An Interview with Kerry McLaughlin

May 2021

What did you do before you signed up to train to become a coach?

I was working in recruitment, working with individuals who were just like I used to be – tax advisors looking for their next career move. I was, without realising at the time, unofficially coaching the individuals and it was this part of the role I most enjoyed, not the sales.

What made you decide to become a coach?

I’ve always loved helping people, and in any job I have had, have always taken the time to sit with people, listen to what’s going on and help them develop at work. I also have done this in my personal life, it’s almost like I get a kick out of it! My instinct is to listen, rather me do all the talking. Within my previous role in recruitment, a lot of what I did was development of individuals at all stages in their career, and this is what I enjoyed the most. I was made redundant due to the pandemic, which forced my hand in some respects to do this course. I signed up to the Certificate in Professional Coaching Practice Programme.

Why did you choose Full Circle Global?

I chose Full Circle for a few reasons. Firstly due to the fact that I would be trained under the ICF which I felt was important because I like to travel and I don’t know where I may be! Secondly because the website was easy to digest, everything made sense and there was a sense of purpose and passion. And lastly, it was Gillian – I remember listening to the webinar offering insight into the course and she was really inspiring and that sealed it for me.

What did you enjoy most about the programme?

There is so much I enjoyed! But what I enjoyed the most was the learning process - not just about coaching, but also about me as an individual. I learnt a lot about myself in the process of the course and truly believe without that, I wouldn’t be as fully equipped to be a coach.

What challenges did you face along the way?

I was coached as part of the course in front of the class which was hard. I had to be open and honest in front of strangers and this made me feel quite vulnerable. However, the support I had both from Gillian (who was the coach) and the class members was amazing.

What does life looks like now?

Life is very different actually. My confidence has grown tremendously and following four months of living in Mexico I am now in the process of setting up my own business. I don’t think I would have done that should I not have trained with Full Circle. I also had the pleasure of being coached by one of my peers as part of the programme and I have felt personal benefit as a result, which has been quite transformational!

What has been your biggest learning about yourself and about coaching?

My biggest learning about myself is that whilst I am a positive person, I don’t translate that positivity onto myself. The course made me face up to this, and let go of my negativity which allows me to be a better coach. Being a coach isn’t just asking questions, it’s about being present for every moment you are with a client – giving them space, time and reflections along with much more. And without being coached yourself, you won’t understand this.

What would you say to anyone thinking about becoming a coach?

I would say that you should absolutely pay for a legitimate coaching programme. There are so many coach programmes out there at the moment offering cheaper courses, sometimes through groupon for example, and you would be wasting your time and energy. Whilst coaching isn’t regulated, I think it’s so important to train with a recognised body – you are dealing with peoples emotions, and your own, and you should be trained in accordance to deal with this.