What is coaching?

In the sporting environment, individuals and teams have a coach to support them to achieve their goals by focusing on specific skills and behaviours. To enable them to get fitter, healthier, stronger, to perhaps achieve a personal best or win a tournament or competition.

The same can be applied within a work context.

Coaching is all about supporting someone to achieve their goals, unlock their potential, maximise their performance and ultimately be the best they can be at work.

Why is it called Executive Coaching?

Basically, Executive Coaching is coaching for anyone in the business environment. Anyone can benefit from coaching and you don’t have to be a Chief Executive or someone at the top of a business to have coaching.

What is the process?

First of all, we define what goals you want to achieve for you and the organisation you work for. We then agree together when and how the coaching sessions will take place and over what time period. We’ll also agree a review point after a few sessions, just to check how we both think the coaching is progressing.

How long do the sessions last for?

My coaching sessions normally last for an hour or an hour and a half each and take place approximately every 6 weeks. We can meet either in person or face to face, whichever suits you best.

What happens during a typical session?

Once the goal of the session has been understood, I’ll be asking you questions, doing lots of listening, offering summaries and constructive challenge, observations and feedback.

What else?

The focus is on you and your thinking. I provide a safe, confidential space, free from judgement or criticism, allowing you to gain clarity and consider what you might need to do or change to progress.It’s about me working with you, for you to come up with the answers and providing the right environment to enable you to do that.

What can coaching help with? 

Here are some examples:

  • You might be going through a period of transition at work and / or you’ve just moved into a new role or started working with a new team
  • You want to work in a more collaborative way with your work colleagues, empower others or become more confident and are not sure how to or where to start
  • You wish to improve your performance, influence or effectiveness
  • You’re not sure how to “live the values” of your organisation or business
  • You want to be more agile, or know when to step forward and when to take a back seat
  • Building relationships with key stakeholders and work colleagues is crucial to your role
  • There are behaviours that you recognise need to be changed for improvement
  • You may feel that confidence in your own ability is holding you back 
  • Or perhaps there are specific work-related challenges 
  • Coaching can also help with building resilience and credibility as well as improve decision making and make change happen

You have a HR background, so does that mean you only coach on HR related topics?

No. As a qualified coach, I don’t necessarily need to be a subject matter expert or have experience of working in a certain industry.  As the coachee, you are the expert and I help you to come up with the answers. When selecting a coach, the important thing is that you have a coach that is qualified and who works to a Code of Practice.

Is Coaching and Mentoring different then?

Yes. Coaching is about enabling you to come up with the answers, whereas Mentoring is about the sharing of knowledge and experience. A Mentor normally has industry or particular subject matter expertise.

Can sessions be a mix of coaching and mentoring?

Of course, but we would agree that together at the start when we are setting the goals.

Can anyone have a coach then?

Absolutely. There is a general feeling that if you have a coach at work you are a senior leader, are under performing or perhaps have been identified as “high potential”.  Frankly, it doesn’t matter what role you perform or at what level of the business you operate, coaching can help you.

Will my boss be involved at all?

Initially, it will be important for us to meet to discuss your goals and it would be helpful if your Leader or someone that is supporting your development is present for that discussion. Otherwise, it will just be the two of us.

Will you be talking to my boss about our sessions?

No. What we discuss at our coaching sessions is confidential and only between you and I. I would only talk to your Leader about something specific, if it was in agreement with you.

Who are you qualified with?

I qualified with the Association of Executive Coaching in January 2019 and recently became qualified as a Team Coach too.

So what is Team Coaching?

It’s the same principal as individual coaching, except with a team. I work with all members of a team together, to improve the way they function and enhance their contribution to the business and stakeholders.

If you or your team are interested in having a coach to maximise your performance at work, achieve your goals and the best you can be or would like to know more about coaching and how I can help, just get in touch!

Sam Heighway