Personal coaching, what is it?  Is it all a con or something useful?  Last week PDP wrote a blog on mentoring and focused on the workplace.  This week, we are going to explore personal coaching and look at what it is in layman’s terms, how it can benefit individuals and lastly look at 7 top tips to know if personal coaching is right for you.

What is personal coaching?

There are numerous definitions of coaching, and many different uses for it, look up this term or life coaching on google!  This article is based on my own experiences as a coach and from informal conversations and intends to explain this concept to joe public.  My from experience, people tend to view coaching in one of two ways, either as being work related (positive) and focusing on helping someone develop a certain skill or knowledge they need for their work role or a promotion.  This type of coaching is generally paid for by the company.  Alternatively, personal coaching can be  confused with counselling and seen by family and friends as being used when someone is “cracking up”, “losing it”, or “struggling to cope due to stress”. Coaching almost seems to be a dirty work if used for personal development, and often individuals aren’t keen to admit to it.  Are things that bad may be asked of them, or what are you actually paying for?  To the uninitiated, coaching can seem to be just a self-indulgent chat with a stranger.  If so, what of it? It is often in the same price bracket as a facial or a massage and if that’s what someone would prefer to do, why not spend money and time looking at the bigger picture of what is happening in your life, and planning next steps for your career, personal relationship, health or personal well-being?
Personal or life coaching has been described by as being able to affect change in “many situations” and describes the process as being able to help “a person’s career direction and development”, or be used “for personal fulfillment or life change more generally”.

What does personal coaching actually do?

1 Support a client to see the bigger picture and step back from being ‘in’ their life for 30 minutes or an hour and view it from the ‘outside’
 2 Untangle some of the threads which can cause personal confusion or negative feelings and emotions
 3 Focus individuals on thinking about what they want to achieve in a specific area of their life
4 Enable someone to recognise their potential
 5 Help the client examine perceived problems to see if they are real or not
 6 Guide the client to identify their own route to finding solutions to problems
 7 Lead to a changed mind set, that can have lasting positive consequences


Who can benefit from personal coaching?

The short answer to this question is anyone and everyone. Personal coaching hones in on a particular issue or focus area, that is important to the client and can generally be explored in a short number of sessions.  However, the timescales are dependent on the client’s natural pace and ability to explore and gain the understanding of themselves necessary to move forward.  I’m also had a client who felt she “had got it!” and wanted to stop the sessions, only to come back a few months later to continue with the process.  This particular lady had felt a natural high at breaking through what had seemed an insurmountable mental wall, and thought that was enough, only to realise that now the mental and emotional barrier of “I can’t” had gone, she still needed support with the actions needed to achieve her goal.

Personal coaching is no longer in the realm of only being open to the wealthy or those who have nothing better to do.  It has been re-packaged and re-branded over time to be more accessible to anyone who wants to take charge of an aspect of their life in a positive way.  This can be achieved with the help of a coach, who is impartial and can act as a sounding board, and has the expertise to support them through a problem solving process to help the client improve their life in some way.  Coaching however, does not have ‘set answers’ which the client is guided to.  The client is in control and chooses the direction they wish to take.


How do I know if personal coaching is right for me?


1 Do you need help with a particular area of your life, and would prefer to discuss it with someone removed from the situation, rather than your family or friends?

2 Are you thinking of making a big change in your life, but are unsure if it’s the right decision?

3 Do you want to progress in your career but are not sure how to this?

4 Would you like to improve your personal relationships with friends and  family members?

5 Do you want to develop certain skills, but aren’t sure if they’re really you?

6 Do you want to learn more about yourself and ways in which you can project a positive image?

7 Is it time for you to take stock of your skills and strengths and re-evaluate where you are and where you want to go?

How does personal coaching work at PDP?

I will be your personal coach, and we will agree how you would best like to work and the terms and conditions.  The most popular options are:

  • Over the phone
  • Face-to-face in an agreed venue
  • Skype


Contact me via to discuss this more. I look forward to working with you. Paula