, in my interactions with friends and family. Simple things like changing my approach from an advisor to becoming a listener. I learned that it is easier to advise,but coaching is very different.

And that fascinated me. I engaged the skills, not professionally, but more as a different approach to my relationships and connections. And I saw that it had a huge impact.

With the current situation that we are in, globally, I took up some coaching assignments through video conferencing.

My aim is to be of help to people. Being alone in a busy world can get quite daunting, especially when you undergo any shifts (like I did between careers). I was surrounded with great people, and what I experienced was that support is so critical.

My primary aim is to help people, work with people on their journeys; Women getting back to work, youngsters at the threshold of their careers, people looking to shift from their current to envisioned goals.

That is so beautiful. It’s very noble of you. Okay so, you said that you mainly connect with people in your circuit. So, do you already know these people? or they are total strangers also?

I’ve spoken to strangers, finding someone through a common connection and striking a cord. I’ve connected with some through xMonks. And during the coaching journey, even people who I trained with, we’ve connected. So, we may be in a class together, but not really know each other, till we strike that connection.

It’s been interesting to approach people. In fact, I find it a little easier, at this point to talk to people I don’t know much.

It’s actually interesting to speak to them, because then you are actually just dealing with what is in front of you, and with no prior knowledge about them. It’s fulfilling when you can help someone you don’t really know well. 

So, how do you enter in your coaching mindset when you enter in both scenarios?

Kavita: So in both scenarios, whether you are familiar with someone or not, the first thing that one needs to do is to shut your own inner voice.

It’s natural to have your own experiences pop up when you hear someone relating an incident that you may have experienced yourself. Similarly, when you know something about a person, you tend to let that knowledge influence how you hear a person. If somebody tells you something which you have not experienced, then that is easier to hear them out without getting emotionally affected. In that case, you can just see that person and understand that person. 

So, the difference in coaching someone you know, versus coaching somebody you don’t know, is similar. 

It’s a little easier, I think, to coach people that you don’t know. You need to consciously shut your inner voice when coaching people you know.

What is a major coaching highlight for you that you could make this happen?

Kavita: Coaching is a process. There is no solution to an issue but there are shifts that occur for an individual which ultimately lead to the desired outcome.

I’m working with people to co-create that shift, at the moment. I can’t really say that there are huge changes that I’ve seen. But I’ve got feedback from my coachees, that they have found value when they’ve spoken to me. They’ve developed some insight, some indications on what they need to work with for their purpose.

It’s a good feedback to know that I have chosen a path that will help me make a positive difference to  people.

No, if you can make a difference, that’s a huge thing. People need to be guided, people need to be told something right.

Kavita: Yeah. I don’t believe that everybody has to be the same. It’s a beautiful world, everyone’s different, so there is no right and wrong, there is no good or bad. 

Of course, there are benchmarks of behavior and people need to follow things so that they are not hurting another person and doing things which are harmful to other people. But having said that, everybody has to live together in the same limited space with their individual differences. 

People need to live a life which is fruitful for themselves as well as for others. 

You know, that actually is a core competency to not make coaching a personal agenda, and you already are that sort of person. We need people who can easily accept that there are differences, and not everybody is going to be same.

Kavita

True that.

When did you take your certification with the Erickson?

Kavita

I did my first two modules in 2017. I did the 3rd and 4th module in 2021.

I’ve also undergone a certification from the Lambent Coaching Academy in Neuroscience Coaching. 

Besides, learning can go on forever.

How do you view the need of getting certified? Do you think certification is important? And how has it helped you, if not anybody else?

Kavita

More important is the training and assimilation and the use of the skills and knowledge. To be able to put to practice what you learn. Certification is a process that will come later. And I will do that soon. I’m already working towards it.

I think it’s a beautiful training even just as an individual, even if you don’t want to make a career out of it. I’ve been telling people to take up the training  just for themselves.

It’s a beautiful space. To be comfortable with your own self, to be able to accept other people, to be able to have aspirations, to be able to know the right ways to reach those aspirations. What are the things you must question yourself to be able to get somewhere?

Even if you don’t coach professionally, even for oneself, it’s one of the great personality enhancing tools.

So, the crux is transformation. When you went into your coaching journey, did you have something that you were not ready for, and you had to break through that bias or breakthrough. What are some of the challenges that came along your way.

Kavita: Just trying to think if there’s been a challenge, it was almost like a natural progression, just trying to be more aware of what one was doing, from my personal point of view. But there was no barrier. 

I had been a home-maker for a good part of my life, so just that discomfort, to now have to carve out time exclusive to home, was the challenge.

That I don’t have to have other people change in order for me to do what I want, was the biggest transformation. Having aspirations and working toward them without a feeling of guilt is the attitude I gained, to my benefit.

It has been told that coaching also changes the way you are in your personal life. Has it made you better? relationships are better understood? 

Kavita: I’m a lot calmer. I used to get very anxious when there was a lot to do. I would feel that there are just too many things to handle. I would doubt my capabilities even if I managed to do everything with great outcomes! I became more accepting of myself. I understand that sometimes things just take longer, sometimes things are tough, sometimes they may not be achievable. 

But what you focus on determines the outcome. And the desired outcome changes from one to the other. One is always striving for the next thing.

Where do you visualize yourself as a coach in coming years?

Kavita: I want to be able to do lots of coaching. I love to talk to people, I want to see people breaking out of discomfort. I would love to see people happier.

This speaks of selflessness. You are asking nothing for yourself, all you want is to make people happy, the place they share should be happy. So, I guess everybody will get coached by you will be a lucky person.

Kavita: I hope so. I surely hope so. 

I will charge a fee, of course. But that’s not the most important. Monetizing will happen automatically if one is able to make a difference. That’s the way I look at it, it may be a naive way to look at it, but that’s how I look at it.

Presently, especially after COVID people have made way to monetize their skills because it has been in demand, it is in trend that you should go surely go-ahead for.

Kavita: I see a lot of that. I heard somebody say,  “Oh, these coaches who have popped up out of nowhere, doing classes at home…” And I felt “Oh my god, that doesn’t sound good at all.”

The reality is that it is one of the things people have done during this time. But another way to look at it is that people have used the time to grow. Imagine the number of people who have, in this period, become more positive, more assured, more content. So what’s the harm? It’s  a win-win situation. 

Actually, it came in trend. I mean, somewhere around 2-3 years back only, we were doing this research on coaching industry. The industry has seen a great boom. It has been really great, the numbers have been skyrocketing.

Kavita: Right. Right.

To me, I look at it in two ways, actually, it’s both a good thing and in a way an eye opener to the way our world was becoming so materialistic, everything is about being a go-getter, trying to get ahead. I think coaching is a beautiful thing that stemmed out of this need for achievement outside, rather than for growth within the individual. 

It has come from a need that people want to succeed and find meaning. 

I do believe coaching is more of a relationship. It’s us, it’s always us, ‘we do it together’ and that’s what I think is the most beautiful part of coaching that I’ve enjoyed and loved and I wish to take that forward.

Do you have a message for the coaching fraternity or aspiring coaches that you would like to share? 

Kavita

I do believe coaching is a journey that benefits both the coachee and the coach. 

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