What leaders need to know about coaching part 2
This is a 3-part blog series sharing what leaders need to know about coaching
1: What coaching is, the different types of coaching, and the common concerns about having coaching
2: The areas of focus in coaching, and what happens in coaching
3: The benefits of coaching, and how to choose a coach
The areas of focus in coaching
When I start working with my leadership clients they’re overwhelmed. Frustrated as they rush around at 100 mph with a diary full of meetings, juggling too many priorities.
One minute they feel at the top of their game. And within seconds, they feel like an imposter. In other words, they’re doubting themselves and their abilities.
Sometimes, they withdraw from speaking up because they feel intimidated. Worry as they sit overthinking situations. Scared of making a mistake or messing up. Annoyingly, they find themselves people pleasing and saying yes. When deep down they know they should be saying no.
As a result, they fail to connect with some of their colleagues, and feel like they’re not making a difference, despite all their hard work. They find themselves shaking their head, wondering “what have I done?”
They’ve felt unsettled for a while as they’ve noticed they’re judging and doubting themselves more. They are physically, mentally, and emotionally drained. At the same time, their family is noticing small changes in their behaviour.
It’s at this point, they realise something has to change. And that something …is themselves.
They start by booking in a Right Fit Call with me which enables us both to get a feeling for whether our personalities ‘click’ and decide whether we want to work together.
What we work on is usually related to self-leadership and leadership skills.
Regaining your confidence so you can lead yourself
- Defining your values
- Identifying your strengths
- Discovering your purpose
- Preparing for a future role
- Clarifying your role and responsibilities
- Setting your priorities
- Developing your emotional intelligence
- Changing your thoughts, beliefs, and assumptions
Regaining your confidence so you can lead others
- Coping with time and stress challenges
- Developing your assertive skills
- Improving your communication and interpersonal skills
- Improving working relationships
- Increasing team engagement
- Dealing with perceived difficult conversations
- Addressing underperformance and conflict
- Developing leadership presence
The specific focus areas vary greatly from client to client, as each coaching programme is bespoke and tailored to your individual needs. However, at the end of each coaching programme, my clients are able to:
- Rethink their self-doubt and believe in themselves
- Say goodbye to imposter syndrome and feeling like a fraud
- Start to focus on key priorities
- Take purposeful action and feel a sense of personal ownership
- Express what they really think and feel with others
- Be more courageous
- Feel confident about themselves
- Have more meaningful conversations with others
- Show up as their real self
As a result of being supported on one of my coaching programmes, they feel happier and can enjoy their job once again. They feel reinvigorated and enthusiastic as they start to believe in themselves. They’re not only confident on the outside, but they feel it on the inside too.
“Andrea has made a tangible difference to the delivery of the services I lead. Her ability to get to the heart of the issue means you are gaining invaluable insight into your own behaviours and drivers and those of others. Many thanks for all your support Andrea, you have given me clarity of thought in chaotic times and during periods of great change within the NHS.” Jan Wilson, Divisional Director Allied Health Professions, NHS
One-off coaching session
Sometimes, there’s a specific area you want to focus on, and will therefore benefit from a one-off coaching session, which usually focuses on an online assessment and feedback call. These are the assessments I support my leadership clients with:
- Identifying your strengths and what energises you, using Strengthscope® assessment and feedback
- Measuring your Mental Toughness, using an MTQPlus assessment and feedback
- Identifying your personality type and appreciating differences between people, using MBTI® assessment and feedback
- Examining your social and emotional strengths and weaknesses, using an EQ-i 2.0 assessment and feedback
- Identifying your default approach to conflict, using TKI assessment and feedback
A one-off session can be useful to provide personal insights, and improve your skill a bit, but without follow-up sessions to reflect on what went well and what still needs work, it’s difficult to make the sustainable changes you’ll get from a coaching programme.
Group Coaching Programme
Starting in 2021, I am starting a 6-12 month group coaching programme. It will include a series of 90 minute group sessions, based around the Check-in, Learn, Change model. Don’t think Zoom calls where you have to click through loads of screens to see how many others are on the call. You’ll be in a small group up to 8, where you have real ‘airtime.’ Time for you to check-in, learn new perspectives, and change your mindset, behaviours, and approach. I will support the group build rapport, guide the discussions, keep things on track, and encourage you to share, support and challenge your peers.
This programme is all about learning from each other and change. As a previous coachee said
“Only you can ‘fix’ things, but the path to that, is what you don’t take alone”
The group coaching programme will focus on:
- Self leadership
- Authentic leadership
- Emotional intelligence
- Difficult situations
- Communication and relationships
If you’re interested, please let me know via email firstname.lastname@example.org
What happens in Coaching?
Coaching provides the time and space away from the chaos and pressures of work to:
- Reflect on yourself and the impact you have on others
- Explore your personal and leadership challenges
- Make positive changes to your mindset, behaviour, and approach
- All leading to regaining your confidence
That’s why having a specialist, independent coach who provides a safe and supporting environment in which you can find your own best solutions and move towards change is essential for success.
