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056: Interview:  Benita Stafford-Smith, MCC

056: Interview: Benita Stafford-Smith, MCC

Listen to this episode using the web player below, or search for 'The Curious Coach' podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or all other major podcast platforms.

Interview with MCC coach Benita Stafford-Smith, an executive coach and coach supervisor, originally from Canada and now living and working in Oman. In this episode we covered a wide range of subjects including Benita’s own coaching journey, coach supervision, team coaching, the challenges of coaching through an interpreter and much, much more.

Benita Stafford-Smith on LinkedIn

BLSS coaching on Facebook

7 Eyed Supervision Model Explained

Transcript

Stephen:            00:01          Imagine you've invested years of your life learning about how to be a coach. You've done the training, you've reached the level of master certified coach or MCC with the international coach Federation. Now with the around, 20 years of coaching experience under your belt, you'd imagine you'd have really discovered who you are as a coach. Right?

Benita:             00:25          I think I'm still finding myself as a coach. I know that sounds funny, but it just is that kind of profession you just continually evolve. You're always finding yourself. If you want to chose coaching as a profession, be aware, you're going to have to continually look at yourself and I have to continually disrupt your business.

Jingle:             00:51          Welcome to the curious coach podcast, so buckle up as we travel around and explore the world of coaching. Here's your host and professional coach Stephen Clements.

Stephen:            01:05          In this episode, I had a really enjoyable interview with Benita Stafford-Smith in it. We talked about how she moved from her native home of Canada to Oman. Talked about coach supervision, team coaching, and the challenges of coaching through an interpreter and much, much more. Before jumping in, it's worth noting that the audio quality comes and goes a little as we were 4,000 miles apart and talking through a VPN. But I hope that won't take away from the insights that Benita was sharing. Now over to Benita to introduce herself.

Benita:             01:43          Okay. Thank you. So first of all, thank you for inviting me to the this curious coach podcast. I love the title by the way. And my name is Benita Stafford-Smith. I currently live in Muscat Oman. And I'm originally from Canada. I'm an executive coach and I lead the coaching practice for a small consultancy here in Oman. I'm also a coach supervisor. I should say, I'm a master certified coach, that would probably be helpful.

Stephen:            02:12          Yeah. I'm really intrigued how your coaching journey has taken you from Canada to Oman. Can you maybe tell me a little bit about that?

Benita:             02:23          I'm can. So I, I'll give you the short version. The short version is: I was, I was a single parent all my life and when my son graduated from university, I decided it was my time, my time for fun. My responsibilities were over. So I decided I had my own business at that time called Coach Benita in Canada. I decided that I wanted to work internationally. And through a series of events. I was on the board of the women business owners and one of the ladies was going to a conference and she met a gentleman who was looking for someone who was a coach and a speaker, who was wanting to travel, and she said, Oh, I happen to know somebody, we connected, and two months later I was in Muscat Oman, which I had never heard of as a country before. It was a brilliant place to end up, by the way.

Stephen:            03:17          What have you noticed about the differences in coaching in Oham versus coaching in Canada?

Benita:             03:24          Well, I think coaching is client focused, so it's different based on the client, but there are some cultural differences. The biggest thing I've noticed is that I find people in Oham are very heart center. So it's, it's a different experience coaching them. They're, still focused on results, but results with the heart in balance. And, and I really liked that. I think that's beautiful actually.

Stephen:            03:56          Has that changed how you are as a coach?

Benita:             04:03          I think you change how you are as a coach every day, every month, every hour. So it's, it's an interesting profession. It isn't the kind of profession where you go take a course and voila, you're a coach. That's it. It's a, it's a profession that continually evolves. You continually learn, you continually develop. It just never ends. That's a good news, bad news, depending on which day it is.

Stephen:            04:33          Yeah. And maybe if we could just jump right back then. So how did you get into coaching in the very first case?

