5 ways a coach helps you succeed

5 ways a coach helps you succeed

What are five ways a coach helps you to succeed?

I’m going to tell you five techniques and approaches that a coach uses. You can apply these to your own challenges and problems so that you can succeed better without a coach. Or you know what to expect when you hire one.  

So what are the five things that you can expect when you work with a coach.


1. What do you want to change?

First of all your coach is going to need to understand and really get to grips with what it is that you want to change, because coaching is all about changing.

“Moving you from where you are now to where you want to be.”

A description of coaching that I absolutely hate but it is true.

So the first thing that a coach is going to do is to understand what it is that you want to change.


2. Change your focus from problems to solutions

The second thing that your coach is going to do for you is help you to really shift that problem focus to a solution focus. Usually when we want to change something, we’re focused on the problem.  There is actually good reason for this that is backed by neuroscience. You see we are all predisposed to have a negative bias; it’s what keeps us safe, so if you think that maybe you can be a bit of a negative-nelly at times, relax, you’re doing exactly what you are designed to do!

A solution focus is also known as a goal focus and that’s why coaches are always working on goals.

So your coach will help move what you want to change from a problem to a goal or solution.


3. Core Values – You know this, right?

Now the third thing that your coach is going to do, which seems a little bit backwards, is that they’re going to give you an experience of understanding what your core values are.

You may think that you know what your core values are.

I have been doing this for 11 years, so believe me when I tell you that what you think your core values are and what they actually are, is more often different than you would expect.

There are reasons for this difference.

Basically we’re given our first set of core values by our parents, our teachers, our influencers and our peers. Then, as we get older and as we have our own life experiences, they start to change.

Often when it comes to the point where clients feel stuck enough to engage my services it means that there’s a bit of a values conflict going on.

So I will always give my clients an experience to find out what their core values are. This is important because that might have an impact on the fourth thing.

So before we get ahead of ourselves, number three is understand what your core values are.


4. Goal Alignment

So the fourth way a coach will help you success is to take your core values information and check in with the goal that we created in the second step.  

Let’s make sure that your goals are aligned with your core values, because once you’ve had that core values experience, sometimes the goals have to change so that they remain aligned with your values.


5. Progress and actions

The fifth thing that you can expect from your coach? Well that is progress. They will work with you to help design small manageable actions that are going to take you closer and closer to that values aligned goal.


So there you have it. Five things that your coach will help you with or that you can have a go at working on yourself.

  1. Understand the change you want to make.
  2. Shift it from a problem focus to a solution focus.
  3. Understand what’s most important to you.
  4. Check in with your values and make sure that your goal is aligned and then
  5. Design those actions that are going to move you towards that goal.


Let me know how you get on….


And to find out more about working with Lorraine on a one-to-one basis, please click below.

3 Common Coaching Myths…..busted

3 Common Coaching Myths…..busted

I’ve been in the coaching field for 11 years this year, and over that time I have witnessed the growth of both the industry, and the myths that surround it.


My passion is coaching, and I want more people to embrace it both as clients, and as coaches, but I also want them to enter into coaching with their eyes wide open. I have been challenged by my friend, client and colleague Debbi Carberry to become more vocal about the truth about both coaching, and the online business of it.


Since I know that a number of my subscribers are coaches, or are planning to formalise their coaching at some point, I thought it would be useful to address some of these myths.


Here are 3 of the most common myths I see regularly:


3 Common Coaching Myths


Myth 1: You need to be an expert to coach

One of the things that I come up against whenever I am talking to people about coaching is that you need to be an expert in your field in order to be a coach.


This is absolutely not the case. In fact, you could argue that you can actually coach better if you are NOT an expert in the field that you client is looking for develop in.


How so?


Well, coaching is a set of skills that are not ‘context dependent’. That means that you can apply the same skills in ANY environment, in any context.


How does that work?


Well it works because at the heart of the philosophy of coaching is that the client has all the answers.


