Overview of coaching
What is coaching?
Coaching is a partnership whereby you work collaboratively with a coach who is trained and qualified in facilitating you through a process of self-discovery, reflection, new thinking, insight, expanding horizons, goal setting and taking action to propel you towards realising those goals!
It provides a future-focused, positive, creative and supportive environment where the focus is exclusively on you and time is entirely for you. Confidentiality and respect for you as your own unique person are paramount and coaching therefore enables you to explore all areas of your life. Whether or how to incorporate coaching into these different areas of your life is exclusively your decision though.
As your coach I have no agenda, you are in the driver seat. What I bring to our sessions is my full attention, robust coaching processes, structures and approaches as well as up to date and relevant knowledge from ongoing professional development.
Neuroscience research informs us about two fascinating ways our brain engages with questions. Firstly the questions we naturally ask ourselves tend to take us down a path we feel most comfortable about, a path with a destination we are already familiar with! Secondly when we ask the questions we think we know the answers to and we don't actually get the answer we assumed would come, we tend to carry on as though we got the expected answer and often don't notice the difference.
Albert Einstein was right. Asking the proper question is absolutely vital, yet our brain tends to only allow us to ask the question we already know to ask. This is where the power of coaching shines through, as a coach I ask you those important questions you haven't considered, those critical few powerful questions that open up your mind, broaden your perspective and help you increase self-awareness and see possibilities that weren't visible before.
As the say, you cannot manage what you can't see. Through coaching you expand your horizon of what is consciously visible to you, so you can look at it, take some distance from and reflect on it and make decisions about it! We all know that once you do are able to do this, taking it forward into positive change becomes that much easier...
Why coaching works
The field of Neuroscience provides insights into why coaching is such a powerful process and can be so effective at generating the positive change you are looking for to achieve your important goals. In a nutshell, our brain has a lifelong inherent capability to alter itself and make new connections that enable us to operate, be and think in new ways. However our brain has a tendency to look at the future through the lens of our past experiences and making new connections takes a lot of energy and encounters a strong opposing force from the brains important function of maintaining the status quo (homeostasis).
In order for us to make these new connections we must put our questions and attention in the right place, for example what success or the desired outcome looks like and focus on the solutions, strategies and new behaviours that will get us there. In other words, the power is in the focus!
Coaching works because this is exactly what it enables, supports and empowers you to do. Taking time out from our hectic lives and busy jobs (often focussed on the drama, detail and problems) to quieten our brain, look at things from different perspectives, tap into new thinking and shift our focus onto the future and solutions.
It is truly amazing what your brain is capable of when it is given this opportunity to engage with what your authentic future looks like, the productive habits you want to establish or positive impact you want to have in your professional and personal life.
“Where we choose to put our attention, changes our brain and changes how we see an interact with the world” – Jeffrey M. Schwartz, MD (Leading Neuroscientist)
What does a coaching partnership typically look like?
The focus of coaching can take many forms and cover any or all areas of your personal and professional life. This is entirely up to you and coaching is therefore a highly personalised process.
An approach, that has proven to work well for the people I have worked with, is a “coaching series”. A coaching series comprises regular sessions of approx 1.5 hours over a 3 to 12 month period. The first session(s) focuses on articulating a clear vision of where you want to go (direction) or where you want to be (destination).
With your vision clear we typically explore the forces that pull you toward that vision (so you have those top of mind and can leverage them) and the forces that pull you away from that vision (things like self-limiting beliefs that no longer serve you so that we can define alternative beliefs that will serve you in moving toward your vision).
The subsequent, "accelerator sessions", are about propelling you forward towards your goals. This includes taking action and experimenting with alternative beliefs, reviewing and adjusting plans, celebrating progress, discovering new insights and new possibilities and developing new pathways in your brain that support the new way of being you want to create.
Sessions can be weekly, fortnightly or monthly with most clients opting for fortnightly which seems to offer a good balance of reflection time and momentum to create positive change. We can collaborate together in person or online via Zoom, whichever is most suitable for you.
What can I work on in a coaching setting?
The essence of coaching is that it is future focused for people who are well and want to address a specific challenge, generate positive change, achieve important goals, reach and exploit their full potential or enhance their well-being.
A coaching partnerships enables you to explore whatever area(s) of your life that really matter to you and want to generate positive change in!
In my coaching work I have helped people to:
- discover their signature strengths and create opportunities to apply these strengths more
- change career path
- determine and realise key life goals
- enhance their leadership skills
- improve their relationships with others
- create a better (and guilt-free) work-life balance
- improve their mental strengths, resilience and bounce back
- lift their performance
- adopt better ways to deal with challenging people and conflict situations
- generate a strong sense of self-awareness
- improve self-confidence and assertiveness
- be more effective in relating to and communicating with other people
- enhance wellbeing and positive functioning
- reduce stress and improve their health
- unpick workplace dynamics and develop change strategies
- live a more authentic life
- break unhelpful and create positive habits
- have a stronger and more positive impact at work or home
These are just some examples of what is possible also for you. You will be amazed how beneficial it is to investment time in just you. To, in our hectic society, have someone listen exclusively to you, reflect with you in a non-judgmental environment, to discover things about yourself you didn't know and to see and create possibilities you didn't know existed!
"The journey of a thousand miles, starts with a single step" - Lao Tzu
Associate Certified Coach
I am an internationally certified coach through the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and abide by their Code of Ethics.
I am engaged in ongoing formal training and supervision to continuously enhance my coaching practice.