In our Simply.Coach Spotlight we talk to expert coaches from around the world, where they share their journey as a coach, their approach towards and perspective on coaching. For this edition of Coach Spotlight, we have invited Jaya Bhateja. Let’s introduce our guest.
Introducing the Coach: Jaya Bhateja
Jaya Bhateja is the Founder and Executive Coach at “Abhyudaya Consulting Services”. She built a strong foundation in HR with Siemens and Accenture before starting off on her own in 2015. Today, she is a Master Certified Coach with the International Coaching Federation (ICF). She has also served as a member of the board of directors with the ICF. She is an official member of the Forbes Coaching Council and has been awarded with the “young leader award” from ICF 2019 for contributing to the coaching industry. She is deeply committed to coaching and offers a coaching certification and training program—accredited by ICF and one of the leading programs in India—for new and aspiring coaches.
In this edition of Simply.Coach’s Coach Spotlight, Jaya Bhateja talks to founder Ram Gopalan about how she made the shift from being a manager to a coach.
Q: What inspired you to become a coach?
Jaya: When you benefit from something, you recommend it to others. For me that’s coaching. There was a time when I was at a very difficult crossroad in my life. That’s when coaching came into my life. I could see it helped me sort things out. I also realized that I needed to get involved in some sort of transformational work, which will be more sustainable and touch the lives and hearts of others.
Q: What’s your philosophy around coaching?
Jaya: I conceive it as a way of life and being. According to me, the basics and fundamentals of coaching is about being more connected to people and accepting other human beings as they are for them to make that shift. This means, you have to welcome people in your space with an open mind where they feel safe and find their own answers.
Q: Tell us how these levels—ACC, BCC, and MCC—shaped your journey as a coach.
Jaya: The best way to describe this is by talking about the state I was in and the state I am in today. I used to be highly critical of myself. I didn’t have the courage to start a business myself. I was in a place where I wasn’t very optimistic about a lot of areas in my life. I was highly disappointed with life. But now I’m in a place where I can help people bring about transformation in their lives. For me, these levels are like anchor points—less of credentials and more like milestones.
Q: Curious here—you spoke on energies, working in safe spaces or touching people’s hearts. Also, on how you work with large corporate clients like Tata Group. How do you bring the two concepts together?
Jaya: Honestly, you may or may not use the vocabulary that the client resonates with while dealing with them. But the power of your presence itself and the power of a smiling face creates that desired impact on the client even when you aren’t using the words that they are accustomed with. What makes it easy for them is acceptance and love. There’s no “doing” here. It’s all about “effortless flowing from you”.
Q: What would be your biggest mistake or learning in all these years of coaching?
Jaya: The biggest mistake is to assume you can coach everyone — even those with trauma and in need of therapy rather than coaching. Most times, when you’re starting with a client, you wouldn’t know what he/she needs. It may appear that they need coaching. But when you go deeper, you realize it won’t help them. The trick is to stop at that moment, and accept it’s not your job. I’ve seen that happen multiple times and I continue to discover ways for early detection. I’ve had a couple of clients where I couldn’t identify those signs. Also, I’m the kind of a person who would be like, “Possibly things can change. Maybe I’m not giving it a try.” And that’s where it has generated undesirous results. It’s always better to stop at the right time and say, “Hey, listen, this isn’t my thing.”
Q: How was it for you to leave a secure job at Accenture and become an independent coach?
Jaya: There was a dichotomy, no doubt. You are transitioning from one place to another. At the same time, you want to validate your skills, create a brand, and establish yourself. The philosophy I adopted was to take up whatever came my way for a year and then zero in on what works for me.
Jaya: Finances do make you insecure but I never shy away from experimenting. Yes, there was a time (for a year) when there wasn’t any money coming in. I would ask all the new coaches out there to stay put as things will eventually turn around. But when there’s a lull in the career graph, it’s very easy to take drastic steps and stop practicing coaching all together. But I’m hopeful with this field of work, which is why I stick to coaching.
Q: How did you gain momentum in your coaching journey? What did you do to attract new clients?
Jaya: I started by reaching out to people I knew. I did some voluntary and low-fee work. For me, it was more about understanding the key problems of that particular niche and I believed that work will start trickling in eventually. And that’s what exactly happened. I leveraged my existing network and continued working. There were a few associations that were quite helpful in giving some initial breaks. I leveraged coaching platforms in the beginning. My focus in the first two years exactly was to gain experience. I wrote down each and every conversation, which I also encourage my coaches to do in my training. This helps recognize patterns, identify what needs to be worked upon, and get a clearer picture of the situation.
Q: Not everybody who becomes a coach, suddenly goes out and say, “I want to offer coach training and certification programs.” So, what was your driving force there? Tell us about the “cool” certification and the training activities you do.
Jaya: It goes back to my Accenture days when I got introduced to coaching internally. I was very interested in conducting these trainings for professionals. When I learned coaching, I saw that it brought about so much positive change in me. While working for Accenture, I would also serve Accenture Consulting clients externally and help them learn coaching skills. When I started my entrepreneurial journey, I had no plan of coming up with my own coach training program. I was interested in being a faculty in one of the coaching schools and live an easy life. But then I think life has its own way to push you towards something and now here I am.
Q: What one piece of advice would you like to give to those who are starting off on their coaching journey?
Jaya: I feel that unlimited optimism or hope is required in this world. For those who are starting off their journey, I would advise them to just dive in with faith and you’ll see miracles happening. It’s completely about how much you want to discover yourself or your potential. That’s when you create magic for your clients. Whenever I felt frustrated or let down or scared, I’ve looked within myself and identified what was stopping me from giving the 100%, and made that shift.
Q: Any particular technology, trend, tool, template, framework that you’ve seen in the last couple of months in the area of self-development, personal development and leadership development, which has blown away your mind?
Jaya: I’m using two technology tools—Simply.Coach and Meraki. Simply.Coach is very helpful, specifically when the number of engagements increases. When I had a lot on my plate, it helped me organize my coaching engagements in one place. Also, my clients having an access to it was very helpful. Meraki, on the other hand, is a “reflective tool”. You don’t need to be an MCC coach to generate these reflective questions. Apart from that, I use our Google Drive [both laugh]. We’ve also started our community on Mighty Networks.
Q: Any parting words or thoughts or advice for new coaches?
Jaya: This career needs a lot of devotion. You get fruits only when you devote yourself honestly. If you think this career is a money-making machine, you may like to give it a second thought. This career will ask a lot from you before it starts giving you any return or reward.
Watch the Full Interview!
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Sources: LinkedIn, Motivationallines
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