Coaching structure and process
Coaching involves a regular confidential conversation either face to face at a clients’ office, my coaching space or another relaxed place (art gallery, hotel lounge, private meeting room or even walking through a green space) or by phone/Skype. We agree upfront how many sessions we will work together initially (usually three).
Typically, our first coaching session begins by us going through a reflective exercise I’ve sent you beforehand to get you thinking about the future and the difference you would like coaching to make. We might also use a strengths profiling tool depending on what the aim of our coaching sessions are.
In each subsequent coaching session our conversations are focussed around moving closer to the aims/priorities/ goals you identified at the beginning. Life being as it is though, there’s always space to talk about a niggle, worry or concern that’s just come up which is why I ask the women I coach to set the agenda at the beginning of every session.
Ultimately, whether work is paying for your coaching or you’re paying privately, our relationship is about developing your thinking and behaviour, and motivating you to take appropriate action to achieve what’s important to you.
I’m not a purist coach – when you feel ‘stuck’ I will ask if you’d like some suggestions or examples of how other coachees have handled similar situations (without names) which you can accept or reject. You don’t need to please or impress me and that freedom to say exactly what you want to say is what makes coaching so powerful – because when you speak unedited you can usually get to a robust, sustainable solution more quickly. Of course, as many coachees say – especially the working parents I coach – it’s just plain good to talk out loud and be listened to without interruption for 60 minutes.
Most of my coaching work comes by word of mouth referral, although I’m always very happy to have an initial chat on the phone so you can get a feel for me and ask any questions. I make no charge for this.
I am an Association for Coaching (AC) Accredited Executive Coach and adhere to the AC’s global code of ethics. I also work within the AC’s 12 item competency framework.
The money side
My fees for non-sponsored coachees (people paying out of their own pocket) are significantly lower than the fees I charge for those with an organisational sponsor. I take it on trust that private coachees are not re-charging coaching costs to their employer.
Typically women without a corporate sponsor invest £350-400 in coaching time with me. I also run several free career comeback coaching and maternity comeback coaching workshops throughout the year. As one client said, coaching time was the best money she’d ever spent on herself.
Why do women want coaching?
Some common reasons coachees have approached me over the last decade:
- I feel stuck in the job I’m in – I really not sure what a good next step would be.
- I have a very difficult relationship with my line manager and I want help finding a way through.
- I’ve just moved back to the UK and I feel lost, especially now I’m a parent.
- I’m worn out from work – I’m working until 10/11pm at night and that can’t be right.
- I’ve been line managing a team of five for 2 years and I still feel like an imposter.
- I feel anxious about going back to work after maternity leave.
- I’ve left my well-paid job to set up my own business and now I’m feeling hazy and scared about it.
- I want to make time for other things in my life but work takes up so much time.
- I don’t know what I want – I’ve got two young children and need some work satisfaction too.
- I’ve started a business but I feel frustrated I can’t grow it because I work around school hours.
Less stress, more recognition, greater happiness and other benefits
The growing number of thoughtful women speaking to coaches is testament to coaching’s many benefits. Have a look at the Horses Mouth page for comments from real women I’ve worked with. They talk about:
- Having clarity about what they’re going to do next, when and how.
- Feeling confident about their ability to improve relationships at work.
- Putting themselves forward and being more assertive.
- Feeling happier.
- Calmer about how they can tackle challenges.
- Having a more harmonious, less fraught family life.
- Being better able to put things in perspective.
- Feeling empowered.
- Being more ‘balanced’.
- Increased career success.
- Being more sure of themselves.
- Achieving things they wouldn’t have done as quickly if at all, without working with me as their coach.