Success invariably comes from dedicated hard work. Sometimes such dedication narrows focus and diminishes awareness of what else is going on that might be relevant or coming up on the horizon or simply sublimated. A good coach helps you take stock and that inevitably leads to raising awareness of everything going on in your world. Quite often there will be something missed. A good coach does not need to know what these things are beforehand. How could they? But they do need to have the experience, general awareness and questioning skills to help you realise what they are.
In short, anyone who has a meaningful goal or who just wants to be the best version of themselves. However, for some, it could be that the goal in question is to find the right goal for them to aim for. This is particularly true of the young people I coach. However, it can equally well apply to others at some form of crossroad or indecision. The answer is - on most occasions - just lying there waiting to be coaxed out into the open.
As well as goals to consider there are also "issues". These can be anything that crops up that will have a bearing of one kind or another on the current plan or you, personally. What is the best way to deal with it? In the absence of an immediately obvious solution an issue can sometimes become a bugbear and throw things off track. The end goal remains the same. The distance and detachment your coach will have from the issue itself can often reveal perspectives to reach it that you had not considered. Sometimes, these might be drastic options and not even have been thinkable except from someone who is - and remains - detached.
Coaching attracts many practitioners who learn how to use various coaching techniques. However, a good technique can only take their clients so far. It is only when that technique is married with a deep experience of the opportunities and pitfalls that life can present that the full range of positive coaching outcomes can be realised. In the absence of a personal recommendation for a coach always check the level of experience a prospective coach for you will bring with them. My own range of experience is set out below.
David Rolfe is a BAFTA-winning documentary filmmaker. In the 70s he made films for the major oil and civil engineering companies, Shell, Wimpey, Taylor Woodrow and Costains on their projects around the world. After the theatrical and TV success of The Silent Witness he was engaged as senior producer/director for LWT/ITV and then the BBC 1980 - 1995. His films include over fifty documentaries researched, produced and directed on a wide range of subjects. Each one involved deep immersion into the subject and featured the highest level of participants and contributors including major celebrities, Prime Ministers and Royalty. Filming is the ultimate "team" endeavour especially when, as it sometimes did, involve accessing dangerous territories and hostile subjects. (Click on the British Film Institute logo below for a full list of credits.)
He set up his own production company in 1990 and made films for Discovery, BBC and also major corporations. With his business partner, Paul Kent, he discovered the art of Performance Coaching when a client - Woolwich Building Society - commissioned a film about this new management technique emerging from America. Its principles were most succinctly summarised by the British "trouble-shooting" industrialist, John Harvey-Jones. Famously, he said "If a manager only "tells" someone what to do he is using yesterday's solution for today's problem." Modern good management is now seamed in the gold of that realisation. Having the wisdom of knowing when to apply its principles is enshrined in performance coaching.
Rolfe adopted this new coaching technique to help manage the production teams under his direction and, with Paul Kent, established the first full-service performance coaching business in the UK, Performance Consultants. Clients included Barclays and NatWest Banks, Woolwich Building Society, PWC and AstraZeneca. Partners and practitioners included champion racing driver Sir John Whitmore and Olympic champion David Hemery, MBE.
Back row centre: David Hemery MBE, Sir John Whitmore, Paul Kent. Front, sitting, David Rolfe.
In "semi-retirement" Rolfe indulged his passion for the water and looked for a boat with optimum flexibility. He could not find one so he invented, patented and put into production his ideal version - ultimately known as Ezyboat. It had speed, sailed and folded in half with retractable wheels for easy towing and storage.
The prototype (below) won Boat of the Year at the London Boat Show 2001.
The patent was sold to an international company who planned to mass produce it in the Far East until the "Crash" of 2008 brought this dream to an end. But what an experience! And diversity of experience is vital for a successful coach. Coaching attracts many practitioners who learn how to use various coaching techniques. However, a good technique can only take clients so far. It is only when that technique is married with a deep experience of the opportunities and pitfalls that life can present that the full range of positive coaching outcomes can be realised.
Young people staring into the void that is their future but with little sense of which direction of travel to take. Often, just a single session will stir the ambition and will to succeed that had laid hidden, waiting to fight its way out. Very satisfying for all concerned.
Stage 1: A systematic analysis of where you are in relation to a perceived goal is fundamental. Sometimes that goal may evolve or change focus. You will decide. The following two stages raise your own awareness of what needs to be achieved and then generates an appreciation of the responsibility necessary to see it to fruition. The fourth and final stage is the most important as it elicits precisely what you will do to proceed to the next level. It sounds a lot but it can be accomplished within a one hour session. It may be all you need and for some it is. A good coach never generates dependance. However, they will always be there as and when.
In short, at a time that suits you. I am based in the Chilterns but, for the fireable future, all coaching sessions will be online via a secure and dedicated service provided free by ZoomTV. In practise, you can be anywhere in the world.
Contact: David Rolfe and Associates, Town Hall, Penn Road, Beaconsfield HP9 2PP