What is coaching?

I am asked frequently “what is the point to coaching?” There are some misconceptions to coaching due to a variety of reasons, some think coaching is about leading people to the answer, or alternatively firing questions at the coachee until they finally ‘get it’. When delivered well, coaching can be an invaluable experience, empowering the coachee to take action that will make positive changes in their lives. The coachee must however be committed to the process, only getting out what is put in.

Why should I hire a coach?

coachingIf you are someone who is looking to change career, improve personal effectiveness, achieve a better work life balance or resolve a conflict with a colleague, a coach could certainly look to help. If you are a manager of people with performance issues, you want to fast track someone’s development or you simply you want to show a member of your team some value, a coach could help you.

The key to coaching is intention. If the coachee has no intention to fulfil their role as a coachee – attend all coaching sessions, be honest and carry out any actions they have come up with, the coaching won’t work. Any good coach will explain this to you at the outset, and agree a time period by which they will feedback to you if the coaching relationship isn’t working. Confidentiality is fundamental. To allow the coachee to trust in the coach, it imperative they know what will and won’t be shared with any other parties.

Who should I hire?

The coaching relationship is an intense one. The relationship should be cohesive, and they should find building rapport reasonably easy. If the coach or coachee feels the relationship is not working this should be fed back within agreed timeframes. A coach doesn’t necessarily need to have the same background as the coachee. E.g. A teacher doesn’t need a coach that has carried out that role.

My experience of coaching includes working with senior managers and board members in the corporate environment, with teachers and senior leaders in schools, and with small business owners. All my coaching has been focussed around an individual improving something in their lives; if this is you I may be able to help you.

What happens in a coaching session?

A coach will guide the coachee through the process, using a method that will provide structure and results. Typically, the coachee will set a long term goal, and then identify ‘journey goals’ to work towards that long term goal. After each session, the coachee will have some actions to carry forward. The coach has no responsibility for action; the coachee must be committed to carry out what they have set out. Meetings are typically 3-4 weeks apart and last between 45minutes to one hour. Anything discussed during a coaching session remains confidential. Only agreed outcomes will be shared with the manager or sponsor as agreed at the outset.

Implementing an internal Coaching Scheme

I have worked in businesses and schools to help build an internal coaching scheme. This involves training some staff as coaches, and supporting them in coaching others in the workplace. The long term the goal is to be self-sufficient in the coaching, empowering and up skilling your workforce. Setting up the scheme involves a number of training workshops for the selected staff, these training workshops cover topics such as

  • > Communication (verbal and non-verbal)
  • > Types of questions
  • > Questioning skills
  • > Rapport
  • > The benefits to coaching and how it differs to mentoring, training and counselling


Observation sessions are also carried out where the facilitator will observe the staff member and provide them with some feedback including some personal development points. Supported coaching sessions are also provided to allow the staff to have a go at coaching a colleague whilst still having the support of the facilitator. This programme is designed to fit in with the business, therefore timings and content will be bespoke to the business needs.

What are the benefits to doing this?

Implementing a coaching scheme into your business or team enables independent thinkers, adds value and builds essential communication skills. Coaching is a skill that works for staff at all levels, and will enhance any role. Training workshops are tailored to suit the participants, ensuring everyone finds the content both useful and interesting.

Please feel free to contact me for an informal chat to discuss your needs.

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