Business Coaching in Twickenham Richmond
The importance of psychological training in coaching
My counselling training means that my coaching attitude and interventions are rooted in a sound understanding of psychology of human change. Critics of coaching say that it is a one-size-fits all practice. This can be people’s experience if coaching is practiced by those without psychological training.
My training means that I am committed to deep listening and making my clients feel safe and it is from this point that long-lasting change can take place.
Here are some of the areas I can help:
You may be moving onto a new role or finding it hard to adjust to a new structure or culture. You may have reached a time when you want to take back control of your career or reaching the end of it and not got a clear idea of what this might look like. I support individuals to fully understand the impact of this change, recognise their strengths and vulnerabilities and plan for early successes.
Dealing with conflict
Conflict is a useful sign that things are not working as well as they could be. My experience of helping teams to resolve their conflicts is that there has often been a period where various attempts have been made to dampen it down. It is far better to tackle it openly and creatively than to continue to paper over the cracks as issues tend to fester and then flare up angrily.
The approach that I take is to create a safe space where the anger can be heard, vented and understood by each side. From this point it is usually possible to move forward to explore what the common interests are and what the options are for resolving it and map out an agreement in which individuals are held accountable for their part in the resolution.
Stress Management and Resilience Training
Becoming more resilient makes sense in the stressful working environment that so many of us face each day.
I find that individuals and groups can all benefit from an understanding of stress and learning how to become more resilient to its common triggers. Resilience training has been useful for me because it allowed me to recognise the patterns of highs and lows that I pass through at work. I was vaguely aware of this before but now I am more understanding and accepting that I will go through times when I am feeling that I have let myself down, for example, and that this will pass and I will feel better about myself after a period of time.
Working with individuals I am also aware that there can be resentment about resilience training along the lines of ‘why should I be taught to accept more stress when it is the organisation’s fault that it is there in the first place?’ For me it is important to be open about this and to explore what the individual can learn that will be useful for themselves and what is unacceptable and needs to changed within the organisation.
Mindfulness in the workplace
My interest in training individuals and groups to use mindfulness comes from my regular own practice. My experience of mindfulness is that I feel more aware, more creative, less stressed and better able to deal with life.
Mindfulness has a role in addressing the most pressing issue of the rising toll of work-related mental ill health. Since 2009 the number of sick days lost to stress, depression and anxiety has increased by 24% and the number lost to serious mental illness has doubled.
Evidence that mindfulness can help comes from the Mindful Nation Report by All Parliamentary Party Group, October, 2015):
‘Even brief periods of mindfulness practice can lead to objectively measured higher cognitive skills such as improved reaction times, comprehension scores, working memory functioning and decision-making. Experienced mindfulness practitioners have shown higher-quality reaction times and fewer error responses in controlled studies using computer-based reaction tests. In one study, 545 individuals took a decision-making test involving a “‘sunk cost scenario” (an investment that he or she has already substantially committed to); participants who practised mindfulness for 15 minutes before the test were significantly more likely to make a rational decision. Researchers tested creative problem-solving skills and found that participants who had practised mindfulness for just 10 minutes before these tests generated significantly more creative strategies.’
I find mentoring hugely rewarding as it is a place where I can bring together all of my experience as a coach, as an entrepreneur, as an investor, as an advertising strategist and business consultant.
We worked with Iain for 18 months as part of the Virgin Start-Up programme.
Iain has helped us to clarify the direction of our business, understand some of our limitations and overcome them and to recognise our strengths.
Iain is a good listener and was able to provide examples and suggestions which were relevant to us as individuals and to our business model. One of the key things Iain taught us was the value of building strong partnerships with other business – this advice has completely changed the focus of our business for the better. We would definitely recommend Iain to other small start-ups looking for some objective, clear guidance to help them in their first years as a company.
Kelly, Eat & Think
His honesty and directness is refreshing and our sessions are stimulating and valuable.
After just one session I was able to make good use of one of the techniques we worked with. I feel I’m making real progress towards achieving the objectives I set.