From Development to Developer: What I’ve learnt from Coaching and Mentoring with Head, Heart and Soul

image sheila blogSince January 2014 my role at Oasis has been Head of Executive Development. My main objective is to find new clients for our one-to-one developers.

In September 2013, I became further involved with executive development by working with one of our developers. I had been offered this opportunity earlier in my career but felt that I didn’t have the time to commit to it. I felt I didn’t have time to spend hours thinking and talking about me. But I was wrong.

Oasis carefully matches you with a suitable developer by asking a series of questions, so you know your development is considered from the start. When I eventually allowed myself the time to answer these questions and shortly after, had my first one-to-one session, I was hooked.

What a difference a day makes or, in this case, two hours.

Not only did that session help me to work out what the issues were that I was struggling with, it also helped me to recognise that it is ok to spend time thinking about me and what I want and need. I started to work out how I could do more of what I wanted to do and less of what I didn’t. It led to a change of role for me at Oasis but it also did more than that; it helped me to realise that I didn’t just want to tell the world about one-to-one development, I also wanted to become a developer.

The Oasis programme – Coaching and Mentoring with Head, Heart and Soul started in January 2015. Directors agreed to pay towards the cost of my place on the programme and also that I could pay my share over a 10 month period. I was delighted!

The programme is facilitated by Glyn Fussell and Carole-Ann Jones. Both of whom I know very well having worked with them as Oasis associates for the past six years. I had spent a lot of time with them in meetings, development days and even residentials, but I had never experienced them as facilitators. I was looking forward to experiencing how they work with our clients and I have not been disappointed.

Oasis works out of a humanistic approach, which involves working with the whole person and Glyn and Carole-Ann certainly brought their whole selves to the programme, as did each and every one of the participants.

There have been times when everyone has given more of themselves than could possibly have been expected and this has made for a truly enriching developmental experience.

I have heard a lot about Whole Person Learning in my time at Oasis and this programme has helped me to understand more of what that means.

We explored working with a person’s full potential by finding ways to understand so much more about their feelings, hopes, dreams and fears, their history, spirituality and in-built drive to learn, stretch and grow. All aspects of what it means to be human.

As the programme progressed I have learnt about the power of the conscious mind and the unconscious drivers we may be less aware of and the effect these have on us. I have come to understand that at various times in my life I thought I wanted someone to tell me what to do but what I actually wanted was someone to help me work it out.

I have been living the approach as part of our learning and this has helped me to find new ways of sharing with potential new clients what Oasis one-to-one development is about and why it is different from other coaching and/or mentoring they may have experienced in the past. I now understand that everything I do depends on the thinking I do first and that my thinking depends on the quality of my attention to others. I have learnt that as a developer I need to move me out of the way and give the space to my client.