Benita:             04:42          That's an interesting story too. So I was a sales representative while I was at, what was, I called an account executive for a General Electric and part of my territory was the Southern States and I was in the Atlanta, Georgia and I was flying back and I was reading fortune 500 magazine, researching some of my clients. And there was an article in there by Thomas Leonard, who's the founder of the coaching industry. And for anybody who's a coach that tells you how old I am, I'm really old and I've been coaching a long time. So I read this article about coaching. As soon as I read it, I knew exactly that was the next thing I wanted to do. There is no logic, there's no, there's no... I researched it, I read the article and said that's it, that's what I want to do. And I started my education in that, getting the skills for coaching.

Stephen:            05:36          Hmm. So it sounds like it was a nearly... It resonated with you. It was calling in some ways?

Benita:             05:43          Yes, absolutely. It was instant. It was... to say that it was instant. I had also been... I had been poking around in other fields for quite a number of years, but nothing sat quite... It was okay, but nothing was really enticing. But as soon as I read that article, yes, that's what I've been looking for.

Stephen:            06:09          And, and once you did that initial training, was it a, an instant delivery of 'yes', this is exactly. Or to take time then for you to find yourself as a coach. And..?

Benita:             06:20          I think I'm still finding myself as a coach. I know that sounds funny, but it just is that kind of profession you just continually evolve, you're always finding yourself. And again, I'm going to repeat that. So good news, bad news. I always say to people, if you wanted to choose coaching as a profession, be aware that you're going to have to continually look at yourself. You're going to have to continually disrupt your business.

Stephen:            06:47          And what's helped you the most in that journey of, of looking at yourself and developing yourself and becoming the coach you need to be or want to be at that moment in time?

Benita:             06:59          Yeah, so I would say several things. One is curiosity. I'm a very curious person and it's you know, it's fine to be curious about other people, but you also have to be curious about yourself. It's really important that you do that journey. And then to make sure that you have some support in that journey. So I've always had a coach, I've had a coach since the early nineties and I have a supervisor, I've had a supervisor since 2016 so it's, it's always making sure that you have, you have a support system in place. Cause sometimes, being self aware is easy and sometimes being self aware is not so comfortable. So it's really important that on that journey you have support and you, that you're curious and open. Yeah. An expression, around curiosity that I really liked that a friend of mine developed was that curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought him back.

Stephen:            07:57          Ah, I like that! That's a very good way of looking at it. And over that time you've been coaching, what have you noticed about how you've transformed or changed as a coach, what's different for you now?

Stephen:            08:17          Hmm. I would say my compassion for people, for cultures, for situations, environments has really changed. It is, and I understand how important connection is. It's, it's an ultimate importance that for people to feel that connection, to feel purpose, to feel belonging, it's... That's different for everyone. But it's important that... When people have that sense, it changes their worlds.

Stephen:            08:49          Yeah. I suppose I'm curious about what's being the, what's been the challenges for you during that journey?

Benita:             08:56          Hmm. Well, building a practice to start with was a challenge, because I had worked in the corporate world all my life and I always, I was a little, I was very nervous about starting my own practice in the beginning because I had been a corporate person all my life. I didn't know that there was any other world besides the corporate world. And I, I did very well in the corporate world. So I, you know, I was very. I was very successful. I had lots of money, I had lots of options and now all of a sudden just me, me, myself, and I. So, so that was a bit of a challenge, you know, figuring out how to get support systems in place, you know, when's the time to outsource my accounting, figuring out what's the right balance in my business. When I started, I was also a professional speaker.

Benita:             09:45          So I had to balance the coaching and the speaking because I had three sort of a three prong approach, coaching, speaking and writing, all very different kinds of energies, different kinds of efforts required. So that was a bit of a challenge. Finding that balance. But it was a fabulous challenge. So I think it's just, I, I think the biggest challenge is just believing in yourself.

Stephen:            10:13          Yeah. And the timing of that leads quite nicely to a question around, as you were starting out, how were you measuring or judging yourself as being an effective for good coach?