My coaching programmes
My coaching programmes enable you to:
- Speak your mind. Because when you verbalise how you feel and are listened to without criticism, you’ll feel so much better
- Reconnect with yourself. Not only to see yourself more positively, but also to give yourself more credit, when things work well (not just feel that the success was a fluke of fate which you had little valuable input)
- Face the things you’re not comfortable about / need to change. It’s time to confront your ‘home truths’ and say goodbye to imposter syndrome
- Explore your thoughts, assumptions, habits, and behaviours. When you stop overthinking situations, you’ll gain new perspectives of yourself and the impact you have on others
- Look beyond the obvious. In other words, dig deep and peel back the layers to find new ways to reach your goals
- Create your own solutions. Be ready to unlock opportunities for improvement and own your actions to promote behavioural change
“When I started working with Andrea, I was uncertain about my role and my confidence. The coaching has been an amazing journey of self-discovery, which has allowed me to step up to the next level. It’s made me realise I’m more capable and confident than I realised, and I’m not a fraud waiting to be found out. I just needed to be unlocked!” Jamie Masterman, Senior Education Manager – Learning Quality, North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust.
Although each coaching relationship is different, all coaching typically follows the same process, which includes:
- Engagement and contracting
- Assessment and feedback
- Delivery and development
- Review and evaluation
Engagement and Contracting
The coaching programmes I provide start with a 30 minute Right Fit Call which enables us both to get a feeling for whether our personalities ‘click’ and decide whether we want to work together.
It’s an opportunity:
- For you to get to know me a bit better, to ask any questions about myself or the process, and to learn how I can help you
- For me to get to know you a bit better, and to understand your challenges / goals in more depth
- For both of us to decide whether we think we’re a good fit, and to commit to coaching together
It’s all about what your heart says! For coaching to work, we both need to feel optimistic, excited, and really engaged with the idea of working together. We’re looking for answer to ‘can I work with you?’ and ‘how do I feel about you?’
If we both get a feeling that our personalities ‘click’ and decide to work together, the next stage includes signing a contract which details how we’ll work together, including expectations, outcomes, confidentiality, logistics, evaluation etc. Some clients access coaching which is paid for by your organisation – if this is the case, you may have an organisational sponsor who will be involved in this contract.
This is then followed by a goal setting session where we explore they key areas of focus for your coaching programme. Resulting in your agreed coaching goal and measures of success to work towards in your coaching sessions. If you have an organisational sponsor, they will be involved in the goal setting session too.
Assessment and feedback
I tend to take the view that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to assessments. It very much depends on the focus of your goal. If one is used, and it’s aligned to your goal, it can provide a rich discussion, leading to personal insights.
There are many ways to approach assessment, which include
- The use of instruments such as
- Strengthscope® to help you identify your strengths that energise you at work, build awareness of your risk areas and explore ways to reduce the impact of these, and strengthen relationships
- Strengthscope360™ builds on the initial Strengthscope® self-report, as well as giving you valuable insight as to how others see you, how effectively you are using your strengths in the workplace, how you are managing performance risks, and how you can strengthen your performance
- MBTI® to learn more about yourself, appreciate differences between people, and understand how different types can work together in a complimentary way
- EQ-i 2.0 to understand your emotional competencies, and learn how you operate emotionally, your areas of strength and potential areas for development
- EQ360 builds on EQ-i 2.0, as well as combining your own perceptions of your emotional intelligence with the perceptions of others who know you well
- MTQPlus to measure your mental toughness, and implement techniques to deal with everyday stressors, pressures, and challenges
- Observing you in the workplace in both public and private forums
- Interviewing your team, peers, line manager
Whilst there are many ways to approach assessment, the most important aspect is the feedback session. This typically takes 2 hours, to ensure you gain an understanding of the background and context of the instrument; explore your feedback in detail; and look at opportunities to use what you’ve learnt during the coaching relationship.
Delivery and development
Now we’re ready to start!
Typically, a coaching session is 60-90 minutes and can be face to face or online. I work on outcome based coaching sessions which means the session is done when we’re done! This means some sessions will be 60 minutes and others maybe up to 90 minutes.
Each coaching session, you’ll get:
- Accountability to encourage you to review how things have gone since the last session
- Dedicated time where it’s all about you. Based on your coaching goals, you decide what to focus on, which means you achieve results that you value.
- Coaching on the focus area
- My own / client experiences to help with those ‘aha’ moments, bring new perspectives and inspire you to take action
- My 20 years’ experience, qualifications and training in coaching, mindset, emotions, strengths, and personality. Not only will this help you dig deep into your thoughts, assumptions, habits, and behaviours, but also uncover those blocks to reveal new ways to reach your goal
- Key actions to help you focus your time and efforts in making positive changes to your mindset, behaviour, and approach
Additionally, you get access to learning resources which include theories and concepts to increase your knowledge of various topics, as well as activities and journaling prompts to help you think at a deeper level. As well as gaining new personal insights and perspectives of yourself and the impact you have on others, these will support your work in between our online sessions.
