What exactly is coaching?
Sometimes people imagine that someone else can wave a magic wand and change their lives for them. If only! Coaching can be hard work. But I do have a wand that I can wave to help bring out your magic. It's a professional partnership where we work together.
Have you ever wondered what a coach does? If you have, you're not alone. A lot of people still aren't sure what coaching is, whether it works, how it's different to counselling. There is- being honest- some scepticism about it. I want to try to clarify what coaches do.
I love this image: the magic is in you.
That's my role: to help bring it out. Whatever 'it' is. It's different for everyone I coach.
So what is a coach?
Sports coaches- you know, the headlines 'Andy Murray has a new coach.' Coaches work not only on physical performance but on the the mindset and the psychology behind winning.
Executive coaches- in organisations helping senior managers, CEOS, MDs, with their performance, stress, work-life balance, visions for their organisation.
Life, Career or Personal Development coaches- Yes, that's me. So what do I do?
I'm here to help you make changes to every part, or one part, of your life.
You may feel completely stuck (with a decision or how your life is now.)
You may want some help structuring changes and need someone to help motivate you.
Like many of my clients you may already have confided in friends, for weeks, months or years.
Is a friend as good as coach?
Friends are good. Friends can be all you need. But sometimes friends hold back from saying what they want to. Why? It's obvious; they don't want to offend you or fall out with you. I am like a good friend in some ways; I want the best for you and will do all I can to help you.
But there the similarity stops. You are- being blunt- paying me. I'm here to do a job and do it well. I want to get you from A to B so you move forward.
Is it like counselling?
It IS a bit like counselling. We either sit in a comfy room ( or talk by phone) with you talking and me listening and asking lots of questions, but there are important differences.
Do I tell you what to do?
Nope. That's the first thing I learned when training. It's not my role to make choices for you.
I will though point out some options - playing Devil's advocate at times. I'll also hold you accountable. So if you say you desperately want X, a month goes by, and you have done nothing towards your X, I'll be asking questions.
It's about your goals
You'll set goals. So at the end of each session you will have come up with something that you are happy to work on. It might be something small- like giving up wine on weekdays (and for some clients that's not such a small change; it's very hard work.)
It could be a major behavioural change like learning how to be assertive and stand up to bullying at work or in your relationship. It could be analysing your own behaviour - which may go back to your childhood and parenting - but , unlike counselling, coaching is about change. You will discover why you behave as you are, but then we work on how to change that.
I have coached numerous clients who have already had counselling, often for years. It helped but they were still stuck with the same relationship, the same job, the same lifestyle. They came to me for a kick up the pants. Someone to help them actually change their lives.
Who comes to me?
My clients are so varied: there have been CEOs who were thinking of giving it all up and going to open a vineyard in France, high flyers made redundant who wanted to look at other options for work, mums going back to work, women stuck in abusive marriages who needed support so they could leave.
There have been writers- I'm adding to my list of authors I've mentored - and artists.
Small business owners who I've worked with for several years seeing them take their businesses out of the spare bedroom and into an office with staff.
And lots and lots of clients who had got to forty or fifty and decided the career they chose at eighteen wasn't working for them any more. I've not even mentioned all the women who need support during the menopause, or to reduce stress as they are torn between their own work, elderly parents and teenagers living at home.
Coaching has a timescale. 'When do you want to achieve this?' You'll find that working with a coach for 6 months, maybe a bit longer, is usually all you need.
When are you going to work magic on your life?
I'm Glynis, a coach for clients somewhere in midlife, helping them get the life they want. I work with them on careers, time-management, relationships and lots more. These are my musings on what life throws at people like us. You can read more about me here. Do get in touch if I can help you.