What is coaching?
Coaching is a process that enables the individual or the corporate client to achieve their full potential.
Coaches should be expected to;
Facilitate the exploration of needs, motivations, desires, skills and thought processes to assist the individual in making real, lasting change.
Use questioning techniques to facilitate the client’s own thought processes in order to identify solutions and actions rather than take a wholly directive approach.
Support the client in setting appropriate goals and methods of assessing progress in relation to these goals.
Observe, listen and ask questions to understand the client’s situation.
Creatively apply tools and techniques which may include one-to-one training, facilitating, counselling & networking.
Encourage a commitment to action and the development of lasting personal growth and change.
Maintain unconditional positive regard for the client, which means that the coach is at all times supportive and non-judgmental of the client, their views, lifestyle and aspirations.
Ensure that clients develop personal competencies and do not develop unhealthy dependencies on the coaching or mentoring relationship.
Evaluate the outcomes of the process, using objective measures wherever possible to ensure the relationship is successful and the client is achieving their personal goals.
Encourage clients to continually improve competencies and to develop new developmental alliances where necessary to achieve their goals.
Work within their area of personal competence.
Possess qualifications and experience in the areas that skills-transfer coaching is offered.
Manage the relationship to ensure the client receives the appropriate level of service and that programmes are neither too short, nor too long.
The common thread uniting all types of coaching & mentoring is that these services offer a vehicle for analysis, reflection and action that ultimately enable the client to achieve success in one or more areas of their life or work.
Personal coaching and mentoring
Personal or ‘life coaching’ may work face-to-face but email and telephone based relationships are also very common. These coaches and mentors operate in highly supportive roles to those who wish to make some form of significant change happen within their lives.
Coaches offer their clients a supportive and motivating environment to explore what they want in life and how they might achieve their aspirations and fulfill their needs. By assisting the client in committing to action and by being a sounding-board to their experiences, coaching allows the individual the personal space and support they need to grow and develop. The coach’s key role is often is assisting the client to maintain the motivation and commitment needed to achieve their goals.
In many cases personal coaching is differentiated from business coaching purely by the context and the focus of the programme. Business coaching is always conducted within the constraints placed on the individual or group by the organisational context. Personal coaching on the other hand is taken entirely from the individual’s perspective.
Business coaching and mentoring
Organisational development, changes brought about by mergers and acquisitions as well as the need to provide key employees with support through a change of role or career are often catalysts, which inspire companies to seek coaching or mentoring.
At one time coaching and mentoring were reserved for senior managers and company directors, now it is available to all as a professional or personal development tool. Coaching and mentoring are also closely linked with organisational change initiatives in order to help staff to accept and adapt to changes in a manner consistent with their personal values and goals.
Coaching & mentoring, both of which focus on the individual, can enhance morale, motivation and productivity and reduce staff turnover as individuals feel valued and connected with both small and large organisational changes. This role may be provided by internal coaches or mentors and, increasingly, by professional coaching agencies.
Coaching and mentoring programmes generally prove to be popular among employees as coaching achieves a balance between fulfilling organisational goals and objectives whilst taking into account the personal development needs of individual employees. It is a two-way relationship with both the organisation and the employee gaining significant benefits.
There is also an increasing trend for individuals to take greater responsibility for their personal & professional development and even those who are employed in large organisations are no longer relying on employers to provide them with all or their career development needs. There has been an increase in the number of individuals contracting coaches and mentors on a private basis. Some are looking for a career change, but many are also seeking to maximise their potential with an existing employer or achieve greater balance with their work and home lives.
How does coaching compare with related professional services?
Explore personal issues and problems through discussion in order to increase understanding or develop greater self-awareness.
The aim of counselling is to lead the client toward self-directed actions to achieve their goals.
N.B. Coaching and counselling share many core skills. However, professional counsellors work with personal issues in much greater depth than would generally be explored within a coaching context.
Development activities are designed to suit client’s personal needs (whether aspiration or performance related) and learning styles.
Fine tunes and develops skills.
Can focus on interpersonal skills, which cannot be readily or effectively transferred in a traditional training environment.
