Finding a coach

Finding a coach

WorkLifePsych News 010

Hello and welcome to the June newsletter. A little later than usual, as I took what I thought was a well-deserved break in the Spanish sunshine last week. Seeing as the sun has yet to make an appearance here in the UK!

I have three quick topics to share with you this time round. 

1. Find yourself a coach who... 

At last month's Division of Occupational Psychology Conference in Sheffield, I took part in a panel discussion exploring the challenges with being an evidence-based coaching practitioner. One particular challenge is the fact that coaching (as opposed to psychology) isn't a regulated profession, so essentially (gulp!) anyone can call themselves a coach. 

So, in my most recent youtube video, I take a look at the challenge of selecting a coach. I share some essentials to look for in the coach and their approach, including:

  • Training in coaching skills - amazingly, lots of coaches believe that 'industry experience' is a proxy for training in actual coaching skills. Nope. Check for skills gained from a reputable training provider.
  • Professional accreditation - being accredited by a professional body indicates the coach has achieved certain basic standards in terms of training, experience and adherence to professional standards. 
  • Use of evidence-based methods - not all coaching approaches are equally grounded in science. So it's important to understand what concepts and tools your prospective coach uses, and why. 
  • Ability to explain how their coaching works - coaching isn't magic. So a decent coach should be able to explain how they achieve results with their clients. 
  • Ongoing coaching supervision - all decent coaches should be engaged in regular supervision with an accredited coaching supervisor. This is another support mechanism to ensure safe and professional practice. 
  • A chemistry meeting - any decent coach will offer you a free 'chemistry session', so you can ask them questions about these points, find out more about them, and understand what it is they want to know about you. Red flags here include: talking only about themselves, not you; only being interested in the commercials, not your requirements; no discussion of the appropriateness of coaching for your topic or context. 

My take: if a prospective coach can't address the above points to your satisfaction, it's time to step back and keep looking for someone more professional. 

And of course, a Chartered Coaching Psychologist will have all of the above, a deep understanding of human learning and functioning, and postgraduate training in applied psychology.

You can find out all about our approach to coaching here and get some more answers to commonly-asked coaching questions here. And you can watch the full video below.

2. A date for your diary: Coaching and chronic illness

July sees our next quarterly coaching webinar and this time, I'll be joined by Dr. Rachael Skews, for a discussion all about chronic illness at work. Rachael will provide some context about the prevalence and manifestation of chronic illnesses, and I'll explore the contribution Acceptance and Commitment-based coaching can make when it comes to employees experiencing these conditions.

📆 Wednesday July 31st at 10am. You can register today - it's completely free - by visiting our page here

3. Boosting your willingness to keep going

Our podcast and video series on psychological flexibility is drawing to a close. In the latest episode, Ross and I explored the benefits of being able to accept the uncomfortable stuff our minds give us - rather than struggle with them, or attempt to avoid them completely. While technically called 'Acceptance', what we're really trying to do is boost our clients' willingness to move in a valued direction - even if it feels uncomfortable.

We share our experience of working on this skill with clients, of developing it within ourselves, and some tips on cultivating acceptance as a way of more effectively dealing with the hassles (and opportunities!) life regularly throws at us. 

You can find all the existing episodes of My Pocket Psych wherever you get your podcasts. And you can find the videos and other resources from this collaboration on our dedicated Psychological Flexibility page

It's been an absolute blast to work with Ross on this series, and I hope our shared enthusiasm for the topic comes through. If you have any follow-up questions about psychological flexibility concepts, or about putting the skills into practice, get in touch or simply join us for our live Q&A Zoom call on Wednesday June 26th

Thanks for reading! Do get in touch with any follow-up questions or feedback.

All the best,