Of #Coaching, Festivals and the Power of Self-Belief

Of #Coaching, Festivals and the Power of Self-Belief


What do festivals signify to you? To me, they are about celebration, great energy, bonding with friends and family, a multitude of colors & hues and a coming together of diverse individuals around a unified theme.

The #BIY2018 Coaching Festival was one such event, the first ever of its kind in India, that brought together people from diverse fields of human development, arts, sports, culture and non-profits, all on a single platform. United by a common purpose to celebrate the coaching profession and the power of self-belief, an eclectic mix of speakers shared their perspectives on the role these two had played in their life and career journey. It sparked an animated dialogue around what coaching is, the shape in which it exists in organizations today and what is required to make it flourish.

The organizational perspective was brought out by HR industry stalwarts who shared personal stories of having had a coach at key times during their careers, and how that had helped them move forward and be successful. The coach was most often their boss or a mentor, who guided them through challenging situations, albeit by asking the right questions and helping them shift their perspective. It was heartening to know that some of these HR leaders have begun to experiment with leadership coaching at senior levels in their organizations! Of the many wonderful definitions of leadership they shared, one that has stayed with me is ‘Leadership is about taking courageous decisions, changing perspectives and enabling the success of your team’.

Some imperatives around building the coaching profession that resonated were (i) the need for coaching to start early on in a person’s career and not wait till he/she had reached CEO/CXO level (ii) building the mindset of the ‘leader as a coach’ for his team to be successful (iii) coaching as a developmental initiative rather than a corrective one and (iv) building a culture of coaching in the organization as a way of life. In response to the latter, BIY unveiled a new product/process developed for Creating a Coaching Culture, that will be rolled out shortly and is sure to positively impact the acceptance of coaching in organizations.

The clear message to coaches was the need to have a strong foundation of ICF certified training and investing in ongoing personal development, to enhance their own credibility and that of the profession. And to look at the long term perspective of building the coaching profession as a community, rather than giving in to the exigencies of acquiring clients and business. In this context, BIY could play a role in facilitating selection of coaches by organizations and also create a ‘guidebook’ for them, to raise awareness of what coaching is and how it is done.

Aside from the corporate world, there were other fields where the theme of #BelieveInYourself resonated strongly and was showcased through personal stories. From the field of sports, we met a successful cricket coach, whose approach is to allow the true potential of the athlete to emerge, rather than trying to ‘teach’ him how to play well. He focuses on 3 tenets that build a foundation of trust in the relationship (i) being a mirror for his coachee (ii) challenging him and (iii) enhancing his self-belief.

We met entrepreneurs who have built a multitude of businesses through sheer passion, hard work and belief in themselves! Their message was simple ‘Let people do what they want to do, and they will succeed!’ Key attitudes that helped them be successful were (i) a mindset of curiosity (ii) adaptability to change (ii) embracing risk and (ii) having a global mindset from the start. In the ‘non-profit’ space, we met an amazing individual who empowers differently-abled youth to Believe in Themselves and helps them get jobs in corporate India.

No festival is complete without art, culture, music and dance! From the Kathak dancers of Navras Academy depicting the Journey of a Soul, to the riveting musical performance by the band Dharavi Rocks, to the amazing paintings by the J4Y artists, everything was woven so beautifully around the theme of #BelieveInYourself!

What made this event unique for me was the incredible energy and warmth of the organizers, the stature and diversity of the speakers and the passion in the voices that spoke, both on the stage and within the audience! For the first time since I began my coaching journey 3 years ago, I was surrounded by peers and new friends from the coaching fraternity (or family, as I would like to call them), all passionate believers in the power of coaching to impact organizations and people’s lives. And it was incredible that their purpose resonated with mine, of being evangelists for a profession that helps unfold a person’s full potential, and is only just beginning to take root in India.

#Coaching #Leadership #BelieveInYourself