From the Blog

Lessons learned as a Limeade coach

I’m Sam Willing, and I’m a Limeade coach.

I started my career 22 years ago in the hotel industry. I had an amazing mentor who taught me some key lessons that I’ve carried with me ever since — how to have a hard conversation, separating emotion from the facts and how to be empathetic and firm at the same time.

I’ve always gravitated toward working directly with employees to be their advocate and to work through tough issues.

Six years ago, I left my HR manager role at a biotech company to go full-time into coaching. I found coaching to be rewarding, inspiring and incredibly meaningful for me and my clients. My niche became helping individuals move past some limiting behaviors and beliefs about themselves and their work environment, and move into their full potential both in work and life.

Two years ago, I came to Limeade. I never intended to rejoin the corporate world but I was inspired and amazed that a company like Limeade existed. The values at Limeade are true for me both in my work and personal life. And I saw that the Limeade People Team was not just HR but a group of empowered, caring, experienced individuals that deeply desire to do meaningful work — I was in!

What does it mean to be a coach?

Here’s how I define coaching: Develop relationships and speak truthfully. Be an advocate, listener and encourager. Empathize with others. Have the hard conversations to help others understand their triggers and impact on others. Help set clear priorities so they can make clear decisions about their lives and careers.

I get to see the most amazing breakthroughs in people’s lives. Watching someone go through the hard stuff to get to the other side is the most satisfying thing I’ve ever experienced in my career. And while coaching is confidential, it’s not counseling — coaching is about identifying roadblocks, finding solutions and taking action.    

My role as a coach at Limeade

At Limeade, my role is centered around coaching and leadership development. I get to use my coaching skills with all levels of employees. You’ll often see me walking outside with an employee discussing anything from career advice to a specific issue the employee is trying to navigate. My intent is always to provide employees with the confidence and tools to develop their own solutions.

I love helping employees take charge of their lives and careers. It’s fulfilling to watch the light bulb come on when someone realizes they have control. When employees step into this state of empowerment, they experience renewed energy and confidence.

4 benefits to providing workplace coaching:

  1. Motivate and retain your best people
  2. Develop your pipeline of future managers and leaders
  3. Increase employee engagement
  4. Help employees feel empowered to create change and focus on what they can control

Coaching plays an important role in any company’s success in today’s marketplace. When you invest in coaching, it shows commitment from the company to the employees and vice versa. Coaching gives a company a competitive edge and can lead to breakthrough performance and resilience in an environment where things are always changing.

4 ways you can help your employees now:

  1. Increase your own awareness around coaching and its benefits. Build coaching into your HR and managing framework.
  2. Build trust with your employees — being able to coach someone depends on the level of trust you have in your relationship with them.
  3. Create a development plan that employees can use for career and coaching discussions. Include aspirations, growth areas and potential roadblocks.
  4. Take time to go over their development plan and find ways you can encourage, advocate and remove roadblocks.

About the Author, Sam Willing

Additional resources:

Download the Limeade development plan or check out 5 ways to take initiative in your career development.