My adventure from leaving a corporate career to becoming a professional coach


Nearly twenty years ago, whilst working in the consumer exhibitions division at the BBC, the United Kingdom’s esteemed global broadcasting and media organization, I was extremely lucky to be one of a handful of managers invited to receive leadership and management training. During the comprehensive programme, I was introduced to coaching and enthusiastically discovered it as a highly effective and motivating approach to leading and developing my team: I was hooked.

Combined with insights into Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), I tested my new skills back in the office and was astounded at how much easier – and fun – it was to support (and challenge!) my team members to enhance their performance, delegate tasks and enhance the cohesiveness of the team even more. We were already high performing in terms of sales revenue for the company; my new coaching skills helped us to be even better!

As a result, I learnt to run meetings with existing and potential new customers using a coaching style and found that by doing this, I was increasing rapport and was much more focused on learning about them and how to help them with what I was selling, which reflected in higher sales and client relationships. It sped the sales cycle up.

I was really enjoying my adventure in professional development and another seed in my career trajectory had been sown. My trainer gave my CEO positive feedback about my natural ability as a coach, which of course, bolstered my self-belief even further. I was also thinking about running my own business when a supplier commented that he could imagine me doing just that!

Soon after my initial training, I left my successful corporate career to do something new and I trusted my intuition to decide to train as a professional life coach. Sixteen years ago life-coaching was still new and this was the term used by training companies marketing coaching skills. Despite the coaching industry being in its infancy, there was a choice of training providers – and a wide range of fees to match from free (!) to four figures. These could be a quick weekend to six months in duration. To add to potential confusion, there were courses that were predominantly theory based and others which centered on being more practical. Which one would suit me best?

Again, I trusted my intuition with who I resonated with the most. I state “who” deliberately. This is because it was the people that I met at an open-evening who helped me to decide that it was Results Coaching Systems, now known as NeuroLeadership Institute (or NeuroLeadership Group) who was the right fit for me. I liked the friendly trainers and was inspired by the Managing Director of the UK operation, at that time.

Their values of professionalism and rigor reflected mine, plus the training programme included its own independent examinations and was in the process of being accredited by the International Coach Federation. There was a lot of face-to-face training days and a series of virtual classes in between, to ensure what we now know to be the essential hardwiring in the brain of the new learning and skills.  Another essential element for me was that the training groups were small, so I knew that trust would be high and that I would get to meet new people too. As you share your own self-development journey, success and fears about your new coaching skills with your peers on the training, this turned out to be a fortuitous deciding factor.

I gained my first clients during the training programme and have never looked back. Paying for professional training was a new, potentially risky experience for me however that initial four figure investment led me to positively change my life and career. I set up my own successful business, met wonderful new people, train and assess other coaches and ultimately support (and challenge!) clients all around the world, which is both an honour and a privilege. I do not go to work – I love what I do every day.

Whilst neuroscience has helped to explain and enhance the Results Coaching Skills methodology and new models have been added, the core essentials of becoming a brain-based coach remain the same from when I did my training.

Are you unsure whether brain-based coaching training is for you?

Join a free Meet the Trainer virtual session to meet Rachel Bamber and ask her any question that you would like!