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Absolutely Everything You Need to Know About Coaching

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

If you are considering working with a coach, you probably have a number of questions and information you want to consider before making a decision.

I want to give you a good overview of what coaching entails, to help you determine if coaching is a good next step in your journey.

You may not know what type of coach you are looking for. Whether it is a life coach, self-development coach, health and wellbeing coach, or maybe an executive coach, this blog will help you understand how coaching can help support you.

I also want to help you understand what it is like to work with me as your coach.

In addition to this blog, I also invite you to talk this through with me and book a clarity call here.

Photo of Zoe Thompson with the caption 'Live Your Way'
'Live Your Way'

What is Coaching?

Coaching is a fantastic way to get clarity, support and guidance to move forward from where you are now, (your present state), to where you want to get to (your desired state).

In a coaching session with me, you can bring any topic or area of your life into the conversation. Some people like a structured approach and will think about areas that they want to talk about before a session. Others like to 'free flow' and talk about things that come up more instinctively.

Every Coach will approach this in a different way. Some coaches will specialise and niche working with a particular demographic or working with a particular challenge.

I describe myself as an 'expert generalist'. I work with the person rather than the problem and a typical client for me is one that has lots of areas of life they want to work on, and often with both a personal and professional focus.

When I first meet potential clients in a clarity call they will start the conversation with 'I don't even know where to start' and feel overwhelmed with how much they feel needs to change. Many clients that I work with cannot identify what the specific problem is they just know they want, and need to change.

The clients I work with tend to fall into two categories.

  1. Know what they want but have been unable to make it happen on their own.

  2. Don't know what they want but know that it is not where they are now.

Coaching is not just about the session itself. What you do between sessions has a significant impact on the progress that you make. Making time before and after the session to reflect and focus is important and time well invested. With my coaching clients pre and post-session reflection sheets are made available for you to use.

The role of a Coach is not to give you the answers but to ask questions, help you reflect on your own thoughts and beliefs, and look at things from different perspectives so that you can find your own answers.

Coaching helps you move forward. It is solution and action-focused to help you find and take the next step to move you closer to where you want to be.

You are in the driving seat. You determine where you are going and how you want to get there, you also determine the pace. My role as your coach is to be your front-seat passenger. To help guide you, support you, and help you remain calm and clear on where you are going. I will be alongside you when you get to a crossroad or when the sat nav doesn't match what you see on the road ahead, I am here to help you look at the options and decide which is the best choice for you.

What Problems Can Coaching Solve?

Coaching can cover any area of life. If you are not where you want to be, then coaching can help you.

My personal coaching focus is to focus on the person and not the problem. This means that it isn't just the 'effect' that we focus on. Coaching focuses on the 'cause'.

Your thoughts, your beliefs, your values and needs, your perspective, your patterns of behaviour, and the actions that you take. This means that we focus on your values, beliefs and behaviours instead of just focusing on 'how' to solve a specific problem.

This is an important part of the coaching process and a key ingredient in making change successful.

What is your Background and Training?

A bit about me… I have worked as a Coach full-time since 2017. Prior to that, I was a Coach and Mentor and a self-development trainer whilst working for the Police alongside my Senior Leadership and Business Change roles.

Since leaving the police I have continued my own journey of self-development and have trained as an 'NLP Master Practitioner' and completed a coaching programme with a global executive coaching company,

I have also completed courses in CBT and Positive Psychology and I am a member of the Association for Coaching.

Continuous improvement and learning are important to me and I attend a training event once a month as well as read books I can learn from.

I have circa 1800 hours of coaching experience and have worked with hundreds of clients from their teens to their seventies.

I am registered with the Association of Coaching and am currently being assessed to be an accredited 'Master Coach'. I attend both 121 and group supervision sessions to hold myself accountable and to reflect, improve and practice my coaching.

I am a parent. My son is now grown and living his dreams as a professional athlete. I have a lot of t-shirts in my wardrobe of life experience and I also have the training and professional development to guarantee that I am well-placed to support and guide you.

I am safeguarding trained and have a DBS certificate to cover my work with young people.

There are so many Coaches to Choose from, Why Phoenix?

I work with a wide range of people and challenges and therefore use a variety of modalities and methodologies to support each individual. Coaching is not a one-size-fits-all process.

I coach the person, not the problem.

