If Everyone’s a Coach, Who’s Working?


There are a lot of people in high places who have the wrong idea about executive coaching, which I would like to change! I get objections about the benefits of coaching from folk who work on the assumption that coaching isn’t “real work”. This is usually based around their beliefs about the reality of effective coaching . There is also a negative belief that people should have their face into their work and only come up for air at lunchtime or at the end of the working day. If you aren’t at it all the time, then you must be a work-shy lazy shirker. Let us be clear about what coaching is and isn’t:

Coaching is not: A fluffy-touchy-feely-how-are-you? conversation Although I can understand why people think that it is this way! There are many coaches who take this route, which is unprofessional and unproductive. Someone who signs up to be coached by me will have to commit to the process of increased performance. They will know that by doing so, they are signing up for hard work and above all, action. Not everyone who signs up for coaching will last the distance because there is a price to pay. That price is hard work and commitment, which needs to be fitted in around their work and personal commitments. If you don’t do the actions you said you would, then I will question your commitment to being coached.

A coaching session will usually take about 30-45 minutes on a 1:2:1 basis. During this time, the client will explore the issues around their performance at work, their strengths and their opportunities to develop various tactics and strategies that will improve performance. By the end of the sessions, the client will have a clear pathway towards performance enhancement.

The real work of coaching happens between sessions, with the client carrying out the actions they signed up to during the sessions.

An opportunity to tell people what to do Telling people what to do is not coaching. That is training, teaching or instruction. Mentoring can also involve giving people direction through telling. Coaching gets people to arrive at powerful solutions for themselves. Effective coaches know that clients have the most compelling and potent answers within themselves. The job of the coach is to bring that answer out.

A display of talent and knowledge Effective coaches leave their ego behind. It is not about what they know or the skills they have. An effective coach focuses only on their client and their needs. To truly listen to someone, you have to eliminate any thoughts about yourself, press pause on any negative beliefs and dedicate the time to the person in front of you.

Counselling and Therapy and an exploration of the past Coaching is not counselling someone, or using therapeutic methods. However, we can and do use psychology to build rapport, gain understanding and to maximise communication during the session. Coaching someone is not the place or time for people with medical conditions. Most coaches are unqualified to deal with people who have clinical conditions and can cause more harm than good using coaching methods. However: Great Coaching is: Action based About the future 90% of the time Using questions to unlock barriers, beliefs and assumptions to increase performance An opportunity to realise people’s potential

Great coaching isn’t easy, because it requires high-level communication skills to be effective.

Contact me on the numbers below if you would like to discuss how I can improve your performance at work.

Have a great week!



+44 (0)7739 177 678

#communication #decisionmaking #coaching #emotionalintelligence #leadership

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