At different stages in your career you can reach various crossroads; early on, when you have difficulty making (life) choices, or at a more mature age, when you wonder how to stay relevant upon retirement. Having a coach by your side who understands the life — and work — phases people go through, can help you find inspiration and direction again. “If it was up to us, coaching would always be preventive, rather than curative,” say Hélène Propsma and Erik Meijer of ABC Business Coaches.

ABC Business Coaches is an association of six business coaches, from a variety of disciplines. “We are all independent entrepreneurs and by working together this way, we counsel, challenge and educate each other constantly, to be the best coach for our clients,” explains Propsma. “How can you be a good coach, if you are not open to being coached and receiving feedback yourself?”

For Propsma, a good coach is someone who does more than just coaching. “You need to be experiencing life, doing other things, learning from diverse experiences. For instance, I consult on diversity and inclusion projects for a variety of clients, which gives me a broader understanding of the differences between people and the challenges people face at each stage of their life and career. Besides this, I’m a voluntary board member for a business club.” For ex-banker Meijer, his focus is also on sustainable employability, besides being a volunteer treasurer in several societies.

Providing the tools and finding direction

Each partner of ABC adheres to the same philosophy, Meijer continues: “A coach is someone that listens, lets you look in the mirror and helps you deal with impediments and challenges: is this the ‘stage’ (job) you still want to be on, or do you need to look for a new ‘theatre’ (organisation)? A coach provides the tools and encourages you, so that you can make the decision. Sometimes that means just asking a few questions and listening.”

Individual experience and a shared philosophy of encouraging awareness, understanding transformation and empowerment, is what makes ABC Business Coaches a unique association. “We give people new perspectives and let them experiment with new behaviour to reach their goals. Those goals become clearer along the way when a coach accompanies you for a certain amount of time, guiding you to become the best version of yourself,” they conclude.

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