“Tom’s innate ability to listen and empathise enabled me to relax and really explore the issues that were causing me some anxiety.”
“Tom’s approach is based on taking it slow, listening first and asking questions you won’t have thought of second. The latter always result in positive actions to take away and implement immediately.
“Tom listened without judgement, guided without being opinionated and ultimately helped me to help myself. You can’t ask more from a coach.”
Other Aspects of the Experience!
One of the big questions for me right now is “What sort of ancestor do I want to be?”. I have two teenage kids, so I have skin in the game. My commitment to a sustainable future translates into business practices that are designed to limit the carbon footprint as much as possible. This means I primarily meet clients online rather than travel to their premises. All my electricity is from renewable sources and all other emissions are offset via Tree Nation. This website also runs on renewable energy.
Integrative Approach: Different Hats!!
Coaching is an amazing skill and I have seen its power first-hand. I try to bring it to bear as much as possible as I work with clients both individually and in groups.
My sense is that me asking questions will generally offer you more than me answering them. That said, there are times, particularly in terms of implementing change, when it can make sense to switch hats and skills such as facilitating and mentoring can be really beneficial.
I also have a background in project management and management and at times feel those skills being called in. If, as we work together, you feel one or other hat would be most helpful for you at that point I will happily wear it and share my experience and skills in whatever form will make a positive difference for you!!
Reflection is the cornerstone of powerful coaching.
Unless the coach takes time to think how can they:
- Evaluate whether or not the coaching is being effective?
- Assesses our coaching style?
- Digest our limitations?
- Identify possible next steps in our development?
And yet, the reflection process involves more than just the coach. It is also an opportunity for the coach to draw out insights regarding the client that may not have been obvious in the moment. These can help the coach better understand the client and may well inform later sessions.
Perhaps most importantly, I have noticed that the act of coaching is itself a form of reflection. I certainly notice that the longer I work with a particular client, the more instinctive their own reflective practice.
This too is a critical part of the overall experience because it allows the coaching to continue long after the conversation has ended.
In normal conversation, silence may feel uncomfortable. In coaching there is an invitation to embrace it when it feels right. I have been inspired by so many from Thich Nhat Hanh to Nancy Kline but these words from the Canadian First Nations writer, Richard Wagemese, really resonate:
There is such a powerful eloquence in silence. True genius is knowing when to say nothing, to allow the experience, the moment itself, to carry the message, to say what needs to be said. When you can sit in perfect silence with someone, you truly know how to communicate. [Therefore . . .] Pack light. Carry only what you need for the journey. Don’t tire yourself out with unnecessary stuff.
Interruptions are all around us and prevent us from letting out thinking go where it might. This process is about you and not about me, so my preference is typically not to interrupt. That said, depending on where you are on your journey and what you are looking for, we may need to reflect together on what feels right in a given circumstance.
Safe and Deep Space
The idea is that we can create a safe space where you can just be. That’s the starting point for opening up a deep space. There is often a sense of “can I really talk about that?” – my view is to say what you need to say and let’s take it from there.
I like to experiment – it is part of my own playfulness and helps change perspective at times. So, if you’re comfortable at times I may suggest we try out different approaches that might be helpful and allow us to be creative. I will check with you first to see if you’re comfortable with that.
Welcome to “The Sauna” as some clients call it. Partially as a result of the pandemic, virtually all of my work is now done via Zoom from my garden office.