Coaching Alumni Profiles: Asya Grigoryan
by Whitney Hopler, Communications Manager
Asya Grigoryan’s decision to become a coach through the Leadership Coaching for Organizational Well-Being(LCOWB) program launched her into a fulfilling career with global opportunities. “It was a very mindful choice,” she recalls. “It was a result of long years of self-discovery and attempts to reinvent myself as a professional in a new country and a new job market – considering what’s important to me, what I can naturally do well, and what would build on my previous experience.” Grigoryan, formerly the human resources (HR) director of a commercial bank in Armenia, moved to the United States for several years and then moved to Moscow, Russia for her husband’s new job assignment. Coaching, she says, has empowered her to make the most of her professional life no matter where she works.
“As an expat spouse facing constant change,” Grigoryan says, she realized she would “need a profession that I could ‘take with me’ no matter where life would take me and my family next. Becoming a coach gave me both the fulfillment of helping others to open up their potential and transform their lives in their desired direction. It also gave me a prestigious profession that has increasing demand across the globe and is applicable in so many different contexts.”
Learning how to coach people from a well-being perspective was important to Grigoryan. “What attracted me to LCOWB was its specific focus on both organizational and personal well-being. As an HR professional, I genuinely believe that the well-being of individuals is the main prerequisite for the prosperity of any organization and of the society at large. An organization’s well-being is at the core of dreaming bigger and achieving higher results and, in my opinion, is an indicator of strong and empowering leadership.”
Grigoryan says she was impressed with every aspect of Mason’s coaching program. “The whole program was designed in a very thoughtful way. Every module left me a little bit more enlightened and helped me build up consistently on my competence and confidence as a coach.”
A highlight, she says, was how caring the relationships among faculty and students turned out to be. “One of the highlights during the whole program was the tremendous support of the faculty, the cohort, and my Life XT partner, who continuously supported and inspired me along the way,” recalls Grigoryan. “Even though the learning path was sometimes not very smooth – with moments of big advancement and stepping back – the genuine presence and support, and the safe environment that was co-created by the faculty and the cohort allowed me to overcome all the possible obstacles through sharing experiences, caring about one another, and learning from each other.”
She encourages others to participate in Mason’s coaching program because of its power to bring positive change to every aspect of a person’s life. “LCOWB is a powerful program because it transforms your life and it gives you everything you need to succeed as a coach,” she says, adding: “What I value greatly about the program is the unique professional and personal network that was built during the program, the supportive environment that was co-created by the faculty and the cohort, and the friendships that will last for life. Even now, being far away from the United States, I have a strong feeling of belonging to/being a part of a bigger family – the LCOWB alumni group and the continuous support of the faculty.”
The program’s deep focus on well-being makes it distinctively valuable, Grigoryan says. “LCOWB is well worth the investment, especially for someone who values/ gives importance to exploring concepts on a deeper level – not just learning what to do, but also understanding why it should be done in this particular way.”
Grigoryan says the changes she has experienced herself have been profound. “I’ve acquired numerous tools and techniques that are applicable not only in my professional work as a coach, but also in my everyday life,” says Grigoryan. “Thanks to what we learned in class, I was able to get to know myself even better, to recognize my own strengths and to put a name on the challenges I’ve been facing. I personally learned that being vulnerable and asking for support may be a strength [not a weakness]. I learned not to be hard on myself and to treat myself with self-grace. Those concepts were life-changing for me and so they are for many of my clients.”
Those concepts “caused a powerful shift in my mind,” she says, giving her the courage to pursue – and achieve – exciting new goals.
She spoke in front of about 200 HR professionals at a conference in Armenia, describing a concept she had learned in the coaching program: the polarity thinking approach. “I was able to allow myself be a beginner and not to be afraid of being vulnerable and not perfect,” she recalls.
Then she “asked for support for publishing my poems, which I’ve been writing for a couple of years now,” Grigoryan says. “There were two main reasons holding me back: First, I had no idea whatsoever about how to publish a book. Second, I was a little nervous about getting not-so-positive feedback from professional writers. Only once I was able to make a shift in my mind and let myself be a beginner instead of being hard on myself about the outcome, was I able to think constructively about what network/support I could use to make this happen. The concepts that we learned in class caused that shift and I realized that there is nothing scary about being vulnerable and showing my poems – and my deepest thoughts and emotions expressed in them – to someone else. What would be the worst scenario if they didn’t like it? And would be the worst scenario if I hadn’t even tried? Today, the publication of the book is in the progress and there is a wonderful team of experienced professionals who work together to make this happen!”
Yet another way Grigoryan is giving back is by working with expats like herself who are navigating changes in their lives – “trying to help them deal with the challenges of the change, of not losing their identities and finding their own purpose and fulfillment in life.”
Now Grigoryan has her own professional coaching practice, empowering clients to reach their full potential. “The program has helped me to become a better version of myself, to reaffirm my purpose of helping others and empowering them to thrive. It gave me all the necessary knowledge, tools, and skills to start my own practice as a coach.” For information about online leadership coaching sessions with Grigoryan, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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