I’m a lot more aware of my patterns
When Liz Ellis signed up for the College in 2019, her aim was to give better advice to co-workers and friends.
“I found that no matter where I was working, my chair was always turned around and people were asking me for help or advice,” she says.
“That is really flattering, but one day I got to the point where I thought: ‘what if I don’t actually understand the underlying motivation or what is actually driving their question and I could be doing more harm than good?’ ”
Little did Liz know at the time that her decision to sign up for the Master Practitioner of Coaching to improve her advice-giving skills would have long-term ramifications for her own life and career.
Liz works in strategic engagement across a variety of government and consultancy contract roles, helping to translate and explain the projects of engineers and policy managers to stakeholders within the community. She is one of a growing band of students studying at the College to harness the techniques and insights of therapies such as NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) and hypnosis for use in the professional space.
“The College has given me such an incredible insight into why a community member might be responding the way that they are,” says Liz, who is based in Melbourne.
“When I’m talking to our senior executives within a business, I now understand completely what they need to know in order to make a decision.”
Most of all, Liz says the College has given her the tools to be more efficient and effective and to relate “a lot more closely with her audience”.
“It’s helped me in so many ways… it’s helped me in my job, it’s helped me in my personal life, and given me quite a lot of empathy,” she says.
“It’s made me a lot more aware of my patterns, how I’m feeling in particular situations, where those feelings could be coming from, is that something that happened 10 years ago or 15 years ago, that is now impacting my present?”
Liz chose The Life Coaching College for the depth and breadth of the modules, the calibre of teachers, and a sense that the College went the extra mile.
“The founder, Glen, was the only person that actually got on the phone after I sent an inquiry and had a conversation with me,” she says.
“He’s such an incredibly personable and generous person.”
In particular, Liz was transformed by the NLP modules and now incorporates it into her work as a consultant. In fact, in 2021, she worked on an engagement with a government agency and insisted that the project facilitator have a master’s in NLP.
“All of the stakeholders we were dealing with already had set beliefs about what we’re trying to do and we needed to change those beliefs,” she says.
“If we didn’t have someone who understands the subconscious and what is coming out in people’s language, then nothing would change.
“And in the end it was brilliant. We had a room full of engineers talking about their feelings.”
Liz has a handful of modules to finish in her Master Practitioner of Life Coaching, but she is already running a part-time coaching business, and ideally plans to work three days in strategic engagement and part-time as a coach to get the best of both worlds.
“I am lucky that I love my job, but I also love coaching,” she says.
In her coaching business, she works with male and female leaders in one-on-one six-month intensives, and has recently launched a three-month group program for women starting out or struggling in a management role, called Rising Leader.
“People still feel that a leader is someone who is authoritarian as opposed to someone who influences by engaging people on that really genuine human level,” Liz says.
“And that’s want I want to work on with my clients so they feel really good about who they are as a leader.”
Eventually, she aims to be a coach full-time. But only when she’s closer to retirement.
“When I retire from corporate, I don’t want to be working for somebody else as much as I enjoy my work, I want to be doing my own hours,” she says.
“That’s when I will coach full-time.”
This story was written by Johanna Leggatt. Johanna is an Australian journalist with more than 15 years’ experience in both print and online. She has worked across a wide range of subject areas, including health, property, finance, interiors, and arts.