Frequently Asked QuestionsWhat do you need to know about being coached?
Piecing the puzzle together can be tricky. Some general information about coaching can be found here, and specific questions are answered below. Just click on each one to expand. If you’d like to ask anything else, feel free to contact me using the details at the foot of the page. I will do my best to give you any information you need. Coaching is a very open, relational process, so it’s important you feel absolutely comfortable in order to get the best out of it.
How can coaching help me?
Coaching can be applied to almost any area of your life, either personal or professional. Generally, desired outcomes fall into three main categories: wanting to be something, have something or do something. You may want something tangible, like support to complete a particular project, or something more along the lines of personal development, such as gaining confidence in social situations. You decide what you would like to work on, and have total control of the agenda. You might want to improve your performance in an existing area or branch out into completely new territory.
How does coaching work?
Coaching is conducted through a series of sessions, lasting 60 minutes on average, taking place about every 2-3 weeks. The duration and frequency can be tailored to suit your schedule and preferences. We can connect by phone, Skype or face to face, if geography allows. Again, you dictate the nature of the coaching relationship in this respect.
You make progress by setting yourself goals to work on between sessions and you are accountable only to yourself for your successes. I am not here to check up on you, judge you or criticise you if you fail to achieve your goals. My job is to motivate you, enthuse you and raise your awareness of where you currently are with things, what obstacles you might face, and what it is within yourself that might be holding you back.
What makes a good goal?
The essence of coaching lies in the achievement of goals. The first thing to say here is that the word ‘goal’ is a generic term. Some people don’t like it and prefer to talk in terms of ‘outcomes’, ‘aims’, ‘targets’ and the like. If ‘goal’ doesn’t work for you, that’s fine and does not preclude you from coaching!
For really great coaching an excellent goal has several characteristics. It should be SMART, which means it should be:
- Specific. You need to know what you’re aiming for;
- Measurable. You have to be able to say when you’ve achieved it;
- Appropriate. Whatever you set yourself as a goal mustn’t clash with other areas of you life or with what you believe to be right;
- Recorded. This is really important! A goal must be written down, to make it concrete and something you can return to time and again;
- Timed. You must attach an ‘achieve by’ date to a goal, so you have something to aim for. A goal without a date is just a dream!
Also, a perfect goal should be in the positive (what you do want, rather than what you don’t want) and personal to you. Goals that aim to achieve things for other people are generally difficult to bring about.
Don’t worry if this all seems a little complicated. I’m here to help you to set goals that will work for you.
What can I expect from my Coach?
Your Coach is a catalyst to spark your development, learning and achievement in a non-judgemental, non-critical environment. Coaching is a relationship of equals. In no way is a Coach an authority figure or teacher. On a basic level, a coaching session is just a conversation between two people. It’s as relaxed and informal as you want it to be. Outside of sessions I’m available by email to answer questions, offer encouragement if you get stuck or need a motivation boost or, of course, to listen to accounts of your successes! As your Coach, I believe implicitly that you already have the ability to fulfil your goals.
Coaching can touch on personal elements of your life, so it operates on a basis of confidentiality. I am bound by a Code of Ethics and also by Data Protection legislation. More information about this is available on request and is provided as a matter of course if you choose to work with me.
What does my Coach expect from me?
Ideally you should have a real desire for change and recognise there is an area or areas where you want to improve. You might well have an appreciation of where you are now compared to where you would like to be. Change can be frighening, but coaching can help you overcome this to make the changes you want.
When you make successful breakthroughs, they are all the more powerful because you have taken ownership of and responsibility for your own situation and actions. Any advice or suggestion offered by your Coach wouldn’t mean the same to you and would be less motivating that your own ideas. Everything stems from your desire for change.
On a practical level, you should be committed to the process, keep appointments whenever possible, and be prepared to invest time and energy in working on your goals.
Is there any studying or homework to do?
No! Other than working on your goals there is no inherent ‘homework’ involved in coaching. Occasionally, it may be appropriate to offer you activities that fit in with your progress, but these are never compulsory and the value of your coaching will not be diminished if you decide not to take them up.
As you get into the rhythm of coaching and start to feel enthusiastic about your growth, you may well find yourself wanting to explore related self-development subjects and that’s great, but not a prerequisite.
Is coaching a form of therapy or counselling?
No, coaching is completely separate from these interventions and is not a substitute for them. A coach may not be qualified as a therapist or counsellor. If coaching is not suitable for you, a good coach will help you to see why this is so, and will encourage you to decide for yourself if another intervention might be preferable.
