What is coaching?
Coaching is a professional, collaborative process which helps the client identify their desired outcomes, access their inspiration, and maximise their potential.
Through a process of open listening, questioning and reframing, a coach acts as a catalyst to enable their client to engage in personal reflection, awareness and learning.
This leads to a greater commitment to decision-making and achievement.
What makes your coaching programs different from other forms of coaching?
Traditional coaching places emphasis on goals and actions. It is therefore seen broadly as a horizontal process.
While it can be effective, such methods tend to downplay the mental or emotional state of the client in favour of a goal and action-driven focus. Any personal challenges are addressed along the way.
The risk is that these challenges are not dealt with effectively and can re-emerge further down the line, even after the coaching relationship has ended.
At Mark Allison Coaching, we focus on the potential of all individuals to align their physical, emotional and mental states to achieve optimum performance.
We therefore explore the vertical as well as the horizontal.
This enables clients to improve their level of personal alignment as a fundamental condition for effective performance.
Clients often find that when greater alignment is achieved, it becomes easier to identify and create their desired outcomes as a natural consequence of this state.
How do you help clients achieve alignment?
We employ a variety of techniques which can be adapted to the needs of individual clients.
Our aim is to help clients improve functioning at all levels of mind, body and spirit through a tailored program of open questioning and active listening, body and energy field work, mindfulness and visualisation.
A key aspect is to help clients consciously tune into their own feelings and their inherent ability to change or release emotional states which prevent alignment.
What kind of people respond well to this approach?
Our approach works well with anyone who is open and willing to explore techniques that go beyond a traditional cognitive or thought-based approach.
It is particularly effective for those who feel somehow stuck in their life or unsure of which direction to take.
What is the difference between coaching and counselling or psychotherapy?
The aim of coaching is quite different from counselling and psychotherapy.
With its focus on desired outcomes and achievement, coaching is focused mainly on the present and the future.
While it may be necessary to review past experiences to identify learnings, there is an assumption that it is not necessary to unpack these experiences in any detail for the client to move forward.
What is the difference between coaching, mentoring and training?
While the skills are related, these are three quite different approaches.
Through open listening and questioning, a coach assists their client to come up with their own solutions and create their own results.
It is therefore not necessary for the coach to have prior experience of the client's topic of discussion.
However, a mentor uses their prior experience as a foundation for helping their client to learn and find answers.
A trainer takes an even more directive approach to instruct their client in a particular skill or area of work.
All of these roles are valuable in their own right, but it is important for both coach and client to be aware of the parameters of their relationship from the start.
How do you define the relationship between coach and client?
A coach is trained in skills of open listening, questioning and rapport-building.
He or she is responsible for maintaining the overall dynamics of the relationship, including the structure and timing of sessions and the coaching process as a whole.
The client is responsible for setting the agenda, defining their own desired outcomes and taking the action necessary to achieve them.
The coach helps to ensure accountability by providing encouragement to increase motivation.
It is also the coach's role to gently challenge their clients when they fail to take the actions that they have committed themselves to.
How can you guarantee that the coaching will be effective?
While it is impossible to provide cast-iron guarantees, experience shows that coaching enables individuals to get from where they are to where they want to be much more quickly than if they were working on their own.
The effectiveness of the relationship depends on both the quality of the coach`and the commitment of the client to put time and energy into identifying their desires and taking the agreed action.
A coach can only work effectively with clients who are committed to moving forward without feeling a need to dwell on the past.