Provides client with contacts and networks to assist with furthering their career or life aspirations.
Performed in the ‘live’ environment or off-line.
Highly effective when used as a means of supporting training initiatives to ensure that key skills are transferred to the ‘live’ environment.
Coaches and mentors transfer the skills to the client rather than doing the job for them.
Focus is on developing organisational practices, processes and structure.
Role generally more strategic and often used to instigate and design broad ranging change programmes
Consultancy frequently involves expert advice about specific issues and organisational processes.
Consultants are often brought in to provide specific ‘solutions’ to business problems and needs
Consultant leads the job for the organisation: whilst upskilling the employee/client may be a contractual part of the service, it is not generally the primary goal.
N.B. The term consultant coach is often used when the coach is external to the organisation and therefore offering services on an ‘external’ or ‘consultancy’ basis. This is not, however, the same as consultancy per se.
Coaching and mentoring has been offered by consultancy companies for many years, even though it is not specifically ‘consultancy’ It is only recently that people have begun drawing a distinction which in some cases, like the distinction between coaching and mentoring, is not useful in distinguishing between them.
Is coaching just therapy by another name?
Coaching is not necessarily ‘therapy’ by another name although the key theoretical underpinnings, models and techniques found their origins in the field of psychology and associated therapies like gestalt & cognitive behavioural therapy which have broad ranging applications in both organisational and personal contexts.
The key difference between coaching and the therapies is that coaching does not seek to resolve the deeper underlying issues that are the cause of serious problems like poor motivation, low self-esteem and poor job performance. Coaching and mentoring programmes are generally more concerned with the practical issues of setting goals and achieving results within specific time-scales.
Coaching and mentoring is generally commenced on the premise that clients are self-aware and ‘whole’ and have selected coaching or mentoring because they do not require a therapeutic intervention. It is possible for someone who has underlying issues to experience success within a coaching context even if the underlying issues are not resolved. If, however, a client becomes ‘stuck’ and the coaching or mentoring programme is not achieving desired results, then a psychological or therapeutic intervention may be necessary for the client to move forward and achieve their goals.
Coach & mentor training programmes which are typically quite short are not aimed at qualifying coaches to conduct an assessment of whether someone may be in need of a therapeutic intervention, rather than a coaching or mentoring one. This is driven in part by the professional restrictions and barriers that have traditionally been placed around psychology and the therapies, but is mostly due to the fact that psychological assessment is a complex process that does require specialised training. Professional coaches & mentors do, however, stay ever alert to the possibility that a client may have or may develop issues or problems for which coaching or mentoring on its own, is not sufficient.
Client progress is always monitored and coaches and mentors watch for signs which may indicate that a client requires an assessment by a trained therapist. Some coaches will on-refer a client to an appropriate therapist if this is felt to be useful. Other coaches will conduct a coaching programme in parallel with a therapeutic intervention.
Most coaches & mentors are keen to maintain the professional boundaries between coaching & mentoring and the traditional therapies and will collaborate with therapists when a client requires this form of intervention.
The traditional therapies, psychology and counselling and their relationship to coaching
Contrary to popular belief, therapy is not ‘backwards focused’ and does not conform to the stereotype of spending 20 years attending weekly sessions to discuss childhood experiences. See A Guide to Psychology and its Practice for a more realistic & modern view of what clinical psychology and the therapies have to offer.
Therapy is, if anything, an extension of what happens in a coaching relationship; it is forward focused and aimed at life improvement or enhancement. It is about moving on and breaking free from problems and issues that have held people back and prevented them from getting all they can from their lives. Another popular misconception is that in order to undergo therapy one must be ‘crazy’ or ‘neurotic’, which is not the case.
Therapy is also time-limited and based on an assessment of needs. It is quite rare now to encounter therapies that involve open-ended interventions that last for many years. Therapists are highly trained, with 4 years of full-time undergraduate training followed by 1-2 years full-time post-graduate study and from 3-5 supervised full-time practice before being considered ‘qualified’. Therapists, counsellors & clinical psychologists must usually engage in professional ‘supervision’ for the whole of their career to ensure that high standards are maintained. Psychologists who apply therapeutic approaches are also ethically and professionally bound to work with clients only if measurable value can be demonstrated, this means that if people do not actually NEED therapy, it is not ethical for providers to continue providing the services.
