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Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find questions that people often have about the fundamentals of coaching.  For more specific questions on services offered, do contact me directly.

What is coaching?

Most people, including coaches and coach trainers, find it difficult to articulate what coaching is. Experiencing coaching is really the only way to genuinely understand what it is. Explanation alone is rather like trying to teach someone how to swim without them getting into the pool.

In its most basic form, coaching is simply a ‘helpful conversation’ to provide performance support. Most of us use coaching in our daily lives to support family, friends and colleagues but we have just not labelled it as coaching before.

In a business environment, coaching is almost as widely used to achieve high performance as it is in the world of sport. How many top sports people don’t have their own coach?

Traditionally, training has been used to develop employee performance. However, real success cannot be gained by simply addressing the technical (external) skills and knowledge required to do a job. It also requires development of ‘inner skills’ such as thinking big, being resourceful, having self-confidence, being able to relate to people etc. It is these that coaching tends to be focused upon.

The skills, experiences and qualities required to coach in the business world are many. To maximise value, most coaching buyers are now choosing to use coaches who have been accredited by a professional body.

These coaches use a range of questions and techniques to help people take responsibility for their actions and reactions and to make shifts in themselves in order to change what happens around them. Coaches help people to enhance their thinking, evaluate how things are going, look at their accomplishments and challenges from fresh perspectives, release ‘stuckness’ by revealing more options, increase motivation and increase self-confidence. Coaching offers support and challenge and takes equal amounts of courage and consideration.

The subject matter of coaching conversations varies greatly because this is a bespoke intervention. Whatever the topic, coaches seek to unlock potential, increase self-awareness, accelerate learning and to help that person evolve. The emphasis is on the individual creating their own strategies, making their own decisions and taking actions. It is not about the coach ‘telling’ or ‘training’. It is about ‘facilitating’ thinking.

What is the difference between coaching and mentoring?

Coaching tends to focus on helping people find their own solutions and does not require specific experience of the challenges being faced. Mentoring tends to be more advisory in nature and is frequently carried out by people who have had experience of the challenges being faced.

What are the benefits of coaching?
There are many. Here are some examples;

  • Heightened performance
  • Connection to a more meaningful existence
  • Increased self-awareness
  • Awakening of latent qualities
  • Overcoming ‘stuckness’ across a variety of issues
  • Increased self-management and accountability
  • Higher levels of confidence
  • Improvement in relationships with team, managers, peers, subordinates, clients etc
  • Focused exploration of behavioural and performance ‘blind spots’
  • Development of a stronger sense of purpose and inspiration to fulfil that purpose
  • Identification of what enables people to be in their most resourceful state and strategies to help them get there and remain there
  • Increased commitment to work
  • More motivation to achieve
  • Enhanced ability to coach
  • Increased focus on strengths and the significance of leveraging strengths
  • A feeling of being nurtured, supported and valued
  • The therapeutic effects of being fully listened to, understood and not judged
  • Having unhelpful assumptions challenged
  • Increased self-coaching
What is the process?
The first step is to have a non-chargeable meeting to ensure that coaching is the most appropriate form of support and I am the right coach for the client. It is important that we have a good rapport and that the client feels that I have the right personality, skills and qualities to help them with their particular coaching needs.


Some people like to work to specific developmental objectives others request regular coaching support to deal with challenges as they arise, using the challenges as opportunities for personal growth.

At the same time, I will be keen to ensure that the client is genuinely committed to the coaching process and is willing to prioritise and put in the work required to achieve the coaching objectives in order to get a good return on investment for themselves and their organisation. It is also essential that they are willing to flex certain aspects of their behaviour to achieve success.

I reserve the right to turn down clients if I feel that coaching is not the right intervention or if I am not the right coach for them.  I am happy to refer people to other more appropriate coaches from my network.

If we decide to proceed we agree on terms and what evaluation is appropriate.

How long will the coaching take?
One to one coaching programmes normally run for between 3 and 12 months.  Team coaching tends to run between 6 and 12 months.  Coaching supervision is variable.  I work closely with my clients to establish the appropriate length of time to achieve their coaching objectives within their particular context. It is commonly thought that behavioural change takes a minimum of 3 months to achieve and the greater the change the longer it takes. Substantial personal changes are thought to take approximately 12 months.

It is very difficult to predict how long changes will take at the outset as individuals learn and adapt at varying speeds.

How long is each session?
Individual sessions run for one hour.

Equine Assisted Coaching sessions vary in length but are a minimum of half a day.

Team coaching is more likely to take up to 2 hours.

How often will we have a session?

This is something to be agreed on an individual basis according to coaching needs, availability and what works for the client in terms of maintaining momentum. Averagely, I coach clients every 3 to 4 weeks. This is especially important in the early stages of the coaching relationship.

Where does the coaching take place?

Most frequently one to one coaching takes place over the phone.  However, I can make arrangements for the coaching to take place at locations which the client finds convenient, appropriate and, depending on the client, inspirational! Clients often report that having the sessions away from their own offices helps them to take a more reflective perspective and can really enhance the value of the sessions.

Equine Assisted Coaching takes place at various locations to suit the needs of clients. All team Equine Assisted Coaching sessions take place at Springfield Farm in Monmouth.

Team coaching tends to be face to face at locations convenient to the client.

What do I have to do as the coachee?

It is estimated that 40% of the success that comes from the coaching process is purely down to the actions taken by the client. It is, therefore, essential that you only undertake coaching if you are committed to putting in the effort to develop, will prioritise the time that this will take and are willing to flex certain aspects of your behaviour.

It is important to engage with the process by being as open and honest as possible, being focused on the outcome you wish to achieve and being willing to put the effort in to get there. The more you are able to do these things, the more value you will get from the sessions. As clients become more familiar with coaching and their coach, this becomes easier to do.

Is the coaching confidential?

All conversations between me and my clients about coaching are strictly confidential.

At the outset of the process, I will agree on the parameters for sharing information. This is normally restricted to agreeing on objectives with the client’s manager and discussing their feedback on progress.

During coaching supervision, I discuss client cases in order to receive feedback and suggestions for increasing the effectiveness of our sessions but this will be entirely anonymous and neither the client nor their organisation will be identifiable in this process.

Which functions can you coach in?
True coaching is not dependant on having a background in any function aside from coaching itself.

If you would like any further information or if you have any other questions please do not hesitate to contact me by phone or email. I am always delighted to engage with people who truly wish to explore personal development in any form whether they are someone who is looking for coaching or interested in helping others to develop.