10 questions you might like to ask us before you hire one of us to coach you.
1. DO YOU HAVE A COACH?
We both had coaches while we were performing our leadership roles. As coaches, we now attend supervision with Dr Carol Kauffman, PhD, who is the Founder/Executive Director of the Institute of Coaching, Harvard Medical School McLean Hospital. This brings rigour and accountability to our coaching process and strengthens our resourcefulness and self-awareness. Carol also acts as our business coach. Coaching works for us!
2. WHAT COACH TRAINING AND QUALIFICATIONS DO YOU HAVE?
We are both graduates of the Meyler Campbell “Mastered” programme, which is accredited by the Association for Coaching and has been awarded the European Quality Award conferred by the European Mentoring and Coaching Council. Mastered is the premier business coach training programme in the UK.
Mastered is modelled on the Oxbridge tutorial system and comprises a series of tutorials that mix taught content and discussion with coaching practice, observation and feedback. The programme usually takes 12 months.
3. WHAT KIND OF INSURANCE DO YOU HAVE?
As coaching is an unregulated profession, it is important for coaches to have professional indemnity and liability insurance. We have professional indemnity insurance for coaching, training and education and training and public and product liability insurance with Hiscox Insurance company Limited. We have never had to call on it, but it offers us and our clients the reassurance of back-up and support if we need it.
4. HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR PRACTICE CURRENT?
Coaching is about learning and growth, so you would expect us to invest significantly in our own development. The choices we make give you insights into our priorities, focus and personality.
Dick is a member of the Faculty of Meyler Campbell. In that role, he tutors experienced business professionals either to practice as coaches or to apply coaching in their organisations at a senior level. He is also a founding fellow of the Institute of Coaching Professional Association at McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliate.
In addition to his coaching qualification, James is an experienced mediator. He is accredited with CEDR and recently completed the Advanced Mediator course at Harvard.
Dick and James both have Myers Briggs MBTI® Step I and Step II certification and have completed the Nancy Kline “Time to Think” Foundation and Thinking Partnership Courses. They have also both trained in the Gallup Strengthsfinder tool and regularly conduct 360 feedback reviews for their coaching clients.
Dick has attended the Harvard Business School “Leading Professionals Services” and London Business School “Managing Professional Services” programmes.
5. WHAT HAVE YOU READ RECENTLY IN THE LEADERSHIP AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT ARENA THAT REALLY RESONATED WITH YOU? WHY?
Good leaders are readers and so are good coaches. We both regularly read the legal and business press and we subscribe to the Harvard Business Review and the McKinsey Global Institute.
Books that we have read recently which have resonated with us are:
- The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor
- Atomic Habits by James Clear
- Smart Collaboration by Heidi Gardner
- Managing the Modern Law Firm by Laura Empson
- Leading for Organisational Change by Jennifer Emery
- Think Like A Leader, Act Like a Leader by Herminina Ibarra
6. WHAT KIND OF GOALS/CHALLENGES DO SOME OF YOUR CURRENT CLIENTS HAVE?
We have a range of clients with differing challenges which tend to revolve around either a stage of transition or decision (such as promotion, career change, new team, reorganisation or strategic review). Our aim is to enable our clients to access the best version of themselves. We work with them in a way which is objective, compassionate and non-judgmental.
7. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN COACHING AND HOW HAS YOUR COACHING CHANGED DURING THIS TIME?
Dick completed the Meyler Campbell programme in 2009 and James did so in 2016. Coaching has been our full-time occupation since 2014 and 2016 respectively.
We have chosen to coach because it is stimulating, we enjoy the challenge of helping our clients to be the best they can be and because of the opportunities that it provides us to grow and develop both personally and professionally. We are fascinated and curious about what goes on in law firms.
We enjoy working together because two heads are better than one. We believe that we are complementary to each other in terms of our business experience, our training and our personalities, and that enables us to provide our clients with the best of each of us.
8. HOW LONG WILL THE COACHING ENGAGEMENT LAST?
We work to our clients’ agendas, not our own. Having said that, our typical assignments comprise a set of coaching sessions (usually six to start with) that reflect the level of change that our clients want to achieve. The sessions are usually 90 minutes long and roughly four weeks apart. We are flexible to our clients’ needs and adjust our process accordingly.
As part of our service, we include supplementary coaching calls between sessions to help maintain momentum when required. These can provide the opportunity for laser coaching (short, incisive coaching on a real-time issue). They are also useful for troubleshooting, identifying lessons learned and determining next steps.
9. HOW DO YOU MEASURE SUCCESS?
We work with our clients at the beginning of an assignment to identify clear goals – the specifics of how they want to think, feel and behave differently. We treat them as being “in the driving seat” in the relationship and therefore able to hold themselves accountable. We check in regularly about how things are working and to adapt to feedback and expectations. At the end of the engagement, we review what has changed and to what extent the original goals have been met. Long before this, we would expect that others will have noticed the changes in our clients.
10. CAN I SPEAK TO ONE OF YOUR CURRENT OR FORMER CLIENTS?
Owing to the personal and confidential nature of coaching, some of the happiest, most satisfied, clients do not want to go “on the record”. However, we have several clients whose experience is relevant and who will be happy to have a brief conversation or email exchange. Please look at our website to see case studies.