My approach to coaching - what it's like to work with me

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What’s your experience with coaching like? Good? Bad? Inexistent?

Mine has been varied. From working with a corporate career coach as part of my graduate programme (awkward, old school, and far too structured to allow me to really open up), right through to my most recent experience of working with a creative coach (thought provoking, life affirming and some of the best money I have ever spent!), I have seen firsthand that the style and approach of the coach can make all of the difference to the results.

And so today, I thought it might be useful to delve into my approach to coaching - to shed a little light on what it’s like to work with me, to talk through some of the tools and exercises I use, and to let you know what to expect if you choose to book one of my packages.

So here goes! I’ve broken this post down into a series of questions that I’ve had myself when looking for coaches in the past, but if you have any other questions, let me know…

Who are my coaching packages for?

Put simply, my coaching packages are for anybody who is craving a bit more clarity. That might be clarity in their career, clarity in their business, or some clarity about what they want out of life when there are so many path and options on offer.

You might be trying to figure out your next career move, or perhaps you’re starting to explore the idea of building your own business. Maybe you have a niggling feeling that you could be enjoying your life more but don’t really know where to start, or perhaps you have some dreams buried deep down that you’d love to explore.

There’s no one career path or life circumstance that makes you an ideal candidate for coaching - if you’re craving clarity and you’re ready to commit to making a change, it can work for you.

What happens when I book you as my coach?

Let’s start with the practical steps. If you’re interested in working with me, there are two options - you can either go straight ahead and send me an email letting me know which package you’d like to invest in (I promise to do a little happy dance when I receive it!), or you can get in touch to book a free 30 minute consultation call. If you opt for the latter, we’ll find a time that works for both of us and jump on a Skype call to discuss your current circumstances and whether coaching could be right for you.

Once you’ve chosen to invest in one of my coaching packages, I’ll send you an email with a variety of information. You’ll get a link to my booking system so that you can schedule our sessions, and a link to make your payment (or set up your payment plan). I’ll also send you an in depth questionnaire for you to complete ahead of our first session so I can learn more about your current situation and what you’d like to achieve by working together, as well as a host of exercises to work on. These exercises will help you to start thinking about your big goals and dreams before our first call, which means we can dive right in to the juicy stuff!

What’s your approach to coaching like? Do you have a set process?

My approach to coaching is supportive, encouraging and flexible. From experience I know that coaching works best when both parties feel like they can be honest and vulnerable, and so the first thing we’ll do is get to know each other a little better and establish trust.

I believe that coaching isn’t about giving someone a to do list to march through, or forcing them through a set process. Instead, I like to listen to my clients and figure out what they’ve got going on in their lives and what means the most to them. That being said, there is a loose path that I like to follow with my clients, and I have a host of different techniques and tools that I use along the way.

First things first is getting clear on your why - establishing your purpose and figuring out what your big dreams are. I like to do this first because I strongly believe we can take better actions once we have a clear vision. Once my clients have some clarity around what that vision is, we’ll then spend some time working through anything that might be stopping them from making that dream a reality.

For some people that work will be focussed on giving them some tools to help improve their mindset, or breaking down their goals into tangible actions, while for others it will be about building confidence and resilience. More often than not a client will require some combination of all of these factors, and that is where being able to flex the style and approach really helps to improve the results.

What resources are available to me while we work together?

Once you’ve booked one of my coaching packages, I’ll set up a private Google Drive folder for us to use. I’ll upload an audio recording of each of our calls so that you can listen back (I have personally found this really useful when working with my own coaches), as well as storing your notes and any completed questionnaires there too.

During our time working together you’ll have unlimited email support from me, and if you opt for the Designing and Delivering Your Dreams package, you’ll also receive free access to my ecourse, The Art of Balance, as well as any other courses or resources I release during the period we are working together.

I already listen to your podcast and have downloaded your free resources, what extra value does coaching add?

I’m passionate about providing useful tools and resources to as many people as possible, and for that reason I will always create and offer high quality free content. However, as that content is designed to appeal to a mass audience, the advice and tools contained in the content will always be quite generic.

What you get by choosing to work together in a coaching relationship is access to advice and tools that have been tailored and personalised for you and your circumstances. You will also be getting time and space to delve into your big dreams and work through your thoughts with no distractions - the beauty of coaching is that it allows you to be a little selfish and focus on you and you alone, something which can be pretty rare in our day to day lives.

Finally, I think the biggest added benefit of working with a coach directly (and something that I LOVE to offer for my clients) is that you are basically getting your own personal cheerleader. On those days when your confidence is lacking, or you just need a bit of back up, I’ll be there cheering you on from the sidelines and reminding you what you’re capable of.

What qualifies you to do this?

The short answer? A shed load of experience! And quite varied experience at that.

First of all, I’ve had a lot of training in this field via my corporate jobs. Most notably I trained on The Pacific Institute’s Investment in Excellence programme which introduced me to a lot of the tools I use with my clients and at my workshops. I have also completed numerous communication and management courses which have helped me to hone my approach and help clients get the best results.

While training and education can provide a solid foundation and understanding of key principles, I firmly believe that the best learning happens through experience. I have spent the last 8 years managing and coaching large teams at global corporations, such as Hallmark and The Walt Disney Company, and more recently at small businesses and start-ups. That experience has helped me to get greater visibility of the common issues we all face, and deliver tools and exercise that help to overcome those issues.

I currently manage a team of over 80 people (most of whom are young women) and a big part of my job is working with that team on a 1:1 basis in order to build their confidence, develop their skills, and ultimately improve their performance. I also regularly deliver training workshops and group development sessions.

Finally, I regularly draw on my own experience and the experience of those people I have already worked with at my Mindset Masterclasses or via my e-courses. I have been the person who is confused and overwhelmed, and I know what has and hasn’t worked for me on this journey to gaining greater clarity, focus and overall contentment in my own life.

Anything else we should know?

I like to think I’m pretty down to earth and approachable - I want our coaching sessions to feel like having a cup of tea (Yorkshire, obviously) with an old friend, while still providing you with the tools and confidence you need to help you figure your shit out. I promise not to bore you with jargon or old, tired cliches - instead, I’ll listen to what you have to say, and help you work out your next steps.

More than anything I’m passionate about helping brilliant people like you realise what they’re capable of and helping them start to build the lives they’ve always dreamed of. I’m dying to help you see what’s possible, and if you choose to invest in me as your coach, I promise to do exactly that.

Phew - that ended up being a long old post, didn’t it?! I hope that’s given you a bit more clarity about what it might be like to work together, but if you have a question that I haven’t answered here, please don’t hesitate to get in touch - you can leave me a comment below, slide into my DMs, or drop me an email at sophiecliff@live.com.