Executive Coaching — FAQ
What can a coach do for me?
Coaching is a collaborative, interactive process where the coach guides and facilitates the client's progress towards achieving their true potential. As a result of coaching clients set better goals, make clearer decisions, take more effective actions and perform at higher levels. They often surprise themselves. The coach does this by guiding the client through a structured session, listening, questioning and challenging.
Isn't that training or mentoring?
Coaching is not training, although it can work with it to make the training more effective. Sometimes business or executive coaching can involve a degree of mentoring, if the coach has knowledge or experience that the client wishes to benefit from (often those at earlier stages of their career). It is important to discuss this in advance with your coach so that you are clear on your expectations from the relationship. Coaching is designed to be non-directive. That means it is not the coach's responsibility to make decisions for you, it is their job to help you evaluate your situation more clearly and come up with possible solutions together. Then, to help you find the most suitable way forward and to keep focused. So coaching "pulls out the capacity from within", traditional mentoring or training "puts in advice, content or information". (Anne Scoular, Meyler Campbell).
What are the typical topics people bring to coaching?
We do career coaching as well as executive coaching which obviously involves specific career decision-making issues and these are described here. Other topics that people come to us for have included prioritising their time, managing their team, raising their self-awareness of how they come across to others, avoiding conflict at work, learning to cope with work stressors, improving their personal impact, reducing their anxiety about public speaking, managing key relationships, to dig out fresh ideas about growing their business or team, to build confidence or define their leadership style. The coaching relationship provides space to think: to sift through the mass of information that overloads us and to focus on priorities.
What should I expect from the coaching relationship?
You and your coach will form an alliance designed between two equals. The coach will follow your agenda without judgment (but challenging where appropriate). All discussions between you and your coach are confidential and honest. The coach will not even divulge that you are in a coaching relationship without your permission. The coach may need to take notes and will require feedback on your progress and experience of coaching. You will decide the manner in which you wish to be coached, for example, gently probing or more challenging. If at any time you feel that coaching is not working as you wish, you should communicate this to your coach. You will agree and then continually review the goals for the work and for each session, checking where you are now and where you want to get to.