What is coaching?

Anthony Grant, a leading coaching psychologist said it better than me: 

“A collaborative, solution focused, result-orientated and systematic process in which the coach facilitates the enhancement of work performance, life experience, self-directed learning and personal growth of the coachee.”

What's coaching really all about?

People decide to hire a coach for different reasons: personal development, business development, career growth, leadership and communication skills etc.

What these reasons have in common is that coaching is a way to bridge the gap between where you currently are and where you want to be. It’s about the coaching assisting you on your journey by enabling you to set goals and priorities, keep you focused and help you figure out how to be your future self.

Is it like counselling?

No. Life and personal coaches are not qualified to diagnose or treat any health-related problems, although if the situation arises they may suggest you see a GP. Whereas counsellors and therapists may focus on your history and how you got to where you are now, coaching concentrates on where you are now and focuses on looking to where you want to be in the future.

Coaching isn't for everyone

If you want to focus specifically on any mental health issues, a life and personal coach won’t be qualified to help you. There is now so much help available for any mental health issues, including the fabulous Blurt Foundation, Time to Change and just talking to your GP or Doctor.

If you’re in crisis, speak to your GP or Doctor, call the Samaritans – they are there to talk 24/7, or just speak to someone.

If you just want advice or answers given to you – coaches aren’t your teachers or your mum. Coaching is about facilitating the answers from within you through powerful coaching conversations. A good coach will challenge you but will not tell you what to do.

If you’re not ready to make any changes to your life.  That’s okay, change is really scary and this might not be the time for you to make any changes.

If it’s not counselling, how’s it different from talking to a friend?

Coaching is not about giving you advice or directing you to a point of view. See coaching more as a conversation that invites you to explore your goals for yourself. A coach is non-judgemental, does not offer unsolicited advice and uses open-ended questions to enable you, the coachee, to set the agenda and determine your goals and priorities.

What are some of the benefits to coaching?

You may gain several benefits from coaching, varying from having a specific time and confidential space for reflection, helping you clarify your goals, raise self-awareness and help you set direction.

What do I have to do?

Above all, be motivated to engage in coaching and be willing to embrace change. The gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future may be very small or may be quite large – it’s the coach’s responsibility to support you but you will be setting the agenda and determining your goals.

How long does coaching last for? Is it something I need to do forever?

No, coaching can be most effective when it’s time limited. I offer 3 month and 6 month packages that have fortnightly sessions either face to face or via Skype. The first session is 90 minutes long so that we can really get into talking about what you’ve got going on and what you want to change. The rest of the sessions are 60 minutes long. For people who are motivated for rapid change, I offer 3 1hr sessions over a period of 3 or 6 weeks.

Where can I be coached?

COVID-19 UPDATE: During these strange times, I’m working with clients online via Zoom.

I work with clients face to face and online.

Face to face sessions: It’s important that we meet somewhere with few distractions. We can discuss this when we chat to set up the first session. I’ve seen clients in meeting rooms, offices, quiet cafes and out and about. I’m a big fan of walking outdoors and am happy to accommodate coaching conversations in the great outdoors.

Online sessions: Once we’ve agreed to work together, we’ll arrange a first online session and I’ll send you a Zoom video invite. You can be coached on the web-based Zoom, no need to download any additional programs.

What will happen in a coaching session?

What we will focus on in each session is entirely led by you. Typically, a session includes where you’re at in that moment, what you want to focus on in the session and we will then look at that focus point in detail (through a series of “powerful questions” to you). You won’t feel rushed to find a solution by the end of each session (or even by the end of the group of sessions) but you will hopefully feel enabled to move forward with your goals. Clients often talk about a ‘lightbulb moment’ when they realise through coaching exactly what they need to do to achieve their goals but this isn’t an expectation of every session! Coaching is led by the client so I offer creative and practical coaching tools as well as us talking.

What's your guarantee?

There are no guarantees with coaching as the answers come from you. I can confirm I’m a qualified Personal and Life Coach through the Leeds Centre for Psychological Development. This qualification was gained over a full year’s worth of training, coaching other people and a heck of a lot of looking at myself and building on my own emotional intelligence.

I am an Associate Member of the Association for Coaching and I work to the ethical guidelines set out by the Association for Coaching.