Coaching Chronicles

In Conversation with Surbhee Singh

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Coaching Chronicles with Surbhee Singh

Coaching provides an invaluable space for personal development. Traditional coaching touches upon psychology, philosophy, spirituality, adult development theory and so much more. Becoming a coach is an endless evolution journey. 

In a world where coaches are inundated with possibilities for more training, what actually fosters coaching mastery? At Erickson our coaching module provides a perfect fertile land for a coach to bloom. You can sign up for our module, see if you like it and go from there. 

Our graduates have their own individual journeys that led to the path of being a coach. However it is always perceptive to know what made one leave the conventional and follow the untrodden. 

About the Interviewee: Surbhee Singh

The first on our series of interview blogs with coaches is Surbhee Singh. 

Surbhee is an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) from International Coach Federation (ICF). She has over two decades of corporate experience in various industries as a Business Leader, Executive Coach, Facilitator, Speaker and Leadership Administrator.

In her coaching experience she has enabled top leaders and senior managers to enhance their self-awareness and impacted their productivity in an increasingly globalized business environment. Her areas of focus include self-mastery, executive presence, transformational leadership, team integration, communication influence, influence without authority and holistic-wellness.

Interviewing her was such a delight. With her charming persona and candour she answered and talked about her challenges with such flair that it leaves an impression. Here are some snippets for you to read where she talked about her journey, transformation, challenges, changing gender trends in the industry. 

Tell us about your coaching journey?

I have been a coach for 8 years. I had self doubts when I actually started coaching. So I was trying to pick up different things and go back, you know, how do I be the best coach, and he would always tell me, it’s not about you being the best coach. It’s all about being there for your clients. And something that my mentor said then has stayed with me. And that is what so I found my confidence as I moved along with practice.

How do you see coaching has trended from the time you began?

If I talk about eight years back, people did not understand coaching, like they understand now. There are a lot of self proclaimed coaches.. Global organisations understood the concept  they had an inkling about what coaching is maybe because of their global presence. But when it came to individuals, it was a very confused market. Are you a career counselor, or therapist or a psychologist?

Why should I go with a life coach when everything is going on well in my life? Eventually, I realized that no, we have to first bring in awareness of what a beautiful gift coaching is. And overtime, if I look at the trends, the the awareness about coaching has also held opportunities, which were coming to us through the global organizations already, we’re understanding they are engaging with us, but then the traditional Indian organizations, legacy organizations, and we started getting opportunities from a lot of different places which were earlier not there for us. So I think we’re somewhere all of that works.

Why should one get an ICF Coaching Certification?

When clients are looking for coaches to connect with, they do like to look at your credentials and certifications, specifically in the corporate space, I feel that is very important, it gives you a lot of structure. ICF certification has a lot of value. It does help to understand what are the best practices, the frameworks which can be followed. So for me, you know, Your credibility is established with the client and it helps you to get businessI feel certification is important to give more value to your clients.

In your time at Erickson, how would you describe your breakthrough?

With Erickson a lot of beliefs were broken. One of the beliefs that I broke, which really liberated me was that I have to be the nice one and say yes to everything. So, I would not say no even to conversations which did not involve me or would take up possibilities or tasks which otherwise were not suited for me. So the first talk about myself is that, you know, where is it all coming from? Why is it so important for me to say yes? And the day I got that and I worked on it changed a lot for me.

Did you face challenges that were specifically because you were a female coach?

I will not have too many episodes to count here. People have been kind and generous. They had a lot of trust in my ability. In one case though there was a client. And after everything went through with that client-  – the engagement, the pricing, everything. They said, “Surbhee we really love what you are doing and we have great trust in your ability of being a coach. We would like some profiles which are male coaches as our leadership cohort is all male and they may not feel comfortable with a female coach.” So I faced a little bit of it to get in my stride. And did not let it impact me because what is important for me are the ones who did put their trust in me.

How do you initiate a coaching conversation when you go in a session?

I initiate a coaching conversation in the coaching space, it is devoid of any judgments. Be it gender be it hierarchy of role and responsibility. So when I enter into an engagement, I go with that. I just want to hear what the other person has to say, at least first, for me is to build that rapport. Why should they spend this time with me? What do they tend to achieve from these coaching sessions? So I call this a discovery session, which is where I just want to know about them. I want to know about their life, how they progress in their life, look at different phases, dimensions. And they are also curious to know more about me. So I actually do strike a chord of bringing in more informality into our conversation. And I feel somewhere the elements of rapport trust, everything put together, they begin to take shape.

Last but not least, do you have a message to convey to aspiring women who want to become coaches?

When I was going through my certification program through Erickson one facilitator mentioned that the trends are that there are more women coaches than men. And the presupposition was that women are much better in their listening and understand. And you know, and nothing to analyze, but listen and understand exactly what is important to the other person. And in India also when I look at different certification programs and people now graduating, I do see that it’s either an equal mix or very close.

But coaching is coming more from the space of knowing what is important for your client. And am I creating that environment?  So I am sure that with more awareness people are getting it that you don’t have to have certain prerequisites. The only requisite you need is that are you willing to go that extra mile for your client? Are you willing to sit there and listen? Are you really keen to make a difference? That’s what is important.

Stay tuned to this space as we will bring you more insightful interviews with our graduates.

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