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Got a question? Check the sections below for answers to frequently asked questions about my coaching services and the Positive Intelligence® programme, plus some background info about me and how I work.

About coaching

What is coaching?

Coaching is a supportive relationship where coach and client work together to help the client change and grow personally or professionally. My role is to help you consider your current situation, decide what is important to you, set appropriate goals, and work out how best to achieve them, working on identifying and overcoming internal or external obstacles on the way.

What can coaching help with?

Coaching is responsive to the needs of the client so at various times it might be helping you:

  • understand your situation
  • clarify your goals
  • recognise your talents and resources
  • develop new skills
  • challenge your thinking and see different perspectives
  • generate ideas and options
  • make decisions
  • plan and follow through on actions
  • overcome barriers to action

Whilst I generally work with people on their jobs and careers, we know life doesn’t fall into neat boxes, so sometimes we it might be relevant to focus on health, home life or relationships with family or friends.

What’s different to talking to a friend?
  1. Sometimes, what your loved ones think is best for you might not be in line with your thinking, especially if they have a vested interest in your situation and it influences their response.

    A coach is an outsider with no agenda beyond helping you find your own answers, make your own decisions and take action.

  2. Friends’ views are shaped by their own experiences including their fears and insecurities. They see you in a certain way and want to keep you ‘safe’. That’s hard to challenge, and can limit you because you don’t want to disappoint them.

    An experienced coach is aware of their own lens on life, notices their own responses to what’s being discussed, and works hard to put these aside so they don’t get in the way.

  3. Finally, you often assume a certain role or persona with your friends which is hard to drop to reveal what you honestly think.

    Coaches work hard to develop a relationship of trust where you feel confident to open up, voice thoughts, fears, hopes and wishes so you can have a conversation you’ve not had before that gets you to new ideas and perspectives.

What happens in the coaching relationship

What can I do to make the best of a coaching session?

Here are five tips to get the most from our sessions:

  1. Take a break, go for a walk or at least get some fresh air beforehand so you can leave the everyday behind and be more reflective and creative in your thinking.
  2. If we’re meeting online, find a quiet place where you’re comfortable and don’t feel overheard. If we’re meeting in person, arrive a little early so you’re not in a rush.
  3. Schedule time afterwards for reflecting on what came out for you, making a note of your actions, what the first step is and putting that in your diary to do.
  4. Keep your goals and actions where you can see them.
  5. Notice what you’ve achieved or you’re proud of and share that with me and others. That helps keep you motivated.
Can I contact you in between sessions?

We’ll agree what works best for communication between sessions e.g. email or text.

When appropriate, I send you questions to think about before hand. People find these helpful as a reflection exercise.

What information do you keep about me?

I respect your privacy, I’m registered with the ICO and I am committed to protecting your personal data. Please see my privacy policy for details of how I do this.

What if I can’t make a session?

Let’s be real, things crop up. All this is clearly laid out in the coaching agreement we sign before we get started.

Basically, you can rearrange sessions provided you give me 24 hours’ notice by email. All sessions need to be taken within the agreed timescale of the whole coaching programme (this gives you focus and momentum). 

About Positive Intelligence® and mental fitness

What is Positive Intelligence and mental fitness?

Mental fitness is your capacity to respond to life’s challenges with a positive rather than negative mindset.

Positive Intelligence® provides a daily practice to build and maintain your mental fitness so you remain calm, clear headed and stress-free even in the midst of handling the toughest of life’s challenges.

Read more here.

What’s the science behind Positive Intelligence?

Positive Intelligence draws on knowledge from neuroscience (e.g. what areas of the brain control different processes), cognitive psychology (e.g. recognising faulty interpretations of what happens to us allows us to change our thinking), performance science (e.g. emotional intelligence is key to good leadership) and positive psychology (e.g. happiness comes from positive thoughts rather than what you do or achieve).

The breakthrough contribution of Positive Intelligence research was in revealing the root-level factors that impact both performance and wellbeing.

    Follow these links to read about the science behind Positive Intelligence and download whitepapers on specific elements of it.

    Doing the Positive Intelligence® programme

    What’s involved in the 6 week Positive Intelligence programme?

    The 6 week PQ® programme delivers the insight, motivation and structure you need to establish a regular mental fitness practice via weekly video lessons, online group sessions, daily app-guided practice and feedback and tailored support from me.

    You can complete the programme in a group or individually.

    Read what to expect and download the programme overview.

    What happens in the weekly sessions?

