[Blog by Liesl Cronje]

I recently had a conversation with Nelia Burger, one of the Strong Foundation Academy’s former students.  Nelia is the founder of Cora Coaching and was formerly head of a learning academy with her previous employer.  There she fulfilled the role as the internal leadership coach.   In her own coaching practice she now specializes in life and leadership development coaching.

I was curious about why Nelia chose coaching as profession:  “I love working with people and I developed this as a specific competence to help me to encourage and motivate others”.  She also said that she wants her clients to be inspired through learning and growth, for them to embrace and celebrate their lives with confidence.

Nelia started her studies with the Strong Foundation Academy in 2014 and successfully completed her Diploma studies in 2016.

“Now as registered coach I still use almost all elements of what we studied, from practical tools through to understanding the deeper physiological aspects with regards to cognitive behaviour and its drivers.   Also ethics in coaching and the practicalities with regards to running a coaching business and then dealing with sponsors and clients in a professional manner”.

In her practice Nelia coaches young and new leaders as well as junior and middle management.  “These people are usually in roles where they are technically acknowledged as crucial, but easily forgotten or dismissed when it comes to development.  “All of them play a significant role in their companies and they are part of driving the culture in their companies.  I would like them to also have a say and I enhance this in leadership development through learning, coaching and the development of their potential”.  Her practice is furthermore unique in the sense that very few coaches work in the junior to middle management leadership space, specifically in the industries that are viewed as less sophisticated, such as the manufacturing industry. These leaders are mostly in roles that require high technical skills which are regularly the reason for them being in leading roles, yet they lack in competencies crucial for leading people.

“I love being a thinking partner to companies and leaders and to help them think differently about life, work, purpose and specific goals.  It’s great to create energy for new thinking and I’m inspired when my clients really take the challenge and work toward their set goals.  I love seeing them soar”!

But, as in any profession, there are always parts or work that is not so inspiring and I was not surprised when Nelia mentioned a few things that most of us as coaches struggle with:

Administration, keeping all records tidy and filed, answering emails and bookkeeping!  “Competition with others is also a challenge when working in business with multiple coaches, and it is hard work to keep this from distracting you as coach from what you are there to do”.

In conclusion, Nelia is one of the Strong Foundation Academy’s very satisfied alumni.  “Strong Foundation has the wellbeing and heart of the individual in their line of sight as their main focus, whether being a student there or being coached by anyone part of Strong Foundation. The quality, depth, empathy, integrity and intent with which services are delivered have a deep nurturing value. It grows people and if people grow, then families, organisations, communities and society will grow. No student, graduate, client, facilitator or any other stakeholder affiliated with coach training or coaching at Strong Foundation Academy needs to stand back from those that studied coaching at a University. The quality of learning, practice and building capacity is of a very high standard.  It was a privilege to study at the Strong Foundation Academy”.

Thank you Nelia, it was great to hear your heart and we wish you all the best with your new coaching practice!

Nelia can be contacted at:  cornelia@coracoaching.com