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Frequently Asked Questions

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What is all this coaching malarkey about?

Executive Coach, Relationship Coach, Life Coach, Business Coach, Wellbeing Coach – you seem to be able to get a coach for just about anything these days.  Coaching is increasingly common, but what is it all about? 
Coaching is a really effective way to achieve personal growth and gain greater clarity around your goals and what you want to succeed at in life.  It has evolved from the sporting world into business and beyond.  Andy Murray didn't win Wimbledon without his support network, particularly his coach, keeping him focussed on his goal.  Successful business leaders don't often succeed by themselves either.  They, like Andy, will have a support network around them, which oftentimes will include a coach.  
Coaching techniques can be applied to absolutely anything you'd like to improve the results of.  I know that freaks some people out as it's such a broad, sweeping statement, but it is true.  
Coaching is a framework for success and a great coach will use that framework in a flexible way to help you get the success you want.  From my own experience, having a coach is like having your own personal cheerleader - without pom-poms.

What kind of coach are you?

I am a Professional Development Coach - I help people achieve their career and business goals or overcome obstacles that are holding them back at work.  I also help students improve their performance and help them stayed focus on their exam goals.   

The experience I have gained from my Leadership roles has given me great insight into what makes people tick at work and whilst this experience was gained in a fast paced IT Change environment, the coaching and NLP techniques that build on this experience can be applied to any workplace.

My style of coaching has been described as calm, relaxed, reassuring, directive, supportive, professional and fun.   

What can your coaching help with?

Imposter syndrome, confidence issues, understanding your purpose and goal - any work-related goals or issues can benefit from coaching.  Getting a new job, that promotion to the next level or creating a plan to hit the ground running in a new role are all obvious candidates, but it can help massively with some less obvious areas too.  For example, dealing with change - organisations these days are constantly striving to stay one step ahead of their competitors and that means organisational change happens often and is not always fully thought through or communicated well, which can be frustrating and scary.  Dealing with this kind of change, managing your reaction to it and seeing how it can bring opportunities are all things I can help with.  

Another example might be where you know you need a change, but aren't sure what that change is.  That's ok, you don’t always need to know what your goal is – you might feel stuck in a job you hate and just know you need to get away from what’s making you bloody miserable - coaching can help with that kind of change too.   

Can you help with work-life balance?

Yes - absolutely!  This is one of my favourite things to help with.  Whilst the term work-life balance is something people instantly recognise, it can mean something different to each of us and it’s a term not everyone likes.  It implies that work and life are distinct entities and that if we can hold them perfectly still, with the weight evenly distributed, then we will live in a joyful state of happiness and harmony forever and ever.  We all know that’s not realistic though.  The activities of work and non-work overlap and can impact each other massively; it’s all part of that crazy, messy thing called life and life never stays still - it ebbs and flows and can’t be held perfectly still and balanced, no matter how hard we try. 
I have found that people tend to talk about work-life balance when they have become aware that something isn’t right.  When things have swung so far in one direction that other aspects of life are being neglected or they’re feeling overwhelmed with all areas of their life and don’t know where to start to redress the balance.  I can certainly help with this and provide you with strategies that can help prevent it occurring again in the future.

Is coaching the same as counselling or therapy?

Coaching isn't therapy although it can be very therapeutic - when was the last time you were allowed to talk freely about yourself while someone listened without interrupting, judging or giving you advice about what they would do in your position?
As I see it, counselling and therapy are about discussing and fixing things from the past and they are absolutely crucial for helping people get back on track with their lives after a traumatic event.  
A coaching conversation is very much focussed on the future and how you move forward with the right solutions and strategies to help you succeed.  We may discuss the past to see what has and hasn't worked for you before, but we don't dwell there, it's my job to make sure we stay there only long enough to get the info we need to help you move forward in establishing and achieving your goals.

You coaches go on about goals a lot - what if I don't have one?

Everyone is different when it comes to goals.  At one end of the spectrum you will have very determined, goal-oriented people who are driven by setting themselves regular goals and striving for that next shiny achievement - talking about goals will appeal to them - they eat goals for breakfast.  People at the other end of the spectrum will only make a move to something new when they want to get away from something they don't like, for example "I hate my job, I want to get a new one".  The impetus is coming from a desire to get away from something they don't like, but the intent is still a positive goal of getting a new job.  Both ways of operating are equally valid in order to reach a new destination, the journey is just happening from a different perspective.  Some people's goals may therefore be more obvious, but don't rule out coaching because you don't think you're a "goals" person - you have goals, you just have a different way of expressing them and it's my job to help you get clarity on what they are in a way that you can make progress towards them.

How much does it cost?

I charge £85 a session and a session lasts an hour - I never like to cut you off mid-flow so we'll stop at an appropriate point after an hour.  You can pay on the day by card.

How many sessions should I have?

Everyone's needs are different and it depends on what you want to tackle.  I won't try and push a package of sessions on to you as I think it would be unethical to sell you 6 sessions up front when you might be where you want to be after 4.  I coach on a session by session basis - I trust that you will know when you are where you want to be - we will of course have a discussion about what that might look like so you know what you're entering into. For example, I have found that people wishing to address their work-life imbalance benefit massively from as few as 4 sessions.  Establishing career goals and strategies for achieving them can be tricky to estimate, it depends on your starting point, what you want to achieve and what obstacles we're working through, for example confidence issues or understanding your strengths and which job is going to be the right fit for you and your values.  If you want an idea of how many sessions then we will discuss this at the start, but it may take less and you might decide you want more, you can rely on the fact that I won't just coach you for the sake of it.

What can I expect in a coaching session?

You can expect me to provide you with a safe environment in which to discuss, without judgement, the things you wish to tackle.  I will give you my undivided attention and treat all our conversations with the utmost confidentiality (subject to legal and ethical considerations).  Don't expect me to give you the answers - that's not what I'm here for, in fact I believe each individual has all the answers they need, they might just need a hand finding them.  I will ask you thought provoking questions and might use creative exercises to help you think about things in new ways.  You can expect me to be direct and honest, but never intentionally offensive.  I will support you and your goals 100%.  Coaching is a journey of self-discovery and so expect to understand yourself better as part of the process and expect to have fun - this is my job and I enjoy what I do and want you to enjoy the process too.

My company could benefit from learning about coaching - can you come and give a talk?

Of course - I'd love to.  I can also help with things like navigating a team through an organisational change or the importance of wellbeing in the workplace and how to achieve a better work-life balance.
Get in touch with michelle@yourworldcoaching.com and let me know what your company is looking for.