By Trishia Lichauco, Prime Chief of Staff Coach
I never knew that there was such a thing as a professional coach until I was provided one when I started working with my first president as a Chief of Staff more than 10 years ago. At that time, I was so green and, honestly, clueless.
Bea was my coach. At our first meeting, the connection was immediate. I knew right away that I could trust her. I leaned on her as I navigated the complex waters in the Office of the President. With her by my side, I did not feel rudderless. I believed that I could row towards the direction required of me, strongly anchored by her guidance and support. Her unexpected existence in my life had both an intangible and tangible impact.
Intangible was hard to measure – it was an emotion; a silent, but ever-present sense that I was not alone. I could somehow manage my instincts around a new role. Tangible was concrete – I adopted new tools, learned new skills, and received a very helpful 360 assessment. Looking back, I opened myself up to a stranger who instantly became a valuable resource. She held up a mirror to me, which allowed me to begin a path of increased self-awareness, which is the premise of leadership.
Many years later since Bea and I worked together, I trained to be a coach. Through the experience of getting myself out of my own way and clearing the next steps in my continued journey of self-awareness, I found my home. For me, coaching is a partnership between coach and client where together, they embark on an action-oriented process to achieve results as determined by the client. A coach’s role in a client’s orbit is simply to be that mirror. It is to accept and to acknowledge. It is to offer non-judgmental and objective insights. And it is also to challenge themes that hold the client back from leading a more meaningful life.
As I often hear from my clients, they look to role models and mentors to understand who they can become. As their coach, I find profound fulfillment in the awakening of their own authenticity, defined as the original, not a copy. The journey of authentic leadership starts with writing their story and rewriting its impact on them wherever it hinders, confuses, or hurts them. They take tangible steps towards the future and learn to act with purpose and on purpose.
Coaches can be integral members of your support team. They will focus on you without any attachment to the outcome or vanity around your success. They will look to you to take ownership of your agenda, your goals, your desires. They champion your efforts and celebrate your breakthroughs. In the following areas, coaches can help you as a budding leader in your life and in your organization.
- Communication: The ability to clearly articulate your intentions and vision
- Energy: Your motivation for sustainable transformation
- Presence: Having the comportment of confidence and trust
- Accountability: The commitment to doing what is promised and necessary
- Relationships: Establishing support personally and professionally
- Self-Care: Looking out for number 1 (YOU!)
As a Chief of Staff, you carry substantial responsibility. Do you want to feel your best as a partner to your executive? How can a coach guide you through your leadership development? How would you like to do things differently? What would you like to achieve now?
If you wish to explore coaching further, contact Prime to learn more about our approach and how to find the right coach for you.