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I am currently in training to be a higher education coach and to receive certification through the International Coaching Federation (ICF). While there are many different models of coaching, the ICF model is distinctive in its reliance upon “powerful questions” as the basis of helping clients develop clarity, confidence, alignment, and self-knowledge. 

These are open-ended, non-judgmental, client-focused questions that encourage reflection, exploration, and curiosity throughout each session and the coaching relationship more broadly. Importantly, ICF coaching differs from mentoring or advising because, rather than give advice, we work with clients to come up with their own answers; from therapy because coaching is much more focused on the present and future as opposed to the past; and from consulting because coaches show up more as thought partners than as experts in the client’s particular field or discipline.

It’s no secret that colleges and universities can be difficult and hostile places for racialized folks, and this can lead to self-doubt, misalignment, and feelings of unbelonging. Given this reality, I am interested in becoming a higher ed coach focused on racialized graduate students, junior and mid-career faculty, and academic creatives for several reasons. 

First, I seek to offer a tailored space to help clients develop or re-discover the skills and mindset they need to be successful, however they define it. Second, I hope that my coaching will serve a range of functions, from complementing strong mentoring and advising to filling a gap for students and faculty who suffer from a lack of guidance or support. 

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Finally, I want to provide a curated, client-led relationship through which high-achieving folks in higher education can continue to gain clarity and insight about how their career path aligns with their goals and values.

I have personally benefitted from individual and group coaching on topics including navigating review committees, writing productivity, aligning my goals with my values, and yearly planning. As such, I can attest to the power of coaching. Working with a coach helps me to be intentional in choosing or declining opportunities, organizing my time, ensuring my work aligns is rooted in my principles, and making space for projects I find meaningful. 

Moreover, as someone who dislikes unsolicited feedback and external imposition, working with a coach has been an invaluable means of figuring out what I want to achieve and how to go about it without being subjected to someone else’s agenda or priorities. Coach training, in turn, is helping me to listen carefully, suspend judgement, utilize questions and tools that encourage self-reflection and cultivate self-knowledge, and learn through practice.

I look forward to sharing more about my coaching journey, and if you’re interested in working with me or being connected with other higher ed coaches, please reach out.