Meenakshi is a Personal Agility Coach based in the United States.
What motivated you to become a coach?
The Future of Work is unfolding as we speak. There is SO much untapped potential at the intersection of People, Process and Technology – to help co-create a future that works for everyone. With this realization, in Aug 2019, I took on the role of Founder and Principal of NorthStar Solutions and Services – a boutique, 100% virtual, future-of-work oriented consultancy. Becoming a coach, happened organically. I started seeing impact I was able to create by supporting mid-career technology professionals adopt agile principles, and inclusive design, in their own leadership development journeys. That’s how I became a Personal Agility and Self-leadership Coach. The foundation of my coaching practice is POD – Purpose-Outcome-Design, and I help my clients find their POD, and thus their own North Star!
What do you typically talk about with a prospective client during a free discovery session?
My goal is to be authentic, transparent, and forward-looking from the beginning. I’m completely focused on the client – present and curious. I love to learn about their goals and aspirations, and their Why. I also offer them 3 specific free online assessments to help them get sense of their values, strengths and communication styles. I share with them the core principles of my coaching practice, and expectations from our respective roles as Coach and Client. I reiterate the fact that my role as a Coach is to support their personal transformation journey, and discover their own pathways to their chosen purpose-driven outcomes.
How did you determine which niche you were best suited to focus on as a coach?
In my own personal 20+ year career, and in gleaning from professional experiences of those around me, what’s been glaring to me is that mid-career professionals, especially in the IT space, are among the least supported when it comes to their overall professional/leadership development. I’ve yet to see structured learning and development initiatives – at the organizational level, that cater specifically to mid-career professionals – like they usually do for entry-level or senior leadership level professionals. I’ve also found that those who speak English as their second/third language have to constantly “code switch” to survive in the professional world, which happens to predominantly English-speaking.
Most of my clients are mid-career IT/Agile professionals, who identify as female, who speak English as their second/third language, several of them are also first-generation immigrants, and all of them are looking to advance in their careers. They want to break the mold, and seek to lead with courage and authenticity.
What are some key observations you've had from mobilizing coaches for virtual events?
Clear articulation of the purpose and impact that can be created by coming together, has served me well in mobilizing coaches for virtual events. Virtual events tend to be more inclusive from geographic and communication style perspectives. I’ve also observed that virtual events are a good way to foster greater understanding of the interconnectedness and similarities amongst us as human beings from around the world.
How do you balance your coaching conversations between personal vs professional topics?
I believe that we bring our whole selves to whatever we do. So, our personal and professional lives are two sides of the same coin. While I specialize in career transformations in my coaching engagements, I do recognize the fact that whatever is happening in our personal lives, has an impact on our professional lives. With that in mind, I help my clients in discovering that interconnectedness, and charting their own course through that, while still retaining focus on their professional lives.