Congratulations Shradha and Sid! | Rachel Knightley Coaching

“Rachel, I’ve got something to tell you. You have to promise not to tell anyone.”

I swallowed, as every safe-guarding bone in my body went into hypervigilance and began to tell my young LAMDA student, “I can’t promise that. But I can promise I’ll do everything I can to help you with whatever it is –” 

“No, no, it’s nothing like that. It’s my mum’s birthday. I want to write a speech for her.”

Every bone in my body moved from hypervigilence to utter joy. 

“It’s a big birthday. You have to not tell her because it’s a surprise. Can we do that speech as well as my two exam speeches?”

There is a special kind of happiness in any kind of coaching for when a client (of any age, and certainly not just one who has a qualification involved at the end of the process) voluntarily asks you to help them up their game. Writing and speaking are the world’s most transferable life skills, so seeing someone enjoy their LAMDA pieces enough to grow in confidence and apply what they’re learning to other areas of their lives absolutely makes my day.

So please join me in a big congratulation to Sid, not just for this thoughtful (and, I hear, very successful) addition to his mum’s birthday celebrations but his and his older sister Shradha’s distinctions this week at Public Speaking Grades 4 and 5.

This is absolutely why I love what I do. As a writer myself, as a speaker myself, and as a coach of writers and speakers of all ages. Because when it’s done from a place of truth, and love, it celebrates exactly who we are. I’m so glad I came to business and personal coaching through a background in communication and performance, in that order. The vocabulary of coaching (not telling someone what to do but listening to how they think, how they feel and discovering how their unique character fits their words and deeds best) was always what got the best out of the actors, speakers and writers I was working with, and out of me. When you dig for the truth – what you truly mean, truly want and, yes, truly fear – you find something unique.

Congratulations Sid and Shradha – and happy late birthday Varsha!