When you truly believe this, and work from this place, then you use the skills you have to elicit those answers from the client.


This has an interesting result for the coach and the client.


First up the client – when they embark on a coaching experience, it’s because they need help to find the answers so they expect their coach to tell them what to do. What actually happens is that their coach will help them to come up with their own solution which is far more compelling for the client.


What happens for the coach is a little different…


When they are not required to know the answer, but are confident in their ability to elicit the answer, there is no pressure to have to know anything other than the core skills of coaching. This is why even brand new coaches can get amazing life changing results for their clients.


So, this myth is BUSTED. You DO NOT have to be an expert to be a great coach.


Myth 2: You can’t make money as a coach


Aah this old chestnut.


Well the short answer is yes of course you can make money as a coach, otherwise the industry would have died many years ago, when in fact it continues to grow.


What might be a truer statement is that some coaches find it hard to make money.


With coaching being such a client led process and each client’s goals being unique, it can be a challenge for coaches to communicate their value in order to attract clients who pay well.
It can also be challenging for coaches, who are inherently ‘behind-the-scenes’ people who just want to help, to step up and promote themselves and their services.


But I have found this to be true in all ‘helping professions’.


The bottom line is that you need to DUC to make money from coaching…


    • Discover the results of your coaching
    • Understand the value that it has for your clients
    • Communicate it in a way that they can connect to

Is this myth busted? I would love to say it is, but I may have to concede that for some, it is busted.


Myth 3: Everyone can benefit from coaching

The final myth for today is that everyone is coachable – or everyone can benefit from coaching.


Sadly, that is not the case.


In order for coaching to be effective, the client must WANT to change. That’s why some coaching in organisations is less than effective.


If you have someone whose manager has sent them to be coached and they haven’t chosen coaching for themselves, then they may resist the process and therefore not get the results that they could otherwise.


That is why it is so important to pre-qualify your clients.


You see the best clients get the best results, so the best clients are the ones who are really motivated to change. And as their coach, you cannot want it more for them than they want it for themselves.


Time after time I see coaches, particularly new ones, settling for any client to work with and then being disappointed in the results of the relationship.


Instead of realising that the client wasn’t coachable, they begin to question their skills as a coach.


It’s a tricky catch-22 and the way out is to be very selective about your clients.


Don’t hunt them, you need to hire them.


You need to work out who the very best and most motivated clients are that you can help and position yourself for them so that they can find you, rather than attracting clients that are simply not coachable.


So this myth is busted – not everyone can benefit from coaching.

10 Questions to Ask Your Coach Training Provider Before You Enrol

10 Questions to Ask Your Coach Training Provider Before You Enrol

Just as not all coaches are created equally, neither are coaching schools and training programs.  Here are 10 questions to consider or ask your coach training provider, before you enroll on your coach training certification.

1. Is the program accredited? And for how many hours?

Whilst accreditation is not a requirement for coaches, it is advisable to select a coach training program that is. This means that the program has been assessed and regularly reviewed by an external body. As with all industries that are not regulated though, there are some pitfalls to look out for.

      • Just as not all coach training programs are not created equally, neither are accreditation bodies. The requirements for accreditation vary widely from organisation to organisation, and some courses that are accredited are not as comprehensive as others.  It pays to review the criteria for each level of accreditation to ensure that you investing in a credible and comprehensive program.  The most widely respected coach accreditation body is the International Coach Federation.
      • Even with ICF accreditation there are a number of things to be aware of. There are 3 main paths to achieving credentialing with ICF; ACTP, ACSTH and the Portfolio path.  ICF requires a minimum number of coach specific training hours as a major part of credential application and those courses that are CCE or ACSTH marked may not have the minimum number of 60 hours. It pays to check if credentialing is something that you are planning for. (ACTP courses all meet that criteria)

2. How is the training delivered?

Is the course delivered in person, or online?  Check if there is a requirement for you to attend any live workshops or trainings as part of your certification. This may mean additional costs both in time and money.  It’s also important to understand how much live training is provided with online courses; are you left to study alone, or do you have mandatory class time that you need to commit to?

