Coaching : My Story
I’ve always had a keen interest in the ‘people aspects’ of teams and organisations, even though my background and qualifications are in Engineering, and for the first nine years of my career I worked in Process Engineering.
When working on issues like product assembly, new production introduction, assembly-line layout design, product & quality improvements, I was always drawn to the human elements of manufacturing. In the non-manufacturing areas of the organisation, I was intrigued by how people performed – why did some flourish and others struggle? Likewise I was keenly interested in why some teams performed more successfully than others.
While I was working in Alps Electric and I had the opportunity to become a certified trainer in the Edward deBono techniques of Lateral Thinking and Six Thinking Hats, I embraced the opportunity. Once I completed the training and became a Certified Master Trainer in these techniques, we set up Process Improvement Teams throughout the organisation. My initial role was to train the team members in the above techniques to help them generate ideas and solve problems in all areas of the factory: Manufacturing, Planning, Finance, Marketing, Warehousing and HR & Admin. This was my first involvement in the world of Training & Development, and I loved it!
Very soon I found myself travelling throughout Ireland and the UK delivering these training programmes, while still working in Alps as Training Manager. During this time I also developed and delivered training programmes internally on topics like Presentation Skills, Communication Skills, Time & Stress Management, Problem Solving, and Managing Meetings. My Engineering days were well & truly behind me…
In 1998 I made the big decision to leave Alps, and set up my own business. Initially, I was entirely focused on running group training programmes, but after a number of years I moved into the area of one-to-one Coaching. My initial interest in this came from having had a coach of my own when I was making the transition from Engineering into Training & Development. I genuinely found the process to be life-changing, and I don’t think I would be where I am today if I hadn’t had the benefit of being coached. I was intrigued by the way the coaching process worked and I derived huge benefits from it.
I have been coaching people for over 12 years now, and have lost count of how many people I’ve coached (somewhere between 200 and 250). My clients have come from all walks of life, from all sorts of organisations, and from all levels within these organisations, because coaching can benefit anyone, no matter who they are or what they do.
Details of my coaching programme are available elsewhere on this site, but there are basically three phases involved:
- Creating Self-Awareness
- Using this Self-Awareness to set Goals
- Goal-implementation and measurement
No two coaching programmes are the same: because coaching is person-centered, each programme is inevitably unique. Although I always have an Agenda for each coaching session, sometimes it goes in a different direction to that which I had planned, depending on the needs of the client.
As a result of my background in Engineering I tend to take a very systematic & structured approach to coaching, and like to aim for tangible concrete results as much as possible. My coaching style has also been described as; friendly, professional, reflective, insightful and supportive.