Below is an interview with AceUp Coach Donna Aldrich. Donna has been a coach with AceUp for over 4 years. In addition to sharing some great suggestions for new coaches, Donna shared with us some of her own insights on changes she has seen in coaching and the things that challenge her most.
What led you to start coaching?
Prior to retiring from my corporate role, I knew I wanted to do something more after leaving, so I enrolled in a coaching program and got certified. I wanted to combine my years of experience with coaching to help others in their journey, and that is what I have been working at ever since.
When you were a new coach starting out, what was the hardest part? How did you overcome this?
Starting out, I thought I had to have the perfect coaching questions to ask. I literally would have a list of questions beside me in case I got stumped. I realized I didn't need to be perfect; I needed to listen and have a conversation with the coachee. This way of working has been much more beneficial for the coachee and for me.
What are your favorite parts of being a coach?
I really like working with the coachees from all different types of organizations and helping them work through their goals. When they come back and report that they have been successful in trying something we had talked about, it is very motivating.
How long have you been an AceUp Coach?
I’ve been coaching with AceUp for about 4 years.
What do you think has changed about coaching during your tenure as a coach?
First, there are many more coaches and many more companies offering coaching. It is an interesting time in that many companies are realizing the benefit of coaching and bringing on companies like AceUp to help grow and develop their talent at all levels. Even 5 years ago, this was not so prevalent, and it is a real benefit to the people we are coaching.
As a seasoned coach, what is most challenging for you? How do you work to overcome these challenges?
This may sound like a very small problem, but because I coach my own clients and contract with a few others, trying to keep calendars aligned can be very challenging. On top of that, the administrative piece of coaching is not something I enjoy. I manage it most of the time, but would love advice from anyone who is doing it well.