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17 Aug, 2011

Coach In The Spotlight – Virginia Taylor

Posted by: The Coaching Academy In: Coach Spotlight|Corporate & Executive Coaching Articles|In The Spotlight|Personal Success|Success Stories

Virginia Taylor qualified through The Coaching Academy programme and has enthusiastically agreed to share her coaching experience, so we have put her in the Coaching Hot Seat. Here is Virginia’s story:-

What brought you to coaching?

I have been counselling individuals and couples for the last 14 years and found myself gradually wanting to help my clients achieve their goal a lot quicker. Rather than focusing a lot of my attention on the client’s past issues, I found myself wanting to know more about what was preventing the client achieving the goal now. I attended a training day on coaching just to find out more about it and realised at the end of the day, something inside of me had changed. So much so, that normally I don’t really do much walking but I found myself doing a 3 mile walk home after the training day, feeling on cloud nine.

In all my years of counselling, I never thought anything could match my passion and enthusiasm for counselling, but now I had found something, which did. I came home and went immediately onto the computer to look for courses. Not having much finance, something within me said type in “Free Coaching courses”, and hey presto up came The Coaching Academy. I enrolled and was over the moon when I got accepted on the FREE 2 day Personal Coaching.

What were your original thoughts for applying the coaching?

I played close attention to the coaches and could see their confidence, joy and passion in what they did. I wondered as I sat in the audience whether I could do it. Having a reserved nature at times, I thought I might not be outgoing enough. I left the day, very tempted to sign on for the Diploma in Personal Coaching, but felt I needed more time to think about it. I left and once again, knowing finances being scarce, decided maybe this was not the right time.

A year later I was in a slightly better position financially and so thought, this was an opportunity I could not miss, so I signed up.

I hesitated a great deal about the Corporate and Executive Coaching Programme again thinking, I might not be able to do it, but I finally decided I would take the plunge and go for it. I don’t really think at that moment in time, I really took in what it would mean to me to achieve it, maybe it was still just a dream.

What was your profession before becoming a coach?

I have worked as an Occupational Health Counsellor for the local government on a part-time basis for the last 11 years. I use my counseling and coaching skills when working with people at all levels within the organization and with teachers, doctors and nurses.

What did you find most interesting to learn?

I really enjoyed learning how to use the GROW model. Once having grasped it, I realised how it could be used to help clients achieve any goal. I enjoyed learning about Team Coaching, though very challenging, it was very interesting.

The entire programme was interesting; the information I took in was all very useful. I took the time to study all the material very carefully, made notes and believe I have a very good grasp of the different sections.

I am also please to say, I feel my writing skills have improved greatly as a result of the coaching programme, which I am really happy about.

What was the most rewarding part of the training/journey?

Getting the result of my Practical Assessments was fantastic, but to beat that was the result of my Thesis and Learning Journal. I knew I had really put a lot of hard work into the programme and it was fantastic to get the result of Distinction – my hard work had been recognised.

Coaching my clients was equally very enjoyable. I enjoyed working with my clients in setting goals, hearing my clients tell me about the goals they had achieved and how beneficial they felt the coaching had been.

Which bits did you enjoy the most?

I really enjoyed the accelerator days, interacting with others and learning directly from the trainer.

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

I have my own counselling and coaching business, which I set up on my own. I counsel and coach clients from all occupations, business owners, directors of companies, solicitors, police officers, accountants, personnel officers, manual workers etc. Last year I had an influx of clients, which was wonderful. I was also approached by the NHS to deliver some stress management sessions for people wanting to give up smoking, once again my coaching skills was very useful in delivering this. I was then contacted by the University and now use my counselling and coaching skills with University lecturers and staff.

What is your coaching niche and why did you choose it?

I enjoy coaching clients with work related matters. I also very much enjoy coaching clients wanting to break addictions and change unhelpful behaviour patterns. In a number of cases the first session begins as a counselling session then moves very quickly into coaching sessions. I believed I am blessed to be able to use both and more often than not clients have made remarkable changes and achieved goals within 6 sessions.

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

Obtaining coaching contracts with at least 3 large organizations, with regular work throughout the year, with a good rate of pay.

What is your favorite coaching question?

‘What is important about your goal?’

I have found this question really gets the client in touch with their feelings, their values and what achieving the goal will mean. It is quite a remarkable moment, watching or listening to the client as they talk about the importance of their goal, faces light up and tone of voices lifts.

What do you enjoy most about being a coach?

To hear and see the joy in my clients when they have achieved their goals. Watching clients turn their situations around and achieve goals they never ever believed could achieve. Listening to clients develop more and more confidence and believing in themselves as they move forward.

Being a coach is truly very rewarding.

People who are looking at coaching?

Attend the FREE 2 day Personal Coaching course; it will definitely help you decide whether coaching is for you. The experience itself is very valuable.

Those coaches currently in training?

Keep your focus on the end goal, whilst enjoying the journey of getting there. Set time aside to study and ensure you have not got too many other demands on your time. Take time to read everything carefully, make notes and digest the information fully, before moving on.

Coaches that are about to qualify?

You are near the end and though at times it might feel hard, keep going, it really is worth it. You are in the process of doing, what you are going to help many of your clients to also do, which is achieve the Goal.

People that are in a similar situation to yourself?

Go for it. You now have the skills and training, go get the client’s.

At first I wasn’t sure if I could do it, but I have. Companies approach me, past clients recommend me and I keep looking for opportunities to promote myself. You don’t need much to get started, a website, business cards, a comfortable room for face-to-face clients and a telephone. Register on sites for coaches and keep developing your skills.

2 Responses to "Coach In The Spotlight – Virginia Taylor"

1 | Hyacinth Messam

August 18th, 2011 at 4:58 pm


Virgina, thank you for sharing your journey. It has left me more inspired and full of confidence with the Coaching Academy’s programme. I have recently started my training as a coach and I am loving every minute of my study. I have just completed the Advanced GROW section and I am so motivated – the feelings are just wonderful. I am looking forward to attend my first Accelarated Day. Good luck in your future pursuit.

2 | Agnes Cserhati

October 21st, 2011 at 8:15 am


A truly inspiring story, Virginia. Thank you for sharing. I have found training with the Coaching Academy one of my best experiences in my professional life. All the trainers are superb and the course is very well designed.

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