As a corporate coach (rather than life coach), I focus on helping people to excel in work situations. But having said that, my coaching support doesn’t only impact on the business, it also makes a difference to the individuals themselves, the people who work around them, and their families. Coaching provides a mechanism for personal as well as professional development.
What does coaching feel like?
The pragmatic style of coaching that I use will help you to:
- Understand more about your approach to your role through self assessment and personal reflection
- Focus on what really matters
- Explore different ways of addressing the issues that you are facing, including things you should stop doing, start doing or do differently
- Measure your progress and evaluate your effectiveness.
In addition you will feel supported and empowered, resulting in enhancement of your confidence as well as your performance in your role.
A typical coaching programme will incorporate the following elements:
In corporate coaching there are often three parties in the coaching relationship: the coach, the client, and the person who is paying the bill. My coaching contract, which is agreed by all three parties at outset, includes:
- Desired outcomes
- Contact time to be provided and whether face-to-face and/or by phone and e-mail
- Location for face to face work
- Support required from within the organisation
- What I expect of you and in return what you can expect from me
- Confidentiality (It is essential that the client can talk to their coach in the full confidence that what they discuss will not be reported back to their boss. I always recommend that the client should write a regular evaluation report for themselves and their boss to discuss – but what they put into that report is down to them.)
The aim of this stage is to help you to develop your self-awareness, to identify areas to focus on, and also to build my understanding of how best to support you. I often use an online psychometric tool such as the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and / or 360 degree appraisal to help with the process.
The first coaching session is often a longer (2 hour) session to allow for an in-depth exploration of your current situation, informed by the results of any psychometric reports used. This discussion results in a personal development plan, with clearly defined outcomes, allowing us to focus your coaching support on those areas that will directly impact on your competence and confidence.
Adapting my coaching style
The flexibility of coaching is one of its major strengths. I find that coaching in the workplace ranges between a more directive mentoring approach that draws on my experiences and knowledge, to a more reflective approach, acting as a sounding board for my clients. I seek to identify the best approach for each client at a given time and to adapt my coaching style accordingly (or refer the client on if they need support that I cannot provide).
Following on from the initial session, coaching is delivered through a blend of face-to-face, telephone, and Skype support to suit clients’ needs. Coaching can be stand-alone or can be used as part of a management development programme. It can involve a one-off session focused on a very specific need or a longer programme of regular support with sessions taking place every few weeks as agreed. Each session will last for about 45-60 minutes depending on your needs. The programme of support that I provide also includes unlimited email contact throughout the duration of the programme, in addition to the coaching sessions.
Evaluating the impact
Evaluation is a challenging activity but is an important step in any coaching programme. I often use 360 degree feedback in addition to more results-based measures with my clients. Used at the outset of a coaching programme to establish the current reality, it can be used again at the end to help the client to evaluate the effectiveness of the programme.
We undertake a review together, the outcome of which might be that no further support is required, or to extend the coaching programme on a less frequent basis. With all my coaching clients, I know the day will come when they say “thanks – I can go it alone now”. I also know they will come back to me when things change and they are faced with new challenges. I’m always at the end of the phone for clients who feel they would benefit for an occasional, ad-hoc session just to keep them on track or to help them to deal with fresh challenges.
Contact me for a chat about your needs.