If you would like to discover more about coaching and training as a coach, do come along to one of our free upcoming virtual open events or webinars.
Jennifer Herren is a Swiss/Spanish expat living in London. Coming from a background in international B2B sales, Jennifer now runs her own practice LET it HAPPEN Coaching. She kindly agreed to talk about her time on the Practitioner Diploma in Executive Coaching. Here is her story.
You are Swiss and Spanish, live in London, come from a very varied background with roles in beauty, luxury fashion and sport for example and describe yourself as a colourful high vibe optimist, qualified coach, and conscious entrepreneur. Who or what introduced you to coaching and led to you signing up for coach training with the AoEC?
I believe life prepared me for my coaching business all along with contrasted experiences that helped me uncover my strengths, understand what I want and what really matters to me.
Cutting a long story short, I was always frustrated in the corporate world. I spent more than 10 years on an extensive search to find out what could fulfil me professionally but despite the change of countries, industries, roles, company sizes, I always ended up feeling I wasn’t using my full potential. That I could do more, be more, offer more.
I always knew I wanted to have my business one day, I just didn’t know what, when, how. And one day, I felt ready to start one. I still didn’t know what and how though.
When you’re ready you start seeing and hearing things you weren’t seeing and hearing before. This is when I came across coaching and started to see this massive industry made of all sorts of things. Doors started to open showing me possibilities.
To be honest, even though I had already a decade in personal development at that point, I didn’t know exactly what pure coaching was. I kind of mixed it up between mentoring and consulting.
When doing my research, coaching was ticking many boxes. I then explored it to get internal and external feedback to see if it was for me.
I got my first experience with a wonderful coach (whom today is my mentor and supervisor) that was recommended to me. In about 10 minutes, in a discovery call, I was challenged, and pushed to move out of the indecision paralysis I was in that moment. He recommended AoEC among other courses to check out.
I was seduced by the fact to have my own coaching model at the end of the course, the practical side of it with practice and the executive aspect was attractive too. Besides on the taster day with the AoEC, I got goosebumps. That was it.
What were some of the positives and challenges you experienced while doing the diploma?
The individuals you meet, from all kind of backgrounds, companies, different years of experience has been so beneficial. Being all united to all be the best people, coaches, managers, business owners we can be, is something powerful. So is being able to connect, exchange, share dreams, doubts, excitement in a caring environment. Mirroring and feedback you get is very valuable too.
In terms of challenges, I would say to coach for 15-20 minutes observed by classmates and making the most of it. I used to think it was only 15-20 minutes but actually what about thinking it’s a whole 15-20 to help someone?
Understanding who you’re as a coach is challenging and the AoEC opens the way to figure it out.
What would be your top piece of advice for anyone thinking about doing a professional coach training programme?
Are you excited when thinking about doing this training programme?
What personal qualities and values do you bring to your coaching work?
Honesty, care, presence, positivity, connection, partnership, trust, intuition, creativity.
Can you tell us more about your personal coaching model and how this has evolved since doing the diploma?
My coaching model tends to be solution focused and values based.
It’s about building on strengths, seeing what’s already working well and focus on the positives to leverage what’s next. Understanding what the client needs and what matters.
I believe in challenging the goal, spending time clarifying the why - the goal behind the goal. Uncovering what my client is looking for is important to make sure we go to the heart of the matter.
At the beginning my style and model was very much goal and action driven.
Now I tend to work around my client and what is truly needed in the moment.
The GROW model is always a good reference to give structure if needed or if there’s not much time together.
You set up your own practice LET it HAPPEN Coaching in September 2019, can you tell us about the type of clients you are working with?
In terms of character, I would say driven, ambitious for their lives, want to grow and make things happen. They see the value in investing in their personal development, open-minded, fairly spiritual, motivated, kind.
In general, with a solid career but there’s that side of them that knows they can offer more to the world, they are looking to tackle their next chapter. A burning desire for more meaning.
I work, for example, with aspiring entrepreneurs, business owners and executives to make a transition; ownership of who they are, their vision, their behaviours so that they can LET it HAPPEN and therefore be happier in their working life with more meaning and impact.
What are some of the issues and opportunities you coach people around?
Challenges are often around:
Clarity - what’s next, what do they want.
Confidence - tackling imposter syndrome, self-doubt.
Action - overcoming procrastination with accountability and motivation to put ideas in motion.
All about the vision, mindset and strategy.
More specifically goals could be around:
Starting a business.
Realigning business vision, mindset and strategy.
Improving leadership skills.
Improving personal branding, communication, sales.
Have you seen the need for coaching change in any way as we have gone through the coronavirus pandemic?
I don’t have enough experience before the pandemic to be able to have a clear overview and opinion.
What I can say is that the pandemic democratised all digital work. In that sense there is no need to try and convince, people are now more open (and prepared) to be coached virtually.
What kind of impact is coaching having for those you are working with?
Increased awareness of who they are and what matters to them.
Inspiration to reflect, take action and put ideas in motion.
Whilst respecting confidentiality, can you tell us about a coaching situation that had an impact on you?
You tend to attract people “like you” or at least with traits that are sometimes very similar. Projection from the client to you is very challenging. One of my clients was very frustrated and feeling powerless not to figure out what she wanted quicker.
By projection, I also felt powerless not to be able to help her get her answers. I could feel how much she was suffering.
However, we all know that as a coach you don’t save anybody and don’t find solutions for your clients. You’re here to raise awareness and facilitate the process so that they can do so for themselves knowing that they’re already whole, resourceful and perfect.
What has coaching taught you about yourself and other people?
The power of active listening and silences. How all six senses can be used to see the unseen, the hear the unsaid.
The gift that you give to others being fully present so that they can feel seen, heard, and cared for. Unvaluable.
The importance of being clear and managing expectations.
Coaching can be used everywhere and with everyone including yourself.
Last but not least, to some extent we’re all facing the same challenges and emotions. The context and degree might just differ.
What do you find most rewarding about your work as a coach?
Being able to help people know themselves better so that they can be more awake, responsible and empowered to create lives that make them happy.
Acknowledging a transformation and being part of the process is a privilege.
Our immense thanks to Jennifer for sharing her experience.
“I wanted my instinctive approach to be professionalised”
19th July 2021 by Lee Robertson
Stephen Tolfree completed the Practitioner Diploma in Executive Coaching with the AoEC in 2015. Working within the civil service alongside…
“This process is growing me into the best version of myself”
18th June 2021 by Lee Robertson
For the past 15 years, Thuli Segalo has worked with prominent leaders both in business and government to optimise team…
“If you don’t feel stretched and uncomfortable it’s not real learning!”
19th March 2021 by Lee Robertson
Anne Stenbom is a global executive coach and intercultural specialist. With expertise in developing leaders and their people in international…