Benita:             10:32          Yeah, that's true. That's a really a good question actually. Because when you, when you first start coaching, in the beginning years, it's really important that you add value, but it's about you adding value. I must be the greatest. I must be a really good coach. I must bring great value to this person. I, I, I... And as your journey evolves over time, it isn't so much about the value that you bring. It's more important that the client gets value. So you switch the focus from "I'm a good coach and delivering value" to the client got value from the session.

Stephen:        11:13          And was there anything in particular that helped you make that switch?

Benita:             11:18          I think just again, a continual evolution, to continual looking, that continual education, continuing with connecting with other coaches and, and having proper support in places, and places to reflect. It's really important for coaching that you reflect on your practice and that you reflect on yourself as a coach. Your reflection piece is so, so important. At least, I'll say it was for me and I would really strongly recommend that for other coaches to. New coaches, coaches who've been mentors and coaches who have been coaching a very long time. Everybody is in that same buble I would say.

Stephen:            11:55          Yeah. And I suppose that, that that connects I guess with the importance of supervision?

Benita:             12:03          Yes. Yes. It's very, it's an interesting, it's fairly new in the coaching world. It's interesting too because sometimes we say coaching is a lonely profession because we connect with other coaches from a business perspective, but you, you... Confidentiality is the, is the goddess of coaching. You cannot share anything about your cases with another coach or with your friend, with anybody. It's absolutely, an absolute no, no. So the beauty of most supervision is your, is your supervisor signs a confidentiality agreement and you can discuss your cases and you can reflect on, well, you know, I wasn't very comfortable when I said this and this is the kind of reaction I got and you know, and you can explore what you might've done differently. You know, hindsight's always better, right? It's always wonderful. But I believe that, that, that develops you as a person, as a coach, and as somebody's serving a client and allows you to come to your next session differently. So that's where that supervision piece where you can sit and reflect on what you're doing and you can share some of your cases. You know, what happened. It's really, to me this has been just a hitting another new level.

Stephen:            13:28          Yeah. And, and what led you to then train to then become a supervisor yourself?

Benita:             13:36          Hmm. Two, two things. First of all, I've been a master coach for, I've been coaching for many, many years and I've been a master coach when I was looking for my next, what's my next step - there must, you know, there has to be something after an MCC. So I was looking for my next stage of development and doing some search. And I was a, I was at an ICF conference actually, and I met a lady named Janet Harvey, who's a coach in America, quite an... she was the chair of the ICF board for years and she chaired the ICF foundation for a while. She's just a delightful, delightful lady. And she was talking about supervision and I was like, you know, the click went and, ah, what's that? Let me find out and as I spoke to Janet and she gave me a good overview of what it was, and I was like, okay, that's it, that's what I'm doing next. So I participated in that. I took the training. It was really intense training, but it was obviously fabulous.

Stephen:            14:35          Yeah. And what's different about training to be a supervisor versus the training to be a coach?

Benita:             14:44          I think that the big difference is that as a supervisor you're more, you're more reflective with your, with your coach or, but I, I don't use supervision just for coaches. I also use supervision as leaders in business where they try to coach their people or their teams. So this, it's getting people to be more reflective in, in supervision. We say who you are is how you coach. So it's looking at who, who are you and what, you know, what drove that behavior for you specifically looking deep inside and shining your practice that way.

Stephen:        15:25          Hmm. I suppose with supervision there's a wider set of interations going on cause it's not just about you and your client.

Benita:             15:36          We use the expression all the time in supervision, is how many voices are in the room. We use the model developed by Peter Hawkins somebody Smith, sorry, I can't remember. And it's called the seven eye model. So there's seven ways to look at your coaching practice and we look at which eye are you're looking through, yours, your clients, the organizations, the relationship between you and your client, the relationship, the relationships... What's happening, what's happening in that organization that can be effecting what's happening with that, that client or you. So then we're always looking for different eyes, different perspectives, looking at from a much wider perspective.

Stephen:        16:25          Mm. And and as a supervisor, looking through those seven eyes or trying to, I suppose, track what those seven eyes or seeing, I'd imagine that would be quite challenging?

