Vogel Wakefield blog

Vogel Wakefield blog

July
11
2014

Your first session with a coach

How to work with a coach, part 6

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When you begin work with a coach, the first session can have a significant influence on the how the coaching programme as a whole plays out. It is the coach’s responsibility to facilitate a constructive session. But, for a client, it can by useful to understand the potential dynamics of your first session. This can help you both to evaluate how your coach is doing and to optimise your contribution to making the coaching a success.

For many coaches, their main objective in the first session is to establish rapport with the client and the foundation of a relationship based on mutual trust and respect. You might be forgiven for bringing a little scepticism to such aspirations. Is there any kind of professional who wouldn’t claim to aspire to trust and rapport with their clients? Coaching is different, though. Professions such as lawyers, doctors, architects even many kinds of therapist, are trading on the expertise that they can apply to fixing a client’s problem. This implies a degree of inherent disrespect for their clients – that is to say, a conviction that the client lacks resources to address their issue. Coaches’ expertise is not applied to solving a client’s problem but to helping the client find their own strategy or solution to whatever challenge they face. In short, they trust the client’s resourcefulness, the client’s expertise in their own situation.

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December
13
2012

The counter-intuitive way to achieve results

Happily
In a previous article, I discussed how personal development occurs through connecting “the doing self” and “the being self”. Here I’m going to look at some of the interesting things that happen when we bring the being self into the equation. We often think of coaching as concerning the task-focussed, doing self that wants to bring about change. Paying attention to the being self actually disrupts the doing self’s action orientation by creating a pause for reflection.

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December
03
2012

Being vs. doing: how coaching supports personal development

Sculpture by Mitoraj

How is personal development achieved? It’s a concept that is central to coaching, an assumed outcome for both coach and client. But the ways in which coaching supports personal development are not clearly understood by clients – at least when they first contemplate coaching. This is partly because of the way coaches market what they do.

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November
07
2012

Agreeing terms with your coach

The price is right.

How to work with a coach, part 5

If you have been following the guidelines in earlier posts in this series, you should have been able to find one or two coaches with whom you would be confident to work. But what should you be paying for their services?

The price of coaching is a bit of a vexed issue. At first glance, there is not much transparency of pricing. Rather than post their rate on their websites, many coaches prefer you to ask. If you do this a few times, you’ll find that prices for coaching vary a great deal. You can pay anything from £50 per hour for a life coach working in your local neighbourhood to a four-figure sum for an executive coach working in large corporations.

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September
28
2010

Meeting a prospective coach

What can you glean from first impressions?

What can you glean from first impressions?

 

How to work with a coach, part 4

Before you work with a coach, you should aim to meet two or three before deciding which to appoint. In part 3 of this series, I argued that you should never be choosing from a field of one.

When it comes to the meeting, your main purpose is to establish whether there is the potential for a good working connection between you both. At one level, this is a job interview and you are the recruiter. There is a certain amount that you have to ascertain in order to make an informed decision. You have to be clear in advance what information you need to get out of the meeting.

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March
03
2010

From a car service to the meaning of life in five easy steps

todo


Book review: Getting Things Done by David Allen

This week I’ve been refreshing my GTD system: reviewing my horizons of focus, tidying up my project lists, and emptying my collection baskets.

If that doesn’t mean anything to you, perhaps it’s time you were inculcated to the cult of Getting Things Done – a book on how to organise yourself and manage all the stuff in your life with the minimum of stress.

Getting Things Done, by David Allen, must be one of the most blogged about of books so I hesitate to add to the cacophony. But, since I find myself recommending it to clients with increasing frequency, I feel a need to explain its particular appeal to me.

David Allen’s great achievement in my opinion was to notice the kind of things we tend to do all the time, when trying to process and get through the cascade of responsibilities that we all face, and order them into a set of routines which, if adhered to, remove much of the friction around being productive. Instead of prescribing a time management system which tries to slot your work into rigid structures of prioritisation, GTD – as it’s known to its friends – offers a more natural, fluid process of keeping track of your commitments and following your energy in deciding what needs to be done.

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January
21
2010

How do you find a coach?

How to work with a coach, part 3

Are you looking in the right place?

 

Finding a coach is harder than finding a doctor, lawyer or most other kinds of professional service. Coaching is a fast growing profession, but strangely invisible and not clearly defined to its market. People often reach a coach through word of mouth; but chances are you won’t know many people who have experienced working with a coach. Alternatively, you might pick up a flyer for a coach who works in your neighbourhood; but how do you know if this person is the real deal or a quack?
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September
22
2009

What do you want from coaching?

How to work with a coach, part 2

Understand your needs

 

In the first part of this series, we looked at what coaching is and in what circumstances it might make sense to turn to a coach.  This post is about how to work out what you want from coaching.

I’m not thinking here specifically about your goals for coaching, although this is a part of it.  It’s more about how you like to learn and develop and what kind of coaching experience would best suit you.

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June
05
2009

Why use a coach?

How to work with a coach, part 1

Need space to think?

Need space to think?

Coaching is a young profession and not well understood.  The barriers to entry are low and the standards and methodologies variable.  No surprise, then, that I find that people who approach me for coaching often have little idea what to expect.

So I’m embarking on a series of posts for people who are thinking of working with a coach.  It will try to shed light on what coaching is and how to use a coach.  Among other things, we’ll look at criteria to use when choosing a coach and how to get the best out of coaching once you begin.  But we’ll start with exploring how coaching can help you and when it might benefit you to work with a coach.

Let’s try first of all to pin down what coaching is – a surprisingly difficult question to answer.  If you have explored coaching at all, you will have quickly find that no-one ever seems to call themselves simply a coach.  There are life coaches and executive coaches, NLP coaches, ontological coaches, co-active coaches, performance coaches, wellbeing coaches, fertility coaches.  I could go on.  I don’t intend to get into the distinctions in approach between the various methodologies or niches within the profession.  Having explored a variety of philosophical traditions in coaching, I can see that they all offer a certain wisdom.  I’m more interested here in some of the common factors which underlie coaching, whatever tradition in which it’s rooted.  The reason for this is that, for prospective clients, the label given to a particular kind of coaching is less important than the quality and professionalism that a coach has to offer.

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