Seriously! What is coaching? And why should you even consider coaching, let alone spend a bunch of money on it?
Coaching is a word that gets used very much, but perhaps not always in the right context. It often gets confused with teaching, consultancy and mentoring. Coaching certainly is an educational tool, but not in the traditional sense where a teacher tells a student what to do.
Let me try to shed some light on it all. Coaching is a very powerful method which aims to elicit answers and solutions to the problems you’re facing, from yourself through carefully designed questions and exercises. These are designed to uncover thoughts and knowledge that you already have, but which perhaps are blocked by layers of confusion, uncertainty, worry and limiting beliefs among others.
By helping you find the answers yourself, coaching aims to ensure that the solutions you come up with are workable for you, and sustainable long term.
Simply put, coaching helps you find solutions or answers or a way forward that works for you! Rather than a solution imposed on you by someone else, who perhaps sees the world very differently to you, leaving you with more questions and issues than what you started with…
This means that you do a lot of hard work when working with a coach. A good coach is right in there with you, supporting you and helping you find your way through, using powerful questions to unlock thoughts within you.
So what do I do?
You might be wondering what it is I do in that case? Why is coaching worth spending money on?
In my experience, coaching using proven models, questions and methods, is extremely powerful. Much more so than simply giving you a solution because that is what worked for me when I was in a similar situation. Clients often say the experience can be intense, at times even emotional, as they discover new things about themselves and make new connections between pieces of information they already had.
I also believe that having a coach who is experienced in their field of coaching is valuable. Simply sharing ideas and information through mentoring and consultancy can also start new trains of thought leading to new ideas. Therefore finding a coach who is experienced both as a coach and as in the area of coaching they are providing is a key to success.
For every coaching session, I spend time reviewing the information from the client to come up with the most appropriate coaching models and exercises which I think will have the most impact. Following each session, I will reflect and write an internal report on my own coaching; a critical coaching review if you like, to enable me to keep developing as a coach.
All this means that a single coaching session, which might be 60 to 90 minutes, is about 4 hours work that I do to ensure you get the very best service possible. On top of that, I make myself available between sessions to support you, answers questions, maybe nudge on any actions you committed to as well as manage our journey together in a transparent way which we can both see. I also provide you with tools where appropriate for you to try out using in your day-to-day life.
So as you can see, a single coaching session with me is more than an hour of us having a chat. Much more in fact. I work hard to ensure you get value from our work together, and we will always work to try to make sure that that value is reflected in the solutions and results you achieve.
And what is my expertise?
I am a transformational coach, focusing on helping you achieve change; lasting, sustainable change. This can be in your personal life, in your career or in your business.
Why am I an expert? I have achieved profound change in my life. To some, I am living the dream; a travelling lifestyle, seeing the world. And this lifestyle in itself is a life of change; different places and people every day, different food, a different place to sleep. The environment for my key needs are different all the time and I manage this as part of my day-to-day life.
I achieved this amazing lifestyle in part by working for myself, so I know the challenges of being an entrepreneur. I know how hard it can be; trying to be expert in every field, having to find answers and solutions yourself, not having a good sounding board to bounce ideas… I know, I’ve been there too.
The other part which has made my lifestyle possible is the career I had before. The comfortable, corporate life which I’ve given up completely for a life on the road. I worked hard, tried to say ‘Yes’ to the right opportunities and worked my way up the ladder, changing roles and industries along the way. So I really understand the challenges of growing your career as well, and I really don’t believe a person is ever boxed in because of their experiences.
Finally, I have a real firm belief in people and their ability. I see people limiting their world, their horizons every day by self-doubt and dis-belief. I believe in you! Not in your self-doubt, so I will work to help you, and together we will go on a journey of self-discovery and growth!
What the professional bodies say
Don’t just take my word for it. I am a fully qualified coach, and I measure myself against the competencies set out by the professional bodies. Here are some of their definitions of coaching.
The International Coach Federation (ICF), one of the main professional bodies for coaching, defines coaching as follows:
“ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”ICF
The Association for Coaching (AC) expands on this slightly and includes additional definitions for coaching specialisations such as Executive Coaching, however all definitions are based on this:
“A collaborative solution-focused, results-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.”AC