Darren Lawrence


When I speak to people about coaching, especially initially, I can often sense a fear, trepidation or misunderstanding about what it is. So I have put together this short FAQ’s document to help bust some of the myths! By doing this I hope to provide a little more clarity and help you decide whether coaching is for you. If you have any questions after reading this please get in touch, I would be delighted to hear from you.

Coaching is a form of personal development support provided by another person. The key principle is that the client or coachee already has the answers and resources they need within themselves, and the role of the coach is to bring these things out to the fore during the course of the session or a given number of sessions. Coaching is a specific skill and not everyone is able to coach effectively, but a good coach will have excellent listening skills and the ability to ask perceptive and powerful questions that get to the heart of the client’s issue, helping them to set and achieve their goals.

No. Coaching is not therapy or counselling, or any other similar intervention you may have heard of. Coaching aims to help a client move forward and raise their awareness rather than giving advice or offering solutions. Coaching is future focussed, positive and motivational. If a client is seeking support for distress, or trauma, related to past events, then therapy or counselling is likely to be more appropriate for that individual.

No. Coaching is not the same as mentoring, and a mentor may not be able to coach although a coach can also be a mentor depending on the area of their expertise. A mentor is someone who has experience of doing the same or similar thing to you, whereas a coach does not need to have specific experience in a given area. The support provided is different.

You might seek the services of a coach for any number of reasons. It’s mainly about identifying, setting and achieving your goals. There are coaches who specialise in a particular ‘niche’ e.g. communication, divorce, parenting, business, productivity and so on. I do not specialise as I tend to believe that one area of our life overlaps with another area and the topics that arise when I am working with a client can be many and varied, and unpredictable!
I do have a specific interest in the areas of productivity, wellbeing, and transition/change, however I prefer to coach on whatever my clients feel is important to them at that moment in time.

If your life is 10/10 and you are 100% happy then that is great! But the majority of us do not live a life that is perfect and there is always an element of our lives that we would like to improve. You do not have to be ‘struggling’ to benefit from a coach, in fact many of the world’s top executives and sports performers have a coach, for the very reason that they want to remain at the top of their respective fields and continue to get better at what they do. The demands of their roles mean that sometimes they need to make sense of the volume and complexity of the roles they have. Coaching is effective in so many sectors and situations.

In my opinion (and I realise I am biased!) I think everyone can benefit from having a coach, and I benefit from having coaching myself on a regular basis.
You can gain benefit from coaching in any specific area of your life, or your life as a whole. You can choose what you focus on, whether that be personal goals, work-life balance, family life, time management, upcoming changes in your circumstances, parenting etc.
There is a benefit that comes from saying things out loud to another person, as it seems to help the brain declutter and put things in order, and then see the way forward. With a coach this is heightened as they have been trained and are experienced in asking powerful questions at the right time. This can help you consider options you may never have thought of and give you greater confidence to take a certain course of action.
I seek to ask the right questions which then give rise to the right solutions for you – generated by you. It’s not me telling you what to do!
Coaching with me will give you:

  • A greater awareness of who you are and what you want
  • An increase in performance and the results you want
  • The ability to be more effective in your role/life
  • Tools to help you break through the thinking that is holding you back
  • A completely safe and confidential space to discuss issues affecting your life
  • Clarity and clear step-by-step actions on the best way forward for you
  • The life you want and deserve!

We all have people in our lives that we turn to who may be wise and we value their opinion, and a friend or family member may have natural coaching skills. Even if this is the case, unless they are trained as a coach they may offer their advice or ask closed/leading questions, and also the independence provided by an external coach is really important so that you do not feel as though what you say will be taken further, shared, or judged. Coaching isn’t just a friendly chat. It’s a structured conversation lead by you but managed by the coach to ensure you achieve your goals.

I aim to make each coaching session with you an inspiring, motivating, positive, and ultimately helpful experience that will move you forward. It is very important that you feel a sense of progress from each session.
First of all we will hold an initial meeting to discuss what it is you want from the coaching and how you would like to work together. It is really important that we can quickly build rapport as this is a key part of the coaching relationship. The next step I offer is a DISC personality profile which helps you to understand yourself, and others. This is the basis for all the work we will go on to do.
I use an established coaching model called GROW. So each session will look at your goal, what the current situation is (reality), develop some options and finish with a way forward or action plan.
There are also a number of tools and exercises that can be used to help you along the way.

A good coach actively listens and asks the right questions. Just by saying the words out loud and talking things through can lead to new ideas and a new perspective.
A good question can unlock a whole new area of thinking not previously considered, and lead to insights and realisations.
A powerful coaching session can uncover and address limiting beliefs – those things we all have in our heads that hold us back!
It can help us to make sense of why things are as they are, and action plan a way forward.

It can be both. I do tend to prefer face-to-face especially for the initial meeting, but coaching can also be effective by Skype/Zoom or by phone. I don’t offer coaching by instant messaging although many coaches do – this would be part of a wider support package we would agree rather than the main form of coaching.

I would recommend a minimum of 6 coaching sessions to begin with. A one off coaching session can be helpful, but it can also be a sticking plaster and not lead to longer term impact. Over the course of 6 sessions, which can be 2-4 weeks apart, this will give us time to see some positive change and impact. At the end of the 6 sessions we will review whether you wish to continue or stop coaching.

In short, yes – although there may be some areas or situations where a different intervention may be more appropriate. If this is the case we can have that discussion at the outset or as things develop and then my role becomes one of signposting you to the right people who can help.

I have a range of packages available, please see here.

Yes. It is a slightly different approach but I can also run group coaching sessions with your team in order to identify ways to work more collaboratively, and develop an action plan that will ensure you achieve your organisational goals.

Ok, you’ve convinced me. What next?

Contact me today for an initial conversation. Let’s talk about how coaching can help you.
I look forward to hearing from you!