What is coaching?
Coaching is different for everyone, tailored to individual needs and circumstances. As such, coaching cannot be described in general terms without losing some of its essence. To truly understand what coaching is, you need to experience it.
In essence, coaching is like a lighthouse. It provides illumination and guidance, but you are the captain of your boat. You make the decisions, you take the actions, you stay in control. Through coaching you will discover new insights, resources, ideas and solutions that work uniquely for you and your context.
Coaching is basically a catalyst for change. It provides the headspace and support you need to move forward in a meaningful way — with purpose, clarity and confidence. Coaching is a powerful conversation that opens your eyes to what’s going on and how you can achieve what you want. At the same time, a good coach treats you as the expert in your own life and recognises that you have the power and resources to move forward under your own steam. As such, coaching is not training, counselling or consulting.
How beneficial is coaching?
Research has shown that coaching, done right, consistently generates results. The return on investment (ROI) from various studies is usually quoted to be in the range of 200% to 1000% at an organisational level. In my experience it can be much higher than that, especially at the individual level. And that’s not counting the qualitative benefits of having more clarity, purpose, motivation, productivity, fulfilment or wellbeing.
Another study showed that coaching, when coupled with training, increased productivity by 88% versus 22% for training alone. Even if you’ve been lucky enough to receive training at work, coaching is like a booster rocket that will get you to the next level.
Why work with a coach?
In many endeavours it is accepted wisdom that you should have a coach — take sport or music, for example. Beginners and elite performers all have coaches. Strangely the same is still not true in business, although things are gradually changing.
When we leave school or university it is somehow expected that we should know how to live and work. But how is trigonometry going to help us deal with a tricky customer? How is medieval history going to help our team be more collaborative? At work we might be lucky enough to get further training, but then how do we apply the learnings in day-to-day, real-world situations?
In your business or career there may be countless reasons why you should work with a coach, none of which could ever be neatly wrapped into a training course or generic development program — because they are unique to you and your circumstances. Coaching is entirely tailored to you, helping you answer your question.
When is coaching useful?
Some people work with a coach because they want to develop as leaders or move their business forward. Others want to develop their careers.
Some people want to achieve something completely new. Others want to work through complex challenges that are facing them right now.
Some people know exactly what they want. Others just want some headspace to think and bounce off with someone they can trust.
What they all have in common is a desire for meaningful change and progress. Whether it’s getting clear on priorities, achieving more impact, developing strategy, improving teamwork, preparing for a big meeting or job interview, or anything else that is important in your world right now, coaching gives you the clarity you need to take intentional steps forward.
How long is a coaching session?
Coaching sessions are usually scheduled for 1 hour over Zoom. I also do other formats, such as extended strategy or ‘whiteboard’ sessions and team coaching/facilitation. Contact me for details.
How many coaching sessions do I need?
This differs from person to person. Some of my clients had a transformative insight in their very first session and decided that was all they needed. Others want a longer term engagement to grow, develop or bounce off regularly — especially leaders and entrepreneurs.
I’m a solution-focused coach, which means that you are in control. Our engagement ends when you decide that you have reached your desired outcome or made enough progress to continue your journey on your own. It would serve neither you nor me if we carried on for ten sessions if you reached that point after three. This is why I offer pay-as-you-go flexibility in addition to longer-term engagements.
In terms of frequency, sessions are typically held on a bi-weekly or monthly basis, but it depends on your requirements.
How much commitment is necessary?
Change cannot happen without effort. Having said that, this does not necessarily mean that you have to turn your entire life upside down. Like a boat at sea, even a minor course correction can, over time, take you to a completely new and exciting place.
Once you take the first steps, you’ll find that things will naturally start falling into place. Chances are, through coaching you’ll discover new insights and new pathways that you couldn’t have predicted. Breakthrough aha-moments can never be promised upfront, but they are a beautiful sight when they happen. Witnessing such moments are part of what I love about coaching.
If you’re not sure whether coaching is right for you, simply book a trial session. The rest will become obvious to you.
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