Because of this relationship between coaching and psychology & the therapies, some professionals offering coaching services are, in fact, therapists, counsellors or psychologists. This means it is possible to offer the appropriate level of service depending on immediate needs and client preferences.
It is increasingly common for the titles such as ‘positive’ or ‘coaching psychology’ to be used make it easier for clients to find service providers who take a psychological focus within their work as a coach. For an explanation of coaching psychology as an area of practice see www.coachingpsychologist.net/WhatIs/Index.php
Anyone seeking life improvement, and who is willing to work at the deeper issues could benefit from contracting a coach or mentor who does have a traditional therapeutic background in the first instance. If the client is not sure what type of service would benefit them the most, they should be encouraged to secure a professional assessment by an appropriately qualified provider.
In some countries such as the UK, there is government regulation in place for psychologists. A small number of restricted titles have been identified by the Government for the purpose of ensuring that the public can be assured that any professional using these titles is appropriately registered under the regulatory framework.
Titles restricted by the UK Government to protect the public include Clinical Psychologist, Counselling Psychologist and Occupational Psychologist. More general terms like psychologist, therapist and counsellor are not restricted titles, so anyone is able to use these to market their services. The titles ‘coaching psychologist’ and ‘positive psychologist’ are, for example, not restricted. As this is the case, when selecting a coach or mentor with therapeutic, counselling or business focused psychological skills it is important to ensure they are registered with an appropriate regulatory body. In the UK, titles for the profession of psychology are regulated by the Health & Care Professions Council www.hcpc-uk.org.
Strategic Intervention was formed from the dedication to extract the most practical and effective forms of strategic action and communication from a variety of disciplines: Ericksonian therapy, strategic family therapy, Human Needs Psychology, organizational psychology, neurolinguistics, psychology of influence, strategic studies, traditions of diplomacy and negotiation to name but a few.
Focus is on developing an eminently practical method for taking action in a strategic way to get things done while ensuring the human needs are fulfilled and elevated.
We believe numerous traditions of Strategic Intervention exist wherever human beings use extraordinary skill to bring about positive personal and cultural change. Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi are examples of masterful Strategic Interventionists that transcend the particularities of religion, culture, institution, job description, or political philosophy (as Strategic Intervention should.)
What distinguishes SI from other strategic studies is the belief that certain holistic solutions “snap into place” when more people’s needs are met, expressed, and elevated.
Any change, when it is reinforced by growth and contribution, not only “sticks,” but it goes on to positively influence hundreds of other people.
The RMT tradition of Strategic Intervention (called Human Needs Psychology or HNP) originates with the understanding of the power of meaning to shape all aspects of a human being’s life.
Through the RMT trainings of Anthony Robbins and Cloe Madanes, I have been powerfully influenced by the great insights and works of Victor Frankl and Milton Erickson’s creative breakthroughs in human intervention.
We are also grounded in the work of the Gregory Bateson group at the Mental Research Institute, which in the late 1950′s originated the new paradigm of interactional and systemic studies, which became a watershed in the development of disciplines such as game theory, cybernetics, neurolinguistics, organizational psychology, management psychology, and dozens of other systemic disciplines.
Cloe Madanes, who has been associated with this project for four decades, is now the senior member of this tradition. Cloe has recognised Anthony Robbins as one of its most highly skilled thinkers and practitioners.
The goal of Strategic Intervention is to integrate the core insights of these traditions into a method of practical strategic action. SI encompasses strategies that span from the belief systems and emotional patterns within an individual, to individual relationships, to group dynamics, to organizational and cultural interventions.
Transformational Life Coaching
Do you find yourself wondering “is this all there is to life”? Are perhaps happy in your career yet feel an underlying nagging of being unfulfilled? Or is it that you have a loving, supportive husband and children you are proud of while just knowing you have more to give.