    If you’re doing the programme as part of a group, the weekly sessions are an opportunity to share your progress and what you’re learning from the video lessons and exercises with others in a confidential and encouraging atmosphere.  

    If you’re doing the programme individually, you have a 1-1 with me, reflecting on your progress and your response to the videos and exercises.

    Is there a best time to do the PQ programme?

    The Positive Intelligence® programme is about building mental fitness habits so you can remain calm, clear headed and stress-free when handling life’s challenges.

    You want ups and downs to practise on so the best time to do the programme is when life is ‘normal’. Don’t wait for a holiday, or try to eliminate all stressors from your life before starting it. 

    That said, you do need to know you’ll have an hour a weekend for six consecutive weeks to watch the videos and do the exercises and you’re available to join the seven Monday weekly sessions.  

    What if I get behind in the programme?

    The programme is designed in a way to minimise the chance of falling behind. The video tutorials are split into small chunks to fit into spare moments, the practice is in short bursts too, the app takes care of reminding you what’s next and working with your group and/or me, we’re there to celebrate what you have done rather than what you feel you haven’t so you feel motivated to keep going.

    The main thing to focus on is the daily practice. You can revisit the video lessons at a later date (you have access for 12 months) and I work with learners beyond the 6 week programme to help you apply what you’ve learned so you can see the theory coming to life.

    Can I still use the programme after the initial 6 weeks?

    Yes, very much so, and I definitely encourage that. You have the option to subscribe to continue to receive daily practice prompts, but even if you don’t opt for that, you have 12 months access to the programme content.

    If you wish to have access beyond 12 months, you can pay a monthly subscription to do so, cancellable at any time.

    Will I have to pay for the app for ever?

    No, the aim of the programme is to build a reliable life long mental fitness practice that stands without reliance on the app. 

    The app is invaluable at the start though. Not only does it deliver all the content (which is available for a year from completion of the programme), it harnesses technology to drip feed you the content as you need it, so it’s easy to move through the course; it reminds you each day to do the practice, and shapes the practice in bite size chunks. 

    This is long enough to build a habit. At the end of the programme, some people have ditched the app, because they have already found other ways to build in the practice (like on regular dog walks). Other people like the app reminders and choose to keep using them.

    My aim is always to build capability that is not reliant on the app. I don’t use the app every day myself, but sometimes I go back to it for additional support with something.

    I LOVE the app. How can I have access to it beyond the year?

    You can pay a monthly fee to keep receiving new content. This is called the Grow pathway. 

    Many of my broader services include a number of months’ access to Grow. Please contact me for details.

    About me and my business

    What beliefs underpin your coaching?

    Strongest among my beliefs that underpin my coaching are the following.

    • We have more potential than we have yet realised.
    • We are naturally resourceful and likely to have the answers within ourselves if we have help to look for them.
    • The outlook we choose affects everything – our beliefs, our thinking, our actions and ultimately our outcomes can all be changed by changing our outlook.
    What are your company values?

    My company values are represented by the leaves in my logo. I aim to keep them at the centre of working with clients and running my business.

    Beech = insight
    I go to our local wood with its mighty beech trees to reflect and seek insight. Insight is a deep understanding of something or someone, and is the starting point for moving forwards. 

    Birch = compassion
    Birch was a special tree of my childhood. Positive Intelligence® teaches us to see the child within as a way to find compassion for ourselves and others.

    Oak = balance
    Despite its mature size the oak feels particularly balanced and grounded. I invite clients to seek balance in their perspective and actions.

    Hazel = practicality
    We use hazel rods on our allotment. It represents the practicality, pragmatism and action focus within my coaching.

    All four leaves = growth
    People are as unique as each leaf on a tree. To grow, we have to examine our beliefs and behaviours and shed the outdated or unhelpful ones like the trees shed their leaves each year.

    Why is your business named Inspires Coaching?

    I’m lucky to live just outside Oxford, close enough to walk into the city yet only a stones throw from fields and woodland. 

    I moved here in the October after graduating from Hull University and fell in love with the college buildings glowing in Autumn’s gentle light.

    The poet Matthew Arnold describes Oxford as “that sweet City with her dreaming spires”. I still enjoy wandering in those spires so ‘In-spires’ seemed an apt name for my business. 

    What inspired your logo and branding?

    My logo and branding reflects my love of Autumn. When they work with me, I want my clients to feel as grounded, clear headed and inspired as if they’d just taken a walk through the woods on a crisp Autumn day.

    Alternatively, book a discovery call, a 30 minute no-obligation conversation to explore your situation and work out whether we’re right to work together.