What is coaching after all?
The CIPD succinctly defines coaching as a development technique based on the use of one-to-one discussions to enhance an individual’s awareness, skills, knowledge or work performance. Coaching targets high performance and improvement either at a personal level or at work and usually focuses on specific skills and goals. When done effectively coaching has significant impact on an individual’s personal attributes such as social interaction or confidence.
Who is it for?
- Anyone can benefit from undertaking a coaching program. We have worked with individuals and organisations on a range of challenges. Typically people come to us for coaching because they are facing a change in their life. Some examples of coaching work we conduct includes:
new managers and directors to support their development as part of their increasing responsibilities
- individuals that are at a change in their lives either as a result of their personal situation or their environment at work
- individuals that are going back to work following a period of absence including maternity or paternity leave
- teams who have used group coaching sessions to further enhance their performance and increase their awareness of each others’ strengths and abilities
- senior executives who are required to develop high-level. strategic goals for their organisations
- individuals who tells us they feel ‘at a loss’ or ‘confused’ with what to do next
How long does it take?
The process typically lasts for a relatively short defined period of time and we encourage our clients to complete a coaching programme within 6 sessions. Sessions are usually 2-6 weeks apart. This depends on whereabouts on the coaching process you are and the type of goals that you would like to achieve.
What’s different between personal, career or executive coaching?
The process that we undertake with you is essentially the same. We structure your goals around a number of conversations and milestones. However, executive coaching is tailored towards your performance within the workplace. Personal coaching looks more holistically at your performance and development. An underlying principle of life coaching is that your performance whether at work or in your personal is all interlinked. Therefore we consider all of these elements. That said, our approach to executive coaching also looks at you as an individual, taking into consideration personal pressures and commitments. Leave the definitions to us though and don’t let the terminology confuse you. Have a chat with us to see if it is a suitable development activity for you.
Who will the coach be?
Most of our coaching is delivering by Joseph Grech. Joseph is accredited by the ICF (International Coaching Federation) and has worked with clients on a one to one capacity for over 10 years. For a full biography of Joseph’s experience and qualifications feel free to visit our About Us page. Joseph also works with a number of accredited associates who provide coaching as part of the Smarter Learning team.
How do I prepare for my session?
You only need commitment. Undertaking a coaching program is a rewarding experience: it is a challenging and enriching process that will allow you to develop and achieve lifelong change. You need to be ready to undertake this process and work in partnership with the coach in order to achieve this. Typically the coach will work with you so that you can create a plan for your development. Your coach will then support you in achieving the goals that you have set yourself in this plan.
Will you be providing me with advice?
A general confusion around coaching is that the coach is there to give you advice and ‘tell you what to do’. This however is not how coaching actually works. A coach will assist you in approaching things pragmatically. Through questions and exercises, a coach will try to get a good idea of how you look at the world. From this they will be able to help you identify the most effective route to your goal. Some people feel intimidated by the idea of change and so need to take things very slowly to fulfil their goals. In this situation a coach might divide ultimate goals into smaller bite-sized pieces. Other people get impatient and lose interest if their dreams aren’t realised immediately. In this situation a coach might suggest introducing stronger reminders and incentives to keep them on track.
Who can call themselves a coach?
Unfortunately there is no regulation around who can call themselves a coach in the UK or in the US. This means that anyone can essentially design a business card and call themselves a coach. Because of this, it can pay to do your research very carefully. To reassure you, at Smarter Learning our coaches have either provided us with evidence of membership with a recognised professional body, or sent copies of relevant qualifications and insurance cover.
What actually happens in a session?
Sessions will typically be for a specific duration, often between 50 and 60 minutes. During the session, your coach will ask you about what you want to get out of life, what areas you’re unhappy with and where you’d like to see yourself ending up. Although a coach will work with you, it’s often up to you to challenge or reflect upon certain ideas to help you move forward with your life. You will never be forced to make any decisions you don’t feel comfortable with and all sessions will be confidential, allowing you to explore your thoughts and feelings privately.
Coaching is a partnership between you and your coach, who will gently encourage you to explore how to make positive changes in your life. Depending where you are on the coaching process your coach will be either supporting you in creating goals, reviewing strategies in achieving these goals or reflecting on your performance, achievements or challenges you are facing.
Where are the sessions held?
This varies depends on your preference. We want to make this as easy and flexible as possible for you. Coaching can be undertaken either face-to-face in Central London, over Skype, FaceTime or on the phone. For organisations we typically visit your offices or hire out rooms.
What if I do not know what I want to achieve?
We get asked this question a lot. From business owners that are unsure of their next steps to employees that feel unfulfilled in their careers and don’t know what to do. It’s fine to come into the coaching process without a clear understanding of what you want to achieve. Uncovering your goals and understanding what you want to achieve is part of the coaching process.
What is the difference between coaching and counselling?
The fundamental difference between counselling and coaching is that counselling usually investigates the roots and causes of potential mental health problems, whereas coaching focuses mainly on the future to encourage personal-development and self-improvement. Coaching will typically focus on your future – on what you what to achieve; in your career or personal life. Coaches are not qualified to diagnose or treat any health-related problems and if the situation arises we will support you to seek the help of a GP.
Can I talk to someone about all of this?
Definitely! We want to get to you and we will also provide a free consultation. Rapport is one of the most important parts of coaching. If you feel uncomfortable with your professional, you are unlikely to gain much from the session. We want to make sure that you fully understand the process and how coaching works before starting a coaching program.
Feel free to contact us directly with any questions or simply to have a chat on +44-7595049150 or on firstname.lastname@example.org.