FAQ - Action Change


Frequently asked questions

What is coaching?

Let us start by clarifying what is meant by other ‘interventions’ or areas of support. If you worked with a Consultant, they would use their expertise to design a solution and an action plan for you. A Mentor would use their knowledge and experience to guide and develop you until you could achieve a task or complete a process. A Counsellor would help you to understand your past and how this impacts on your behaviour. Coaching is not ‘therapy’ by another name. The key difference between coaching and therapy is that coaching does not seek to resolve the deeper underlying issues that are the cause of serious problems. Coaching is more concerned with the practical issues of setting goals and achieving results within specific time-scales. The value of coaching is that it keeps you, the individual at the heart of the process. It helps you take the necessary action by focusing on realistic goals and outcomes. It allows you to pause and consider the reality of your situation. Above all it will help you to live your life according to principles and values that you believe in, rather than some abstract ‘to do list’, with little real meaning. Coaching is based on the understanding that it is you the client who is best suited to find solutions to the challenges you face. This is why coaching is such a powerful tool. The solutions you create with the support of a coach are entirely your own and are therefore the ones that are suited to you and your circumstances. As a consequence, the solutions are the ones upon which you are most likely to act upon, which is why Coaching, as a process, enables you to achieve your full potential.

What do we do?

We primarily use coaching and similar approaches to support individuals as they develop effective solutions to issues arising from home, work or their personal lives. We also use the same methodology to support organisations design, develop and implement effective Team Building or Team Development programmes which maximise individual and team learning, leading to improved performance.

How do we work?

We are client-focused; our approach is based upon a process which creates the synergy necessary to develop unique solutions that meet the needs of the individuals or organisations we are working for. We constantly strive to keep our knowledge up to date, and apply what we know in a flexible and creative manner.

What does a coach do?

During a coaching session with you, one of our coaches would: • Help you explore your needs, motivations, desires, skills and thought processes in order to really identify the changes you want to make. • Observe, listen and ask you questions to understand your unique situation. • Use a range of questioning techniques to help you identify solutions and actions, as opposed to telling you what you should do. • Ask your permission to use appropriate tools and techniques during or between coaching sessions, such as guided visualisations or to use affirmation statements on a regular basis. • Identify and challenge your limiting beliefs – our language for things you think you can’t do. • Focus on the things you do well and always remaining supportive and non-judgemental, regardless of how you live your life. • Encourage you to take responsibility for your own development and ensure you do not develop an unhealthy dependency on the coach.
• Help you make and sustainable your growth. • Ensure you to set appropriate goals and identify ways of working out whether or not you are making progress. • Encourage you to continually improve your skills and, where necessary, to develop new relationships to help you achieve your goals. • Help you decide: how well things are going; whether the coaching relationship is successful; and how well you are achieving your personal goals. • Encourage you to take action – changing I ought, I should, I must etc. into I will statements

What are the benefits to me of using a coach?

Making a change to the way you live your life may well appear as a challenge, but a coach can help you come up with creative and practical ways forward. You may choose to use a coach to support you in your personal life if: • You believe you have the potential to achieve more in your personal life or within your place of work. • You have made the decision to do something different with your life, but either can’t make a start or unsure how to start. • You have a desire to achieve something more. • You are faced with several options but are not clear about which one to take • You want to make or are being forced into a change of career. • You are at a cross roads and feel pulled in different directions. • You are not sure how to manage conflicting priorities. • You are not getting enough support from friends, family members, or work colleagues to help you achieve your goals.

When is coaching not appropriate?

Coaching is not Therapy: The aim of Coaching is to help individuals move forward with professional, personal or lifestyle issues. It is not suited to help people with issues that require a therapeutic approach. Coaching usually starts on the premise that clients are self-aware and ‘whole’ and have selected coaching because they do not require a therapeutic intervention. It is possible for someone who has underlying issues to experience success within a coaching context even if the underlying issues are not resolved. If, however, a client becomes ‘stuck’ and the coaching programme is not achieving desired results, then a psychological or therapeutic intervention may be necessary for the client to move forward and achieve their goals. Coach training programmes are not aimed at qualifying coaches to conduct an assessment of whether someone may need therapy. This is driven in part by the professional restrictions that have traditionally been placed around psychology and associated therapies, but is mostly due to the fact that psychological assessment is a complex process that requires specialised training. Coaches do, however bear in mind the possibility that a client may have or may develop issues or problems for which coaching on its own, is not sufficient. Client progress is always monitored and coaches watch for signs which may indicate that a client requires an assessment by a trained therapist. It is possible for a coach to conduct a coaching programme in parallel with a therapeutic intervention. All our coaches recognise the need to maintain the professional boundaries between coaching and the traditional therapies and will encourage clients to consider whether coaching is appropriate or whether a particular issue might need another form of intervention.