Coaching is about clarifying what you really want and finding a sustainable, exciting, and fun way for you to get what you want; coaching is not about having someone else motivate you to do the things you don’t want to do but know you should do. Coaching is about having a partner who helps you elicit your own inner wisdom and clarity, helps you see where you stand in your own way, and helps you get unstuck; it is not about having a coach give you advice and tell you what to do. Coaching will help you address the immediate challenges facing you, and it will also give you a set of tools and skills you can continue to use on your own long after the coaching has concluded.
Coaching is a one-to-one relationship, just like mentoring, however, as coaches we are completely impartial and objective, and I am not judging or assessing you at all. Sometimes mentoring can be closely related to sponsorship so the mentor has the ability to influence a person’s career. In coaching, there are no office politics, no assessment and no concern about the confidentiality of what is being said. This means you can relax and be completely open about your concerns, hopes, fears, ambitions and values whilst I hold the space for you. It is rare to find the space and time to have these conversations and to feel truly listened to and supported.
I as the coach will work with you to help identify your goals and ambitions and clarify your strengths and values. I will encourage, support and challenge you to find your own path in order for you to make lasting and transformational changes in your life.
Coaching and counselling both stem from a desire to understand people and what makes them tick, and to help them get more out of life. However, in coaching we won’t spend a lot of time delving into issues of the past. The focus will be more on the present and the future.
It depends on personal circumstances and the objectives of the coaching. Usually, I would recommend a minimum of 6 sessions in order to really build the coaching relationship and have the chance to practice and reflect and therefore to embed any behaviour changes. If you feel you would like to work on longer-term goals than we can work together for up to 12 months which allows you to develop your self-awareness and your ability to coach yourself.
However, there are times when one or two sessions is sufficient, perhaps if you are preparing for an interview, need to write a CV or have a very specific and short term goal. The number of sessions can be reviewed at any time.
Typical sessions are between 60-90 minutes in length to allow us to maintain momentum and really explore a particular issue.
I would recommend about every 2-4 weeks. Any closer together and there isn’t enough time to put into practice what we have discussed. So much of the learning takes place between sessions. However, leaving more than 4 weeks between sessions means we can lose momentum and focus.
I offer face to face sessions which take place somewhere quiet, convenient and comfortable. In addition I offer Skype or phone sessions if that is more convenient due to travel, distance or childcare. I offer sessions in the daytime, evenings and selected weekends.
All of our discussions are completely confidential. If you as a client want to chat about how the session went with your colleagues, boss, friends or family then that is your choice. I may discuss some challenges that arose for me as a coach with my supervisor but that is always completely anonymous. If I am being hired by your company then I may share back with the company some general themes that have arisen across the coaching but again it is completely anonymous.
If, for some reason, I felt that you were at risk of doing harm to yourself or others then I would be obliged under the code of ethics I have subscribed to with the ICF to appropriately disclose this. However, I’d first discuss that with you and we would agree how we would like to proceed.
During the session I don’t personally take any notes. You might draw mind maps, pictures or lists during the sessions and these would be yours to take away. After each session I do take some notes for myself this is just so that I can reflect on the session but these are anonymous.
Creative coaching techniques might help you think a bit differently, open up your perspective, or help you get more clarity in certain areas. This might include some of the following:
- Picture cards – these are the size of large playing cards and they all have different images on them. They help tap into the more visual side of the brain to get a different perspective.
- Mind Maps – you may well have used these before as part of your work. It can provide a useful way to structure and group your thoughts – as well as stimulate new ways of thinking. Often more helpful than a bullet point list.
- Visualisation – a common technique used in sports psychology. By taking the time to see how we want to be in the future it becomes more real and concrete for us and we can often see the path to that future more clearly.
- Mindfulness and meditation techniques - used for when you need time to reflect. They allow you time to refocus and spend some time reconnecting to the present. They are particularly good if you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed or anxious.
- Affirmations and intentions - a tool commonly used to practice positive thinking in order to build confidence, foster empowerment and authenticity.
- Story telling - for you tell your story in a way that is meaningful and memorable to you and to convey or ellicit powerful messages which can help you find direction and bring about change
*I will always ask whether you are happy to give it a go before we try something new or different. If you ever feel uncomfortable then I aim to make our relationship so open that you could just say so and we’ll move on to something different.
Everyone is different so I am open to discussing anything that is concerning you or that you would benefit from talking to someone impartial about. You set the agenda; my role is to facilitate the session and hold the space to allow you time to think and ensure you get the most out of the session. Some of the common issues clients want to discuss include:
- Confidence and self-belief
- Being authentic
- Managing stress, resilience
- Work-Life Congruence
- Developing creativity & innovation
- Returning to work after a career break
- Preparing to have a baby
- Balancing bringing up children and maintaining your own identity
- Career progression
- Career change
- Preparation for interviews, performance reviews
- Managing a difficult colleague or boss
You might have something completely different from this list that you want to work on. Quite often something pops up whilst we are talking. Sessions are fluid in order for you decide what's important for you in that moment.
To get the most out of coaching you need to be willing to open up about what’s working for you and what might be holding you back and you need to be willing to make a change of some kind. If you want to chat through your personal circumstances to see if coaching could help you then please do get in touch either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07791767654.
I have postgraduate certificates in careers advice as well as personal and business coaching. Continuous Professional Development is important to me and as such I attend at least two training courses a year, attend seminars and read books on theory and subjects that interest me such as positive psychology, women, maternity coaching and work.
In addition have a coaching supervisor who I speak with regularly to ensure I am always working in your best interests.
I appreciate your feedback too, particularly what you found helpful and useful as well as what you didn't like. By being honest and open in your feedback it helps me tailor your sessions so you get the most out of them and helps me be the best coach I can be.