Alumni Corner – Franziska von Kliest

Alumni Interview – Franziska

“In short I can say that I probably developed my individual coaching style, skills and strengths most with Transcend.”

Why did you choose Transcend?

The decision wasn’t really made consciously as I didn’t have any other companies to compare but I never regretted it. I met Craig McKenzie when I moved to Hong Kong. Half a year later, Transcend had developed this program and they were running the pilot. They asked me if I would be interested because I’m a life coach and I still would like to develop and learn more. So I said “yes” and went for it.

What made you want to become a professional coach?

I was always interested in Psychology – that was always the thing I thought I was good at and I was really passionate about. Because I chose to study something else, I couldn’t really work as a therapist or work in the field of psychology after I finished university.

I’d say it was 5 years after I finished university that I really started to miss it. I thought if I don’t start working as a therapist or a coach now, I’m never going to do it because I already had a child at that time.

Coaching somehow came up as something you can learn in a relatively short period of time (at least the theoretical part of it), and I saw a big chance to finally be able to work with people which is what I’ve always wanted. So I took training in Germany but that was distance learning, I also did training as a mediator. When I moved to Hong Kong, as I said before, I met Craig and he introduced me to Transcend, that’s when I decided to take the program here in Hong Kong as well.

If you were to recommend Transcend to people interested in training to be coaches, what would you say are the key reasons?

I have recommended Transcend’s professional coach training programs a lot already. Very simply because the learning journey here is extremely practical – the balance between the theoretical knowledge that Tony and Craig give us and the coaching practice we have is really amazing. I find the time we spent on coaching practice during the program is even more dominate which we all need; we all need to practice coaching, we need to do it, we need feedback, we need feedback from client, from observer, from mentor coaches…So I find it very, very hands on; I really learned so much about what coaching can actually do, and how it can help others.

Craig is also my mentor coach, and I just connect with his coaching style. I think it’s also something that could have been different. I really see how he coaches, and I like the way he coaches so I learned a lot from him. I like it and I believe in it.

Could you share with us how has your coach-training journey been?

After I finished university, I studied communication and I did a course as a mediator back in Germany. Only when I lived in Shanghai I did the distance learning to become a life coach. That distance learning course only included a week of practical workshop in Germany, which was very helpful but obviously not enough.

When I started working as a life coach in Shanghai I felt a little bit alone out there as I haven’t had enough practice actually. Then like I said before, I came to Hong Kong, got involved in the coaching community, and found Transcend to begin my practice here.

How about your coaching-journey with clients?

I was always good with listening and in creating an atmosphere where people would like to open up and speak about their problems – which is an important thing in coaching. But I think during the program I learned much more about the ICF competencies, like powerful questioning and all the other competencies. I think I just learned the material much more so that I know now what I’m doing, why I’m doing it and how I have to do it in order to be a helpful and successful coach. But I’m still in the process of learning, there’s still so much to learn and practice.

What was your biggest learning so far on your coach-learning journey?

One of the biggest learning / insight is that I realize how much we coaches can do and how much we can help because before I got to know coaching, I thought my thing is psycho-therapy. I want to dig deep and find out why and when and so on. I realize now working with clients with different issues how helpful coaching is with the fact of looking what it is, the reality, to what it should be, what does the client want to be, where does he / she want to be. So that’s definitely a big learning about coaching.

What aspects / areas of change are you passionate in coaching?

Everything related to personal growth and relationships between people, not necessarily couples, but what’s happening between people, what’s happening when they do not communicate well, when they have a conflict. But also how can we all grow out of unhelpful patterns towards the person that we really are and how can we create awareness around what I want, what I can do, where are my limits. So it’s all about developing as a person and discovering new areas of own personalities that I haven’t seen before.

What clients are you having success with?

I’m having success with mainly female clients between 20 and 50; most people come with issues like relationship issues. Also I find clients that are in their fifties and their children are grown up now or are growing up. Especially women who say “I have so much time now, I want to do something with my life, I want to go back to work and do something completely different. I want to somehow discover a new direction in life”.

Where do you see yourself in five years as a coach?

Hopefully I’ll still be in Hong Kong, but I can’t be sure as I can also be in Germany. I see myself still working independently on my own in a way, of course I would like to be connected with coaching companies…But I would like to schedule my own work; work life balance so to say.

I could imagine having 4-5 clients per week and with even more security and confidence with myself as a coach.

I would also like to widen the range of my clients; I would also be interested in coaching older people, and male clients. I had male clients in the past, but most of them are female, so I would actually wish more men would be open to life coaching and would like to look behind the stage.

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