Perhaps you lack self-confidence, or spend too much time “should-ing” yourself; “I should have done this”, “I should have done that”, “I should have done it differently”, I shouldn’t have done those things”.
Maybe it’s that you know exactly what you want and what it is you need to do to get there but you lack the motivation, the tools that will enable you to achieve those goals and dreams.
Are you looking for a mentor, some guidance, or perhaps just a listening ear?
Is it a fear you want to overcome, an emotional or physical barrier you need to eliminate, or is it that you simply want to take control of your own destiny?
No-one can go back and start a new beginning but anybody can start today to create a new ending.
Transformational life coaching is about you making the changes inside that will transform your life for the better. Helping you work out how to take the next steps on your journey, break old habits and learn to love yourself for the amazing individual that you are.
Whatever challenges you are facing, and they are all as unique as you are, I will help you, using proven and tangible Strategic Interventions, to find the answers that you already hold inside of you.
Relationship counselling & divorce avoidance coaching
"What makes a happy marriage? It is a question which all men and women ask one another... The answer is to be found, I think, in the mutual discovery, by two who marry, of the deepest need of the other's personality, and the satisfaction of that need." - Pearl Buck
Communication breakdowns, jealousy, feeling out of control or too controlled, boredom and misunderstandings are just a fraction of the issues we may all feel at one time or another in our relationships. Not only our romantic relationships but with family, close friends, business associates and even through random encounters in our everyday lives.
Exceptions to the rule permitted, separation, divorce, or relationship splits of any kind are not necessarily the answer. When we see that our relationship with ourselves must be our first focus, to love and understand you, first, you are then able to give to another in a way that will come back to you, but without expectation or request.
Where two people have united in love, love can return. Stronger, healthier relationships can grow with an understanding of how to be the very best for one another.
Utilising the different love languages, along with understanding the four levels of any relationship will enable you to create harmony, happiness, fulfilment and joy in your life. Single and happy, looking for love, short or long term relationship, married or currently going through separation or divorce, I can help you find your way towards the relationships you truly long for.
“By being the type of person you want your child to be, you teach more than any expert ever will” Magalie Peysha
Do you struggle to relate to your child? Find yourself constantly at a battle of wills, just to get the simplest task completed? Is bed-time the bane of your daily routine or do you find communicating with your teenager near impossible?
Understanding the positive intent behind our children’s’ behaviours, learning to see things from their perspective and creating a safe space to come together to communicate with the common goal of open, non-judgemental, love and harmony, something close to what may seem like miracles can happen.
Babies aren’t born with a manual, and parenting it taught in schools or colleges. Reaching out for a helping hand, for the sake of your family, when needed could be one of the best parenting decisions you ever made.
Bereavement, grief, or a sense of loss can come in all areas of life; the death of a loved one, the breakdown of a relationship, redundancy or our own illnesses. Helping you to understand why you feel the way you do, while assisting you in finding a way through your grief, is my role here.
Though the five stages of grief outline the various states we may go through, rarely are we provided with the understanding that we can go through these states many times during the bereavement process. If that roller-coaster feeling begins to engulf your ability to be able to see life after your loss, a helping hand to guide you may be all that makes the difference.
Whether the loss came about suddenly or expectedly, the period is all too often underestimated. Knowing this, being helped to see a less painful future, and given the tools to allow you to feel the emotions you need to, without the sense of judgement or criticism will allow you to move forwards, when perhaps you see no future at all right now.
Do you wonder what mediation is all about? Believe it must take years of tuition, having to sit cross legged on a hard floor for hours on end, trying to think about nothing at all?
Let me eradicate those thoughts. Allow me to help you see that meditation can be a very simple and yet power part of your everyday life. That discomfort in your body is nether required nor necessary and that with a few simple tools and techniques, you will be able to enjoy clarity of understanding that will penetrate your mind, the energy that will fill your body and the peace that will overflow your soul.
In my new book 90 Days of Meditation – a Journey of Self-discovery, which due for publication later this year, I detail how my partnership with mediation began and how it literally changed my life.
