What is coaching?

How do I know if coaching is right for me?

  • Do you feel that currently you aren’t reaching your potential and feeling fulfilled?
  • Is there a gap of where you are now to where you want to be?
  • Do you sometimes feel you don’t have the skills, resources or confidence to get something complete?
  • Do you feel stuck and put off making decisions or fail to stick to those decisions you have made?
  • Are you ready to entertain new and fresh ideas?
  • Are you willing to be accountable for what you desire?
  • Are you committed to making a positive change?

If you answer yes to any of these questions then coaching can most definitely support you to be the best that you can be.

What is coaching?

Coaching is a forward-looking process. It's used to help you unlock your potential. It's a useful way of developing your own skills and abilities, and boosting your performance. It’s a tool that is used to empower individuals and help them reach their goals; it is a structured conversation between the coach and the client.

Coaching can be best described as a partnership. Both the coach and the client are committed to improvement and achieving the best. The client is the expert in their life. The client has all the answers already. The coach has the tools and techniques to help you realise this and to support you in overcoming challenges and obstacles. You might not believe you have the answers and the abilities to succeed, but you do - you wouldn't have approached a coach if you didn't have the abilities within you to succeed. The focus is on you. What do you want? How can you achieve it? What are you going to do to get beyond any challenges in your way?

During a coaching session your coach will walk by your side to help you to reach your ultimate goal and aspirations. They will listen to you, ask questions, find out what your challenges are and inspire you to reach that end goal.

You will be encouraged to make decisions and take responsibility for these decisions.

What coaching is not

Many people have many different ideas of what coaching is. Coaching does not concentrate on the past. It doesn't help resolve childhood issues, etc. It's not therapy or counselling. The intention is not to resolve emotional issues.

Coaching is non-advisory. Your coach won’t give you advice or show you what to do. They're never going to know your job, relationship, lifestyle better than you. They won't teach you the intricacies of stock market trading or show you how to better create Android apps. A mentor specialised in the appropriate field is what you'd need in these situations.

If you commence a series of coaching sessions and it is deemed that coaching is not the correct support mechanism for you at this moment in time this will be discussed with you directly to find a suitable solution to support your onward journey.

How does coaching work?

Different coaches use different models to structure their sessions. A popular model is the GROW model which is an acronym for the areas explored, Goals, Reality, Options and Way forward.

This model keeps you moving forward towards your goal. Your coach will be asking you questions, listening to your responses, challenging you whilst all the time maintaining a non-judgemental standpoint.

What will happen during a coaching session?

Coaching is mainly a conversation. It might be a half hour session. It might be a number of sessions over many weeks. But it's all about talking. You'll be asked many questions. You'll talk a lot. You'll identify what you want. You'll identify the routes and paths towards realising your goals. Together, you and your coach will refine your goals and come up with a structured plan as to how to achieve them. The coaching relationship means that the client becomes accountable to themselves and the coach for their own success. After all, people are much more likely to engage with solutions that they have come up with themselves, rather than those that are forced upon them! Coaching works best when everyone clearly understands the reason for hiring a coach, and when they jointly set the expectations for what they want to achieve through coaching.

Coaching is predominantly carried out over the telephone/Skype or face-to-face.

Each coaching relationship is unique, but generally you will be guided through a six-point process.

  1. Review the previous session and the actions that you completed
  2. Set the goal for that session
  3. Consider where you are at the present moment with this goal
  4. Consider your options in meeting this goal
  5. Agree on some actions
  6. Summarise the session before completing the session.

Who else will know what has been said?

A coaching session is completely confidential. Coaches follow a Code of Conduct. It is a mutual expectation that all details discussed within a session are entirely confidential. Only in extreme circumstances will this confidence be breached. This includes the intent to cause harm to yourself or others or criminal acts.

What does the coach need from me during a session?

To make sure that your time is being well spent with your coach you are expected to come to the session fully prepared and with a goal or aspiration in mind that you would like to work towards.

Preparation is very important for the coaching session so you are encouraged to spend enough time prior to the session taking yourself to an environment where you will not be disturbed. Set yourself up with a drink and a pen and paper and relax. There may be other items that it would be useful to have to hand such as a diary. If you and your coach have agreed on any preparatory work, have that with you as well.

During the session, take notes. As much writing as you need. These will serve to maintain your memories of the session immediately afterwards, and also in the weeks and months to come.

I want to start coaching now. What do I do?

So, are you up for it? Do you want to start your journey towards better achieving your goals and attaining the life you really want? Are you committed to moving towards a structured and organised approach to your solutions making the best use of everything you already have?

Do you have any questions? I'd love to hear them.

Arrange a free 30 minute session where we can discuss your requirements in a little more depth and find out how you would like to be coached. From this, we can agree on what package would be suitable and arrange a date for an initial ‘intake’ session where we will explore your aspirations and what you’d like to achieve.

Coaching isn't always for everyone.
You might find it more appropriate with speak to a mentor or counsellor.
If you wish to speak with a counsellor, I can recommend Siobhan Toner.