3. How big are the class sizes? What level of attention will I get?

Whenever you are learning a new skill, the amount of feedback that you receive whilst you are honing it, will directly impact your results.  Think of a mass exercise class vs working 1:1 with a personal trainer – the more individualised the attention, the better your form, and therefore the more confident you can be about your results.  Check to make sure that the class sizes are small, and that you get plenty of time to ask questions of your trainer.

4. What is the curriculum?

A better question may be, what is the focus of the program? Your coach training provider should be able to provide you with an outline of the topics covered so that you can see if the course fits with how you wish to use your coaching skills.  

5. What experience do the trainers have? Does the provider help you with the business end of coaching?  To what degree

Do not assume that because someone is teaching a subject that they are an expert in the subject.  Check that the lead trainer is, in fact, qualified and experienced.  Also, look for references or testimonials from their coaching clients as well as their students; teaching and coaching are not the same thing.

How much real world coaching experience has your trainer had?  And in what fields? If you are planning to launch an Executive Coaching Practice, and your trainer has never coached in a corporate environment, is that important to you? Be aware of the level of experience of your trainers, and if this information is not readily available, then ask.

Gaining your skills and certification is one thing, but what do you do with it after that?  Arguably a larger learning curve for a lot of coaches is how to take those skills and earn a living from them by consistently attracting quality clients, and learning the skills that make a business profitable.  Does your coach training provider offer this type of training as part of your course, and if so, to what degree?  

6. What practical 1:1 feedback will I get on my coaching skills?

Getting feedback on your skills as a coach is key to becoming a masterful change maker, and supervised coaching sessions are one way to receive feedback, as is peer coaching where you are coached and coach your fellow students. Be sure to ask how much feedback you will receive on your coaching skills, and by whom.

7. Can you get support after the training is complete?

Just as passing your driving test is the gateway to really learning to drive, your coaching qualification heralds the beginning of your coaching career, and there are bound to be bumps in the road as you shift into gear.  Will the organisation offer you support as you grow your coaching experience and business, and at what cost?

8. What is involved in achieving certification?

If completion of the course materials is the only prerequisite to achieving certification, then the value of the qualification is questionable. A credible course should require a level of assessment and evaluation of the coach’s skills before issuing certification. Be clear on what is required to graduate. Stringent criteria is not a bad thing, (and is a requirement of ICF accredited courses.)

9. How much does it cost?

What is the total cost of the course and options for payment? Do you need to pay extra for assessments? Is there a payment plan available? And is there a surcharge for paying by installment?  Are there necessary textbooks or course materials that are not covered in the advertised cost?

10. Is there a refund policy?

Sometimes, even with the best of intentions by both parties, things turn out to not be a great fit.  What is the refund policy?  Can you get your money back if it turns out that the course or trainer is not for you?  Also, what will happen if you are unable to complete the course due to personal reasons?  Can you receive a partial refund, or be credited with time to complete any necessary live training?

Make a list of what is most important to you in a training provider and add more questions as necessary to ensure that you choose a great fit for your development into Life Coaching.

Embarking on a coach training certification is exciting and something to look forward to. By asking these questions at a minimum, you can be sure that you are entering into this stage of your career with your eyes open.

What is Coaching?

What is Coaching?

What Is Coaching, exactly? How to get the best from coaching in today’s marketplace


Coaching is not a regulated industry which means that anyone can call themselves a coach legitimately, but that does not mean that all coaches are created equally.

For every success story, there are at least as many failed coaching relationships, and as a certified coach for over a decade, that makes me sad.

I have had my own amazing experiences, and others that have left me feeling violated, and abused my so called coach.

At the end of this article, you will be able to enter your next, or first, coaching relationship with your eyes wide open which should contribute to a stellar experience free from unwelcome surprises.


