Coaching, for me, is about nurturing someone to find the best in themselves. Refining existing talent and developing additional skills to meet challenges and change and build commitment.
Often the consequence of this type of work I do, is that as they grow, you grow too. It is a different type of learning but it is the experience of constantly evolving who we are that makes it all so worthwhile.
Coaches come in many shapes and forms, all applying different tools of trade to what they do but with one core objective…to help people learn.
I’m incredibly lucky to work with many different people, who all in their own way are coaches themselves. I want to showcase some of the amazing people that I have had the privilege to meet and sometimes work with along the way.
I was lucky enough to do an interview with my friend and colleague Michal Bodi for the #PositiveMovement campaign last year. This time I would like to invite you to get to know Genevieve de Szoeke – Business Owner and Financial Adviser, as well as co-founder of Bay Business Women.
JP: Jenny Pearse GdS: Genevieve de Szoeke
JP: You can tell a lot about a person looking at their challenges, what has been your biggest challenge to date?
GdS: For me it would be juggling family and a career. And the guilt that comes with this constant juggle. When I transitioned into my financial advising role over 10 years ago I was going through a separation, working full time and studying. Mixing being a mother and working full time is hard. There is guilt that comes with this, especially feeling that I was not always there for my 2 girls.
You are constantly reading in the media about ‘work life balance’. For us to move financially forward as a family I needed to make sacrifices. The big one being working full time. Many days there was not this sense of balance between work and life; I now realise that this is okay. When you love what you are doing all aspects your life flow together, with ups and downs.
The last Mother’s Day my daughters gave me a beautiful book that had some quotes and handwritten personal messages from them, letting me know how much I had accomplished and thanked me for the values that I had passed onto them. They are now the beautiful, independent young women because of me. Reflecting on my answer I know that I would not change any of this.
JP: Being busy sounds like a middle name these days, what do you do to be more efficient rather than busy?
GdS: For me the word busy conjures up an image of fast paced, disorganised, lack of focus and that you do not have time for anyone else. Honestly, we are all busy in our own worlds, in saying that it is not a word that like to use in my vocabulary.
It is interesting when I ask other peers/professionals how ‘work’ is going the majority of the people reply with ‘busy’. Yes they are asking me to refer people to them.
So what do I do to be more efficient than busy. I have deadlines to work within, I am a great person for finishing tasks at the last minute. I am utilising my diary more productively; adding in additional entries to allocate non client facing timeslots to achieve everything I need to. This allows me to plan my day more effectively and allocate time to tasks that I that traditionally fell to the bottom of the pile. I do not seem to ’shuffle’ as many pages around on my desk, which I thought I was great at.
JP: Coaching is in our DNAs for both of us. Why do you think coaching is necessary as a discipline and do you think it has the recognition it deserves?
GdS: For me, coaching is where I am able to help others improve, learn, develop new skill sets. This is part of what I do and it does come naturally to me. My role encompasses aspects of coaching both from a client level and team level within our practice. I would not say that I am a ‘coach’ so I guess I am not even giving it the recognition it deserves.
Personally, coaching allows me to be held accountable and responsible for my actions. I do surround myself with professionals (like yourself) who are able to help me learn and develop new skill sets. I also find my coaches question my perspective (which is a good thing). This allow me to grow on a personal and professional level. Coaching is about growing as an individual and identifying with my authentic self.
For my clients the coaching aspect is the education that I provide and sharing of my knowledge with them. Again, this is a big part of being a financial adviser as I am not an adviser who limits my discussion to investment markets and investment strategy. This is not what it is about. It is relationship building, educating my clients so they feel comfortable knowing that we will be there for them, no matter what part of the financial journey they are in.
JP: Who has influenced you to become the person you are today?
GdS: Personally, I would say my Mum and also my girls. Mum has instilled in me my core values, and in turn I have instilled these in my girls. I grew up with a working Mum so for me this was my normal, raise children and work. Even now I am in awe of what Mum continues to achieve in her career as well as all the other things she does.
I continue to learn and grow from my children. My experiences through them seems to be bring me back to my core values.
On a professional level, it would be my business partners Kathy and Judy. Both of them are strong, independent women within their own worlds and this flows onto me. They both lift me up and continue to push me to strive for what is important to me and our business. The support and encouragement that they have both given to me over the years is amazing. And now this is what I can now pass on to our team who are transitioning in an advice role.
JP: Talking about your work, what impact are you hoping to have or legacy do you wish to leave?
GdS: This question ties into all my answers as it is the essence of where I am heading and who I am. Like many people, I love to help and I have the capacity to help people in a profession that is a significant part of their lives.
The legacy that I would hope to leave is that I actively made a positive difference in my clients life and my peers/colleagues. And not just around money. My role as a financial adviser is more than just ‘money talk’. I am actively building relationships with my clients and understanding their deepest values and what’s most important to them. I am a financial adviser and coach. Some days they simply need me to be there and listen.
My legacy is a work in progress, it’s evolving. Some days I know what I am achieving, and other days it seems very far away. What I do know is that I am blessed to be in a profession that is suited to me and I am suited to it. I hope that my work inspires people around me.
Thank you Genevieve for sharing your story! Coaching is a rewarding experience and in the 10 years that I have been in my business I have continued to learn and grow from the experience of being coached and providing the coaching. Do you see yourself as a coach?