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Interview with Ania, the first graduate of the Level 2 programme

We talked with our first Level 2 programme graduate Ania Gabrys Schmidt. We asked her about how she trusted BeCoach Academy, how coaching at the PCC level is different, what she learned and what she celebrates herself for.

What does it mean for you to coach on a PCC level?

I would summarize it as creating deeper transformation for the clients, beyond the situation they bring to the coaching session. It’s about helping them grow as a person on a deeper level, and it’s about expansion.

I’ve also come to understand PCC to mean that the client is really fully in the driver’s seat of the coaching session. That was one of my big ahas as we were going through the program. Get yourself and get your ego out of the way and let the client go with this where they want to go. Surrender your own agendas. And it’s really hard at the start of the coaching journey to let that happen. We all want to do our best and make something happen for the client, but this surrender, I feel has been a very transformational process, and it has not yet let me down. Every time I surrender and let the coaching process do what it’s going to do, it thinks magic happens.

What magic do you see in your coaching sessions because now you are coaching on a PCC level?

The biggest magic is a shift in awareness, and it’s a shift that I did not help make happen. It’s an awareness that the client comes to on their own, and especially when you get to see them for longer periods of time.  For example, some of them, I coach for eight to ten sessions. Seeing who they were at the start and talking to the transformed version, it’s like you’re in a room with a different being. Sometimes it’s really powerful. The way they look at the world changes, the way their self-talk changes. There’s a lot more confidence and trust that they’re going to be able to figure out whatever happens to be in front of them. It’s sort of like a shield that they can go through the world now with this new strength and new armor and it’s powerful.

How was your coaching when you were in ACC level?

At the ACC level, it was more check the boxes kind of activity. We have our models. Depending on what school you go to, there are different models you rely on to make sure you accomplish different things in your sessions. So there was a lot of worry about making sure we focused on the goal and the reality and considered the options. I feel like I’ve let all of that go. I let the session be more organic and I think that’s been a big shift.  There is no me trying to control it and make something happen and having a checklist. It’s just an organic conversation with two humans where I just try to suspend my judgment as much as possible and let the person transform. And I continue to be amazed at how powerful it is. I thought over time it would get normal, but it hasn’t yet, and I hope it never does.

You were the first person who completed the new (Level 2) program. We were in a transition period while you were going through BeCoach Academy training from the old system to the new system. That meant that in addition to what you have studied in the program, we had three months of mentoring and an assessment of your coaching based on the PCC level. And we didn’t yet have the new accreditation. So we were in a limbo in between and we needed the first students to go through the program to get the accreditation. But from your side, it was you jumping on to a certain unknown and carrying a certain risk because in the end we might not have gotten the accreditation and you might not have had a level two diploma. So I really appreciate your trust in us and I wonder how did you trust us?

I think from my very first interaction with both you and Elena, there was a sense of authenticity from you, and there was a sense of „ I feel like I can grow here“, and I think going through this entire program, seeing both of you in action and seeing my own inner transformation, most importantly, I just believed that this program is very powerful and I feel like it wasn’t even a question in my mind that this accreditation would come because the transformation was happening. So I knew something powerful was being taught and other people seemed to be going through the program who started before me and were getting their ACC accreditation, and it just seemed like people were constantly succeeding having gone through this program. So there was really never a doubt in my mind.

And I would say that quite often in my coaching sessions with clients, I think back to something one of you said. Or some feedback that I got from one of you on what I was doing. And I feel like you’ve left a lasting imprint on my heart as a coach. You’ve helped mold who I am as a coach. And for that level of transformation, I feel like the trust was kind of given.

Thank you. Thinking of your own transformation, how did this journey affect you as a person?

I said it early on when I started to post on LinkedIn about it that coaching rewires your being. And I stand firm by that. I feel like it’s literally made me a different person. I was the human who was stuck in her patterns and really frustrated with myself in some ways because these patterns kept recurring and I felt like I had no influence. They were on autopilot and through coaching, one session after another, endless hours of practice of peer coaching of different clients, you sort of start to chip away at different parts of the facade or the walls we’ve built up. And there were a lot of deep sessions that left me reflecting deeply on who I am, and it just led to a a really powerful inner shift. I feel like I am my own greatest testimony beyond anything clients can say, what I’ve seen change in me and how much I’ve shifted in a year and some months is the greatest proof I’ll ever need because I really thought I was set in stone and there was no way out of being who I was before. So it’s really rejuvenating and exciting to see. Sometimes I catch myself doing something new, and I think to myself, who is this person? I don’t know her well, but I like her. She’s so different and it’s just really fulfilling and it brings me joy to see how much I’ve grown and it makes growth feel worthwhile.

What have you learned about yourself in this journey?

The most important thing is… suspending all this judgment that was in my head about myself. I was my own harshest critic. Of course that translates to judging others because when you judge yourself, usually you end up judging others.I feel like there’s a more gentle approach I have within me, and interestingly, almost every client tells me that when we’re in a session together, there’s not even a second when they feel judged, which is ironic coming from a person who was so full of judgment towards herself. I learned to have compassion for myself.

And I want to invite you to celebrate yourself. What do you celebrate yourself for?

I am celebrating myself for becoming somebody new and for doing the work that it takes, the uncomfortable work that it takes to get here because it’s a process. Some people maybe would’ve said, I’m done with this, but I stuck through it. And even in the program, especially once we got to the P C C markers, the bar was raised much higher. There were moments where I was really frustrated with myself just when I thought I was getting a handle of this thing called coaching, the bar went up again and I was like, “Oh, I’m never gonna reach it.“ But the fact that you do reach it. And you see how clients respond differently when you embody these markers, these PCC behaviors and competencies, it just makes it all the, all the more worth it. So perseverance is what I celebrate and my own transformation that happened through this perseverance, and the transformation I can create for others now.

Thank you so much. We are coming to the end of our conversation. Is there anything else you would like to add?

It’s been a pleasure working with you ladies, and as I’ve said, I feel like you have injected something into my coaching DNA from your own coaching DNA, and it will stay with me no matter where I go in life. I feel like I always look back on something you taught me, the way I saw you model things that they just showed me a different way to be and they taught me so much. It is. a gift that will keep on giving.

So I’m very grateful for both of you and also for the wonderful community of BeCoach because it’s very supportive and there’s a lot of care and nurturance and growth that happens through this community. So I’m grateful for the opportunity to have had the chance to do both.

We thank Ania, for sharing her experience going through the Advanced Coaching Certificate (Level 2) programme.

If you’d also like to start your personal transformation and support the transformation of others, check our coach training programmes and schedule a call with us.