Blog & Insight

You're interested in coaching but...

You may be one answer away from engaging me as your coach, and yet asking the question to get that answer is easier said than done.

Instead you're stuck in a holding pattern of knowing coaching will help get you back on track, and still wondering if I'm the one for you.

Here's some answers to help you to understand if I might be the coach for you, with a little more about the coaching available at the bottom.

Although my poem From not knowing to knowing what to do may also help.

You know you need to make a change, are ready to take action, and are excited about the possibilities. You’re thinking of having a coaching session with me but it’s a little scary not knowing what that process is going to be.

In essence coaching involves one or all of the following:

  • Identifying where you are in an area in your life (A)
  • Identifying where you want to be (B)
  • Exploring how to get from A to B

The exploration might involve

  • Clarifying A or being really clear about B
  • Mapping the options available
  • Understanding the blocks to taking progress – which might include for example motivation, confidence, focus, or increased self-awareness
  • Agreeing an action plan
  • Taking the first step
  • Reviewing progress
  • Refining the destination or plan

The coaching journey therefore starts with us understanding your goal and where you are in relation to it. I then ask you questions or use coaching tools to help you map all the available options. Tools and questions that simply help you see the situation from alternate perspectives so you can get moving again and making progress towards your goal.

You’d love for me to be your coach but you’re a little bit intimidated by me (in a nice way). You’re thinking I’m bound to be busy and that you should perhaps start with a less experienced coach.

I love writing and therefore post often on social media. I do however also love coaching even more, and irrespective of my busyness here on LinkedIn I am certainly open for new work and new clients I can help to get back on track.

My experience just means I’ve a few more tools in the toolkit to help you.

It’s more important that you pick a coach with a style that can help you achieve your goal.

I am the coach for you if you want change and are not sure what to do to achieve that change. You may have tried other more conventional means to do this, and now know you need a fresh approach to help you look at the situation and the options available to you differently.

My coaching usually involves one deep dive session of up to 3 hours – sometimes but not always followed by quarterly check-in sessions of an hour.

Obviously more regular coaching is available – I have found though my style is suited to jump starting your action. That is, I am more likely to help pull you out of a hole and find your path than I am to hold your hand as you walk along that path.

You’d love for me to be your coach but worry I may be a little direct and forthright.

When writing posts it’s very difficult to demonstrate the adaptability of style needed to successfully coach others. For example,

  • One person might need their hand holding, reassurance and to take one small step at a time.
  • The next may need pushing and cajoling and a firmer voice as they take larger leaps forward.

It certainly continues to be the biggest surprise for me about being a coach – my ability to adapt my style to accommodate the needs of the client. Giving you the support you need, in the way you need it, to increase the likelihood of your success.

Yes, I’d suggest I’m particularly GREAT at metaphorically kicking you out of their comfort zone. With feedback from clients supporting that with a “that’s what I needed to hear in the way I needed to hear it.”

And yet I know I’m great at coaxing you too – the key for me is your desire to achieve your goal and taking personal responsibility for doing what needs to be done to achieve it.

You’ve been thinking for some time you’d like to get a coach. You’re intrigued about my unconventional ways of doing things and think it could really help you to get back on track. There’s just one problem, you’re scared to invest in yourself.

The coaching question I could ask about investing in yourself would be “What’s stopping you?”.

My response to your original statement then depends on what is stopping you.

What’s stopping you might include:

  • Lack of clarity on the return on investment
  • Wanting to avoid wasting your money
  • Fear of making the wrong decision
  • Not valuing yourself enough
  • Not valuing others expertise enough

Getting clear about your objective for coaching will certainly help.

So too understanding the benefits to you of moving from where you are towards where you want to be. For some, however, it may be the pain and costs associated with making no progress and staying where you are now that would provide the motivation to say yes to coaching.

That is, having a clear action plan and getting back on track looks different for everyone. The return you will get therefore will be different from others (whether pain and cost reduced or pleasure and income increased).

The chances of making the right decision can also be increased by talking to the coach, asking for references and not committing to more than one session at the start.

You’ve decided you’d like some coaching, you’re clear about your goal, and know you’re ready to share more about your situation with a coach, but you’re worried - how do you know it’s a safe space?

A safe space is achieved in coaching through a number of ways:

  • Confidentiality
  • Nonjudgement
  • Rapport
  • Trust

With trust arising from the application of the first three in the list.

The introductory chat with me may help you to know that confidentiality and non-judgement are assured. The rapport developed during that call would enable to understand whether you trust me or not with the goal you’d like some help with.

You know you need to make some changes in your life. Whether it’s in terms of your work, relationships, or something else.

But it can be scary to think about what a coaching session may bring up. Looking at ourselves in this way can be revelatory and you’re perhaps scared just what might be revealed!

The one thing to remember is that coaching isn’t counselling, and if you feel uncomfortable about any question I ask - you don’t have to answer it.

Additionally, it’s worth knowing that many of the tools in my LANDSCAPE coaching toolkit avoid logically examining the current situation. That is, rather than use conventional tools I’ve gone out of my way to find other more unconventional tools that don’t use logic as the key to their success.

That is, from my own experience I’ve found that digging down into the current situation isn’t a useful means of finding the solutions. It’s as if with every turn of the soil we find ourselves deeper in the hole not out of it!

Instead, I focus on your patterns of thinking or behaving rather the specifics of any one situation. Yet these unhelpful and unresourceful patterns feel very familiar. Which means I can’t promise there won’t be a little discomfort involved in trying on new patterns of thinking. You will, however, be in charge of how, when or if you try these new patterns on for size.

A little more about when coaching might be something for you to consider

Where you are currently: You're likely to be feeling stuck and don't know what to do. You may feel you're out of options and may already have tried more conventional routes to get back on track.

Where you'd like to be: You'd like to be clear about your direction and be more motivated about taking the necessary steps to get there.

Whilst not an exhaustive list you may personally identify with one of the following:

  • I'm lost
  • I'm at a crossroads
  • I'm feeling uprooted or ungrounded
  • I'm stuck in a rut
  • I'm going round in circles
  • I can't see the wood for the trees
  • I need to turn a corner
  • I feel like a fish out of water
  • I'm up a creek without a paddle

Landscaping Your Life services available to support you to achieve your objectives include:

  • Brief coaching intervention - 30 mins
  • Kick-start coaching session - 3 hours
  • Solo virtual or face to face retreat - 1 or 2 day
  • Group virtual or face to face retreat - for up to 6 people - 2 or 3 day
  • Traditional coaching - 1 hour per week or per month for 3 - 12 months
  • Absurdity & Laughter challenge - starting on 20 September 2021 🙂

Things you can access immediately to help you see the current situation differently and from alternate perspectives include:

If you’re interested in finding out more about coaching and to test the water about whether my style would be a good fit for you call me today +44(0)7770 538159

Here's a summary of words clients for my speaking, training and coaching used to describe me:


© Alison Smith
VAT Registration: 224 5001 58
Registered in Scotland, Registration Number: SC457105
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