What does coaching cost?

Your company or institution may have arranged for me to work with you, in which case there is no cost to you but your time and commitment.

If you are working with me privately, your investment (following the free pre-coaching session) will be £75 for a 1-hour one-to-one session with me. I offer a discounted rate for block bookings of 4 x 1-hour sessions (£280) or 6 x 1-hour sessions (£420). If we use a 360 degree feedback instrument, there will be an extra cost. Payment is in advance and you can pay by cheque or by Paypal.

Power, presence and perceptions

A bit of pondering on an autumn afternoon off…
As we move up the ladder at work, whether we become lecturers or administrators or managers or other holders of senior positions, we change and grow and our knowledge increases and our experience broadens. Our skills and abilities stretch and our opinions become more robust. Our viewpoints change as we see the bigger picture. Maybe we have to become more focussed on strategy, perhaps appearing less caring about the smaller things – and I’d say that’s natural and is probably the only way those responsible for large organisations can function effectively. We may also dress differently – more formally perhaps – which changes the physical perception of our presence. Power always adds presence (I think because of the obligations that come with it), whether we recognise it or not.

But I’m willing to bet that inside, we feel the same as we always did. I was speaking to an elderly gentleman the other day and asked him if he felt any different having reached his eighty-fifth year. His response confirmed my own experience: he felt exactly the same as he had in his twenties – it was merely that his image reflected in the mirror in a morning was different.

The perceptions bit of this ramble though, is about how others perceive us. When you were promoted to a position of leadership amongst your colleagues, how did your attitude towards them change? And more to the point, how did their attitude to you alter? Like it or not, someone appointed to lead suddenly becomes ‘them’… ‘Management (TM)’. Suddenly we are no longer ‘us’ but have become ‘them’. No doubt you spent some time thinking about how you managed the transition and I’d be interested to hear your thoughts and experiences.

Of one thing I’m certain – the effect we, in our new positions, have on those with whom we were once ‘us’ is something we need to consider and take very seriously. We appear different and have a different ‘presence’ whether we know it or not. I’ll give you an illustration…
Continue reading

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.


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.


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.

Why do I need a coach?

Top sportsmen and women employ top coaches to help them achieve performances which stretch excellence even further. Their coach is focussed totally upon them, challenging them to overcome every tiny deficiency in their performance so as to improve upon their current success.

In organisations dedicated to the continuing personal and professional performance of their staff, coaches are allocated to the high flyers and high achievers to stretch them in a similar way to that in which a sports coach stretches an athlete. An executive coach is a valuable facilitator of change. Your coach will encourage and support you, and help you to stretch what Dr. Angus Mc. Cloud refers to as your “frame of reference” so as to discover new perspectives and explore your perceptions from a different angle. Executive coaching is explicitly linked to the strategic business or institutional objectives and will challenge you to look at things differently and to think differently.

What is coaching?

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) defines coaching as follows:

“Coaching targets high performance and improvement at work and usually focuses on specific skills and goals, although it may also have an impact on an individual’s personal attributes (such as social interaction or confidence). The process typically lasts for a relatively short period.

Although there is a lack of agreement among coaching professionals about precise definitions, the following are some generally agreed characteristics of coaching in organisations:

  • It is essentially a non-directive form of development, though this is not a hard and fast rule.
  • It focuses on improving performance and developing individuals’ skills.
  • Personal issues may be discussed but the emphasis is on performance at work.
  • Coaching activities have both organisational and individual goals.
  • It provides people with feedback on both their strengths and their weaknesses.
  • It is a skilled activity, which should be delivered by people who are trained to do so.”

The International Coaching Federation (ICF) define coaching as:

“an ongoing partnership that helps clients produce fulfilling results in their personal
and professional lives. Through the process of coaching, clients deepen their learning,
improve their performance, and enhance their quality of life …..in each meeting, the
client chooses the focus of conversation, while the coach listens and contributes
observations and questions. This interaction creates clarity and moves the client into
action. Coaching accelerates the client’s progress by providing greater focus and
awareness of choice. Coaching concentrates on where clients are today and what they
are willing to do to get to where they want to be tomorrow”

These are the contexts within which I offer coaching in HE.

Coaching is not about the past – it’s about the future.