Frequently Asked Questions
We all have times in our life when we stand in our own way: where we get stuck. Sometimes a long-held belief is limiting our progress or a relationship is dominating our emotions and we are unable to behave in a way that is aligned to our sense of who we are or who we want to be. Other times we are at a fork in the road and don’t know which is the right next move to fulfilment. Coaching can help unblock whatever might be stopping us from living our best lives whether that is personally or professionally. Of course this can also be achieved with a friend or colleague who is a really good listener, is able to help us think it all through with open exploring questions, doesn’t judge or pre-empt or advise. A Coach can supplement the wonderful supports we already have in our lives, especially at work when an external, independent, confidential source of help is what we might need right now. Coaching is a truly amazing process and it can help us discover a way forward to lasting behavioural change.
Coaching can benefit everyone. My clients come from a huge variety of backgrounds, nationalities and sectors to seek out coaching for many reasons such as:
“I am going back to work after a year’s leave of absence and am quite fearful of what lies ahead. What can I do to prepare and make sure that I be at my best?”
“I’m ready to retire however not ready to stop working. But this time I want to work in line with my passion or purpose. How do I find that?“
“I think I have done all I can do in this job and the company is not growing. I really need a change but have no idea as to what I want to do with my career or even my life at this stage”
“I am managing people for the first time and my boss keeps telling me to spend less time ‘in the trenches’ (where I am most comfortable) and more time on the people-side. I am struggling to know when to delegate and when not to?”
“I am up for promotion, tis a bit daunting as I will now be managing some of my peers. How do I set myself up for success?“
“My job was made redundant and after sending out tons of CVs with no replies, the job of my dreams has come up. How to I make sure that I am in with a good chance of being considered for it?”
“I am not getting on with my boss. We clash all the time and they are always giving me negative feedback in front of my peers. I’m not coping very well, not sleeping and feel very stressed. What can I do to change this around as I love my job and don’t want to leave“
“My role has changed and I now have to present at conferences and sales events. I have a real fear of public speaking ever since childhood and need to be able to stand up there with confidence, how to I build up my skills?“
The initial session which is a ‘getting to know you’ can take from 1.5 to 2 hours. Thereafter all sessions typically last 1 to 1.5 hours
Counselling is therapy conducted by a qualified and accredited Therapist as recommended normally by a GP or other Healthcare Practitioner. Sometimes clients tell me that our sessions felt like ‘therapy’ for them. That’s different. It may mean that the experience of having another person focused on them, listening actively and compassionately and being totally on their side with no judgement whatsoever, is different and new for them and they associate the experience with their idea of what counselling might be like. It may also mean that during coaching they have gone deep into their lives, experiences or history to think about who they are, what their values or beliefs are, how and why they behave the way they do and what might be stopping them from moving forward. This can feel like therapy or counselling in that the coach does ask questions, helps the client clarify thoughts, and often, with indirect coaching, will not offer options, solutions or advice, but instead help them bring out the answers for themselves.
Therapists and Counsellors often use the same kinds of approaches as coaching does, however, the difference is, they work with clients who have a therapeutic need because they have been diagnosed with an illness. Counselling normally takes the client back to discover the root-cause of their illness to help formulate a diagnosis and identify appropriate therapeutic solutions. The other main difference between coaching and counselling is coaching is focused on clarifying outcomes and then supporting clients in forming action plans and goals to achieve the kinds of changes they want in their lives. I have clients who are suffering from an illness requiring ongoing therapy and often medication. When they are feeling well, they do and can, absolutely benefit from coaching once this is not a replacement for therapy and they attend with specific agreement from their Healthcare Practitioner.
The first two sessions are ideally held within a 2-3 week timeframe. After that, we can increase the time between sessions to what works best e.g., some clients meet up monthly or every six weeks and a few bi-annually for check-ins or follow-ups. It is not however, beneficial to leave too much time pass between sessions or the momentum can stall and the benefits from previous sessions lost.
For me, there is no difference as all my coaching work is focused on the whole person not just the professional or executive aspects of the client’s life. This does not mean that executive coaching clients have to delve into all aspects of their lives, only those that will help achieve the behavioural change goals they have identified for themselves
You already know the answer to this one, it depends! It depends on the behavioural change you are looking for, how challenging it is, how committed you are to putting new habits in place and following up on your own action plans and goals. For most behavioural change it is a life-long journey, with coaching being the kick start you need to get you started, motivated and equipped with strategies to help keep you going for lasting change.
Most clients invest in 4 – 6 sessions, however, there is no one-size-fits-all magic number: I have had clients who really needed to think through a problem or make a difficult decision and only required 2 sessions: the initial ‘get to know you’ plus one coaching session.
At a minimum you will need to commit to the pre-coaching preparation which is conducted online; an initial ‘get to know you’ session and one full coaching session, which is an investment of 2 sessions plus pre-work/follow-up in your own time on-line.
My sessions are normally held virtually and/or by telephone. If you live near Cork City, we can meet up in person at the Cork International Hotel, Airport Business Park or at your work premises.
Be prepared to invest in at least 2 sessions. After our initial ‘get to know you’ session, we can agree on a plan of how to best work together to achieve your behavioural change goals
I accept payment by electronic banking via my website. All organisational clients pay by Invoice. My coaching fees are currently VAT exempt.
As part of our Coaching Agreement and Terms & Conditions contract, I hold the content of all coaching sessions secure and confidential to the extent permissible by law. I do not share the client’s progress, client’s data or aspects of the client’s coaching sessions with any other person without the client’s express permission. The only exception is in the extremely rare circumstances where I might assess that there may be a risk to the client or other people. The client’s data (notes, assessments, personal information…) that I may hold on file will never be used for any other purpose except in the specific context of coaching/training and within the Terms and Conditions contract agreed to by all parties involved. As a member of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council, I am fully accountable to the EMCC Global Code of Ethics and Quality Standards.
Coaching is not a regulated industry in Ireland therefore the best guarantee of regulation is accredited membership of one of the international coaching organisations such as the ICF or EMCC. I am an accredited member of the EMCC (European Mentoring and Coaching Council) at Senior Practitioner level. My credentials can be checked out by visiting the EMCC website.