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Executive Coaching FAQs

Below are some FAQs about my Executive Coaching practice. If you want to know more contact me directly but almost all of my coaching work I now do through YSC.

How long have you practised as an executive coach, and at what levels do you normally work? I started coaching in 2004 and have worked with many different types of leader. In the corporate sector I’ve worked with senior executives in large global companies (from business unit leaders and heads of functional roles up to CEOs and other board members), especially around, performance, transition and EQ. In addition I have worked with professionals from the creative industries – such as advertising and music. I have also coached entrepreneurs transitioning their companies from start-ups to established businesses. 
What are your specialist areas, and what is your distinctiveness as a coach? My experience gives me broad insight into most executive “issues”: Past clients say that I have been able to help them in the following areas:  communication skills; relational, interpersonal and emotional intelligence; resolving conflicts; confidence building; dealing with authority (i.e. exercising it and responding to it); listening better; improving creativity; prioritising, time-management and delegation (the idea of the “good enough leader”); managing change better; general leadership abilities and, crucially, helping my clients think more strategically (about their work and themselves).My distinctiveness as a coach comes from the level at which I work. My experience as a therapist allows me to work on a deep level: helping reveal hidden or even unconscious issues which may be limiting my client’s performance (and which may be preventing them from successfully implementing desirable changes they have already identified); helping them integrate the “work them” and the “away from work them” with their core sense of who they are; and thus to find a way to help them feel more comfortable in their own skin; see more clearly what they want; lower stress; take better care of themselves; and enjoy their working lives more.

I have also led an interesting life with its own ups and downs, and I have made more than my share of mistakes. I think being open and honest about these, where relevant, helps my clients. I think that sometimes struggling, personally or professionally, is normal, and something we can learn from.

 

What style of coaching do you use, and why? I use an integrative coaching approach, drawing on various psychological and behavioural models. This includes psychodynamic, CBT, organisational psychology and group dynamics. I tailor my approach to the needs of each client in a careful way so that we achieve the most meaningful impact in the shortest time. Different people respond to different methods. All my coaching, though, rests on a deep trust developing between me and my client. It also always involves occasional uncomfortable moments on the journey. I don’t believe real transformation comes about without struggle and challenge.
What tools/models might you use in the process? Please include specific psychometric questionnaires you are qualified to administer/ feedback I use a variety of tools and models. I often use tests such as the Firo B, the Problem Solving Styles Inventory and the Internal Drivers Indicator. I see all such tests through a sceptical lens, though, and don’t see any results as definitive but simply as more material to discuss and potentially learn from. I also sometimes use techniques such as visualisations, thought records or journaling. I will often give relevant reading or exercises. The greatest coaching tool, though, is honest, challenging conversation. Without that you cannot generate the insights you need to make change. Above all I always establish clear goals with my clients, and, if appropriate, their line managers. I have a tradition I enjoy of giving each coaching client a gift of a book at the end of our formal time together, specifically chosen for them, which I think will help them on their onward journey. 
How do you monitor the individual and organisational impact of your coaching? Any coaching must deliver on the goals set out at the beginning. Ideally it should do that and more, even sometimes something surprising. I use detailed evaluation with clients and their line managers to track changes and like to stay in touch with clients, often for many years, to see if the coaching has had the beneficial long term effect it should have. Coaching should always be closely aligned with the individual and organisation’s business objectives.
In what areas would you consider yourself to be qualified to act as a mentor and how does your mentorship style differ from your coaching style?  I am a coach not a mentor but I do believe that coaching is about practical help. If during sessions I can offer more specific advice on areas I am knowledgeable about I do. These mainly centre around communications and social media. I often advise clients, when they are interested, about their personal “brand” and the communications / personal “PR” strategy they should be considering to project that. It’s a good adjunct to the deeper, more strategic issues we are working on, and increasingly matters in the modern business world.
Please describe your business experience. I have helped manage, grow and then sold a successful consultancy to Omnicon and jointly founded an advertising agency which was eventually sold to Cello. I spent much of the 1990’s giving strategic communications advice to senior executives in FTSE 100 companies, including the CEOs or Chairmen of British Gas, Glaxo and Unilever. 
What formal qualifications and accreditations do you have? B.A. (Hons.) EconomicsM.A. PsychologyM.A. Foundations of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy

Member of the Association for Coaching

Member of the Association of Business Psychologists

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