It takes a community to raise a coach

Oluwaseyi Kehinde-Peters and I met during the African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative (AWEC) Leadership Summit - and as HR kindred spirits, we connected. When, about 5 months ago, she asked me to support the Pan African Women Empowerment Network (PAWEN) programme, I thought I'd probably take a live session on HR or Communications and be on my merry way. But she said, 'I already know what I need from you: I'd like you to be a coach.' 😶 Never mind what went through my mind. What matters is that she managed to extract a 'yes' from me, and that's why I'm writing this story.

In the last 15 years, I've had a few coaches, and done some unofficial coaching myself. And while my appreciation of coaching grew as I advanced in my career, it was in being a coach that I realised how much work actually goes into it. I don't know if it gets easier as you grow as a certified/career coach (which I'm not), but throughout the PAWEN programme, I found myself preparing for each session like I would for an exam. The more I reflected on how much I'd learnt over the years, the more I knew that I could not 'fall the hands' of my own coaches.

During this remarkable programme, I supported 9 brilliant, driven women who were at different stages in their businesses and careers - combining both, in most cases. I learnt a lot from them. Their feedback about the experience both amazed and humbled me. In fact, I smile each time I read their comments. Now know that it takes a raise even an incidental coach like me.

So this is to thank my everyone who coached me in my career and now in business. Thank you all for supporting me on this professional - and personal - journey. I honestly did not realise that I was learning from you during all those sessions.

Just wondering... if your daughter's daughter is your granddaughter, would the coachee of your coachee be your grand-coachee??? 🤔🤔

For the non-Nigerians: to fall someone's hand is to disappoint the person.

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