The definition of coaching

I think this mishmash and oftentimes mistrust, of coaching experiences, is down to a fundamental misunderstanding of what we are getting ourselves into when we hire a coach.

And when you look at the definitions, it is little wonder.

For example, dictionary.com defines a coach as

“a person who trains an athlete or a team of althetes: a football coach

a private tutor who prepares a student for an examination

a person who instructs an actor or singer”

and this is absolutely true.

Yet when I researched the definitions of coaching from the International Coach Federation and the Association for Coaching respectively, these are the descriptions that I came across:

ICF defines coaching as

“partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment.” International Coach Federation


“A collaborative solution-focused, results-orientated and systematic process in which the coach facilitates the enhancement of work performance, life experience, self-directed learning and personal growth of the coachee.” Association for Coaching


These descriptions, even though wordy, do paint a very different picture of what coaching is.


And all of them are completely true and valid, but that doesn’t help you as a client, or coach to embark on the clearest of relationships.

I find that it helps to introduce the help of some other terms at this point to distinguish the potential relationships and expectations for each:



Any new skills that are to be learned would fall into this category for me. For example, sports, music, dance, maths, creative writing etc would fall into this category.  This is where new information is being introduced for the first time, and taught to students. This is where I would use the description that Dictionary.com provided.


Mentoring is where the mentor shares their own experience with their mentee. They will help the mentee to achieve what they have achieved by giving guidance and demonstration of how they achieved the goal.  There is a proven path that the mentor has walked. There may be some teaching involved.  I see a number of coaching programs, particularly online, that would fall into this category.


Coaching is a set of skills that the coach possesses that can be applied in any situation and the coach may not have experienced the goal that the client seeks. The coach does not teach or share information with the client; instead they skillfully elicit the answers from the client themselves. This is borne of a fundamental belief that the client has all the answers already.

My rule of thumb is that if there is content (information) involved, then this not coaching.


Key Takeaway

Coaching is a broad term for a number of different relationships. As a client, it is important to understand what type of relationship you want for you.


What is coaching exactly?

When we talk in terms of life coaching, and performance coaching (including business and executive coaching) we are embracing this definition:  

Coaching is a process of unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. Gallwey, cited in Whitmore (1996)

In addition to the belief that the client holds all the answers, there are five fundamentals or principles of coaching that should be understood by both coach and client.


5 Fundamentals or Principles of Coaching

1. Suspend Judgement

In order to suspend one’s judgment, one needs to have the attitude of ‘I will coach my client as they are now, where they are now without my judgment clouding their uniqueness or current situation’. For whatever reason, if one feels that it is not possible to suspend ones judgments, one should recommend the client to see another coach.

2. Future versus Past

Coaching is future oriented but we also must be grounded in the present. If a client seems to be stuck in the past, perhaps it is better to advise him/her to see a therapist (more past oriented). A ‘coaching type of client’ is interested in working with the coach on what they want to create in their own life for the future right now.

3. Solutions Focused versus Problem Based

To enable a client to move forward effectively the coach must facilitate solutions. Problems and failures should not be dwelt upon but learnt from. It is the coach’s responsibility to ensure that the coaching focuses on what the clients wants and the solutions that are needed to overcome their problems.

4. Action Orientated

It is easy to say ‘I would like to work out to feel better physically’, however we all know that it is not enough to make that statement: it requires taking – action! The same goes for coaching sessions: to simply map out goals, but to take no action toward them is just as unlikely to bring about results as us thinking we will get toned muscles just by saying we want them – without working out. It’s important to remember that the client can come to the coaching, but if they don’t act upon the commitments that are made in the coaching then they will not get results.

5. Celebration Focused

After every achieved effort that is meaningful to us as individuals we must take the time to celebrate it. By celebrating we are associating positive feelings of happiness and joy to reaching our goals. In the future when we want to achieve other goals we automatically conjure up those past positive feelings of happiness and joy and we are more likely to follow through with future goals.


