Lucy Hampton [lucyh]
What types of coaching do you do? Who are your clients?
I mainly undertake Executive Coaching ; that is working with people to explore what needs to happen to be the leaders they want to be and the leaders their people need them to be.
I also work with organisations, coaching teams or even the organisation themselves to ulimately get the results they want, to understand what stops them and how to overcome this.
Lastly, I work with conflict in relationships at work, either between individuals, for instance between a manager and a member of staff and between organisations.
Can you provide a link to a site where we can get to know more about you, the type of work you do and/or the place where you do it?
How did you get into coaching?
I was working in a senior position in the NHS and got 'sent' on a NLP Practitioner Course by my then manager who was a NLP Master Practitioner. I found it something that really opened up my understanding of my world and other peoples and was something I seemed to have a natural fit and gift for. I followed this up with a coaching qualification and decided then to set up my own practice.
I have continued to undertake development and notice what this brings and how I continue to grow as a coach through this and my experience with clients
Do you have innate qualities, or is it something that you learned?
I think I do have some innate qualites and some of that comes from my previous work. I have the ability to quickly understand how someone does what they do: spot the patterns, and this has enabled me to quickly identify what will really make a difference for the person or organisation I am working with.
I have also trained to do this: training in NLP (and in fact now I am qualified to teach others) and coaching. I believe that coaching is an area that should become 'professionalised' to ensure coaching standards and that clients get value for money, and as such I have become an Accredited Coach with the Association for Coaching, the UK's Professional Body.
Can you describe briefly the technique or methodology you use?
I originally trained in NLP and would consider that the main part of my background. However, I think a great coach is eclectic and widens their knowledge at every opportunity, through reading, more formal CPD and what they notice in the world. It is important that the coach is able to work with the needs of the client and has a flexibility of style to do this.
When the coach is confused or lost, where does he/she find a guide?
I have regular Coaching Supervision which helps a lot, enabling me to understand what I co-create in the relationship with the coachee and what I need to change to get different results. It helps me fully understand the system that I create with the client and within that what's working and what may not be helping.
I also participate in a quarterly Learning Set as part of my CPD which helps me explore my own patterns and my own sense of direction. This helps me get both a persepective from outside and take control of being my own guide.
What must the person you are helping contribute?
Most of all they need to contribute their commitment to the process; through bringing real live 'issues' to the coaching situation, honesty with themselves and the coach, self response-ability, and a commitment to action.
What motivates someone to work more efficiently?
A desire to get different results which motivates them to look at difficult issues, to have an honest discussions with themselves and to do different things as a result.
How do you work on the emotional plane?
It's interesting to me that often client's hold that emotion is wrong especially within the workplace and what I notice is that our emotions are part of what makes us humans and part and parcel of how we make meaning. They are the way that we make connections with others and with ourselves. I work with clients to integrate and accept this part of themselves, to use this as an additional information source and to become comfortable with their emotional selves so they can connect more deeply and effectively with others.
Can positive thinking can be developed into a habit?
Yes and No. I belive that we have an inherent trait to either focus on moving towards what we want (which can be viewed as positive thinking) or away from what we don't want (which can be viewed as negative thinking). This is largely motivated by our values. Often the moving away from is motivated by a value of safety and staying safe is actually quite positive! So what I'm saying is it is how we think about it. So if we label our thinking as negative or positive that is how we will feel about it. So we can move to be more positive in our thinking and like anything else if it tips over into obsession and we miss some of the warning signs then this in itself can become negative!
How does one learn to listen?
Be holding the belief that the person that you are with is inherently fascinating and that you will learn something from being with them.
How do you define the concept commitment? What importance does it have in the development of a person?
Commitment is the desire to change and the preparedness to do what it takes to achieve what you want. This can encompass all sorts of issues, being prepared to ask and answer those difficult questions, take risks, understand and celebrate strengths, share vulnerabilities ...... It is different for each individual and this exploration of self helps us build true understanding and develop a level of self acceptance that enables us to 'be' more effectively in the world. And by the way that acceptance doesn't always mean you will like everything that you find, it just means that you can accept how you are perfect and imperfect, just like everyone else.
Both of the following are necessary, but how are dreaming and realism balanced?
