Coaching is essentially a conversation between the coach and the coachee with a results orientated context, typically with a focus on improving performance and behaviour in the workplace. Designed to help individuals develop quickly, providing the space for transformation and change. As most of us know changing habits and patterns of behaviour can be difficult even when we recognise that they are holding us back. A coach will observe these habits and work with the coachee to open new possibilities to move through the sometimes-difficult process of change, exploring possibilities and challenges. Coaching is having the space to be listened to and through being presented with powerful thought-provoking questions to help explore new ways of approaching challenges, overcoming barriers and obstacles to better understand your goals and the way forward.
Areas that coaching can support If you’re seeking Leadership or Business Coaching, it’s likely you are in a senior role or are a high-performing employee looking to progress your career. Here are a few areas where coaching conversations can help:
Strategic thinking and business planning.
Interpersonal and communication skills.
Understanding stressors and learning how to cope with potential triggers.
Practising your creativity and intellectual freedom.
Identifying boundaries to create and maintain a good work/life balance.
Identifying and harnessing behaviours that are helpful to your success.
Coaching can also provide you with a safe environment to reflect and refocus on confidential issues, or issues that are important to you. They can also act as a sounding board; something that tends to be less regular the more senior you become. Coaching can help you consider the decisions you are making and to challenge your own view in a non-controversial way. As well as the above, all forms of coaching can give you the space you need to talk about what it is you want from your role, and where you want to be in the future. They can be your support as you learn these new skills and enter a potentially new, intimidating territory, all the while acting as your critical friend until you feel confident enough to continue the path alone.
What to expect I work in a way that is appropriate for each client’s personality and business environment. I will bring a blend of skills provide you with a safe, confidential thinking space; a time for you to talk about your concerns, worries, dreams and goals, and be listened to. Supporting you to mobilise your current resources to solve any problems you face and know the steps to take to achieve your goals. Although I will always offer support and compassion I will challenge and stretch your thinking, whilst ensuring that the balance is correct for you to achieve your goals.
Getting started I will firstly want to contract with the coachee starting by understanding the challenge(s) being faced. Quite often this is supported with some form of assessment/diagnostic this could be a 360, use of a psychometric tool, feedback in the form of an appraisal or simply through a conversation with a line manager. The first session with the coachee will begin with exploring what success looks like for the coachee and translate into a clear goal or goals, depending on the challenge. The following sessions will be led by you during which I will adopt a range of tools depending on the situation. Each session will last around 90 minutes. All sessions are confidential. Click here (about me) to see my guarantee to the coachee.
Where the coaching is held is driven by the coachee as it is fundamental that the environment is comfortable and suitable to having open and honest conversations. This could be in the workplace, away from the workplace at a location of your choice or virtually using online technology. I would begin working with a coachee face-to-face as this helps to build a relationship. However, as time goes on we might choose to take advantage of other forms of media. The coaching can last anywhere between 7 and 12 months, though this will depend on those involved, typically over once the goals have been successfully achieved, or when the coach or the client has decided that they are ready to end the engagement.
What coaching isn’t Mentoring Mentoring if often confused with or referred to interchangeably with coaching. A mentor is typically someone with experience and expertise in the industry you work in. A mentor will look to guide you and your business in the right direction, helping to solve business related problems and promote professional growth. The premise of mentoring is that the mentor has more extensive professional experience than yourself, and offers his/her support, advice and encouragement to help you maximise your potential for professional growth.
What is the difference between coaching and mentoring?
Mentors are usually experts in their field and provide advice and opinions regarding strategies, policies and technical issues.
Coaching is more about evoking answers from the coachee.
Coaching is usually short-term. A business coach is only likely to be involved with you on a short-term basis, until you achieve the desired outcome.
Mentoring is usually more long-term. A mentor will work with you over a relatively long amount of time to progress your development
Coaching tends to be performance driven. The purpose of business coaching is often to improve your performance within a certain job role - this could include enhancing skills and developing new ones.
Teaching/training The focus of teaching is to impart knowledge and information through instruction and explanation. And the goal for the student is usually to pass a test. Once again, learning has a one-way flow.
Counselling Whilst coaching has its roots in psychology, Counselling is a talking therapy that involves a trained councillor listening to you and helping you find ways to deal with emotional issues.