Instalment number three in our coaching series! We caught up with our newest management coach, Ethan. Read on to hear all about his industry predictions and how he likes to de-stress…
1. Can you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your professional experience to date?
I’m a trained teacher with experience working as a trainer, coach and consultant for private sector companies, government agencies and not-for-profit organisations. I’ve worked around the globe helping leaders in Europe, Africa, Asia and North America develop the skills needed to manage ever more diverse workforces.
2. Why did you decide to become a WhiteHat coach?
The ethos and values of the Company — seriously. I’ve long been a proponent that we do not help people do their very best as learners. Education should be less about the classroom and more about life. To do this we need people to be aware of how they learn through experience. While it is a very natural process, too often we have forgotten how to do it and that takes time and coaching to relearn. Being a life-long learner takes hard work and it takes dedication; being a WhiteHat coach allows me to inspire others on this journey.
3. Can you tell us about the steepest learning curve you’ve ever experienced in your life? Why was it such a good learning experience?
Moving to the UK was an overnight education. Unlike many who move here with work or for education, I moved here independently. It meant that my cultural education was largely unsupported. During this time I learnt many lessons, the hard way. It still continues to this day and I am constantly learning new things about my not-so-new home.
4. How do you keep up to date with your field’s latest trends, tools and best practice?
I spend a lot of time reading and networking. I love networking and it is through conversations with others that I often have my interest piqued and then run off to do my own research. Work is also a source of constant learning: as an observer, I listen for and hear about things and then seek more information in my own time.
5. What do you think the biggest hot topic in your industry is for 2018?
I don’t think this is a hot topic for the industry — but I think it needs to be: truly learning to facilitate online learning. The number of poorly run meetings and interactions I have seen online is shocking and its come from all sides. If we want online learning to work we really need to up our game as practitioners.
6. How would you describe your coaching style in a phrase?
User-centred — I’m here for the person I am sitting with — this is about what they bring to the table.
7. What are your favourite qualities in a learner? What are you looking for in your apprentices?
Authenticity. Bring that to the table with me and we can work on just about anything. It gives me a clear place to start.
8. If you had one piece of advice for your younger self starting out in their career, what would it be?
Largely I don’t believe in questions like this, my experiences make me who I am today and I don’t want to trade those for anything. However, given you’ve asked it, I would say: Relax.
9. What are you currently teaching yourself/learning?
I pick up a minimum of 1 hobby a year. A friend of mine has some sheep. I went to visit his new lambs and got to speaking to him. He mentioned that it’s about time for shearing and that he still has wool from last year. It got me thinking, so this summer I plan to take up spinning, i.e. making my own yarn. I may also need to pick up knitting again.
10. What makes you tick outside of work?
Well I have a whole range of hobbies. However, running is currently my passion and I spend as much time as I can out on the trail. It helps me relax and refocus. If I ever sound stressed on the phone the first question my mother will ask is, “When was the last time you went running?”