This takes us a step closer to understand the pillars upon which coaching is built, but what is it exactly, and what is it not?

Coaching is:

  • Clarifying what a client wants from life
  • Setting and implementing goals
  • Uncovering values
  • Monitoring progress
  • Providing an environment for positive change
  • Providing accountability
  • Motivating a client
  • Correcting non-achievement
  • Identifying plans and action steps for change
  • Staying focused with clarity on a client’s vision

Coaching is not:

  • Providing counseling with past issues
  • Mentoring and telling a client what to do
  • Discussing issues a client is hesitant to explore
  • A social conversation
  • Fixed to the coach’s agenda


The coaching relationship is highly collaborative with the client performing the majority of the talking in each coaching session prompted skillfully by the coach.  Together, actions are designed to ensure that the client reaches their desired goals.


However, it is not all about taking action. A skilled coach will also be able to expertly and gently, challenge their client on obstacles to their goal, whilst helping the client to learn and understand more about themselves. This results in empowerment that lasts a lifetime.


Key Takeaway

Coaches believe that their clients have all the answers, and that their purpose is to help uncover them.


What you can expect in a coaching relationship

Coaching can be an incredibly powerful experience. Below are just a few of the my clients’ experiences:

“Two sessions with Lorraine changed my life”

“What Lorraine can do with just a few words blows my mind”

“Lorraine has a superpower”

“Lorraine, you are a miracle worker”


Now I do not share these statements to stroke my ego. In fact, the opposite is true. Whilst my ego would love for me to believe that I am somehow special or unique, I know that the actions that I took that resulted in this feedback, were simple and can be learned.

What makes the client experience so powerful is that by using skills of listening, questioning and creating a safe space, the client is able to explore themselves at a far deeper level than if they were following instruction.

This is what you will experience from a coach who abides by the definitions we have discussed in this article:

  • A safe and confidential space in which to explore your goals
  • A minimum period for the relationship (this ensures that the coach has space to build momentum for the client)
  • An agreement that outlines the expectations of both client and coach
  • To be fully heard in each session
  • Challenge through artful questioning techniques that encourage you to dig deeper, and examine your values and beliefs
  • Exploration of a number of opportunities to reach your goals
  • Accountability for agreed actions
  • Celebration of your successes


For this to happen it is important that you select a coach that you connect with. Referrals can be a great place to start, however it is vital that you meet with your prospective coach before hiring them as the whole relationship hinges on strong rapport. Without an initial connection, trust and rapport cannot be built and that will have a detrimental impact on results.

Luckily, seasoned coaches are well aware of this, and select their clients accordingly. They understand that the best matches get the best results, and that is as good for them as it is for their clients.


Key Takeaway

The most powerful results come from designing your own solutions with the help of a masterful coach


In review of what we have covered so far:

Coaching is a broad term for a number of different relationships. As a client, it is important to understand what type of relationship you want for you.

Coaches believe that their clients have all the answers, and that their purpose is to help uncover them.

The most powerful results come from designing your own solutions with the help of a masterful coach


In conclusion,these skills can be applied in any context, which is why coaching has become so ubiquitous in recent years. As more and more people and businesses witness the power of a great coaching relationship, the demand for it continues to grow. And with any growth industry, there will be those who seek to benefit without the proper training, skills and ethics.


It can be tough to know what you need as a client, when you are seeking help, but by recognising that there are a myriad options for coaching relationships and identifying what you need most, and how you want to be coached is the first, most powerful step in achieving the results that you desire, and deserve.  It is also worth remembering that you may have many coaches, mentors and instructors over the course of your life/career/business. These relationships can be short or lengthy.


For exceptional results from coaching, it is necessary to enter the coaching relationship with your eyes open. This means ensuring that there are no unwelcome surprises, and setting clear expectations for both coach and client from the outset. Interview your coach in the same way that you would interview any other team member.