Arrive by coach

Right direction?Right direction?

Lisa Leonce is a career coach and business consultant offering training workshops in Wanstead and Woodford. Here, she outlines what to expect from the coaching process.

Thirty years ago, coaching was largely used to support the transition needed with talented yet cantankerous executives. Now, it is a prevalent and respected aspect of HR and management practices for supporting individuals.

Although the terms coaching and mentoring are used interchangeably, the two processes are very different. A mentor is usually a more experienced colleague; they use their knowledge to support their less experienced mentee. A mentor can be directive and provide specific advice. A coach, however, is dedicated to the coachee's commitment to their goal. They are not directive, instead they assist, challenge and encourage their coachee to find their own solutions.

People have coaches to:

Help recognise where they need to develop personally to improve work issues and to effectively reach personal or work goals.

Develop their effectiveness as a leader or line manager, increasing confidence, resilience and self-awareness.

Work more effectively with others, developing empathy by being able to view things from different perspectives, and considering issues that may have been ignored or gone unidentified.

Assist with the transition to additional accountability or responsibility, operating and communicating at different management levels.

In a coaching session, the coach facilitates the process through inquiry, using the 'see and say' process, allowing the coachee to consider aspects for themselves whilst creating space for them to see the opportunities and guiding them into taking tangible steps towards them.

Coaching sessions should be fully confidential, with coachees actively listening, which includes tone, pitch, pace and words, as well as non-verbal responses. The coach will highlight anything that may be hindering the coachee from reaching their goals, perhaps self-limiting beliefs that may or may not be true. A coach will provide support in step changes that lead to fundamental shifts in attitude and behaviour. For example, a change from 'reacting' in any given situation to 'directing'.

Remember, a coach does not need to be more experienced than you or 'successful' in your goal area. However, you do need to ensure you are comfortable being open and honest with them, so you can forge a deep trust level to work with them.

Lisa, in partnership with Dr Oge Austin-Chukwu, will be running a Confidence Masterclass for women at All Saints' Church in Woodford Green from 9am on 11 November (tickets: £89). For more information, visit

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