Future Leader Experience: Achieving My Goals Through Coaching
Sunil Chander, a Future Leader participant in one of our programmes, shares his Circl experience and how coaching allowed him to achieve one of his goals.
When I first applied for the Circl leadership programme, I had no idea what I was applying for. I stumbled upon this opportunity during the first lockdown when I was scrolling through LinkedIn searching for opportunities to put on my CV. From my initial interview it became clear that this was something not to be missed out on. What struck me right away was the genuine passion of the team and the fact that at Circl you are celebrated as a Future Leader, for everything you have achieved in spite of your circumstances. This is what makes the programme so special.
I took part in the programme with Dext (formerly Receipt Bank), a Fintech company that specialises in digital tools to support small businesses with their accounting needs, empowering them to grow. The programme works by matching professionals and Future Leaders. You all go through the programme together learning coaching principles in interactive workshops and then practice these skills in a one-to-one with your Circl match (professionals and Future Leaders are matched with each other). You are also required to create a goal which you aim to work towards when going through the programme. I was initially daunted by the prospect of being put on equal footing with the professionals, however all preconceived notions of experienced professionals that I held were quickly dismissed. I could not believe the kindness and empathy that everyone showcased and as I remember saying in our graduation, the environment that we had created for ourselves was something really special. My Circl match and I got on unbelievably well and this truly did lead to better outcomes. The openness and vulnerability of our sessions allowed us to delve deeper into our goals, which is what the programme is all about.
I realise now that when I first signed up for the programme, I envisioned a programme that involved mentoring. Coaching is completely different to mentoring. Your job as a coach is not to give advice, but to ask open-ended questions and use silence (trust me, it really works!) to allow the coachee to delve deeper into their goals and promote self-responsibility. In addition, my Circl match and I would always leave our sessions with a clear next step in relation to our goal which is a fundamental part of the programme. Both myself and my match both achieved our Circl goals and mine was no less than securing an industrial placement at Mercedes-Benz Cars UK, which I was informed of the day after my Circl graduation! Looking back, I can say these sessions proved instrumental in my success, they provided me with clarity in what was a pretty stressful time and it also allowed me to objectively assess where I was in relation to my goal and what I would do next.
I have noticed immense changes within myself since taking part in the programme. Having started my industrial placement, I am still actively using the coaching principles I have learnt to ensure I work towards my goals and plan my next steps. In addition, this programme has provided me with excellent opportunities. As a member of the Future Leader alumni community, I was invited to share my experiences of the programme at the TrueLayer professional launch where I got the chance to virtually speak in front of 70 of their employees. This is something I would have never agreed to do before becoming a Future Leader. I urge everyone to sign up, you never know what it might lead to!
For more information our leadership development programme and how it works, head here.