Who is coaching for?
Coaching is for anyone who wants to be somewhere different to where they currently are in their life or career. It is then fundamentally about change — no one gets a coach to stay the same. Whether the topic is personal, to do with empowering yourself to achieve your goals for example; or organisational, involving matters such as resolving conflict in a team, coaching can help you find a path forward.
What is coaching and how is it different to mentoring, counselling and therapy?
Mentoring usually involves the mentor providing advice and perspectives from a place of having more experience in a particular field. Counselling and therapy generally seek to support the individual to deal with something from their past that is affecting their emotional and psychological state in the present (e.g. bereavement). Counselling and therapy are then typically backward looking.
Coaching on the other hand is fundamentally forward looking and deals with high functioning individuals. The goal of coaching, at least the kind I provide, is to support you to find the answer to your issue/problem/question from within yourself. The coach is not there to “tell” you what to do, but rather to support you to figure out what’s right for you. I view coaching as a partnership built on mutual trust and honesty that allows the coach to offer challenge, while at the same time being supportive.
What is the difference between executive and life coaching?
The terms executive coaching and life coaching could be (and are) used synonymously. Some coaches may use these labels to imply a certain emphasis in their approach, perhaps a preference for engaging with clients grappling with more work related issues, rather than issues in their personal lives.
I believe that work and life are inextricably linked. This is particularly true in our technologically augmented urban lives now more than ever. To separate work and life then, would be doing a disservice to my clients. Whether the topic is career related or of a more personal nature, my aim is to support you find a path forward.
How do I find the right coach for me?
It is extremely important that you find a coach that you feel you can trust and work with wholeheartedly. It is for this reason that I first meet all potential clients for a quick coffee to understand their goals in detail and to establish if we can work together in a productive manner. Honesty, openness and a willingness to ask the difficult questions of oneself are key to establishing a successful coaching relationship. You can find more information about how to choose a coach here.
How are the sessions structured?
I typically offer 6 to 8 sessions of 90 minutes each to be had over a period of 6 to 12 months. This is a sufficiently long enough period to build trust and tackle topics at a deep level. I do not believe in open ended coaching assignments or those that span many years as this risks creating dependency. My goal is to empower the coachee and if I cannot support them to find a way forward in 6 to 8 sessions, then I am not the right coach for them.
Do you offer Skype coaching?
Absolutely. Not all my clients are based in the United Kingdom and I use Skype for one-to-one executive and leadership coaching. I may use a mixture of video and audio-only Skype coaching for different sessions over the course of a coaching programme. I find telephone coaching (i.e. audio only) particularly effective, as it really allows me to listen deeply and tune into the client, without the distraction of a sometimes delayed video feed. My aim would be to work together with you to decide whether video or telephone works best for your needs.
What about confidentiality?
Everything discussed in the sessions will be entirely confidential and between the coach and client (unless otherwise agreed). The only reason I would break confidentiality is if I feel that the individual is going to do some harm to themselves or to someone else, in which case I will have to tell somebody!