Bringing the joy to coaching
For Keenan Medley, coaching at InsideTrack isn’t just a job, it’s something that brings him joy. “I got into coaching because it’s another way for me to watch people grow.” Keenan notes that a big part of that joy comes from meeting learners at whatever stage they’re at and coaching them to see improvement.
In college, Keenan transferred schools, which gives him an instant connection with many of the individuals he works with. “I know what that feeling of transferring is like. I can relate to learners who are in the middle of that process on a whole other level.” And while changing schools can be a cumbersome and anxiety-provoking challenge, Keenan can tap into his “been there” knowledge to put the people he works with at ease.
Looking back at his college days, Keenan says, “Having a coach would have benefitted me because I didn’t have a clear picture of what I was going to do once I finished school.” Now that he’s in the role of supporting learners, he sees that there are steps he could have taken during college and after graduation that would have helped to maintain his focus. “A coach would have given me a clearer picture of what I needed to do.”
Keenan remembers what it was like when he first began coaching. “I was focused on making sure that I asked every question so I could fill out my data properly and leave no blanks. But when I listened back to my meeting recordings, I realized that I seemed robotic and had missed opportunities to ask deeper questions. It was almost like I wasn’t fully present in the conversation.” So now when he lets his curiosity guide the conversation, it feels much more natural — for him and his learners. Fine-tuning his approach has helped him get more information out of his coaching interactions, and he’s found it easier to get on the same page with his learners.
One interaction with a learner stands out to Keenan — a conversation he had with someone who was ready to start a new life, but was very hesitant about starting school.
“He really wanted to go back to school to make a better life for himself and his daughter,” Keenan recalls, “but he just wasn’t ready to take that next step. I knew it was important to set my agenda for the meeting aside and show him that I genuinely cared for him and the situation with his daughter.” By setting the tone, Keenan was able to dig deeper, and the applicant shared that he had previously had some hiccups with school. He also shared that he was really motivated to finish school because of his daughter. By openly talking about his experience and diving into his motivation, they were able to focus on the next steps in the application process without letting the past hold him back. Within a few weeks, he applied, was accepted, and was extremely excited about starting his courses.
Keenan is now expanding his responsibilities at InsideTrack to become a Coach Observer. “I love getting to work with other coaches on my team and around InsideTrack,” he says. “Not only am I helping learners grow, but now I have the opportunity to help coaches grow.” Keenan appreciates that each coach brings their personality into their coaching conversations. “That’s the artistic part of coaching,” he says. But that’s just one part of the equation. “Learning how to talk with someone in a way that builds relationships while understanding their needs and goals is the craft of coaching.”
Watch Keenan’s Coach Spotlight Video
In his family, Keenan is the middle child. Historically he has held the role of helping his brothers keep the peace. “There’s always a lot of back and forth going on.” These days he can use some of the tools he’s learned from InsideTrack, if it’s active listening or asking better questions, he can get a better understanding of their situations. “It’s great to have some of the tools I’ve learned from InsideTrack in my personal life. It’s helped me be a better brother and a better friend.”