This is what some of my former clients shared about their motivations for coaching and their experience of being coached.
I wanted to bring direction and focus to my PhD. At that point I felt as though I was drifting without being clear about what I wanted to achieve and how I intended to achieve it. My coach has been fantastic in helping me to achieve goals, make changes – both practical and in the way in which I perceive myself and situations. I can honestly say the whole experience has had positive life changing consequences. Emma, 3rd year PhD student in Art,I started coaching looking for focus, to achieve goals, to overcome challenges. Initially I discussed short, medium and long term objectives with the coach in addition to creating a timeline of the PhD. This was really useful for clarifying in my mind what I wanted to achieve. More importantly, though, were the practical advice and direction offered during the sessions. The coach would interrogate the ideas or objectives that I offered, which acted as a kind of stress test to examine whether they were realistic or if I had given them sufficient thought. From this point we have discussed practical methods for achieving these goals and identifying action points and accountability measures to ensure that I achieve them. This has been immeasurably useful for achieving progress in the elements of the PhD that I felt need greater focus. One particular session focussed upon networking at academic conferences. When discussing the timeline of the PhD I identified conferences as a source of uncertainty. Having a tailored session with practical action points to take away to subsequent conferences was really helpful. Michael, 1st year PhD student in History,I was aware that I was ‘drifting’ in my current role, and was keen to gain more focus in my career. Coaching has encouraged me to really scrutinise my role, and identify the potential to take on work which benefits my own development as well as simply keeping me in work! It has also given me the motivation to apply to have my post re-graded, and I found working through the process in some of the coaching sessions extremely helpful. I have found the way Anna questions me very gentle and also very effective in helping me have better insight into what I am doing, and need to do, and why. For example, reconnecting with my values and assessing the paths I had chosen in relation to these. Kerry, Research assistant, PhD in Communications,