From the outside, my professional life always looked like a model of success.
I worked in leading management positions at global multinational tech companies as well as a member of different advisory boards. I had also become a managing partner at a micro-multinational IT consultancy as we expanded in Europe and Latin America.
While I had financial security and a solid professional reputation, three decades of perpetual operational work were taking a toll on my well-being. My enthusiasm for my work continued to wane as a deep sense of dissatisfaction took root. I recognized that I needed more gratifying work, a more creative and relational sort of work, if I were to rediscover a sense of fulfillment. But I couldn’t shake the conventional wisdom that insisted I couldn’t simply reinvent myself professionally this far into an established career.
It was ultimately through the thought provoking advice of a good friend that I began to think laterally about my dilemma.
He knew that one of my greatest pleasures had always been the ability to support friends, students, young professionals, and peers in making tough decisions about their businesses and careers. I could put these existing skills to action and have more meaningful work, he suggested, if I coached the sort of executives I had been working with, rather than managing company operations.
I started my Accredited Coaching Training Program (ACTP) to become an ICF-certified executive coach. My studies were more than informative —they were life-giving.
I was learning new disciplines that shifted my understanding of how humans interpret reality, how we can transform our observational powers to discover new perspectives, and the way in which we can discover different ways of behaving that we may never have considered before.
I was moving to witness my program’s volunteer “clients” actually beginning to transform themselves with my support as a coach-in-training. By asking the right questions in the right way, I was learning to help people identify their own truths, expand their possibilities, act with more confidence, and better design their own lives.
In 2017, I completed my certification as a Professional Ontological Coach and was ready to take on my own clients.
Thanks to my contracting with an online platform, I got to work with clients all over the world and learned how much value my own multicultural nature adds to their experiences. I have continued to coach in English, Spanish, and German, posing questions that my clients could internalize in their native languages. My own global sensibility has helped me to figure out how to challenge their habitual patterns of thinking and help them navigate their specific challenges.
By continuing to coach international clients, I get the pleasure of learning firsthand that the fundamental techniques of deep questioning and attentive listening are universally effective, leading people to their own constructive growth.
Using the ontological approach, NLP, neuroscience, and systemic coaching, my clients and I work together to find their new paths
But does all the work clients put in actually have an impact in the long run?
A client of mine summarized it quite well:
At first I thought coaching would do for the mind what working out does for the body: you work out to get stronger and fit. But once you stop working out, you lose most of what you have achieved. With coaching, you get to hold onto your gains and take your new skills and knowledge with you for life.
Having lived in developing countries, where disorder and crisis are common, I never anticipated that I would be delivering such a valuable relational service to high-level professionals in first world countries.
And while I am humbled by this, I see that my coaching makes the greatest impact when I allow it to be informed by my own observations. Intricate problems call for a coach’s careful and compassionate unraveling. That is why I am deliberate about bringing my empathy for the complex struggles of executives and managers into my coaching practice.