31 Days of Life Coaching
Day 1 - My Story
Okay, so I said I was going to participate in 31 Days of Writing…and I’m going to. I thought I’d start at the very beginning. A little about who I am and how I’ve been led to coaching. It’s a bit organic.
You know those Kindergarten teachers…the ones who change our lives forever? Well, I had one of those. <--click a="" to="" tweet="">--click>
I remember her well. She was young and seemed cool, but also a little nerdy, the perfect combo from my five-year-old perspective. Long brown hair, cat-eye glasses. I remember a camel-colored A-line skirt, loafers. I loved her. Which is to say, she was probably really nice, seemed to care about me, notice me, and made me feel loved. I can’t say I remember, but I imagine, knowing me, this was the case.
Anyway, it turns out she did see me, notice me, and even called my mother to talk about me. I didn’t learn this till I was about 40 years old (I’m older now), when my mother shared this little story. It provided a lot of insight!
I think her name was Mrs. Logan. Apparently she called my mom one day, which must have been a bit of a shock since I was such a good little girl. What could be the problem?
“Hi Mrs. Daly, this is Mrs. Logan, Elise’s teacher.”
“Oh, yes, hello Mrs. Logan. Is everything alright?”
“Well, yes, everything is okay, but I’m a little concerned about Elise.”
I’m sure a bit of panic worked its way into my mother’s mind in that moment. I had only been at school a week.
“What are you concerned about?”
“Well, Elise acts like she’s older than the other kids. A little like she’s an adult and they’re the kids. She’s always offering a helping hand, or asking if they need assistance, showing them how to color, even wiping away a few tears, which of course is very nice. But the kids don’t like it. I’m afraid it’s separating her from the other kids.”
Well apparently, Mom and I had a little chat. And whatever she said seemed to affect me positively because I have no recollection of being corrected or shamed and there were no more phone calls. Only nods acknowledging that I had taken my rightful place as one of the kids in the classroom instead of a self-appointed aide.
When my mother told me this story, it made so much sense.
I really was a born helper. I loved to come alongside others, listen to them, even more importantly I loved to hear them. To listen carefully, consider what someone was sharing, maybe ask some questions, and go deep pretty quickly.
I was also affectionately (well maybe not always affectionately) called “Junior Mommy” by my siblings, of which I have four, one older sister, two younger sisters, and a brother. I had the nurturing instinct of a mom, which I’m sure could get annoying!!
My father was in publishing, so we always had a lot of magazines. When I was 10, he brought home a new magazine, which quickly became my absolute favorite, Psychology Today. I love understanding human behavior. No surprise in college I was a double major in English and Psychology.
When I was in high school, with no cell phones or texting or Facebook or SnapChat or whatever, we took to letter writing and every night would spend hours writing notes folded tightly into paper footballs (we called them this, though really they were triangles!). This took at least a couple of hours every night as I had a wide circle of friends, so there were at least 10 football letters a night. Many of my notes sounded a little like they were from Dear Abby, the advice columnist.
Friends were asking relationship and social advice all the time.
And I’ve continued along this vein throughout my life. I’m a helper. A listener. A story lover. I’m tremendously interested in people, their stories, their struggles, and triumphs. And I’m a detail girl, which means I tend to ask questions, dig below the surface, and find meaning in seemingly small things.
And now I’m a certified life coach. Which is where all the above comes together. Because as a life coach, I listen, hear, ask questions, nurture, care, and help people go from where they are to where they want to be. <--click a="" to="" tweet="">--click>
Tomorrow we’ll talk about what coaching is and what it isn’t. Till then…
Any coaching-related questions...Ask me!