Finally, to check in with your progress, keep you accountable, and encourage you to take action, you’ll get regular ‘nudges’ and access to reasonable email and support.
Remember that coaching is not a coffee and a chat. Ultimately, it’s about action and change. It’s not easy, and at times it will feel uncomfortable. Believe me, that’s a good thing. It means you’re listening to your inner self, facing up to your challenges, and stretching yourself to make positive changes to your mindset, behaviour, and approach.
Review and evaluation
There are plenty of opportunities to self-reflect on your thoughts, feelings, habits, and behaviours in the three personal reflection questionnaires. Completed at the start, mid-way and at the end of the programme, they offer you the opportunity to record truthfully what you’ve kept inside for so long. Together with acknowledging the progress towards your goal, sharing how you are experiencing coaching, and planning your next steps for development. If you have an organisational sponsor, they will be invited to take part in the reflection questionnaires, as well as providing encouragement and leadership throughout the coaching relationship.
There are many different outcomes to the final check-in including:
- Re-contract for a further coaching programme based on a new goal
- Re-contract for regular monthly / quarterly sessions (like an end of term review / MOT). This is to monitor new behaviours / habits; explore new challenges; and demonstrate commitment to personal learning and leadership time out
- End the formal coaching relationship and check-in on an informal basis
Although this 4-stage process is used in all coaching, the key to successful coaching relationships is flexibility and adaptability.
“For me, this coaching couldn’t have come along at a better time. Personally, I felt at rock bottom after living with the negative comments and bullying behaviour of an ex-partner and I was taking on the problems of others at work. With Andrea’s help, I found the confidence to admit the issues and know I could sort them out. I feel I stand straighter and have a greater capacity to deal with conflict; I can listen to others and value what they say but not be intimidated by what I hear. I also have more clarity of vision and practice and I don’t need to overthink situations because I have the strategies and confidence to go with the flow.” Gael Robinson, Assistant Head teacher, St Mary’s CE Primary School, Slough.
Want to take some time out to focus on you?
Remember, you can’t be a great leader, if you’re not a great you. It’s time to invest in yourself.
So no matter what you feel is stopping you from feeling happy and positive, or standing in the way of you regaining your confidence – whether it’s your family, your colleagues, your working environment or the culture of your organisation – I promise you, it isn’t that!
My challenge is always, let’s start with YOU!
Regaining your confidence on the inside, as well as the outside, doesn’t happen by magic!
It really is going to take effort on your part. It’s going to mean you being:
- Honest with yourself and open to speak your mind, without fear of criticism, or being seen as a failure or weak
- Positive about yourself, so you can feel confident in yourself and have belief in your abilities
- Willing to confront your ‘home truths’ and face the things you’re not comfortable about or need to change
- Curious, through reflection, exploration, and challenge, so you can gain new perspectives of yourself and the impact you have on others
- Committed to reflect at a deep level and trust that you’ll find your own answers
- Open minded, and willing to try new ways of thinking and new approaches, to develop outside your comfort zone
- Serious in your intent to change, see through your commitments and inform Andrea when things aren’t working for you
When you consider what this will bring you, believe me it’s worth it!
One last thing …
I know it can feel like a huge stretch to do something for yourself.
But here’s the thing …if you don’t start to explore your personal and leadership challenges, you’ll never regain your confidence.
You’ll continue to:
- Feel overwhelmed
- Rush around at 100 mph, have a diary full of meetings, and juggle too many priorities.
- Veer from the top of your game, right down to imposter
- Doubt yourself and your abilities
- Withdraw from speaking up, overthink situations, and fear making a mistake or messing up.
- Fail to connect with some of your colleagues, and wonder ‘what have I done?’
You have to stop and ask yourself “why?”
How about joining me in learning a new way?
One that gives you permission to
- Rethink your self-doubt and believe in yourself
- Say goodbye to imposter syndrome and feeling like a fraud
- Start to focus on key priorities, take purposeful action and feel a sense of personal ownership
- Express what you really think and feel with others
- Feel confident about yourself
- Have more meaningful conversations
- Show up as the real you
As a result, you’ll feel happier and be able to enjoy your job once again. You’ll feel reinvigorated and enthusiastic as you start to believe in yourself. You’ll not only be confident on the outside, but you’ll feel it on the inside too.
It’s time to regain your confidence.
And you can do this when you join my Reflect, Explore, Change coaching programme today.
Book a Right Fit Call to see if we’re a good fit
Andrea helps you focus on leading yourself first, so you can be a great leader. Start getting your regular dose of leadership tips and inspiration with the ‘Leadership Breather’ – encouraging you to give yourself a breather and take 5 minutes for you.