Dreaming and realism have balance and need each other to lead to action. Dreaming can help us develop the compelling vision of our goals and realism can really help us understand what we need to get there. I think realism often gets a bad name and is interchanged with an excuse to not do or an excuse to criticise negatively. Realism just means acceptance of the facts. It's what you do about them that matters.
Is it necessary at times to reorient a person’s desires and expectations?
I think in the majority of situations, that it is up to the client to re-orientate, not the coach. I tend to work with great belief in my client that they can achieve what they want and have the resources to do that - sometimes they just need a coach to clarity and to develop furhter some aspects of self (whether this is in their thinking or skills etc.) On a few occassions it is about what you ask, by noticing what's going on with the client. For instance, how long are you prepared to wait or may'be even, what do you notice about the orgaisations expectations of you? We work within a system and sometimes the reorientation is to another system - and only if that is what the client wants....
Discipline and creativity: are they two forces in opposition, or are they complementary?
Definelty complementary. Creativity can enable you to have all the ideas that you want but if you don't have the discipline to follow any one through all you have then is dreams.......Discipline (generally) is what makes dreams come true.
What are your personal relationships like with the people you work with?
Exceptionally good. And what else would you expect a coach who works with people to answer?
I have really clear boundaries with my clients and so they know that everything we talk about is within that coach - coachee relationship. I also appreciate them, and honestly, I do think everyone has something to bring to the world. I would never treat my client as broken and needing fixing; as for the majority whatever is going on for them is completely normal, just sometimes they need space to think and a different perspective to come up with the right answers for them.
What is usually the main obstacle your clients face?
A feeling of being stuck and not being able to see the woods for the trees.
How to change other people's perception of them - which you can't really as you can only change how you are with them.
Not knowing how to influence up.
Being overwhelmed by what needs to be done and not being able to ascertain what will really make a difference.
How do you know if a challenge is the right one for a person?
Generally you get a feel really quickly and it is through the reaction you get to some of the small and inperceptible challenges you make - that they will probably not notice. Most people are ok with challenge if it is done in the right way and it does get shifts quickly. How much do I understand this person and how much rapport do I have with them is a great question a coach can ask themselves before going for deep challenge.
And sometimes to notice what this person really needs right now is some support and to feel ok about themselves.
You just need to notice what you are doing and for what purpose. I read a great description once about the difference between counselling and coaching. Counselling is comforting the distressed and Coaching is distressing the comfortable and I think this is largely true - but even then it is about having flexibility to work with that individual and what they need (not necessarily what they want).
When the coach is confused or lost, where does he/she find a guide? Who is the coach of the coach?
My supervisor mainly, who is a bit of a guru in my world.
Also connecting in with other coaches.....
Can an excess of self-esteem be the worst obstacle?
Too much of any one thing can be a problem - when a 'shiny' behaviour becomes 'dull'.
Self - esteem is a difficult concept - self confidence? self belief?
It's a problem when it becomes arrogance and the coachee comes to you (or often is sent) with a desire to change others.....
How do you recommend selecting a coach? Should it be someone who has followed the path that he/she wants to? Should it be someone they admire?
Actually I have written a blog about this:
I think choosing a coach should comprise of the following.
1. Understanding their training and their commitment to CPD
Many people think they can coach as they have been coached and I believe that coaching is both a science and an art. This will also tell you how commited they are to coaching. A coach will expect you to have commitment so you should expect that of them too.
2. Do they have supervision for their coaching?
Demonstrates their commitment to improvement
3. Do they undertake contined professional development
Commitment to improvement and to keep their coaching 'fresh'
4. What's their coaching philosophy?
This will help you understand what they are about and if they will be a good fit for you.
5. Are they accredited
This will demonstrate how seriously they take their profession and will also tell you that they are insured to practice and provides you with assurance as a coachee.
6. Is the 'chemistry' right.
When you meet you will know if it 'fits'. Probably the most important element.
If someone wants to initiate a self-transformation, what general advice would you give him/her?
Go find a coach. This will help you keep on track and to understand whether you really do want it or it is something you think you should do. A great coach should be able to help you get understanding of this within one session and sometimes that is all that is needed. Then you can decide if you want another session or whether you have got what you want for now.
A great coach works with you to get what you want without tying you into lots of expense. They want to add value in a cost effective way.