Support: by Paola Francesi

I was absolutely thrilled to be a guest speaker at the Coaching&Cava event n. 6, during a festive, celebratory atmosphere leading up to Christmas and New Year's Eve. Time for nice plans and resolutions for the New Year!

My intention was to bring in some positive emotions, empowerment and inspiration as I shared my very personal experience related to "Support", the main theme of the event that night.

First and foremost, I was very impressed during the previous Coaching & Cava event (the first one I had attended) and I feel that the previously mentioned concept of giving and taking by Adam Grant can be compared with support. Some people support and some people receive support. We can all contribute to a successful society.

To give you some personal background, English is my passion, ever since I started to learn it at a very young age. The festive period takes me back in time to when I remember watching Mary Poppins 3 years in a row at Christmas while at middle school ("scuola media", when I was 10 to 13).

After a positive period at school when I excelled in all the subjects, I experienced a challenging phase when I had to specialise. I was going to a school which was not for me - I felt stuck in a rut and frustrated - and I had to make the difficult decision to change school in order to follow my passion. However, that was when I came across an incredibly supportive English Teacher.

He had just started, so I felt very lucky for how I had crossed paths with him. He both demonstrated an impressive depth of knowledge of the subject and excellent people skills, and was a fantastic role model and forward- thinking individual.

Does this resonate with any of you? Does it ring a bell? I hope so.

This experience left me with the awareness of the key role played by teachers. In fact, they supplant the parental role and I feel that an inspirational student-teacher relationship, based on Support, can massively contribute to education.

I am now living, working and studying in this great city of London, where I have always wanted to be. I came to qualify as a fully-fledged Teacher of English as a Foreign Language. I now encourage students to believe in themselves as I feel that learning a language, like English for instance, can be truly transformative. (It can open many doors in life and enable to you to access fulfilling careers and embrace new cultures). It is important to challenge ourselves and see what we can experience outside our comfort zones, by moving and seizing opportunities in international markets.

Three years ago I qualified as a Neurolanguage Coach®. It is a very innovative and pioneering concept, founded by Rachel Paling, which embeds elements of coaching into the language learning process. The Neuroscience part comes into play to help learners achieve an ideal performing state.

In Neuroscience, Support calms down our "primitive fear centre" which is always looking out for threats. This triggers serotonin and positive chemicals that allow us to interact in a safe environment where we are less worried, more creative and able to achieve peak performance in life, and be the best version of ourselves. We are also happier achievers and more successful people if we support and receive support.  This explains the interaction between me and my teacher. It was, in fact, incredibly empowering, providing that emotional security that contributes to unlocking full potential and feeling that what you dream about can actually happen and come true. 

"Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I’m possible” (Audrey Hepburn)  

In conclusion, based on my experience, which I hoped you have enjoyed reading, I would really encourage you to connect and share your concerns. Don’t let technology take over in your relationships. We feel less important when technology is around (somebody answering a text message). Be mindful and present instead. We are designed to connect for our well-being. Support decreases stress levels and enhances positive chemicals in our brains putting us in a better mood.

I would like to give special thanks to Hannah and James for creating a safe space of trust, respect and confidentiality so that this can happen. I also felt honored to be speaking with two amazing guest speakers.   

Support is success if we help each other and so are Coaching, Cava, Networking and Confidence.

Look forward to the next event!

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