Our Impact Coach Spotlight! features our very own Leadership Coach, Cheri Shumate. (We love Cheri and know you will too!)
How long have you been coaching?
I earned my first coaching designation, Registered Corporate Coach RCC™, from Impact Business Coaches in 2012. (That’s how I met Cindy Lamir- she was my RCC Instructor and Coach in this 6-month program!)
How did you get started in coaching?
I was in HR in a generalist role. My role involved recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding. Then, if people didn’t do well- it was the verbal warning, written warning, and going through the process to create documentation to terminate. If the person didn’t improve, we had no choice but to let them go. It seemed like such a ridiculous cycle to me. We spend so much time finding the best talent and hiring a person… who you think is going to be incredible, and then for some reason, they’re not incredible. Then, we spend a whole lot of time and effort terminating them in the “right way.” I just hated that we didn’t have better options for employees and managers.
Then, I heard about leadership coaching at a Greenville SHRM meeting. GSHRM had partnered with Impact Business Coaches to bring their Coach Training Program to Greenville, SC. I think this was the first time I’d ever heard about coaching outside of athletics. This type of coaching focused on business and leadership coaching.
And I thought, “Oh my gosh!” that makes so much sense to me.
“Why don’t we spend our time and energy
supporting our employees to be the incredible producers
we knew they could be when we hired them
… instead of waiting until they stumble
and then spending our time documenting and terminating? “
That’s what got me into coaching.
So you got into coaching! Where and who did you coach after earning your coaching designation?
After I earned my first coaching certification, I coached physicians at the company where I was employed. Our company had teams of physicians inside of hospitals all over the country. If a physician was not working well on a healthcare team, it damaged the whole team, maybe even the health of a patient- and caused greater stress on the physician as patient satisfaction plummeted. The physician may have given up a private practice to be a hospitalist. It was a really big deal to help the physician be successful.
Most of my coaching was in the area of communication- coaching physicians to be better communicators with patients, colleagues, nurses, and hospital administration. Our company received calls from hospital administration telling us that “Dr. Whomever” is not fitting in with the team, they are getting complaints from nurses- or we have received feedback indicating that the physician is abrupt or disrespectful.
Many times after speaking with the physician, they were totally unaware of their impact and it was definitely not their intention to come across as abrupt or disrespectful. They were just trying to do their job, save lives, and were unaware of how their words or actions affected the team.
Through coaching and a tool we use called Everything DiSC®, we found that we could increase their self-awareness.
Oftentimes, I would focus on questions like:
“What is your communication style?
What are the things that are frustrating you at work?”
Then, we look at these other DiSC® styles and I would say,
“If you’re this style, you are communicating this way,
but the other person is way over here,
hearing what you are saying in a very different way.”
That’s when “Ah Ha!” moments started to occur.
“Let’s figure out how you can flex your communication style
to get your point across, be heard,
and create a better working relationship with your team!”
So, I coached and I watched leaders become more self-aware and happier in their jobs- and I absolutely loved it.
I love coaching.
I love helping people develop self-awareness and watching them take steps to improve their influence, communication, and maybe even start to enjoy working on a team for the very first time!
I also received so much satisfaction when I would have my next coaching session with “Dr. Whomever” and he would say, “I tried the idea we came up with, and I just felt that I got through to this person, and they heard me.”
It makes me very happy to be a small part of that kind of transformation. Physicians (and other leaders) invest so much time and money into their education, and they want to be the best they can be -and their best includes soft skills as much as technical skills. I like working with people who want to be the best they can be… yes, the over-achievers! 🙂
So fast forward and here I am. I decided to go out on a limb, and leave my comfortable corporate job to be an Executive Leadership and Physician Coach— and Facilitator with Impact Business Coaches.
I am very blessed that I am able to continue coaching physicians with the same company that I worked for.
So now that you are a certified Coach, how do you keep your skills sharp and up-to-date?
I am a lifelong learner- and the learning never ends when you fall in love with coaching and helping people to be the best they can be!
It is so very important to learn as much as you can, refresh your skills, and connect with other coaches to learn from them. Since I earned my RCC™ Designation in 2012,
I have also completed:
- The Heart of Leadership Coaching® Program Designation
- Associate Certified Coach (ACC) through the Physician Coaching Institute, NeuroLeadership Group, and the Institute of Social and Emotional Intelligence
- Licensed to facilitate Everything DiSC Assessment Tools and Social & Emotional Intelligence Profiles
- Senior Certified HR Professional and a member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM)
- International Coach Federation (ICF) member
I told you I was a lifelong learner!
It is so important to stay engaged in your coaching community, learn new tools, and refresh your skills.
I want to invite other coaches to join us in the fall for our annual Coaches Circle! (PUT LINK HERE) It doesn’t matter where you received your training. If you are a Coach, you can join us for our annual event to connect and learn from other leadership coaches, refresh your skills, and leave inspired to make a difference in the lives of the people you coach.
What do you enjoy most when coaching?
I really enjoy watching people develop and grow. Coaching is not something you can do for yourself. I heard something say… “You can’t tickle yourself. You can’t coach yourself.” I have tried and I get about 3 questions in on a self-coaching session, and then it all falls apart.
The other thing I love about coaching is knowing why it works, what goes on in our brains and our hearts that drives our thinking and our emotions, which then drives our behaviors to get results. I love knowing how all of that works so that I can accurately (that’s the C in me- if you are familiar with DiSC®) apply my coaching knowledge, so it is not just some random willy-nilly “Oh! Luckily that worked!”
Knowing the science and logic behind the process is so fascinating to me. A Coach must trust the process.
What is the one thing you wish you had known when you started?
“Always trust that your client is capable
of doing what they are setting out to do. “
Your client does not need to be rescued.
Your client does not need you to tell them what to do.
It’s not your job to have the answers.
It IS YOUR JOB to invoke great thinking in your client.
You don’t have to have all the answers, but as you follow the coaching process…you provide resources to help your client find the answers.
What would you tell someone who is just starting out in coaching?
Just relax and trust the process.
Another piece of advice I would give to someone just starting out as a Coach- take every opportunity to be coached. It’s awesome.
Thank you, Cheri! Stay tuned for our next interview coming in the Spring.
Are you ready to earn your coaching designation?