The tone of coaching is very different from these other disciplines. Coaching is a relationship of equals where the agenda is set by the Coachee. There is no suggestion that the Coach is a figure of authority, and the Coach will not offer advice on health or medical matters.
I like the sound of coaching, but am nervous about it. Is this normal?
Absolutely! Doing something new can be challenging in many ways, but that’s not necessarily a reason for not doing it. When you come to coaching, no assuptions will be made regarding your understanding of it, or about how confident you are. All that matters is that you want to make progress.
I’m available to chat about your concerns, provide more information or address any anxieties you may have. It’s also worth saying that coaching has no stigma associated with it. Having coaching does not imply any kind of deficiency or weakness. Indeed, it’s a very positive, life-affirming process and shows you are interested in self-development and learning. Coaching doesn’t only lead you to new pastures, it can help you do what you’re doing already, but better.
I don't have a specific goal, but I want to change 'me'. Can coaching help?
Certainly! Coaching is great for enhancing or changing charater traits such as building confidence or reducing stress. However, there always needs to be some kind of goal in mind from the start. For example, building confidence in order to pass a job interview, or reducing stress to perform better at important meetings. Remember that a goal must always be measurable in some way that means something to you.
Coaching may also be able to help with fears and anxieties, but if these are extreme, then maybe a more scientific or medically-based discipline might be a better alternative.
Isn't coaching just a scam?
No. People find real benefits in coaching. It’s the result of an evolution starting in the 1930’s with the publication of the first popular self-help books. Later in the 20th century various forms of analysis and therapy developed, but these mostly dealt with single medical or mental issues. Many of them failed because they created a dependency on the therapist.
In the 1980’s, it was realised that many people needed an approach that took a wider, more holistic view of life, covering a multitude of areas. So, a new branch of support emerged that was less medically-inclined and concentrated on helping people to move in new directions and think differently. There was no longer a ‘problem’ to ‘fix’, rather an existing base of achievement to build on.
Coaching has moved on from the early days of gurus and fluffy self-development. The kind of coaching I offer is down to earth and practical, driven by concrete results. Of course, it takes a certain amount of effort to see goals through, but if you are willing to work at it, you will see that coaching is certainly not a scam.
Why don't you publish your prices?
When considering coaching, it’s vital that you understand the far-reaching benefits it can bring you. Therefore, I would rather discuss your situation with you first and explain what you could get out of coaching. The benefits go way beyond merely the time we spend together in sessions. Think of it as an investment in your future, and the return you can get on that investment to achieve the results you want. If you purely evaluated the cost in terms of session minutes, you may judge it to be expensive, but a wider view is needed here.
An enquiry and discussion about coaching is never taken as an intention to sign up, and there is no obligation to take things further. You can walk away if you decide it’s not for you, or it costs more than you are willing or able to pay. In fact, I would rather you be 100% sure that this is what you want before handing over any money. Also, we both need to be certain we are right for each other, in order for coaching to work at its best. That’s the reason there is no facility to buy coaching online from this website. We need to talk first.
Rest assured, once we do get onto prices, everything is transparent. There are no hidden costs or recurring fees.
What can you offer that other coaches don't?
That’s a tough question, but I have 50 years of life experience and can appreciate the kinds of difficulties people experience. My time as a former Special Constable in the Metropolitan Police taught me to deal with a huge variety of situations and emotions. I’ve had my share of ups and downs including bereavement, serious illness and having to come to terms with needing a hip replacement at the relatively early age of 46. But I’ve always bounced back, and believe that these kinds of knocks only make you a stronger and better person.
Anyone seeking coaching in the business sphere might be reassured to know that I have been operating as a sole trader and running my own business in the UK media industry for over 20 years and now, of course, I work as a self-employed Coach as well. In terms of my coaching credentials , I was trained by The Coaching Academy in London, the largest organisation of its kind in Europe.
A personal connection between a Coach and Coachee is really key to the relationship working well, and I like to think that I am positive, approachable, reliable and have a good sense of humour.
It’s important to me that you feel comfortable, which is why I would never agree to coach you without talking first.
You can click here to find out what other people think of my coaching.
What's with the triangle logo?
When I was searching for an emblem to encapsulate the spirit of my coaching, I wanted something that gave a sense of continual progress, because that’s just what coaching offers. The optical illusion of the ‘infinite’ triangle really appealed to me because it never ends, just like our learning never ends as we go through life. The multiple facets of the triangle are like the multiple elements we all juggle on a day-to-day basis.
As for the colours, orange is vibrant and energetic, while blue is cooling, relaxing and natural. A perfect balance for coaching!