How does coaching work?

The first thing I should say is that I am a non-directive coach, which means I won’t be telling you what to do.

My role in our coaching relationship is to help you determine you short, medium and long-term goals and to help you work towards them in a structured and achievable way. I will act as a sounding board for you and will focus, encourage and challenge you. Throughout the process, you are the focus and privacy and confidentiality are assured.

You may choose to use feedback from your colleagues to help you and in that case I will work through your feedback with you and help you determine and prioritise the actions your decide to take as a result. Alternatively, there may be specific problems you want to solve or changes you’ve already decided you’d like to make and I can help you create a clear vision of how to move forward and will challenge you to achieve your goals. Naturally all our interactions are in the strictest confidence.

Coaching typically lasts between one and three months, but could last longer. This is something we will explore at our first meeting, which may be in person, or by telephone, video-conference or Skype.

Pre-coaching

At our first pre-coaching meeting we will talk about you and why you are considering executive coaching. We will discuss  your role and your initial objectives and priorities. I will explain my approach and answer any questions you have about the coaching process and its possibilities. This meeting will give you the opportunity to experience my style and approach first hand and to decide whether you feel we can work productively together. There is no obligation and either of us may decide at this point that we don’t wish to proceed. There is no charge for our pre-coaching meeting.

Coaching

If you decide to proceed with coaching, in our first coaching session, our aim will be to discover what drives and motivates you and what your main objectives and goals are.  We will also look at obstacles in your path and what else may be holding you back. At this point, it can be very helpful to obtain feedback from colleagues to help you see yourself as others see you. We will draw up a coaching contract between us at our first session.

At our second session, if we have gathered feedback from your colleagues, I will bring your results and work through them with you. In any case, this will be the time for you to determine your priorities and choose two or three to work on.  I will help you set realistic and achievable targets and decide what steps you need to take to reach them.

Subsequent sessions will be used to chart and celebrate progress, to set new goals and to plan how you will achieve them. How many of these sessions will take place will be driven by you and your individual needs. You may wish to decided how many sessions you will need at the beginning of coaching, or you may wish to take a more flexible approach.

At our final session we will review progress against your original objectives and look forward to your future actions to sustain and continue your personal and professional development.

Many of the people I work with say that their coaching sessions are the first time in years anyone has really listened to them. By that, they mean listening with full attention, with the focus on them. Have you ever noticed how, in verbal interactions, one participant is speaking, but the other isn’t really listening. Have you ever been guilty of formulating what you are going to say next, rather than concentrating on what the other person is saying? As your coach, my job is to listen carefully to what you say – and sometimes to what you don’t say – to act as a non-judgmental sounding board and help you to bring your innate skills to the fore.

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