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19 Apr, 2011

Coach In The Spotlight – David Finney

Posted by: The Coaching Academy In: Coach Spotlight|In The Spotlight|Personal Success|Success Stories

Coach In The Spotlight - David Finney

David Finney qualified through The Coaching Academy and has enthusiastically agreed to share his coaching experience, so we have put him in the Coaching Hot Seat. Here is David’s story:-

What was your profession before becoming a coach?

I was in the market research industry for 20 years – mainly in people management and later in quality management. I have discovered two distinct similarities between the market research and coaching professions:

1. The market research interviewer is trained to ask questions to collect data from the respondent for the researcher to collate, draw conclusions and produce results;
2. The coach is trained to ask questions to collect data from the client to facilitate a shared analytical and strategic pathway to producing results.

What brought you to coaching?

Throughout my career I had always trained and coached my staff. In my early managerial days I was very much a directive leader until I discovered the benefits that come with a non-directive approach. The teachings of Tim Gallwey and Sir John Whitmore really called out to me and I felt compelled to take this direction. I think great leaders achieve a good balance between ‘tell’ and ‘ask’ and that is a key message I deliver in the performance management workshops that I run.

What did you find most interesting to learn during your training with The Coaching Academy?

I was fascinated by the genius simplicity of The GROW model. I love taking something that has complexities and making it simple and easy to work with.

What was the most rewarding part of the journey?

So many to mention: taking part in pairs and group activities on Accelerator Days stands out as does the moment when I realised I was making significant progress!

Where are you now? How are you using your coaching skills?

I run a coaching company which provides both corporate and personal coaching services. I also train staff in quality management and coaching skills. The main area I coach in is communication, particularly between managers and their teams. When I coach privately, the subject is usually career development or difficult work conversations.

What is the best thing that could happen to your coaching business in the next 2 years?

To land a huge contract where I need to hire associate coaches – I love working with other coaches.

What is your favorite coaching question?

But if you did know (in response to “I don’t know”); never fails.

What do you enjoy most about being a coach?

The moment when the client makes a breakthrough, it’s such a joyous moment for both parties.

What are your top tips for those coaches currently in training?

Make sure that the experience you acquire is wholly relevant to the path you will be taking as a coach.

What would you advise those coaches that are about to qualify?

Set yourself specific career goals that are within your area of control. Walk the talk!

What advice would you give to those coaches setting up a business?

Talk to those who have already done it and if possible provide a range of services.

1 Response to "Coach In The Spotlight – David Finney"

1 | Brian Urwin

April 23rd, 2011 at 1:52 pm


Good afternoon David,

I have read your “Coach in the Spotlight” contribution with interest.

I noted your response to ‘The Best thing that could happen’. When you do land the ‘big coaching contract’ I would be happy to point you in the direction of some excellent coaches in Kent.

Best wishes

Brian Urwin

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