Benita:             16:39          It's absolutely fascinating. Absolutely. And I mean it's a really interesting question because one of the really interesting eye's that I think is what's the relationship between you and the coach or the leader in the room? And we don't often look at that in coaching. We don't look at the, what's happening in the relationship between the two. That has a huge impact also on, on how you practice your coaching. So, I mean, there's many fascinating eyes, but that's one of the ones that I'm particularly intriguing.

Stephen:        17:08          And having done the training to be a supervisor, and now being a supervisor in your own right, has that changed how you yourself engaged with supervision?

Benita:             17:24          I did them both at the same time. So, I started my training and my supervision at the same time. I don't know that I can separate them, but I do two kinds of supervision. I participated in two kinds of supervision, so I participated as an individual, but I also participated in group supervision, which is absolutely fascinating because then you get to see other people's eyes and how they're looking at things. And I supervise individuals, coaches and leaders and, but I also supervise team coaches, which is really, and which is a really fascinating new area of coaching, which is taking on more prominence in the industry I think.

Stephen:            18:07          And I suppose to, to segue into that sort of team coaching piece, what's the challenges for somebody who's used to working one on one with clients to then move into that team coaching space?

Benita:             18:26          Yeah, good question. It's like they day and night. Instead of having one person in front of you, now you have 12 people in front of you or how many people on the team, you know. So for example, often when I'm team coaching I'll be working with a CEO and they'll often be 10 his team or her team in the room. So, that's quite complex. You know, the hierarchies, the authorities that it's always the interconnections. What's happening between, in team coach we're looking for the interconnections between all the members and between them and their organization and between them and their board and between them and their other stakeholders. So it's, it's really, it's, it's trying to, to make the really complex as simple as you can and I don't know, you can try, but as long as you get insights into the, you know, the interconnections, what happens?

Stephen:            19:23          What happens when person a says something? What happens to down the line? It's really fascinating. You know, the evolution of team coaching... We started out team coaching, we started to get to know your team better. This is your team and you know, exercises to get to know them. And then it was kind of exercises, the next evolution was kind of, okay, let's figure out how the team works inside the organization. So how does your team interact with other teams? And then the next evolution was, okay, now we've, so we went from individual to within the organisation and then we can say, okay, what about your stakeholders? How did that, how did you interact with your stakeholders? So we kind of went another layer and it's interesting now we're going and saying, how do all those layers connect? What happens through all those different layers and back and back and around. So I think a, it's an interesting..., Especially in today's complex world, it's, thats constantly changing. So it's really important that we understand those connections and how they work.

Stephen:            20:31          Mm. And I suppose I'm struck by even the definition... but even the way a team is structured now is changing. In terms of, it's not about people being physically located they can be dispersed all over the place and connected technology.

Benita:             20:49          ...even teams are not, teams used to be, I'm on this team, this was the solid thing. It's not true anymore. You might work on five different teams and have five different roles on those five different teams. It used to be, like, you know, I work in the finance department and my team is the finance. Right? Well that's not true anymore because now finance has interact with legal, finance has to interact with strategy, finace has to interact with sales, right? So you're all these different teams and you might even, you might even sit on a board of a smaller company, so you're always, you're not on one team anymore. We can't work in silos. We can try. But companies tend to find that a very painful, difficult way to work. So if that broadening of silos and team coaching is one of the way to understand that, the broader picture context that you have to work.

Stephen:            21:43          And I can only imagine the, you know, the, the amount of information you get coming one-on-one when you work with a client. In terms of what you can notice and the language, the, the behaviors and energy and everything else. And I can only imagine how you, it must be very easy to get overloaded as a coach when you start multiplying that up to all these different relationships and interconnects and...?

Benita:             22:16          Well, yes, but I think the important piece of that is to notice that something happened and then to get the team to notice, okay, what just happened there? Cause we used to ignore that. And now I think as a team coach, it's your job to stop and say, wait a minute, what just happened. As an example, a senior team I was working with. We were talking about how disruption is common in our industry. So we're seeing, you know, and this was a large oil and gas company. So how could, how could this business get disrupted? And one of the technical, the technical VP said, well that's not true in our industry, it'll never get disrupted, we don't see that. From his perspective, that was very true. But then the CEO stood up and said, well, well, perhaps what you're not seeing is what we're seeing is many small businesses gathering together in a conglomerate and being competitive with us in our markets.

