What is Coaching?
The International Coaching Federation (ICF) defines coaching as ‘partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.’
What’s the Difference Between Coaching, Mentoring & Counselling?
There are ways in which coaching is similar to counselling or mentoring but they differ in a couple of key points:
Mentoring is about someone with more experience in a particular field guiding someone who is less experienced. Coaching is not about guiding or giving advice, but helping people to uncover and maximise their own potential and resources through listening, asking insightful questions and enabling the client to reach decisions or make changes.
Counselling is often focussed on the past and recovering from difficult experiences – and whilst the past certainly can come into coaching sessions – the main focus of coaching is on the present or moving forward into the future with purpose and clarity. Also, unlike counselling, coaching is not necessarily about overcoming difficulty – it can also be about achieving highly, reaching goals and becoming the best version of yourself possible. Whilst I do have training in counselling, and certainly use these skills in my practice, I enjoy the forward focus of coaching!
How Does Life Coaching Work?
The individual or couple coming for coaching will have something they are working towards (an aim) which might be for example: ‘Get my thoughts straight about x’, ‘become more confident’, ‘figure out how we work together in our business partnership’ etc. As the coach I will listen to the clients’ thoughts, experiences and hopes – then enable the client(s) to work towards their aim. This happens through asking helpful questions, looking at things from different perspectives, and perhaps other coaching tools if desired by the client. Talking to a coach can be extremely helpful in enabling us to understand our own thoughts and feelings – and see a clear way forward. After each session I send the client an optional follow up email or voice note which summarises the session and the possible next steps discussed with the client….this may include possible exercises or further questions for them to explore if they wish. Some people prefer structure and exercises, whilst others just want a space to talk. I tailor the sessions based on the personal preferences & personalities of the clients I am working with, to optimise the success of the coaching process.
Do I Need a Life Coach?
Most people find coaching to be extremely helpful at giving the space, time and perspective needed to make good decisions and grow personally. Coaching increases self-awareness and understanding of our personality, strengths and values. It allows the time and focus to find the best way forward, instead of just acting out of habit on auto-pilot. The tools coaching offers can help us develop new perspectives, over come difficulties and move forward with purpose. It is my personal opinion that most of us can benefit from seeing a coach.
How Do I Choose a Life Coach?
- Checking that a Life Coach has received an accredited qualification. There are no rules about who can call themselves a coach, so check their credentials.
- If possible, verify any feedback they have posted on their website (check Google, social media etc) to see if they have genuinely received positive reviews.
- Do not be fooled by the idea that an expensive coach is a good coach. Prices of coaches vary massively, but it can simply come down to the amount the coach has decided to charge.
- Think about what you are looking for from a coach. Do you want someone to be directive and authoritative or more client-led? Would you like them to give you homework and tasks between sessions or let you choose your own actions? Coaches vary hugely in their approach so decide what you are looking for and then search it out.
- Check out some websites and book a discovery call or 2. Coaches don’t expect you to commit from the first call, so feel free to see how things go and be honest with them, and yourself, about what you are looking for.
- Find someone you connect with and go for it! We can all make excuses for not taking the leap, but in my experience it’s a step that pays off time and time again.
How Much do You Charge for Coaching?
I don’t publish my prices because I am passionate that no one is disqualified from coaching by their financial situation, so please don’t let this stop you getting in touch! To find out more, please contact me via phone or email; or book an introductory call below.