Coaching – it’s not mentoring, sports coaching and it’s not counselling. So what is it?

balance wheelCoaching is not about competition with others, coaches tend not to be dealing with people in crisis or who need emotional healing. Coaches work with the individual they are coaching to help them become more effective which might include helping with improving performance, getting through a difficult time, career development, getting a better work life balance or building on success.

The 6 Principles of Coaching provide a nice summary to help us begin to understand what coaching is:

  1. The coachee is resourceful, they have the resources to resolve their issues
  2. Coaching is not about the coach giving advice
  3. Coaching addresses the whole person – past, present and future
  4. The coachee sets or owns the agenda
  5. The relationship is one mutual respect and equality
  6. Coaching is about change.


This is a very brief introduction to what coaching is, if it has sparked some interest then feel free to approach either Steve Jump, Zofia Chlebda, Natalie Moody or Laura Hawkins.

Coaching Skills Lunch

On Wednesday 9th July 2014 Beaumont held its first “Coaching Skills Lunch”. Run along similar lines to our Learning Lunches, our aims were to introduce staff to the potential of coaching and improve understanding of what coaching actually is. As expected we were only able to touch the surface but were able to give staff some time to think, reflect and review what is important to each individual – something which is often in short supply for us all.

After a brief introduction each of us completed a balance wheel. Based on this a colleague worked through some questions designed to help each coachee reflect. For me, this is a very simple and effective task that gives a visual representation of the balance or lack of in my case, you are maintaining between important areas of your life. Feedback from the session was very positive:

“I thought the balance wheel we used was really good and useful in lots of different areas – personally, with NQT mentee, with form (different subjects) and with a class after an exam (different topics). I feel I need to practise using the questions myself before asking pupils to use in coaching so that I am more familiar with the ideas. If you are in a coaching relationship I realised that the parameters of what is ok to discuss need to be agreed if it isn’t to become uncomfortable. It was good and definitely something I want to look at using.”

“Thanks so much for a great session yesterday lunchtime. I have to admit to being a little sceptical before attending knowing very little about it, but even after the brief chat with Mandy and Steve during our wheel time I came away feeling motivated with a range of small strategies to make my work place better!
Inspired.  Thanks.”

“I loved the concept of the Balance Wheel and the way it made you visualise your work-life balance. In addition, the structure and design of the Balance Wheel makes for a good classroom resource which students can use to review their understanding.”

“ I found the session encouraging because it was helping me identify what I wanted to focus on and not telling me something else I have to do! I found the exercise of looking at the different areas of our life really helpful to pinpoint what I wanted to work on. I also love the idea of it being about ‘equals talking to equals’. So non-threatening and practical! I went away and did two of the tasks I had agreed to do before the end of term and felt like I’d accomplished a lot. I am behind this initiative 100%. I have even read the book ‘ Daring Greatly’ which Laura recommended and the coaching idea fits brilliantly with the ideas in the book. So, thank you for starting the ball rolling. “

Some may have approached the lunch with some scepticism, which I confess I was guilty of before I completed my training. I think what strikes you when you engage with coaching strategies is just how powerful and valuable the experience can be. When used effectively coaching can really help you gain insight into an issue that may be professional or personal, it may be something that you hadn’t even considered.

Coaching is not for everyone and we recognise that, but before you write it off I urge you to give it go if you feel it might help you.  If you would like coaching on a particular topic please approach us.