Birgit is an Executive Coach based in Namibia.
What motivated you to become a coach?
My experience in senior and executive management positions, coupled to 6 years of psychology training and public relations expertise, gives me a deep understanding of the complexities of human behaviour in our diverse organisational landscapes and puts me into an ideal position to support individuals to work towards their personal development goals. After working for many years in large organisations, the time was right to spread my wings and further diversify my professional reach.
I get a real sense of purpose if I see people remove obstacles from their lives and go out to get what they want from life. As a coach, I support individuals to achieve their potential, and companies to achieve their goals through deepening the skills of their people in a people-centered, meaningful and sustainable manner. To me, that means making a difference, one person at a time, which in turn has a massive multiplier effect.
What was one of your biggest learnings while training to become a coach?
My own coaching journey has enabled me to identify, prioritise, creatively problem-solve, and implement choices around achieving my goals. I discovered new things about myself and used these insights to make conscious decisions about my daily habits and actions. I always wanted to make a sustainable difference professionally, and today I can honestly say that I am living a purpose-driven life. Happy and content with where I am, and loving life and work. While the honest “look into the mirror” during my training was challenging at times, I would do it again anytime. I have learnt to thrive and lead a satisfied and successful life; what more could I want?
What do you typically talk about with a prospective client during a free discovery session?
Discovery sessions are about feeling if we are a good fit, to ascertain if the chemistry between us is right. During the discovery session, I am curious to know what motivates people. What keeps someone awake at night. What moves them to action. What do you want to achieve and what will life be like if the goal is achieved? What would it look like to lead a life with a greater sense of purpose, meaning and satisfaction? What would happen if you did not achieve the goal? What do you expect from me as your coach? How can I partner with you and support you in achieving your goals? And of course, we spend an equal amount of energy where the potential client has the opportunity to ask his or her burning questions about coaching and coaching with me, or anything about myself and my background which they may find relevant.
What do you think prevents more professionals from seeking out their own coach?
Coaching is a recognised business tool and dedicated to creating awareness, acceptance and leadership growth. Since the pandemic, I have seen it grow in popularity worldwide and locally. The move to the virtual platform has supported this. In many developed countries, coaching has been an accepted tool for personal growth for some time now. And often people choose to interact with coaches numerous times during their careers. In southern Africa, coaching is also becoming more and more accessible. Many people still misunderstand what they can gain from working with a coach, and that coaching is entirely future-driven. It’s not about waiting to be rescued; it’s taking accountability for reaching our own goals and destiny. Change starts with each one of us individually, it’s about moving out of our comfort zones and making things happen for ourselves. Only if we realise that can we make meaningful inroads to where we want to be.
What has surprised you about working with clients across several different countries?
Regardless of individual personalities and diversities, we are all the same! People have many questions in common, and experience similar challenges in the various companies they work in; regardless of where in the world they find themselves. Shared themes include: how do I motivate my people, how do I find happiness, how do I combine professional success with a sustainable and balanced life, how do I become more persuasive, how do I unify groups and initiate action amongst my stakeholders, stress management and burnout, emotion management and self-control, what does it mean to be a “good / inspirational” leader, how do I manage conflicts effectively, how do I live a meaningful life, how do I show up if I have to spearhead a crucial business change which threatens my team or diverse stakeholders. Do any of these questions sound familiar?
Anything else you’d like to share?
I’d like to close off with a quote from Deepak Chopra. “The co-incidences or little miracles that happen every day of your life are hints that the universe has much bigger plans for you than you have ever dreamed of for yourself.” What keeps you from going out and getting them?