Home Blog Coaching A day in the life of a coach
08
May
2013
A day in the life of a coach

20 - 26 May 2013 is International Coaching Week. During this week members of the International Coach Federation around the world are raising awareness of professional coaching and its benefits.

On 7 May I was featured in the Cambridge News Working Day article. Read on to discover what a day in the life of a coach is like.

I work with individuals to support them to achieve their potential at work. Some are sponsored by the organization they work for, others come direct.  Increasingly, there is a lot of interest in preparing for a fulfilling retirement too. One of the distinct advantages of working for myself is that it’s up to me how I choose to organize my work, how much work I do and with whom.

John Kotter, Professor of Leadership at Harvard Business School says "What's really driving the boom in coaching, is this: as we move from 30 miles an hour to 70 to 120 to 180......as we go from driving straight down the road to making right turns and left turns to abandoning cars and getting motorcycles...the whole game changes, and a lot of people are trying to keep up, learn how not to fall." 

07:00 The alarm wakes me up to the dulcet tones of Chris Evans on Radio 2.  As a  ‘morning person’ who has been awake for hours by the time he’s on the radio, Chris’s fast paced conversation can be a bit of a rude awakening, but I carry on listening anyway.  I love the Kids Get A Fanfare feature at 7:30 when a child phones in to talk about something they are doing for the first time today, and then come back the following day to talk about it. Shower and get ready to face the day. 

08:00 Check the inbox, what’s happening on Facebook and plan the priorities over a breakfast of muesli with fruit and yogurt and the first cup of tea of the day. 

09:00 A Skype call with a new client, based in Swindon, for whom I am facilitating a stakeholder engagement workshop at the end of the month.  I have emailed an outline plan for the day which we talk through and agree next steps.

10:30 Cup of tea prior to Skype coaching conversation with my client, George, who wants to prepare for an upcoming interview. Most of the coaching programmes I offer consist of a mix of Skype and face-to-face meetings, dependant on the client’s location. Skype technology works well most of the time, although it varies at different times of day, as the broadband service in the village can be a bit unreliable. This means that sometimes we have to rely on audio rather than video. Skype meetings offer great flexibility especially when the client or I are travelling. Conversations can vary in length between 60 minutes and 2 hours, with most conversations lasting 90 minutes at fortnightly intervals. Face to face meetings usually last two hours.

12:00 Quick bite to eat before driving to the station.

12:44 Catch the train from Royston to Kings Cross. I use the time on the train for meeting preparation or reading.  I subscribe to The Week and always carry a copy with me – it’s light to carry around, covers a huge range of topics from the UK and abroad and is easy to read in quick bites. 

If I can, I fit in a number of meetings, though that doesn’t always work out.  One client at a Japanese bank cancelled a meeting by text just as the train was pulling into Kings Cross!  I also organize visits to Sharon, my hairdresser of 20+ years standing, around my meetings in London where possible (not today!)  

14:00 Meet my client at WallaceSpace, a great meeting venue a few minutes’ walk from Kings Cross. He has done the MBTI psychometric instrument in advance of the meeting, so we talk through the results and the implications for his desired career move. 

16:15 Pop into the British Library for a cup of tea and a mooch around the bookshop.

17:00 Meet up with the teacher I am coaching as part of the Teach First scheme.  I have been a volunteer coach on their scheme for three years now.  It is a great support to the teachers at the start of their careers.  I love working with people in the early stages of their working lives, helping them increase their self-awareness and articulate their career aspirations more clearly.  I offer one coaching session a week to be of service to someone, which this is part of. 

18:30 Meet my daughter Zoë, who lives and works in London, for dinner and a catch up at Pizza Express on Euston Road. 

20:45 Catch the fast train back to Royston. I may regret putting this in writing, but I find the First Capital Connect service is just brilliant.  Use the time to read the Evening Standard or make notes on meetings and follow up actions that need to be taken. 

22:15 Half an hour in front of the TV. 

23:00 Time for bed.

 

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