I combine coaching with self-development training. My aim is not just to help you to get where you are going, but to give you the tools and strategies that are going to help you keep that momentum going, long after we finish working together.

Sessions with me are challenging, in a supportive way. They also have a lot of laughter and are sometimes emotional.

Challenging the way you think, and the beliefs you hold can feel uncomfortable. I ensure that you feel the sessions are a safe space, without judgement, to explore alternatives, explore different perspectives and be open and honest about what your reality is so that you can begin to move forward.

Clients often describe going from chaos to clarity and calm. They come away from coaching sessions feeling better, lighter, more positive and focused, empowered and confident to take their next steps to move forward.

My aim with coaching is to help with the tools and skills so that people can 'do better' and empower the confidence they need to 'be better'.

We focus on moving forward, not dwelling on what cannot be changed or influenced and letting go of what is holding people back.

My intention and purpose is to ensure that coaching sessions make a difference and support and guide the client to continuously improve.

My core values are positivity, making a difference and continuous improvement and this is how I show up as your Coach.

How Can We Work Together?

You can work with me in the following ways:

  • 121 Coaching

  • Self-Development Programmes

  • Community Membership

  • Through your Organisation

Coaching for Individuals

I offer both in-person (Clifton, Bristol) and online personal coaching sessions. You can mix both, whatever works best for you.

Group Online Programmes

'Rise' focuses on the fundamental life tools and skills that are the golden thread to a fulfilled life.

'Thrive' focuses on developing your well-being to thrive in life.

'Flourish' focuses on tools and skills to live an authentic life that brings inner joy and happiness.

Phoenix Community Membership

Focused on quality, not quantity, this is a community that is interactive, engaging and gives meaningful value.

Realise the benefits of the time you commit, and gain value from your engagement and interactions.

Make this a space you can commit to, that doesn't feel like an overwhelming commitment.

  • Monthly Community Online Drop-in

  • Monthly 'Action Learning Set'

  • Monthly 'Q&A'

  • Quarterly Goals Workshops

  • Access to iRise online courses

  • Full access to the 'Resource Library'

  • Community Forum

  • WhatsApp Group

Coaching for Organisations

Workshops: I provide a variety of interactive workshops for your teams. These can be online or in-person and will be tailored for your group. A list of workshops can be found here and is being added to all the time. If you cannot see what you are looking for, get in touch and we can talk it through.

Workplace Wellbeing and Self-Development Coaching:

Many organisations offer counselling as part of their EAP (Employee Assistance Programmes), but not all offer coaching. Many workplace challenges are well suited to Coaching as a way to support an individual, this can include well-being, self-development and leadership.

Executive and Leadership Coaching is a great way to support not just your leaders and managers but your staff as well. A coaching session with a Team Leader or Manager can benefit every person on the team.

Engaged and happy people = retained and productive people.

How Long do I work with a Coach?

A variety of packages are available.

When you have your clarity call we can talk through what support you are looking for and which package may suit you best. I will follow up the call with some information and you can then take the time you need to determine the best next step for you.

How is Coaching Structured?

You can choose between online or in-person coaching sessions. You can also choose when you have your sessions, I work evenings and weekends.

Clients are encouraged to think in advance about what they would like to cover in the session to maximise the time in the session. The session itself can take a structured or more intuitive, free-flow approach.

I will keep in mind where/what you are working towards and ensure that each session is taking you closer.

Open and honest two-way communication is important to adapt the coaching sessions and to ensure that you get the most from our time working together.

What is Included in Coaching Packages?

Each Coaching package has a detailed list on the website of what is covered. Should these change at any point whilst working with me I will honour what you signed up for and add in any additional offerings.

How Much Does Coaching Cost? Will the Price go up?

Each package on the website has the price included. I believe it is important for you to have the information upfront to help you make your decision.

Some packages offer payment plans and Klarna.

Should the cost of a package change at any point whilst working with me I will honour what you signed up for, for the remaining duration of the package.

How Does the Price Compare to Other Coaches?

Investment for 121 coaching can vary depending on the coach and packages, not all coaches list prices on their website and will talk through this with you at your consultation call. Coaching is an investment of your time, energy and finances.

The return on your investment can be incredibly impactful and have a significant impact on you and your future.

I want to ensure that coaching is accessible and inclusive. This includes availability, accessibility and budget.

I provide high-quality free resources in addition to low investment time/cost online courses and community membership. All can be found on the website.

