Before I discovered my love for Coaching, for years I struggled to find a career that engaged me and that I was excited about. I jumped from job to job, not feeling positively challenged, and when I was promoted I felt stressed, with no connection to what I was doing for 9 hours a day. Naturally this began to impact my personal life. I never wanted to talk about my job or projects I was working on, and when I did it was to complain. I was a very negative person which wasn’t great for those close to me.
I see this in a lot of people. Whether they are at the beginning of their careers, ten years in or even a few years from retirement, a career that leaves them feeling deflated, stressed and lacking in purpose affects the other areas of their life. It can affect their health, the quality of time they spend with their families, how they interact with their partners and friends, how they are viewed by colleagues, senior management and their clients… the list goes on. It’s not ‘just a job’. It’s a large portion of your life that can impact all aspects of your world.
This is why I decided to set up my business as a Professional and Personal Development Coach, so I could help as many people as possible have a career they love that positively feeds into creating a life they love.
This is a very common question and one that I feel is extremely important to provide clarity on. The International Coaching Federation defines the difference between therapy and coaching as follows:
‘Therapy deals with healing pain, dysfunction and conflict within an individual or in relationships. The focus is often on resolving difficulties arising from the past that hamper an individual’s emotional functioning in the present, improving overall psychological functioning, and dealing with the present in more emotionally healthy ways. Coaching, on the other hand, supports personal and professional growth based on self-initiated change in pursuit of specific actionable outcomes. These outcomes are linked to personal or professional success. Coaching is future focused. While positive feelings/emotions may be a natural outcome of coaching, the primary focus is on creating actionable strategies for achieving specific goals in one’s work or personal life. The emphases in a coaching relationship are on action, accountability, and follow through.’ – www.coachfederation.org
My clients’ well-being is of utmost importance to me so if, after our initial consultation or after some time working together, it becomes apparent that there are underlying mental health issues and/or your emotional well-being is at stake it is my ethical responsibility to cease the coaching sessions. Together we will explore what the best next steps for you are until you are ready to continue working with me.
Yes, it is correct that currently you do not need any professional training to become a coach. However, as coaching is becoming increasingly viewed as a valuable and impactful service by individuals and in the corporate world, the requirement to be abreast of current practices, ethics and theory is as important as ever. I made the personal choice to formalise my skills and train for a qualification at The Coaching Academy. My qualification has been accredited by the International Coach Federation (the leading global organisation for coaches) who have defined core competencies and standards of knowledge, skill and practice in the coaching profession. I have been assessed and mentored by some of the leaders in the field and have been identified as possessing the credentials required to be a highly effective and ethical Coach, with a strong commitment to my continual professional development.
I do not see location as an obstacle at all. I want my clients to be able to access me from wherever they may be in the country, or even the world. I regularly coach via Skype which means you save time and money by not having to leave the comfort of your home or office. All you need is an internet connection!
It is true that coaching is not a regulated profession (yet). As an individual or company who is making the big decision to hire a Coach, it is very important that you conduct research into not only what type of Coach you want but their standards of ethics and professional conduct. After all, when investing in a Coach you should be treated with the same level of respect and professionalism that you would expect when hiring a lawyer or accountant for example. The best way of finding out this information is to simply ask the Coach and request documentation. I have chosen to work by the ICF’s established Code of Ethics and I am happy to provide a copy of my Code of Ethics when requested. I also include this with my coaching contract when beginning my professional relationship with a new client.