WHY ME | Q&A
Having the tools, models and skills are not only what sets me apart. I have been in many of my clients shoes. I know the feeling of dismay when a supplier let me down on an important job, the deep frustration on not being paid on time for a job well done, not knowing if there is going to be money to cover the bills and wages, being let down by staff, and the impact that my decisions have on my family. I recall the predicament of having to make hard decisions and not knowing who I could turn to for guidance or a helping hand. I understand these issues because I lived them for 30 years. When situations arise out of the blue and you need to talk to someone, I am the coach you phone; any time.
Every business leader needs sounding board to ensure they are taking their business in the right direction and making the correct decisions. I am the qualified coach and mentor who will give you the honest feedback, ideas, and suggestions I have amassed over 30 years of running successful businesses.
Overview: The Coaching Process
Unlike numerous coaches, I do not do webinars, seminars, spruik a book, training workshops, 1, 2 or 3 day courses (intensive, rapid or otherwise), use software solutions or templates in my coaching or offer free questionnaire downloads.
I coach business people, face to face.
- Most want to advance their business or their careers.
- Many, if not all clients, are challenged with relationships in the workplace — their staff, family, colleagues, clients etc., and want to improve and better themselves, and the relationships they have with those around them.
- Many clients want to improve their leadership skills.
- Most started in business with a strategy of ‘where and what’ they wanted to achieve. The majority have gone off track and need help getting back.
- They want to effect change, reach a goal or solve a problem.
- Every business wants a competitive advantage over their rivals. Coaching helps them achieve this.
Six months (of between one and two sessions a month) is a good start. In fact, it is the minimum commitment I ask of clients. Less than this is a good experience that generally does not stick. My clients’ needs, although not always obvious, are complex and the challenges they bring to coaching are not addressed in an hour or two. So, everyone I work with (after your initial free consultation that lasts between 90- 120 minutes) starts with the six month package.
What people come to coaching for is not always why they stay and continue. Many clients have been with me for years, sometimes taking a break, but because of the strong coaching relationship and the benefits of coaching, they have made coaching a part of their business life. Ultimately, the choice whether to continue, or stop, always resides with the client.
Coaching and therapy are very different. There are therapists pretending to be coaches and coaches thinking they can act as therapists. Clients need to choose one or the other as it can turn out to be confusing and potentially dangerous.
Although there is sometimes an overlap, a coach usually works on the client’s behaviour and typically focuses on what the client wants to accomplish, rather that grappling with issues of the subconscious or issues causing pain which may require delving into the past. As a coach I often share work experiences and insights with clients to help them imagine, clarify, or get a sense of what it is going on with them in the present. While knowing a bit about a client’s personal history can be informative, the focus in coaching is not on the past.
I can only be a coach, never a client’s therapist. If I think a client might benefit from therapy, I would offer to refer them to a competent professional.
Usually within a day or two from the time they initiate coaching. Their overall attitude becomes more positive and often they start to get some immediate clarification with an issue they have been ‘stuck on’. Regardless, the benefits are felt soon after commencement.
It’s often hard to measure the results of coaching in a purely analytical way. Metrics might be tough to develop but measuring success is not impossible. You hire a coach for a reason; there is some issue, problem or weakness that needs to be overcome. The client and I will clarify what those issues are, set the goal and determine what success looks like. In most cases, when the owner or business leader achieves a positive outcome from coaching, these benefits are felt across the whole business with positive effect.
When you are getting better at something, or overcoming the problems you are experiencing, you will definitely know it.
1) Initial (first) meeting
The reasons for the client wanting coaching is discussed, including the client’s background, their strengths/weaknesses, role/value/contribution to the business, expectations of the coaching assignment, willingness to being coached, etc.
2) The Contracting Stage
The client and coach reach agreement on confidentiality, desired outcomes and measurement. Each engagement is unique and the coaching contract should reflect the actual assignment. Issues are often modified during the coaching process as the need arises.
3) Assessment Phase
This phase allows the coach to determine the gap between the current level and the desired level of performance.
4) Feedback and Action Plan (If required)
This phase allows the coach to revise all relevant data with the client (assessments tools, 360° surveys and interviews) and then creates an action plan.
Regularly scheduled, face to face sessions, make up the Coaching stage. Depending on the work required, sessions are typically once or twice a month, over a 6 to 18 months period. Contingent upon schedules and location, supplementary communications by phone, Skype and email may occur. The coaching method and interactions, style and philosophies, and the chemistry between the coach and client tend to vary with each assignment.
6) Closure and Evaluation
In this stage the client and the coach (and third parties who are part of the process) meet to evaluate accomplishments against agreed upon objectives.