Benita:             23:17          And so the, the only important thing for me about that was why doesn't the technical guy know that? It wasn't his fault. You guys aren't working as a team. What's happening? Why does that... so stop and notice he doesn't know that, what's happening there team? What's, what needs to happen. Right. So it wasn't so much all the information, you know, it isn't what we can right or wrong. It's like, wait a minute, stop guys. Because he doesn't know that. Yes, you should be worried if he doesn't know that. Yeah. He's running the technology of your company. He's giving you information and he doesn't know that.

Stephen:            23:58          Yeah. And I suppose the thought that just jumped into my head as well as the, the difference between team development and team coaching. How would you, how would you define... What is the difference?

Benita:             24:15          Well, I would say team development is about teaching, teaching people theories and how they apply and getting people to understand theories. And I would say coaching is about the team learning what they're, what they're doing, you're not teaching them anything it's up to them to learn. So for example, the last example I just shared, if I was doing a team development, that might be a lesson on communication and you may go into developing communication strategy, but when you're coaching it's like, Oh, wait a minute, what happened there? And did you notice it? And how can you notice it? And what do you do about it?

Stephen:            25:00          And in terms of your, your own confidence or being comfortable working with the team, as a team coach, How, did you, how did that come around in terms of making the transition from working one on one to being, feeling that actually team coaching is an area you would be effective at, if that makes sense?

Benita:             25:27          I think that I, you know, that my history from being a professional speaker speaking across Canada and the U S helped because I was used to. So I kind of did that. And then I went just into coaching and then I started hearing about this team coaching and started doing some investigating and got curious about, Oh well what is that and how is that different than I did before and how do I incorporate, how do I, how do I marry those two together? So it, I, I use this term often, you know, we're always trying to bring things together and get the, get the best out of both. Well I think that's how it, and then education first thing in, no matter what you're doing, get, you know, become knowledgeable about what it is. And then with practice you become, you increase your expertise, but without all practice its really rather useless and just knowledge is useless without practice. You have to, it's always an evolution.

Stephen:            26:32          And, its sounds that your evolution has, it's your curiosity has actually helped drive your own evolution in terms of finding out about coaching, about team coaching supervision. So yeah. What are you, what are you curious about at the minute?

Benita:             26:51          Well, I'm curious about many things. It's an interesting world in which we live now. So more and more I'm I'm, I'm doing a lot of volunteer work on global levels and I'm doing more and more work in supervision. So I'm much more curious about cultures and how different, how, how not complex, but if we're dealing with three or four cultures in a team, how does that impact the team and how do we understand those cultures and how do we create an, a safe environment for all those people to operate? So the culture, the global aspect of everything that we do, I'm finding that really, really intriguing in supervision, in coaching, in life and in everything.

Stephen:            27:39          Mm. And I can imagine that's hugely relevant to the world that industry and businesses operating in today.

Benita:             27:47          I think it's relevant to life. I just came back from the ICF global conference in Prague. 70 different countries there. 70 countries. It's just that's so common today for us to interact with that many different cultures. Yeah, it's fascinating. It's fascinating doing supervision through a translator, that's a whole new challenge. It's interesting. Yeah. Cause you miss a lot of the nuances that the language that you would get. But it's interesting how, how you learn to pick up those nuances.

Stephen:            28:31          Yeah. Cause I, I imagine it must be, Oh, on one level there's the, yes, the filter effectively that the translator is putting on everything. But does it also then make you more tuned into how the other person's being and their energy in the way they're saying something because you, you don't actually understand the words that are happening.

