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01 Sep, 2009

The Energy of Conversation

Posted by: The Coaching Academy In: Success Stories

David Finney - Coaching BlogI have many great memories from my time spent studying for the twin Corporate and Executive Coaching Programme & Personal Performance Coaching Diploma at The Coaching Academy: the inspirational accelerator days, practice sessions with coaches, developing my skills with clients, and getting a smile from one of the trainers on the way to a workshop (I can picture Bev’s smile right now).

The last memory I have was articulating a goal on the final learning sheet that looked like this:  ACHIEVE FIRST PAYING CLIENT BY END OF JANUARY 2009. A SMART goal in many respects, although I did forget one basic rule of goal setting in terms of my area of control, which was, of course, that I simply could not force any client to commission me as a coach, so this goal was clearly outside of my control zone!

After qualifying in December 2008, I revisited my goals for 2009 and aimed to work solely within my circle of influence: resolving to build a marketing strategy, a prospect database and a portfolio of coaching programmes. Around this set of very specific and measurable objectives I drew a larger circle in which I articulated a loose ‘dream goal’, which included my achieving three corporate clients, three personal clients, three joint ventures and three published articles by the end of the year.

After a First Quarter filled with marketing activity but little return, the Second Quarter saw my business take off and by the end of June I had secured two corporate assignments, two personal assignments, two joint venture agreements and three published articles – one on ‘balance’, one on ‘performance management’ and one on the similarities between the market research and coaching industries. In addition, at my ‘day job’, two executives emailed a request for me to coach them off the back of a talk I now give on Coaching to cspiring managers; so all very much on track and a testament to good training, hard study and strong goal-setting!

I have also designed some coaching tools – one in particular that I regularly use in partnership with GROW – and adopt the following mantra to help me manage my state and REALISE the full extent of my coaching potential before a session. Yes, it’s another acronym and I am so happy to be part of a community that loves models and acronyms!

Relax   (a short meditation)
Empty your mind   (in order to follow the client’s agenda)
Appreciate your client   (their strengths and their investment in coaching)
Listen very carefully    (especially to the goals)
Inspire your client    (to do great things)
Synergise   (session goal, end goal, values and emotional needs)
End on a good note   (leave your client in a good place)

By David Finney of The Energy of Conversation


2 Responses to "The Energy of Conversation"

1 | Sarah Fraser

September 4th, 2009 at 9:44 am


Hi David, Love your REALISE acronym…I have a similar way of mentally zoning into my client sessions, but this captures it very succinctly. Thanks for sharing! Sarah.

2 | Bev James MD of The Coaching Academy

September 7th, 2009 at 9:35 pm


Hi David,
I also love your REALISE acronym and its really good to hear your success story, it made me smile :)

I hope to see you at Latimer in the near future,

I wish you well,

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