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Co-Active Coaching Experience at CONNECT by Suzanne Ubaldo


I’m Suzanne, I work at South House at CONNECT Langley.  I will share with you what I have learned from my participation in CONNECT’s staff development initiative: Co-Active Coaching, Leadership and Mentorship Program and how it is changing how I work.

Before I met Patti Flaherty and Mike Garing at our first Coaching Triad Meeting, I sent Patti an e-mail telling her how nervous I was to be paired with the Executive Director. Although her response was kind and understanding, I have to admit that I was still very nervous.  Our first topic as a triad was to describe what the statement "People are Naturally Creative, Resourceful and Whole" means to each of us. This statement is one of the 4 cornerstones to the Co-Active Coaching Model that we have adopted at CONNECT. Mike and I shared our insights and then it was Patti’s turn. She explained that she truly believes this is at the centre of what CONNECT stands for; that people living and working at CONNECT are Naturally Creative, Resourceful and Whole no matter who they are and what their position or circumstance. Sometimes, because of circumstances we get stuck, and I was definitely a bit stuck. Before we finished our meeting that day, Patti asked me how I was feeling about working with her and what I could do to get over being nervous.  Having the opportunity to meet with her and to directly work though my fears really helped.  I actually didn't feel as nervous as I thought I might when I met with Patti and Mike that day. Patti made me feel that I am a whole person, who is naturally creative and resourceful.

At that time, my heart hungered for change.  I was looking for someone I could trust to open up to. It’s so funny, because I ended opening myself up to someone I never dreamed of. Actually a day before that first Triad Meeting I visited my doctor and he told me that if I had blood pressure, diabetic or a typhoid problem he would send me for blood work and he would then know how to help me; but in this case he advised me to speak up. I encourage everyone to speak up, the more we speak, the more it heals and it’s a good way to explore and get to know who we are.

Through this Coaching experience I have learned more about who I am, have identified what I want, and clarified my personal and professional vision. I feel good about myself and I’m excited to do more with all my heart.  The fear that was within me is now gone and I am even more creative and resourceful. I have learned to handle difficult situations with confidence. I have learned to stretch out of my comfort zone and stand up for my beliefs. I have a heart hungering for change and growth; I no longer passively sit there and feel the pain.

I heard this story a while ago that I will share. There are six people on vacation in the Philippines; they are traveling in a pick-up truck.  Two people are seated at the back, two in the middle with windows on both sides, and two in the front. The two seated at the back, what can they see? The “Past,” they’re looking back at their past and feeling the pain. The two people seated in the middle, what they can see?  The “Present,” they are content with their present situation and have no goals. The two seated at the front, what they can see?   Both of them can see the future, but only one is the driver.

Where do you want to sit? I believe that we all can be a better driver and I also believe we have unique talents and gifts and I ask you; “What are your talents and gift”?   

Thank you, Suzanne Ubaldo