Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Day 115 - The Dreambank/Receiving a Life Coaching Session

I have never been to the American Family Dreambank. As an added "I have never..." for the day, I have never received a life coaching session. For readers that are unfamiliar, The Dreambank is an American Family office solely dedicated to the personal development and well being of people within the community. As a vehicle for community outreach, American Family seeks to build success and sustainability in the communities in which the organization operates through a variety programs and activities. Although I only recently learned about this establishment, the underlying concept was something that appealed to me directly. While I didn't know how or when I would attend a meeting or program at the Dreambank, I knew I wanted to make a trip to the location a priority.

The Dreambank
As a result, I started looking over the Dreambank events schedule to narrow in on an event to attend. After a little bit of research, I came across a notice of a life coaching session available to all attendees that stopped by the Dreambank this evening. Admittedly, I knew very little about life coaching before committing to making the trip to the Dreambank tonight. I knew the basic concept of the practice was to help people assess life issues by getting advice from a designated "coach", but the specifics of the process were completely foreign to me. Given that was the case, I figured making a trip to the Dreambank tonight would provide me the perfect opportunity to experience something new, learn a little bit about life coaching, and potentially get some good advice on some of the areas of my life I'm hoping to improve. Consequently, I made my way down to the Dreambank tonight with an open mind and a sense of optimism. Although my visit was brief, my first experience at the Dreambank would prove a beneficial and insightful use of a otherwise typical Wednesday night.

The Dreambank

When I first arrived at the Dreambank I was surprised by the vibrant, welcoming interior. Displays lined the center of the building's main room, with personal development themes, entertaining games, and motivational challenges covering every inch of each fixture. Around the room a rather substantial group of people milled about, uplifting music quietly played through overhead speakers, and interactive television monitors displayed the dreams and goals of previous visitors. The area was certainly busy with the array of objects and displays, but at no time did it did feel overwhelming or forced. Everything in the room was balanced, which made it hard to feel anything but cheerful and inspired as I walked through the building.

The welcome sign
After a few minutes of walking around the building, I was approached by a man who asked if I was in attendance to receive a life coaching session. I confirmed this was the case, which prompted the man to advise me roughly a half of a dozen people were in queue before me. Although I knew that meant it would take some time for me to receive my life coaching session, I was happy to wait given the aspects of the space I had yet to explore. Ultimately, these elements of the Dreambank made my wait seem very short, and, in what felt like a only few minutes, I was soon greeted by another Dreambank employee who promptly guided to my meeting with my life coach.

After a brief introduction, I sat down with my life coach, Kate, who started off the meeting by asking me for a brief background of what inspired me to come receive a life coaching session. After explaining my "I have never..." concept, my curiosity about life coaching, and my ongoing efforts to improve as a person, Kate was quick to help me narrow in on some specific topics that we could discuss in our time together. Eventually, this led us to a discussion about my work experience, my career, and my long term professional goals. After giving Kate some background on my current work functions, my desires to help people, and my reluctance to pursue some career opportunities, she took a brief moment to think through my remarks before responding.

Inside the Dreambank
In a matter of moments Kate provided me concise, effective feedback that made me realize my career perspective had failed to recognize a lot of opportunity and motivational forces in my day to day life. More precisely, Kate helped me recognize that the focus and confidence I have in helping all of the people that report to me grow and develop personally was lacking in my personal development. Her words seemed natural and effortless as she turned my outward desire to help others achieve their career objectives inward. I listened on as Kate shined a light on the fact I was failing to give my own objectives the attention, input, and dedication I give each day to the employees that report to me. Kate then proceeded to give me a few ideas for visualizing and manifesting my professional goals, which she confidently stated would serve as my compass in making my dreams a reality. In little more than 15 minutes Kate had provided me perspective and insight that struck me and left me in a highly contemplative state. Stated plainly, I had been coached on my life, and I immediately knew I was better for it.

After a little more conversation about my ongoing "I have never..." journey, Kate and I wrapped up our conversation with some parting words. Kate gave me a quick reminder about the approach for assessing my career goals before I thanked her and found my way back out of the Dreambank. As I drove home I couldn't help but think through the advice Kate had given me and how I could apply it to my personal and professional life. As I worked through the ideas in my head, I could only conclude that if I was capable of sticking with this crazy "I have never..." idea, I certainly have what it takes to apply Kate's feedback and start consistently working on my professional goals. After all, if Kate thought I was capable of doing it after talking to me for little more than 20 minutes, I must have what it takes to make it happen.

This thought process stuck with me well into the night, which made me realize my first experience receiving a life coaching session at the American Family Dreambank was an experience worth having. I likely wouldn't have gained the perspective Kate provided had I not attended the event, and I know that would have left me with little direction for my personal development. I know if I actively apply the advice Kate provided me I will be better prepared to further my success, which also means the Dreambank will have succeeded in their objective. In other words, the Dreambank believes if one person wins, we all win, and I'll be more than happy to do what I can to help everyone at the Dreambank chalk up another victory. I sincerely thank Kate and the Dreambank for tonight's experience. This is one event that will definitely stick with me!

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