Benita:             28:53          I think it really, it really puts the focus on somatic coaching or paying attention to the body and what's going on. But just simple things. I'll share an example from quite awhile ago, I was speaking, it was the ICF's 20th anniversary. So they did an on tour event and I was speaking in, in Russia and Spain, but I was in Russia and we were, I was talking about creating coaching cultures in organizations. And I was talking about competency number three, which is creating trust and intimacy with the client. As soon as I said creating trust and intimacy, they started to giggle. What's so funny, about that and the translater actually stopped me and explained and said, well, we don't say that because intimacy is about sexual intimacy.

Benita:             29:49          not personal intimacy, so you can get into trouble without knowing you're getting into trouble. So, I was really lucky you know, that he stopped me and did the cultural translation also. But all of these nuances that you can, you could completely miss.

Stephen:            30:05          Mm. And I suppose that must be the challenge for not only coaches but for also likes of the ICF in terms of keeping the competencies, up to date and bringing in the cultural aspects as well as keeping the relevant to today's world that we live in.

Benita:             30:28          Just the language, can you imagine if you're running international companies spaces all the time? Just language. Not everyone speaks, reads, writes and understanding English. All right, so how do you translate everything? Or which languages do you translate and how many do you translate. The ICF is different because it's a member organization. So it's not like a business organization where you could be a little more of a dictator. But It's tough for someone say going from North America to Asia. You're going to have those complexities of language, a lot of the people that you deal with, might not not speak English, right, you've cultura implications, you have language implications, cultural implications. It's really fascinating. I mean it's a, it's such an interesting world today. And so for me, and I'm really curious about those things, I really, I find that fascinating. And working with people, those areas and you know, just getting grounded in, it's just getting grounded in those things.

Stephen:            31:33          Hmm. Okay. And you mentioned the the ICF converge conference. What was the, what was the key thing you left the conference with?

Benita:             31:45          What wonderful friends I have across the world who are coaches! From a personal perspective? Fascinating. You know, just, just wonderful, wonderful people. It's such a privilege because I worked regionally and gloablly, so I know lots of coaches across different parts of the world. But its nice because you're only working with them virtually. And so it's nice to connect, you know, in person every once in a while and there was 80 different sessions you could have taken you can't possibly attend those in three days. So, so we go there and after dinner and talk about the different sessions we attended. So it's like, you know, more learning more or learning more learning. Yeah, there was lots of great, there's so many great things that its hard to pick, but I think connect with friends from across the world is really nice.

Stephen:            32:35          And was there any particular area that you left the conference with that sort of was thought provoking that you've been stewing over, wondering about?

Benita:             32:45          So two areas actually. I decided to split my time between the science stream. This is the discovered stream. So I'm taking, I'm also taking an online course called the neuroscience of change. So I attended two sessions on neuroscience and how the brain works that disrupted my thinking about emotions and about biases. Both were absolutely fascinating. And then the other stream was the discover stream. So using playfulness and using literature, both very disruptive and thought provoking. How do we become more? It's a very serious business. Right? You know, we're coaching and its very serious and like, okay, let's just be a little playful.

Stephen:            33:40          And I suppose that's, as you mentioned earlier, that's actually the nice thing about coaching is there is this continual development of what you can learn and new things you can try and, keep experimenting I guess?.

Benita:             33:53          Yes. And you know, there was lots of sessions on the disruption of the coaching industry as there's lots of sessions on the disruption of every industry, but disruption seems to be a common theme in every, in everything today, not just coaching. So it was kind of fun to, it was kind of interesting to look at disruption from a different perspective instead of just like all the computers are gonna take over the world that look at it there's a positive side to disruption. We learned that the neuroscience, which is a fairly new field of science and, and the, with the course I'm taking says, what's true and what isn't, what do I believe and what I don't. And what they say is it's the, it's the best that we know today could. It could change tomorrow and that's disruption. So it's, it's more getting comfortable with that disruption and what if disruption is fun? What, what if it's exciting? We look at it differently. That whole disruption thing which... it just puts so much fear in people.

Stephen:            35:13          I suppose I'm, I'm curious then in terms of advice, I, I know coaching isn't about advice, but setting that aside for one minute, for coaches that are starting out on their journey, what's the one piece of advice you wish somebody had given you when you were starting out?

