These are some of the frequently asked questions around coaching and how I can support you in this area. If you still have questions that aren’t answered here, get in touch!
What is coaching?
The International Coach Federation (ICF) describes coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential”. It’s a relatively new discipline, although it is also said to have its roots in the Socratic dialogue of ancient Greece! Coaching places the trust, and the responsibility, firmly in the client and in the coaching process. It is based on the understanding that partnering with a coach will help us to realise our potential, to create the life we want, faster and more easily than if we try to do it alone.
Is coaching therapy?
Coaching is not therapy. Therapy and counselling look into the past to understand what is hampering an individual’s emotional and psychological functioning. Coaching, on the other hand, assumes that the individual is “whole” and is future focused and action oriented, looking into the past only to the extent of celebrating success and understanding how previous experience can help you in a current situation. Should we find that you need professional counselling support, I will recommend that you consult an expert with the appropriate training and qualifications.
How can I benefit from coaching?
A coach will be fully focused on you and your agenda in a safe and non-judgemental space. She will support you in clarifying your goals and in understanding what’s truly important to you, she’ll help you shift your focus from the past to the future, and she’ll challenge you and hold you accountable to the commitments that you choose to make.
But you want the FACTS, right? Well, the data shows a range of positive outcomes e.g. 80% of people saw improved self-confidence, 73% saw improved relationships, 67% saw improved work-life balance, and 70% saw improved work performance. [Read more on the ICF website.]
Of course someone else’s results will never be exactly mirrored in your own experience, and the best way to find out how you can benefit is to experience it for yourself! You can do this is via a discovery session, a package of individual sessions, or a group workshop.
Why “One Step Outside”?
In my own life experience and that of working with clients, I’ve found that personal growth and development comes when we push the boundaries of what we feel is comfortable and challenge ourselves to try new things, take calculated risks, and to keep exploring and experimenting so that we ultimately live the most fulfilled life. There are different versions of this quote along the same theme, but the one I’m referring to here is that “Everything you’ve ever wanted is one step outside your comfort zone.” You can follow my Facebook page and use the hashtag #onestepoutside on social media e.g. Twitter and Instagram whenever you’re sharing an experience of challenging yourself to step outside your comfort zone!
What will we do in each session?
I will listen and ask questions to help you get to new insights, I’ll suggest exercises where relevant, I’ll support you and challenge you and hold you accountable when you want me to. Since you will come to each session with your own topic or desired outcome, it’s impossible to follow a formal process or a strict progression of steps during our time together. Globally, however, I would identify four elements that will tend to make up the coaching process:
- Clarity: getting clear on what’s really important to you, your fundamental values, your priorities and your goals in life
- Understanding: going deeper to get a real understanding of the underlying beliefs and perspectives, the obstacles that are blocking you
- Strategies: identifying practical strategies to move step by step towards your goals, addressing those obstacles and getting the support you need
- Progress: creating lasting change in your life, owning your goals and holding yourself accountable, ultimately feeling happier and more fulfilled
Shouldn’t I be able to do this on my own?
Many of us have the underlying belief that productivity and excellence can only come through a hard slog and that asking for help is a sign of weakness. For so long I felt the same but through my training I’ve had the privilege of having access to peer coaches who have worked with me on areas I didn’t even know existed and I’ve seen the huge benefits that working with a coach has given me. Hiring a coach does not mean that you can’t do it alone, but you will find that you will progress much faster together – and it’ll usually be more fun!
How do you run the individual coaching sessions?
Our coaching sessions will be virtual, usually taking place via Skype, giving us the flexibility and convenience of working together wherever we happen to be. In my case, I tend to be on the move and so we will often be in different time zones. I’ve coached people in London and Cologne, Kuala Lumpur and Jordan, California and Taipei, so we can make it work, distance is no issue. To facilitate this, I use ScheduleOnce, a scheduling software that allows us to manage the booking process smoothly.
How does payment work?
Payment is by credit card via Stripe, an alternative to Paypal that allows you to make secure payments quickly and easily without leaving the site. A secure connection keeps your data safe while providing you with a seamless checkout experience. All payment must be made prior to the session taking place, except of course for the free chemistry session!
The packages are intended to be used as fortnightly sessions. The 6-session package is valid for 6 months after purchase.
Please refer also to the Terms & Conditions.
What do I gain from joining a group session instead of individual 1:1 coaching?
From time to time, I will organise workshops on themes that address common challenges that we face as we make big changes in our lives. Joining a group session brings all sorts of benefits in terms of the interaction, the learning from other people’s experiences and the sharing of your own. It’s also reassuring to know that you’re not alone in your fears and in your goals, and this “tribe” will be a fantastic support network for you going forwards. You’ll find that there is also an element of social accountability in committing to your goals “in public” and holding each other to those commitments! You’ll be invited to participate in a closed Facebook group ahead of the session so that you can share your goals and begin the interaction before we even meet, and I’ll keep this open for you so that you can stay in touch after the workshop.
What if I don’t want to share my personal story with strangers?
We’ll do our best to get to know each other during the day so that we’re not strangers! We will each commit to keeping everything that is shared private and confidential, to withholding judgement, and to recognising that there is no right or wrong. You will find that you’ll get the most out of the programme if you are open, listening actively to the other participants and also sharing your own stories. However, you only share as much or as little as you want to.
There is also the option of individual, 1:1 coaching where everything you say is kept in the safe space between the two of us. As a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF), I adhere fully to their Code of Ethics, which includes the principles of confidentiality and privacy.
Are we just going to talk about our feelings or am I actually going to get something concrete out of this?
We are absolutely going to talk about our feelings! As much as you feel comfortable with this, that is. When we have goals that we are not achieving, if we dig a little deeper we will often find that there are fundamental beliefs that are limiting us, different values that are conflicting without us realising this at a conscious level, and exploring these underlying goings-on is important in unblocking us and getting to what really matters.
And you’re also absolutely also going to get real, practical guidance, with useful tips and a pragmatic approach to getting into action once you’re back in your day-to-day life.