posted on March 05, 2012 16:47
I’m back in graduate school…from a distance.
Today I began a year-long effort to earn a certification in executive and professional coaching from The University of Texas at Dallas. Taught by professional coaches from across the country, the cohort-based program is an exciting opportunity for fresh insights, enhanced skills and building new relationships. Students such as me are spread across the country and world, and include two of my peers from T-Mobile USA.
One particular benefit is the opportunity to apply my learning in real-time. I’m not gathering information and insights with the hope of implementing it all “some day”; since I already coach leaders on a daily basis, the gap between learning and application is very small. This is becoming more and more of the standard, as busy professionals demand more flexible and pragmatic modes of learning. The classroom is now as close-by as your laptop, tablet or smart phone, and the demands of work and family life do not need to take a significant back burner to one’s ongoing education.
The first class was awesome! The initial course, “Solutions-Focused Coaching,” equips coaches to steer clear of the trap of getting immersed in the roots of clients’ problems—but, instead, focus on the future with small, achievable steps toward client-identified goals. This dovetails perfectly with the strengths-based approach I’ve taken for years with my own clients, as well as with the self-awareness and spiritual journey that has characterized much of my self-directed learning.
The best part of class, however, was when my six-year-old daughter brought me a bowl of homemade spaghetti and meatballs. Learning can be delicious!