Professional coaching focuses on setting goals, creating outcomes and managing personal change. Sometimes it’s helpful to understand coaching by distinguishing it from other personal or organisational support professions such as the following:
Therapy deals with healing pain, dysfunction and conflict within an individual or in relationships. The focus is often on resolving difficulties arising from the past that hamper an individual’s emotional functioning in the present, improving overall psychological functioning, and dealing with the present in more emotionally healthy ways. Coaching, on the other hand, supports personal and professional growth based on self-initiated change in pursuit of specific actionable outcomes. These outcomes are linked to personal or professional success. Coaching is future focused. While positive feelings/emotions may be a natural outcome of coaching, the primary focus is on creating actionable strategies for achieving specific goals in one’s work or personal life. The emphases in a coaching relationship are on action, accountability, and follow through.
Individuals or organisations retain consultants for their expertise. While consulting approaches vary widely, the assumption is the consultant will diagnose problems and prescribe and, sometimes, implement solutions. With coaching, the assumption is that individuals or teams are capable of generating their own solutions, with the coach supplying supportive, discovery-based approaches and frameworks.
A mentor is an expert who provides wisdom and guidance based on his or her own experience. Mentoring may include advising, counselling and coaching. The coaching process does not include advising or counselling, and focuses instead on individuals or groups setting and reaching their own objectives.
Training programmes are based on objectives set out by the trainer or instructor. Though objectives are clarified in the coaching process, they are set by the individual or team being coached, with guidance provided by the coach. Training also assumes a linear learning path that coincides with an established curriculum. Coaching is less linear without a set curriculum.
b: Though sports metaphors are often used, professional coaching is different from sports coaching. The athletic coach is often seen as an expert who guides and directs the behavior of individuals or teams based on his or her greater experience and knowledge. Professional coaches possess these qualities, but their experience and knowledge of the individual or team determines the direction. Additionally, professional coaching, unlike athletic development, does not focus on behaviors that are being executed poorly or incorrectly. Instead, the focus is on identifying opportunity for development based on individual strengths and capabilities.
Where will the coaching sessions take place?
We can work together with face to face meetings, by Skype or phone call. Face to face meetings will take place in a neutral venue that is convenient for us both, telephone and Skype sessions are convenient if you are pressed for time.
Do I need to prepare anything before my first session?
Before your first coaching sessionI will ask you to complete a questionnaire. This ensures that your coaching time is spent as productively as possible and it will be a helpful first step in clarifying your needs and becoming clearer about what you want to achieve. Sessions are individually tailored and your personal questionnaire is designed to help you to think about what you’d like to achieve from coaching within the context of your whole life. Whatever issue you bring to coaching, we’ll keep this big picture in view – a great way to ensure you leave with long-term and sustainable results.
How many coaching sessions will I need, and how often will my sessions be?
This very much depends on where you are now and what you’d like to achieve. I offer tailored packages based on your needs and requirements as you may want to work with me regularly (every two weeks, for instance) or for a defined period (such as three to six months). Or you may prefer ad hoc sessions to deal with specific challenges as they arise. Alternatively, you may want to work on longer-term goals, and have a regular monthly session. We can discuss this to ensure that you get the best support possible.
How can I be sure to get the results I want?
Our coaching relationship is a partnership where will work together in a collaborative process to maximize your personal and professional potential. It is like any relationship what you get out of it is what you put into it. This will include doing pre-work before our sessions commence, engaging and being fully present in the process and committing to action our agreed tasks and being fully open and honest during our partnership.
Is coaching for me?
Please feel free to pick up the phone to me for a chat. We will have an open, no obligation chat for approximately 20 minutes to see if coaching is for you or even if I am the right coach for you. You can call or email any time to arrange a time that will suit you to talk.
Can I trust you?
Yes, everything we discuss in our sessions is treated in the strictest confidence with no judgement and I will not share any information or details with any other person (subject to any requirements placed on me by law)