I’m often asked ‘What’s the difference between corporate coaching and life coaching?’ and that’s a question I welcome.

Robust and realistic

In my opinion there really isn’t one. Because excellent coaching is about helping our clients to identify robust and realistic ways to reach their objectives – with all the hard work that goes on in the middle. And it doesn’t matter whether, as coaches, we are working with an individual to reach a decision about moving house, or working alongside a CEO to prepare their organisation for change – the process is still the same. It’s all about getting people to dig deep into their own resources and create durable foundations for the decisions they make.

Not fluffy ‘blue sky thinking’

Sometimes I come across people who believe that coaching is some kind of fluffy, ‘blue sky thinking’ process, all about setting thrilling but improbable goals that you desperately want to achieve but will probably never reach. But real coaching is actually one of the most grounded processes I know. And highly effective for identifying and taking detailed and manageable steps towards lasting change.

Practical – and dynamic

Great coaching is nothing if not practical (as well as dynamic, exciting and transformative). It allows clients to identify all the knowledge, skills and experience they have acquired – and tucked away quietly at the back of their brains – until the coaching process helps them tap this incredibly valuable resource, and use it to solve problems, create strategies and consolidate and build on successes.

Guides not leaders

On an unfamiliar journey you know where you want to get to, but you probably don’t know which route is going to be the most effective. So my role, as coach, is to help you identify the different routes you might take, and consider the advantages or disadvantages of each. As your guide I might raise your awareness of the pitfalls or the opportunities of a particular route, but I will never lead you. Ultimately, you are the one who must decide which path is the best one for you or your company.

Lasting foundations built on personal resources

So whether you’re deciding how to expand your company, buy a new car or select sheltered accommodation for your grandfather, my personal opinion is of no consequence or relevance to your decision. What is relevant is the skills I bring to helping you create a strategy that is tailor-made to your needs, and is built on the lasting foundations of your personal knowledge and resources.

Excellent coaching is always robust