Perhaps you’ve spotted I don’t do taster or ‘discovery’ coaching sessions like most other coaches – only the real thing. Hence why I’m a little more discerning when it comes to inviting people…
Why? Because what we’re about to create between us is extremely rare and precious.
Disruptive, even. And always life-transforming.
We’re about to go deeper than workaday conversation ever dares go
Sure, we’ll begin with pleasantries to break the ice… but aren’t you keen to cut straight to it: what REALLY matters, to you, in life?
So here’s a guide for newcomers to coaching with me. Let’s assume you’ve attempted these provocations, and that led to us scheduling a proper coaching session together.
What happens now?
Shortly before said session, you’ll get an invite to an online Zoom call. I’ll greet you there, then lead you into an intentional coaching conversation.
You’ll notice I mainly ask questions, ones that follow on from whatever you present. I reflect that back too. Everything is underpinned by proven models and techniques I’ve absorbed as a qualified coach.
Basically, you’re in safe hands, in a safe place.
With this being your first session, we might ask: What do you need from coaching? And does this suit you and your situation as it stands?
No one’s getting ‘assessed’ or marked. And there’s no such thing as a right or wrong answer. Everything’s upfront and transparent – pry away!
We’re both just feeling our way through whether there’s chemistry, and a ‘good fit’ for both of us, given our respective uniqueness.
Who decides what we talk about?
The content is all about you and what’s on your mind in the present moment. You’re the hero. I just facilitate or guide the session.
With your permission, I’ll gently lead you towards what you say is important, or what seems to be emerging as important. To that end, I’ll occasionally use my coaching radar to sense what’s going unsaid or unquestioned.
Topic-wise, we might dream-up your future, consider options, or build new systems or behaviours through experiments. We agree what action you want to take, what’s in the way, and how I can support you through that.
Coaching is all about committing to do meaningful stuff outside of sessions, then reflecting on and learning from how it went (or didn’t).
If this initial coaching session works for us both, we can talk about what extra support you’d like, when and how – that could be a coaching programme, something one-off, or entirely new all together; designed by us.
What does coaching feel like?
Clients say my coaching is honest, vulnerable, funny, profound, edgy, deep, compassionate and curious.
Through coaching, the impossible soon feels do-able. And breakthroughs happen on fronts you’ve battled with, perhaps alone, for years. Some you might not even be aware of yet…
Coaching turns whatever you dare dream-up into real-life, grubby-fingered projects, decisions and change. Always on your terms.
It’s not about mind-tricks or quick-fixes. I think you’ve already got what it takes to get where you want to be. And it’s my job to help you recapture that, by surprising yourself and tapping into your natural brilliance.
What else might happen?
If appropriate, we’ll get out of our heads. By that I mean movement. I’m a certified physical intelligence coach, with a bag of tricks to help you feel freer, more creative, more vital and less affected by stress.
Coaching isn’t all talking. Emotion, intuition, our bodies and sensory experience all have their place. I might offer a curious activity or experiment in the heat of the moment, to shift perspectives or loosen things up.
I’ll always seek your permission, and frequently check-in with how a session is going for you. We can always adjust in-flight.
How does this compare to counselling or therapy?
You’re right to spot similarities. Coaching is rooted in the same time-tested psychotherapeutic and philosophical traditions, so a counsellor or therapist might recognise the techniques I use.
That said, coaching focuses more on your future, rather than your past. We’re less fixated on problems, more your relationship with them. As well as your capacity for agency, awareness and choice.
For your peace of mind: I’m trained to respect ethical boundaries, like whether coaching is or isn’t an appropriate, safe intervention.
I’m accredited and insured too, so again – you’re in safe hands.
What advice will you get?
I believe you have a natural capacity for learning, growth and creativity to overcome challenges. So as a coach, I’ll always encourage you to trust yourself as an advisor first.
That said, I will occasionally volunteer suggestions, experience and opinions, with your consent.
If it’s lasting results you want, all decisions and actions must be yours (rather than mine). I don’t have any ‘right’ answers, but I can coach you into discovering your own.
How can you prepare?
Deciding to go ahead, and dedicate yourself to coaching is enough. That’s an enormous act of bravery and self-respect – so well done already!
To get even more out of your coaching session there are a few practical steps you might like to take:
- Find somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed or interrupted (sessions usually last two hours).
- Connect to a reliable internet connection; a decent mic and headphones will help.
- Afterwards, solitude might help – like a quiet walk or a mindless task while things percolate mentally.
If you really want to prepare, think about what you’d like to have happen in your coaching session (though I will often begin with a question like this anyway). Your notes or other prompts for discussion are welcome.
If you only remember one thing: I invite you to stay open and playful, ready to surprise yourself. This simple outlook helps my kind of people get the most out of a coaching session.
Now, on to the fun bit…