We recently interviewed a KYM coachee from NHS Education for Scotland (NES) to find out how she felt about the experience and what insight she could give others considering a similar programme.

KYM: So, tell us a little about yourself and why this particular coaching opportunity stood out for you?

I joined Public Health Scotland in a role as Project Officer in late 2019. I had been unemployed for around 9 months by that point and it looked like an interesting project.  Obviously, by January 2020, the healthcare landscape was changing very fast, and I was pulled into work on corporate response, supervising the delivery of guidance. 
Since then, there has been very little time to think, and I’ve found it hard to switch off. In the midst of a public health emergency, there is no emphasis on personal development, you are just doing whatever you can to help get everyone through it. The leaflet is saw for KYM Coaching for Wellbeing, had a question asking, “Are you supporting colleagues though covid, and do you want to look after your health and wellbeing and think about your career?
That immediately resonated with me.  
Prior to the pandemic I’d been considering doing a masters in Public Health but hadn’t secured funding. I felt a bit lost professionally and confused about what my next step would be. My father is a GP and has a professional coach, so I had some knowledge of how positive a relationship like that could be. 

KYM: We’d be interested to know what your expectations were before your coaching experience and whether those have changed now you’ve completed the process?

To be honest, I didn't really know what to expect. There was a general request for information on where you were in terms of your career, and how you felt in relation to your mental health.  Reflecting, I didn’t think too much, I just poured it all out in a bit of a rant!  As far as my expectations went, I thought that perhaps I would get some advice on my career, guidance on strategies to deal with stress at work,  and learn to interact better with colleagues in that very difficult environment. But those ideas were really quite vague at that point.

I was flabbergasted by my first session. I didn't expect it to be so personal. We went into a lot of detail about me, my motivations and what I wanted out of my life in general. I got some very honest feedback. The session pushed me to think about the big questions in my life, which was unexpected, but necessary. After that very first session, I sat down and completed a job application for a role I had felt I was unqualified for. I wasn’t successful, but even having had the courage to do it and aim for something I felt was out of reach prior to coaching, was such a positive learning experience. 

I learned to properly reflect on what I wanted and to put that self-knowledge across in interviews and applications. It must have worked as I secured a new role quite soon afterwards. 

KYM: So it seems the programme has had a positive impact on you. Do you think that the experience will benefit you in the future?

One of the biggest surprises I had during the coaching sessions was thinking about how other people see me and how important it is to have good professional relationships. That was something I had never really focussed on before. We talked about perception and how  personal motivations could both help and hinder me in my career. To be honest, it changed the entire way that I look at myself personally and professionally. 

The conversations couldn't have been more beneficial. I feel I’ll be able to go into any job I apply for, knowing why I want to do it and be able to bring the best version of myself. I know now how to make sure that I'm getting the best out of other people, how I can express myself in the most effective way and the best ways to deal with conflict. 

In truth, I think it's made me a nicer person! We talked a lot about looking at situations from other people's point of view. I came to understand that seeing situations from other people's perspective is really important and that you should try not just to get along with them, but to  also understand them as colleagues and let them know that. It's really improved the way I work.  I care about people feeling appreciated and now I can show them that in the right way.

KYM: So to end, if you could say anything to your coach, what would you say?

Thank you. I can't say I enjoyed every part of all the discussions, but it's definitely given me the ability to believe in myself a bit more and given me the tools make the most out of myself, both professionally and personally.