What is Coaching?
Unlike teaching, training, and mentoring, coaching works on the assumption that the answers lie in you rather than an external expert.
This ‘person-centred’ approach takes the stance that you already have all the resources required to achieve your full potential; you are your own best expert. Therefore, rather than telling, advising or guiding you to solutions, coaching is a learning process in which you recognise what is blocking you from achieving the things you want to achieve and unlock the resources you already have to enable you to fulfil your potential.
Coaching takes place through a friendly, relaxed, non-judgemental conversation, during which I will be using effective questioning, tools, techniques and strategies, to increase your self-awareness. I will gently challenge you to enable you to achieve new insights and gain the clarity that you desire, empowering you to make the changes you want in light of your new knowledge. Moreover, the additional resources that you obtain through the coaching process will be yours for life, in your ‘toolkit’ to use as you wish in any number of other situations.
How does coaching differ from counselling and therapy?
Counselling and therapy take the same person-centred approach as coaching and the principles and language used are very similar, but unlike Coaches, Counsellors and Therapists are trained to work with those with recognised mental health illnesses.
If an emotional concern has a permanent, semi-permanent or recurrent impact on your life, it may be more appropriate for you to see a Counsellor or Therapist as opposed to a Coach, but I will always advise if at any time I think I am not the best person to help you.
What is Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)?
NLP is a way of understanding how the mind works. It recognises that we experience the world through our 5 senses: sight, hearing, feelings, taste and smell.
Our brains take in millions of pieces of sensory information every second of the day and we wouldn’t be able to function if we gave our full attention to all of it; therefore, our brains have to filter this information and decide what will be brought to our conscious awareness at any one time. This filtering takes place through our subjective experiences of the world (our perception).
Neuro refers to neurology (our mental filtering system), Linguistic refers to language (the words we put to the information received, assigning personal meaning), and Programming refers to our sequences of actions and patterns of behaviour (i.e. our behavioural response).
NLP comprises a set of tools and techniques that were derived from studying how people do things excellently (in terms of their thoughts, language and behaviours), creating methods for others to model. These tools and techniques enable us to reprogramme the way we think and experience things to create better results for ourselves.
What are the benefits of Coaching with NLP?
In NLP coaching, rather than the focus being purely on the content of the story you are telling, the processes or the patterns of your behaviour and thinking are explored in depth, identifying those that aren’t helpful to you and enabling you to create more effective approaches to situations in the future.
NLP and coaching complement each other well because they are both working to achieve the same end result and both provide you with some invaluable life-long tools to use again and again. Whilst coaching focuses on incremental, continuous change, NLP tools and techniques are helpful to address a particular issue for those all-important breakthrough moments. Being trained in both allows me the flexibility to use a combination of different tools and techniques at any given time to give you the best chance of achieving great results.
Of course there are many free resources available that will introduce you to some excellent coaching and NLP tools and techniques for you to use yourself. These are great to help you to learn more about yourself and enable you to start creating the changes necessary to achieve your career goals; however, the real benefits of coaching come from the collaboration and relationship between the Coach and the Coachee. During a coaching conversation, as well as listening to what you are saying, I will be gathering information from what I am observing. Perhaps there will be subtle queues from your body language or something that you say in passing within a relaxed, two-way conversation that I pick up on and take the opportunity to question further and delve a little deeper. As an unbiased observer looking in on your situation, I may question things that others, including yourself, have never questioned before. It is not always easy or possible to challenge ourselves in this way. Sometimes we are so used to thinking and behaving in a certain way, we wouldn’t even think to question it. This is when the magic happens; realisations that allow you to see yourself clearer, understand what has been standing in your way and what you need to do to achieve what you want to achieve.