Benita:             35:37          Have fun. It's a journey. Go that that journey. It's a journey, journey, journey, journey. Enjoy it, enjoy it. Just relish every moment of it.

Stephen:            35:49          As you mentioned, the up and down side of coaching is the fact that it is a huge field and that there are a world of courses out there and we could spend all our time doing nothing but training. What's..

Benita:             36:08          Sorry, as coaches we always make this joke that we're learning junkies.

Stephen:            36:13          Absolutely. Learning, learning junkies.

Benita:             36:18          An addition, a good addition!

Stephen:            36:23          So aside from the, the courses that you're, you're doing at the minutes, what have you got your eye on for the future yourself?

Benita:             36:32          I am, I've been playing with writing a movie script, Because I read blogs and serious books. you know. And this this playful theme and disrupting myself. It's, it's yes, it's quite fun. It's quite interesting and it takes a different, it's like a... It's like, it's like turning a corner. Oh good. I get to make this up. Excellent! Let's go! Very different to what I do professional, I get to make up worlds, it's so much fun.

Stephen:            37:15          Yeah. And have you, have you given any thought to your, the title of your movie yet or

Benita:             37:24          So I tried to write a script a couple of years ago. Took a course, tried to write a script, failed dismally, like just failed with it. It's fine. And then just didn't do anything for quite awhile. And then actually a friend of mine, another coach here in Omah had this idea about this movie and I thought this great idea, so she doesn't have any script writing. So I took another course in script writing of course, cause gotta another course and we've started developing it together, which is really nice to do collaborative. So we don't have a title yet. We're still flushing out the characters, but it's really, really fun. Yeah. I don't know if it will become a movie or not. But the whole process of just writing it and doing it collaboratively is really, really interesting. It's just such a different space than I normally do.

Stephen:            38:22          I, I can imagine it's nearly... It sounds like a nearly be an outlet as well for, for fun and experimenting as well

Benita:             38:31          Yeah, and it's a good story. The problem with the first movie I tried to write, it was a nice story but didn't, there was no meat to it. It was just a nice story, was a great story, but nothing happened really. Like nothing. There was no, you know, the hero's journey, there was no hero, there was no conflict. It's just a nice story. But in this one we got alive and really lots of fun

Stephen:            38:59          Ah brilliant. I suppose I'm just conscious of time and maybe just a question to finish on about the future in terms of where, where's, where do you see your journey going into the future or coaching going in the future?

Benita:             39:20          That's a very good question. And, and again, I have no idea. I got to tell you, this is my favorite saying these days is I don't know. I really, I don't know. But I think the important part of our journey is, is to trust, is to follow those, those instincts, follow those nudges, follow those callings, and then see where it goes. It's not about having to know, it's not like, okay, I'm going to finish university. At my stage in life, I've done all those things. You know, Life is good. But now let me see how I can expand. Let me see. Let me see what else there is. You know, it's like when I left the corporate world, I didn't know about this, this other world of being your own of owning your own business. And I'm sortive to back in the corporate world almost. But what's next? What's that other, what's the next base? What is it? I don't know what it is, but I'm kind of curious what it might be. It might be coaching, might be supervision, it might be writing. Who knows? Who knows what it's going to be. I just know it'll be interesting.

Stephen:            40:31          So Benita, it's been fabulous to talk to you and thank you so much for sharing your, your, your journey and, and your, your wisdom. And I wish you every, every luck in the future and especially with the script. I look forward to seeing that movie in the coming months and years.

Benita:             40:49          We'll see! Thank you for the opportunity to share some of my journey. I love to do so. Thank you for that and have a fabulous, interesting curious life curious coach!

Stephen:            41:03          My thanks again to Benita for taking the time out of her weekend to talk with me. I found it really insightful, and inspiring, and I hope you did too. You'll find full show notes and the transcript on my website at stephenclements.ie/podcast. As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts or feedback so please get in touch by email to stephen@stephenclements.ie and thanks for listening and until next time, don't forget, stay curious.