Coaching Psychology

Individual sessions

$200 + GST

3-session package

$570 + GST

5-session package

$900 + GST

What is Coaching Psychology?

Coaching Psychology is the application of scientific research and psychological theory to increase well-being and performance for individuals and work teams.  Coaching outside organisational settings has been recognised and practiced, particularly in the field of sport, since the 1920’s.  More recently the application of psychological theory and research of coaching in the workplace has grown exponentially over the last 20 years.    

Coaching isn’t counselling.  It is personal, but it has a focus on the person in their professional role.  Coaches are not business consultants and rarely have the technical expertise of the person they are working with.  They are expert however in understanding how people’s beliefs shape their performance, for example they may help answer questions like; why their client keeps pursuing the same strategies when there is evidence that they are not working or why they are not open to feedback or exhaust themselves with over preparation to the cost of being responsive to rapidly changing priorities. 

Areas that are often tackled in coaching are interpersonal relationships, communication peer to peer and with direct reports and the advantages and disadvantages of the client’s unique managerial style.  Coaching interventions can have a narrow, single issue focus, or maybe part of a package of on-going professional development.    

Topics that may be focus of Coaching may be improving self-awareness and personal responsibility for change, goal setting, improving emotional intelligence.  

Self-awareness

Self-awareness is often described as the capacity for introspection and the ability to recognise oneself as an individual separate from the environment we inhabit and from other people.  It is about seeing honestly the similarities and difference between ourselves and others.    

People who are self-aware have a developed understanding of their own habits, needs and desires, and the things that make you, uniquely you.  The more we know about ourselves the better able we are you are to adapt to life changes and challenges.  Being self-aware enables us to take responsibility for our contribution to barriers and blockages in our personal and professional development.  

If we fail to develop self-awareness and self-honestly, we cannot fully leverage our strengths or effectively moderate our thoughts, feelings and behaviour to best adapt or positively influence difficult or challenging relationships or situations.  

In the context of a collaborative coaching relationship we can learn about our strengths, core values and blind spots.  This is an excellent starting point from which we can harness our interests and passions to enhance our purpose and mission in self-development.  

Effective Coaching can help facilitate enhanced self-reflection.  Becoming a reflective practitioner.  Reflective practice is the ability to reflect on one’s own actions so as to engage in a process of continuous learning.  Through reflective practice we can learn to pay critical attention to the practical values and theories which inform our everyday actions, by examining practice reflectively and reflexively.

Goal Setting

We have learnt from a vast and growing body of scientific research that goal setting is linked to improving success in achieving and maintaining our aims.  The seemingly simple act of declaring to another a stated objective, in this case the Coach, increases the likelihood that the person will adhere to a plan to achieve their goal.  

Many people are familiar with the acronym SMART, in the context of goal setting.  SMART goals are those which are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Bound.

When we experience success and the positive emotions in the pursuit of a desired goal our confidence and self-belief grow.  As you engage in the plan to achieve your goal a Coach can help you search for new strategies to tackle obstacles and find success.  Generating novel ways to utilise your skills and identify your unique strengths and abilities will increase task-relevant knowledge while enhancing self-efficacy and self-confidence.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence can be understood as the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and those of the people around you.  People with a high degree of emotional intelligence know what they’re feeling, what their emotions mean, and how these emotions can affect other people. In turn, developing one’s emotional intelligences enables us to adjust our emotions to adapt to changing environments and achieve our goals.    

Empathy is an essential component of emotional intelligence and can be understood as the ability to step into the shoes of another and understand the world from their perspective.  Conflict is often initiated and maintained when one or both parties to a dispute can not or refuse to see the problem from the other’s perspective.  Emotional intelligence and empathy have been associated with positive well-being, improved managerial and leadership performance.

Where coaching counselling can help in the workplace

Case Studies

Coaching in the context of a Complex Family Business

My career in coaching and mentoring had its beginnings in 1998 when I began to work with members of a family who ran a complex multinational shipping business with an annual turnover in excess of 1 billion GBP’s. This work ran over a period of 5 years and dealt with issues of familial succession and often-painful negotiation of generational role realignment. In such contexts immediate and extended family members are much more than shareholders in the context of assuring theirs, and future dependents security and livelihood.

Cultural Change and Coaching a Consultant

I have worked with a rapidly promoted Partner of a global consulting firm. This work ran for approximately 3 years with an initial focus on managerial style in an extraordinarily competitive environment. Inthe second  year of our work together the organisation began to move through a process of merger with another global player from the same sector. This work focused on strategies for facilitating the communication of culture, influencing skills and managing the professional and personal demands of organisation restructuring and as a consequence a substantial number of redundancies.

Stress and Burnout

I have worked as Psychological Therapist for a private psychiatric and psychological consultancy in central London, UK. My work in this organisation focused on clients who were presenting with work related stress and burnout. Coaching sessions often focused on why clients kept pursuing the same strategies even when there was evidence that they were not working; or why they were not open to feedback or had exhausted themselves with over preparation to the most of being responsive to rapidly changing priorities.

Although coaching is not therapy, it is personal and as such, advanced therapeutic skills were crucial in dealing with the deeply personal dimensions of work-related problems. Dealing with difficult issues is an area that I have well-developed skills in. A major focus in work with stress and burnout has been an honest appraisal of the clients’ role, the circumstances that have led to their distress; squarely addressing personal responsibility for change.

Taking responsibility and action is critical to achieving sustainable change and recovery (sometime staged) reintegration back to work.

Coaching in the Manufacturing Industry

I have worked with an executive director of a national manufacturing organisation. This work was related to the intersection of psychotherapeutic issues of an obsessional nature, work performance and substance use issues. Sessions were initially weekly and then later were spaced at monthly and 6 monthly intervals.

Fear of Flying

I have worked successfully with issues of fear of flying where international travel is integral to the role. This was particularly so for one client who was “the face” of their business and personal representation was not only an expectation but also key to global
expansion.

Coaching an Executive in the Banking Sector

A further example of my work was with a Senior Director in the area of risk in the banking sector. It had been an extremely difficult 8 years in this sector, with regular restructuring in the context of intense media scrutiny. Performance for this client was measured on a daily basis. Work here focused on optimising performance and career contingency planning. A key problem for this client was the tendency to over prepare for meetings and presentations. The consequence of this pattern was to appear defensive and closed to scrutiny and challenge. Ultimately the origin of this personal style was identified as arising from a history of bullying as a younger person. The development of insight was the first stage of facilitating change.

The above examples are by no means exhaustive but give an indication of the range of issues and contexts that may be addressed through coaching.

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