I have been working with somone for the last 12 months and our work has just come to a conclusion. I was coaching this person, a senior manager in the company they work for. I've really enjoyed working with them and as it's been over a long period I got to know them quite well.
One of the things I like best in life is meeting new people, I really enjoy doing that almost always. Ok, occasionally I may meet someone I don't instantly take a liking to , but I aim to give them a chance before I make a decision and form an opinon about them. As human beings we are complex characters and have many facets to our personalities. I have met a number of people who rely heavily on their "gut feeling" when they meet somoene for the first time. Yes, I completely understand that and we all feel like that sometimes, but it can be a little naive to rely too heavily on it.
The person I was coaching was a really interesting guy. Gareth (not his real name) had bags of experience in life and professionally. He was very passionate about what he did and had high standards in his work. It took a while for us to get to know each other. Him getting to know me was just as important as it was for me to learn about him.
I saw him regularly over the last year and we also kept in contact by email and telephone. This last meeting was our last planned one and our last coaching session. I think we will both miss our meetings. I really like the guy and have enjoyed his company when we have worked together. Gareth has not had an easy ride for a number of reasons and faced a lot of challenges both at work and in himself.
As we closed our meeting yesterday Gareth took time to say thank me for the work we have done. He said he had learned much about himself, particularly about how if he changes his behaviour, that has a knock-on affect of changing that of other people. He told me our sessions were not at all like the "training" he expected. He told me he could not have achieved what he had without me. Wow! Knowing Gareth the way I do, that wasn't just flattery, but genuine appreciation. I haven't done anything of course, I just helped him to achieve it himself.
Gareth and I will keep in touch, I am genuinely interested to know how things progress with him at work and personally.
How exhilerating and refreshing when someone says thank you to you when you were just doing your job. A lesson to us all perhaps?