Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 at 10:04 am

Monday 20th October, Colston Hall. Confidence Networking session – 10.30am

For the past year or so, Continuum Coaching has been involved with a great business networking group called Women Outside the Box. Founded by Joni Farthing, I have found her and her team to be a wonderful inspiration, creating a very wholesome place for women to network, in addition to bringing some of the latest thinking in the form of visiting speakers and presenters at the monthly meetings.

For the past 3 years, Women Outside the Box has also hosted a conference in Bristol to celebrate women at work and in business. Joni prefers to call the conference a ‘festival’ because its ethos is about celebrating, supporting and enabling women to be their professional best, as well as acknowledging the additional responsibilities women invariably carry. The role of looking after small children, caring for elderly parents, running a home, being a great chef, housekeeper or gardener often fall to the alpha female. For me, Women Outside the Box absolutely acknowledges this multi-layed role and refrains from peddling the message “we can have it all”, but rather facilitates us getting the right support in place. Of course the fundamental aim of the Women Outside the Box business club is to meet new contacts which will hopefully result in new business, but nonetheless Women Outside the Box have resisted the temptation to replicate the ‘The Devil Wears Prada!’ vibe!

At this year’s festival I will be running a session around the topic of confidence, along with my colleague Rosalind J Turner from Netwalking South West. In our experience, when working in the capacity of coach, the subject of confidence comes up frequently and in all walks of life. I have often been surprised how some seemingly uber-confident people will confess to feeling inadequate and inferior in their line of work.

When thinking about confidence, we often think about it in an omni-present way. That is to say, confidence can be seen as something we either have completely or not at all. Rather than this black or white picture of confidence, we work with our clients to establish exactly what they wish to be confident to do or have. Once the specifics have been nailed down, the job of unpicking the barriers can begin. For me, building confidence distils down to one core thing – taking action. Susan Jeffers famous book ‘Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway’ advocates taking your courage in your hands and to just go for it. That is often much easier said than done, but with careful un-packing, a way forward can be found, with often very profound and immediate results.

I am very excited about speaking at this years Women Outside the Box festival, not only to get participants thinking about what confidence means personally, but to get down to the specifics. We will be weaving in lots of opportunity for people to network and make contacts, which creates the opportunity to continue a dialogue after the festival has finished.

Do come along and see us. We also have a stand which will give you the opportunity to come and find out a bit more about what we do. If you are thinking about executive coaching services either for yourself or your organisation, there is a 25% festival discount which you might want to take advantage of. Either way, it’s always good to make connections, so when the time is right you know where to find us.

We look forward to meeting you on Monday 20th October at the Colston Hall. Our session is at 10.30am.


Thursday, March 6th, 2014 at 1:28 pm

Matching coaches and clients

Whilst at a recent client meeting we were asked how an organisation could make sure a coachee was matched with the right type of coach. It is obviously an important match so here are our thoughts:

  1.  Make sure your people involved in the matching process have met each coach, preferably face to face. Coaching is about building high levels of rapport and leveraging change. Meeting the coach allows you to assess if they were able to make a good connection with you
  2. Look at the experience the coach has. Do they have a particular niche, specialism or area of interest
  3. Check out the relevant experience and credentials the coach holds. Are you satisfied they hold a recognised qualification that is pitched at the right level?
  4. Make an assessment of the coaches overall style and ‘energy’. Sometimes you might purposely want to pair up a coach and coachee with very different styles as this will create good traction. Other times you might want to take a ‘softer’ approach and pair up ‘like with like’
  5. Ask coaches (both internal and external) to write a biography including a description of their style and approach to coaching
  6. Consider inviting coachees to choose from 2 or 3 selected coaches. If the coach has a website, then encourage the coachee to do some research for themselves. Some coachees will only want to work with a man, and visa versa, so give some choice
  7. Have information available that explains what coaching is, and what it is not. It can be a difficult service to articulate, so it is important that potential coachees are clear about what to expect
  8. Scope your desired coaching outcomes and share these with the coachee and coach. This will ensure both are clear about the context
  9. Give the coachee the chance to talk to the coach prior to starting sessions. This will give the coachee a chance to decide for themselves if the match feels right
  10. The match does not need to be perfect. A good coach will have been trained adapt their style to meet the needs of their client. Similar to any recruitment process, you should have a positive gut feel and be able to trust the coach will deliver a professional service for you, so use your instincts

We hope you found this blog helpful.

Best wishes
Andrea Harding
Founder of Continuum Coaching


Wednesday, December 18th, 2013 at 2:01 pm

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