It is what I learned during those first 90 days of my meditation practice that I share with my clients during their meditation coaching, along with a FREE meditation audio, created specifically for me that I gift to you.
Career & business coaching
Are you feeling stuck in your current role, or do you know what it is you want to be doing but can’t find a way to get to that place? Perhaps you need help with your CV, or assistance with areas of setting up your new business. Maybe you want to retrain but feel held back by family commitments, which are making you feel trapped and unhappy, or do you run your own business but feel you could gain more from your staff if only you knew how to motivate them more.
Whatever your need within your career or business world, together we can find the answers. Looking at where you are, where you want to be and what you want to achieve, creating a plan to help you realise your full potential – be that as an employee, a business owner or a manager.
Do I need coaching
"1. Your confidence is not where you want it to be. Everyone is wearing their battle scars, and the difference between those who are happy and sad are the ones who have learned to let pain go. I can’t tell you how many clients hold onto their pain, much like holding a beach ball under the ocean… Exhausting. They can push it down, but grief, trauma or sadness have their ways of creeping up on you, and that means truly facing your battle wounds with the support of a personal development professional. As a coach, I’ve learned first-hand that the only way out of pain is through it. A talented professional coach will know how to guide you through your pain and memories in a way that helps you heal and let go.
2. You lack a clear vision… Or your vision is so big you’re overwhelmed. When I hired my first coach, I had some general ideas on what I wanted—to start a business, to help people, to be more authentic in my career— but I wasn’t clear on the specifics, nor did I know how to get there. I was done with the corporate world and clueless on how to make an empowered and strategic exit. Thanks to my coach, I discovered my calling and built a multi 6- figure career coaching company in two years’ time.
3. Your patterns are not supporting your goals. You are clear about where you want to be, but you continue to make self-destructive decisions that keep you tied to your bad habits. You lack the true commitment to really making your dreams a reality and you don’t know how to get on the right track. I have plenty of clients who come to me feeling overwhelmed. Overwhelm is a pattern and coping mechanism, so I start with mind-set. In the words of John Assaraf, “When you’re interested, you do what’s convenient; when you’re committed, you do whatever it takes.” A good coach will help you clear blocks and reach levels of personal commitment and growth you’ve never accessed within yourself.
4. You’re irritable. Are you often in a state of reaction? This can manifest in a number of ways. Perhaps you have frequent road rage, or you turn into a light version of Sybil from The Exorcist when you’re fighting with your boyfriend. Deep down you’re wondering: Why do I fight so hard? And you often find yourself feeling guilty for the way you react.
5. You’re in a huge transition. Whether you’re looking to make a huge career change, or you’re facing a significant life transition, it’s no secret you’ll burn your friends and family out if you treat them like therapists. Transitions bring up stress, anxiety, and uncertainty, all of which have the tendency to set us on edge and make us feel as though we need to talk things through…over and over again. Drum roll, please: enter a life coach. This is a great time to seek out the support you need to seamlessly and effectively transition into your next steps of life with positivity.
6. You’re craving more purpose. You may be having huge success in your career, yet you still feel unfulfilled. I came into my coach’s office years ago without a sense of self, and I left in a career – a coaching practice for millennials— that really speaks to who I am.
So, you’re probably thinking, why not hire a shrink? Good question. The key difference between coaches and psychologists is that psychologists focus on looking back to heal, while coaches focus on the future with the strategy of positive psychology. While we may use therapy tools, our intention is always to mirror a mind-set shift with an external goal in the world. It’s not just about healing; it’s about positively creating.
You don’t need coaches—you are perfect just as you are. They’re just there to help you get clear and make the greatness you have to offer happen faster.
In the words of Albert Einstein, “Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.” After months of thinking myself in circles, those words brought such clarity: I needed a new approach; I needed a new level of thought. In my case, that meant I needed a third party.
There’s nothing powerful about marinating, so go out and step into your power. Why waste even more time saying no to your dreams, when you can say yes to the transformation that awaits you?"