Coaching is a tool that can be used for self development and unblocking problems.
It's a conversation between a coach and a coachee and presupposes that the coachee has all the resources they need to make progress. In its purest form, coaching - unlike mentoring - doesn't seek to offer advice or guidance. Rather, the coach asks the coachee well-chosen questions that help them explore what it is they want to achieve, and how they might go about doing that.
How can Coaching help me?
If you've been thinking about some kind of change you might like to make, whether in your professional or personal life, but are not sure how best to get started then coaching can help you get clarity about what you're trying to achieve and how you might go about achieving it.
For example, perhaps you want to learn a new skill. Or there's a conversation that you need to go really well. Or you need to make a difficult decision. Or perhaps you've had some feedback in an appraisal. The list is endless. The chances are, if there's something you want to change and it's something that you can change then coaching could be helpful. It's important to say that coaching isn't counselling or therapy but for most of the things we find ourselves a bit stuck with it can be very effective, very quickly.
To date, I've coached IT professionals who wanted to achieve all sorts of things. For example, improve processes, reduce waste, prepare for important conversations with clients, their line manager or their team, get clarity on role progression or transition or learn new skills.
What does it involve?
It's a 50-minute conversation in which we explore something you want to achieve - an outcome - and what the next steps might be.
There are several models I tend to use.
The first is The Five-Minute Coach. It's what's known as a 'clean language' model, in that I'm not allowed to add any content, other than asking from a list of specific questions and restating what I've just heard you say. It's not like a typical conversation but seems to quickly get to the heart of the issue and find the best solution very quickly. The name comes from the fact that some of the questions can be used standalone and have an impact in just a few minutes.
The other model is GROW. This is perhaps one of the best known coaching models. The G stands for 'Goal' - what do you want to achieve. 'R' stands for 'Reality' - where are you at present? 'O' stands for 'Options' and we'll explore all sorts of things that you might do to move toward your goal. 'W' stands for 'Will' and is where you identify the best option, and get the motivation to get started on it right now. Anyone who's worked on our discoveries will find that this approach resonates - we're all about goals and options and in many ways coaching is a personal discovery to identify the best thing you can do right now.
There are other models which can be used in specific circumstances but these two are probably the most effective for most outcomes.
How do I get started?
If you'd like a coaching session, simply book a session with me. If you'd like to chat about whether coaching would be suitable, get in touch.
Can I refer someone for coaching?
Of course! If you think that I might be able to help one of your team or a direct report then feel free to refer them to this site for more information and to book a session. It's important that the request comes from the coachee to be sure that it's something they would like to have happen, rather than something you would like to have happen. So if you ask me to approach another person about coaching I'll ask that you refer them to me. I hope that makes sense.
What are the rules?
The rules are quite simple.
First, please come with an outcome in mind - something you want to have happen. Or maybe there's something you don't want to have happen and we can figure out how to flip it around.
Secondly, please know that unless the topic, outcome or actions are illegal or unsafe the coaching session is confidential. I will be taking notes, but I will be sending them to you and not keeping a copy. If we're working together in a workplace setting, I will not be reporting back to anyone else. If you'd like to share anything that happened in the conversation, please do. If someone referred you to me then I'll encourage them to talk to you if they ask me how the session went.
You should be aware, that for health and safety reasons, if we are working in a workplace setting and you raise anything connected to undue stress or pressure, I will need to let your HR team know that they should talk to you regarding this. I will not disclose any details of our conversation regarding this, but for legal reasons, I am obliged to inform them that you have reported suffering from stress. They have an employer’s duty of care for your wellbeing, and this includes ensuring that you are not under excessive workplace stress.
Finally, if I believe that coaching wouldn't be appropriate for your current situation or desired outcome then I will tell you and we can explore who might be able to help you, whether another colleague or a third party.