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27 Oct, 2011

Emmy Yeadon on invaluable learning and why she loves coaching teams

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

Emmy Yeadon on invaluable learning and why she loves coaching teams

I came to The Coaching Academy in 2008 after a harrowing year during which I visited a Life Coach for the first time. Although 70% of the techniques were useful for me, the other 30% I felt uncomfortable about and I was very unhappy about how directive he was.

What could have been a huge negative for me has been exactly the opposite, I regularly think about the things that made me mistrust these sessions and I ensured that when structuring my own coaching sessions I not only avoided them but created the exact opposite.

So what are my do’s and dont’s based upon my time as a coachee with a ‘dubious’ coach;

  • Don’t talk about yourself; I was never interested in his own experiences either in real life or his past life regression sessions – they had absolutely nothing to do with me or my journey.
  • Don’t be directive; whether subtly or openly. One of my over riding memories is the ‘coach’ laughing at (with?) me and saying ‘I really cant believe you haven’t followed my advice on this by now’.
  • Don’t be too ‘touchy’; some people may appreciate contact with a coach, I was never happy about being hugged or having regular contact (i.e. patting, touching my shoulder/arm) with my ‘coaching professional’.
  • Do ensure that your client is comfortable with the session; I was never asked if I wanted to try a technique, just told that we were doing it, this included NLP, EfT and some hypnosis techniques. I would have liked the opportunity to say ‘no thanks, I don’t think I’m ready’.
  • Do use your coaches intuition. One of my biggest issues with the coaching was that I didn’t feel that I was the focus of the sessions. I was on a rollercoaster ride where we did whatever the coach said. I now ensure that my sessions are led by the client and that they are happy about what we are doing and how the session is progressing. If I’m ever not sure of these things, I stop coaching until I’m sure they are completely at ease again.

There is so much to being a great coach who is valued by your clients; be well trained, be authentic, ‘walk your talk’ and when people tell you about negative coaching experiences, make sure your clients never experience those feelings.

I am grateful for my first, ‘dubious’ coach, he made me promise to myself that I would be a better coach to my clients – and I am!

Why I Love Coaching Teams

When I started my training with The Coaching Academy I wanted to be a Personal Development coach.

However I hadn’t counted on enjoying the Corporate and Executive training as much as I did. I realised that people in business situations also have stories and issues with dynamics and they also have myriad opportunities towards success. In particular I found myself drawn to the team coaching information and quickly I was hooked.

As human beings we are social animals, we love being with other people and working and socializing together – in teams. Whether you are creating a business proposal, building a house or taking part in a netball tournament you are part of a team, not to mention the ultimate extended team; the family.

When I coached my first business the subject of teams came up almost immediately. Within the management team of six people the senior manager had concerns about Jane*. She wasn’t ‘gelling’ with the team, she was ‘awkward’ and didn’t join in.

Jane* had mentioned that she was looking for a new position with another company and to be honest the team would be glad to see her go. But would I coach her as the team objectives for next month had still to be met and they needed everyone on side.

I asked the senior manager for permission to hold a ‘team support day’ and she agreed. We mind mapped what it meant to be a member of their team, what ‘doing a good job’ looked like. Then we discussed team roles, learning styles and where each person felt they fitted in within the current team, both as a group and during individual sessions.

Jane* was kinaesthetic, she was also a reflector and a completer-finisher…..and she was in a team with 5 activists! When everyone else was sharing idea after idea in a meeting she sat quietly making notes, at home she would decide what the best course of action was and then she would email the senior manager her suggestions the next morning.

‘Aaaahh’ said the Senior Manager. So she’s not being awkward by not joining in? She’s not got an attitude because she doesn’t talk and share much? And she smiled.

‘Aaaahh’ said Jane*. So my team do need my skills, and by focusing on completing the job and not the next new idea I am doing a good thing? And she smiled.

Jane* is now deputy senior manager and loves her job. She is well thought of by the team and her senior manager looks forward to receiving her morning emails. Neither of them can imagine the team without Jane and her invaluable input.

And me? I just love coaching teams!

7 Responses to "Emmy Yeadon on invaluable learning and why she loves coaching teams"

1 | Rosemary Bannister

October 27th, 2011 at 11:15 am


Hi Emmy, I loved your blogg and am so pleased that your first ‘bad’ coach did not put you off. The world of coaching needs you!

I also loved your example about teams. I too love working with teams and just love that “Ah Ha” moment when someone realised that the ‘difficult’ person is not difficult at all. Just different and with a great set of skills that the team probably need.

Many thanks for sharing this with us.

2 | Hilary Wilce

October 27th, 2011 at 11:29 am


Thank you, Emmy, A wonderfully clear, articulate and interesting post. I totally agree with the things you found off-putting about coaching, and it’s a great reminder that the client always comes first, middle and last. And the story about successful team coaching was illuminating. Stories are always the best explanation.

3 | Debbie Robinson

October 27th, 2011 at 11:44 am


Great post Emmy. Thanks for sharing your experience of what not to do. Excellent advice on how to be a ‘Great’ coach which I know, from first hand, you are. You certainly ‘walk the talk’! ;o)

4 | Nikki Wild

October 29th, 2011 at 12:47 pm


Thanks, Emmy, for a great article. It’s a really good point that we can use our experiences as coachee to shape the coaching we provide. Recognising what feels right versus what feels uncomfortable is a a really good signpost towards being a fantastic coach (which you are). I like your team coaching example too. I love coaching teams, we can get huge results in business by raising levels of awareness, understanding and acceptance. I’m looking forward to reading more articles from you.

5 | Emmy Yeadon

November 4th, 2011 at 8:07 am


Thank you for your feedback ladies, it’s always great to hear what other people think about what we do. It’s also reminded me how positive feedback is so motivational to our clients and ourselves!

Warm regards,


6 | Tyra

November 4th, 2011 at 10:59 pm


I enjoyed reading this and found it very helpful to those who are not that used in some events. Learning from these tips feels great. Lots of good people love to share their experience and it is also a best thing to gain knowledge from. Thank you Emmy for this. It is worth sharing this interesting post. Looking forward for more.

7 | Zandro

November 12th, 2011 at 4:43 am


Wow Emmy, that is truly great. Building them to the right track of business. Glad you’re sharing your experience on this and I think you’re a keen observer for that. :) More power to you!

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