Coaching – FAQS
Coaching – Your Questions Answered
What is coaching?
Perhaps the simplest way to describe coaching is a conversation with a purpose. A coach is a positive, objective, motivational force; a catalyst in improving your performance and achieving goals more quickly than you would on your own.
A coaching approach involves using carefully chosen questions to help you decide on the outcomes you want/need and how to achieve them – turning issues into ‘projects’ with clear time based goals.
Coaching is not about giving information or advice (that’s the role of a consultant or mentor) or about dealing with significant emotional issues (for that you need a counsellor). The approach focuses on future possibilities and as such is a catalyst for change. I believe that my clients can generate the solutions that are best for their circumstances and by doing so have more buy in and accountability to take action.
Why do people need coaches?
Many people have the ability to set their own goals and work on plans to achieve them. The advantage that a coaching relationship brings is that of a confidential objective perspective and focus to get on and do things. Many people find it difficult to solve issues as they continue to tackle them from the same standpoint. If what you’re doing is not working, do something else! As your coach I will believe in your ability to make the changes you desire and do what I can to make sure that you have thought through your actions carefully. I will help you to recognise your strengths and how you can use these effectively.
What sorts of things do people have coaching on?
Simple answer is all sorts – anything that you want to “be”, “do”or “have”.
You might be seeking to take control of aspects of your life or career and avoid having to say to yourself ‘If only I’d done that…’ or to understand your own strengths, build self esteem and confidence and improve relationships with others.
You might represent a business where you have noticed people are not performing to their peak potential. There’s a lot of talk but no action. Traditional training courses have not had the impact you need and change is slow to happen. Or you might be a senior manager or CEO who would benefit from developing your leadership or management skills or bouncing your ideas around in a ‘safe’ environment.
What do you specialise in?
My main areas of specialism are:
- Working with managers and executives in the workplace. They benefit from having time away from the day to day and a neutral sounding board for exploring their challenges.
- Facilitating team development through group coaching and activities.
- Helping individuals to re-evaluate their careers – either in times of redundancy or when they realise the job they are in is just not motivating them.
- Increasing personal effectiveness skills in areas such as confidence and time management.
I’m also passionate about the use of personality profiling (I’m accredited to use the Myers Briggs Type Indicator®) as a basis for understanding yourself and the way in which you interact with others and approach work and life.
What benefits can coaching bring?
Individuals gain benefits such as:
- Sense of empowerment and accountability to take the actions needed to achieve goals – leading to improved effectiveness and productivity.
- A feeling of being supported and having an objective ‘sounding board’ for ideas – building confidence and self esteem.
- Deeper understanding of own operating style, strengths and values.
- Fewer limiting beliefs and consequently fewer barriers to achieving their potential.
- Reduced stress levels and improved work-life balance.
- Improved relationships and better communication skills.
An organisation can benefit from:
- A more goal-orientated and positive culture of development and growth.
- Improved leadership and direction, management of people and communication.
- Better business performance driven by increased effectiveness of individuals and teams who are able to identify and manage priorities and achieve greater productivity.
- Reduced conflict in the workplace through improved understanding of others and increased ability to manage emotions.
- Higher motivation in those receiving coaching as they increase their self awareness and build their self esteem.
What happens in a coaching session?
My role as a coach is to ask you powerful questions to get you thinking. Our aim is to establish what it is you really want to have, achieve or be and to work out a realistic action plan of how to get there. With your permission I will challenge your assumptions and encourage you to explore the impacts of what you want to work on. Through our conversations you will gain a greater awareness of yourself – we all have ‘blind spots’ where our knowledge of ourselves is limited or the beliefs we hold about our abilities stop us from achieving our full potential. You will leave each session having agreed one or more actions to move you towards the outcomes you want. If appropriate and you are happy to do so, I may give you questions or exercises to work on between our sessions.
What results can I expect?
Coaching is all about outcomes and goals so we will agree objectives and measures for the programme at the outset.
The only person who can change the way you do things and make things happen is you. For my coaching to be effective you must be ready and willing to make changes and to complete the actions that you suggest and agree to during the session.
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein
“Whether you believe you can or you can’t do something, you’re right!” Henry Ford
How many sessions will I need?
This will depend to some extent on what you want to achieve through coaching and how much support you feel you need. Experience shows that a commitment to five sessions for workplace coaching and three sessions for individuals is a good starting point.
What are the practicalities of coaching sessions?
Coaching sessions can be face to face or by telephone or Skype (audio). We ‘meet’ at an agreed appointment time. Sometimes, coaching can be arranged outside the normal working day.
A typical session will last for 60-150 minutes – dependent on the nature of the coaching. First sessions tend to be longer – so that we can establish the contract, explore the goal thoroughly, set measures and start on the coaching journey. Personality profiling sessions are also longer.
What do we work on in the sessions?
We work on whatever you choose as your priority for the session. If you are unsure about where you would most benefit from coaching, I have a variety of materials and activities which will help prompt you.
I will spend a short time at the beginning of the second and subsequent sessions asking you to review the progress you have made.
What about confidentiality?
A coach must have a trusting relationship with the individuals they coach and confidentiality is paramount. I might be coaching people who know each other or people who are colleagues in the workplace. When coaching within an organisation, I will always discuss confidentiality with both the individual and their manager and agree how progress can be reported while maintaining the integrity of the process.
What knowledge do you have of business issues?
I worked at senior management level in organisations for 20 years as well as working on a consultancy basis with the marketing departments of universities and colleges across the UK and Eire. I was a legal director of an educational charity and have been an operational board member of one of the UK’s leading recruitment communications companies. I have been coaching executives and managers in pharmaceutical companies since 2010 and now have a client base spanning education, B2B and commercial sectors.
What training have you had?
I initially spent a year following two professional training programmes with the Coaching Academy – in Personal Performance and Corporate and Executive Coaching and continue to undertake CPD activities to extend and deepen my practise. I also have a professional diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing and am an NLP Practitioner. I am qualified and licensed to administer the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® Personality Profiling tool and also DISC.
Do you have a coach?
Yes I do – more than one in fact! I fully believe in the power of coaching and over the past year have reaped the results of regular coaching and ‘supervision’ sessions.
What is the investment?
Please contact me for a no obligation discussion about your needs and the investment and payment terms.