If you are wondering if Zoe is the Coach for you, do not hesitate, it will be the best thing you do.
~Client 2020.

Who is Coaching for? Coaching IS for you IF:

  • You are ready, to be honest, and open with yourself, to help you move forward.

  • You are ready to invest in what is needed. Time, energy, focus and money.

  • You are ready to make some changes and need support and accountability to do this.

  • You don't have clarity on what you want to change or where to start, or, you know what you want and need support to make it happen.

  • You want a safe space to be able to talk things through, without judgement.

  • You are looking to learn new tools and frameworks that will help.

Coaching is NOT for you if:

  • You are not yet ready to move forward.

  • You are not ready to make the commitment.

  • You are not ready to show up and challenge yourself to make a change.

...and that is ok. I will be here when you are. In the meantime, you are welcome to join the Facebook group or one of the free online workshops

Photograph of 2 people in a coaching session.  Text overlay of bullet points that describe coaching. * Non-judgmental * A safe space *A challenge *With laughter
1:1 Coaching

How Much Time Should I Set Aside for Coaching?

This will depend on what package you decide is best for you. Most sessions are fortnightly or monthly.

It is strongly recommended that you set time aside before and after the coaching session so that you have time to get focused, in the right headspace, and time to reflect.

You may also wish to set time aside between sessions. This is likely to depend on what your sessions entail and what you are working on.

We can discuss this at the first session to see what may work for you.

How do I Decide if a Coach is a Good Fit for Me?

The best way is to book a clarity call, (sometimes called a consultation or chemistry call) so that you can meet with the Coach via video call and talk through what you are looking to work on as well as ask any questions that you may have.

It is important to find a Coach that you feel a rapport with, someone you can be open and honest with, and someone who you feel has an approach and style that will work best for you.

You may also want to ask to check their credentials, insurance, accreditation and testimonials if you have not been able to find this on the Coaches website.

Zoe was not judgmental and understood the emotions and details of specific circumstances well.
Even in a few weeks I noticed myself reacting differently which is what I had hoped I would achieve from the sessions.
~ Client 2021

What Ongoing Support will I get when I Sign up for Coaching?

Depending on your Coaching package, when you sign up, you may be invited to join the Phoenix Community, this gives you access to more resources.

All clients will also be able to keep in contact via email and WhatsApp.

It is important to me to provide support between sessions where needed and so this is included in the Coaching packages. I want to ensure that those I work with know that they can reach out between sessions and not feel that they have to wait weeks to talk something through.

Is there a Refund Policy?

When you sign up for Coaching you will be sent an electronic set of Terms & Conditions to sign before sessions start. This covers in detail the refund and cancellation terms of the package you have signed up for.

This will be slightly different depending on the package, however, the general 'rule' is that coaching is a two-way process and if something is not working then an early, open, and honest conversation will often resolve this.

If we are in agreement that this cannot be resolved then we can agree on a way forward.

What Results can I Expect from Coaching?

This will largely depend on you!

What results do you want to achieve?

You are in the driving seat. I can help you programme the sat nav, ultimately you have to get in the driver's seat and start the engine to get things moving.

I will do my best to understand how I can best help you so that you can achieve the results you want. This will be an open and running dialogue whilst we are working together and I welcome any ways that I can help you get the most from your coaching experience.

The sessions have proved invaluable, simply allowing me a platform to download 'stuff' but more importantly helping me to focus on specific key areas.
This has provided me with greater clarity on my next steps both personally and professionally.
~Client 2019

Can Anything More be said about Coaching?

This is not a 'cookie cutter' package or set programme. I pride myself on taking the time and making an effort to help people get as much as they can when they are working with me.

Being trusted to be a part of someone's journey is not a responsibility I take lightly.

This is different for each and every client and so I am committed to helping you get what you need in the way that you need it.

How do I Sign up for Coaching?

Click HERE, choose the package that fits the level of support you are looking for and hit that button to sign up. I will walk you through the next steps.

If Now is Not the Best Time for Me, What are My Options?

If now is not the best time for you then you can start with one of the following options. When you are ready, book a clarity call and we can talk through possible next steps.

Sign up now and get ready to become a better version of yourself.

If you are ready to take the first step closer to the life you want to live, then I am ready to support you. Have a question that I haven't answered?

No worries - you can get in touch HERE


Book in a quick call and I will be happy to help.

First published Jan 2021

Revised and republished March & October 2023

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