Evening With Master Coach Jenny Bird
Executive coaching still sometimes seems to be misunderstood. This is known to Jenny Bird, who came over to fAABI’s Head Office to give a talk about the ins and outs of the job to an audience of adults who have sustained a brain injury and their carers on 31st July 2019. Jenny, a very early adopter, has been coaching for 20 years. She is a Master Coach (MCC) which is the highest level of professional accreditation by The International Coach Federation. At times, Jenny receives all sorts of interesting enquiries about the role by those who haven’t quite got the gist of it.
“-So what do you do?
-I’m a coach.
-Oh, which sport?
-Well, do I look like a sportsperson to you?”
Jenny had spent a great portion of her career in community education. Identifying the needs in the community and finding resources to fill educational gaps, Jenny was involved in a vast range of projects, from prenatal yoga and advanced Japanese to metalwork – anything the community needed. Including supporting ex-offenders and alcoholics. “Working with those groups was a prep to work with executives”. Some faces among the audience looked at one another giggling, slightly puzzled.
Executive coaching aims to boost a professional’s efficacy, communication skills, productivity, as well as their wellbeing. Not to confuse with life coaching, or counselling – executive coaches do not give clients advice, but rather support them into clearing their trail of thought to be able to come up to solution independently. “It starts with something like a scrunched newspaper. I help the client take out the paper, lay it out and even its creases until we are both able to read it”, Jenny’s analogy stuck with the listeners.
Jenny and co-author Sarah Gornall wrote books for those who find interest in coaching and models and frameworks that it offers – The Art of Coaching (2015) and How to Work with People … and Enjoy It! (2019). The publications are accessible and practical handbooks for anyone who works with people and seeks stimulation for discovery and development.
Thank you, Jenny, for taking the time to visit fAABI’s beneficiaries and giving us an insight into what will spark new ideas and motivations.
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