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10th May 2011

How to avoid paralysis through indecision

Coaching has been described as “The art of facilitating the performance and development of another-a facilitation approach” (Downey, 1999). Some people would argue that cutting the coaching budget is a quick way to save money during times of austerity. However despite the recession, we have found that coaching is actually one of the services that has become more and more popular within organizations, ‘People are feeling less secure and approach us for coaching support to help with building their skills and levels of resilience in the times of uncertainty’. In this article, we discuss why organizations can’t afford to cut coaching out.

With the increase in the popularity of coaching, a number of researchers have tried to establish its benefits. One study conducted by the Association for Coaching found that purchasers of coaching stated better people management skills and increased job motivation resulted from coaching programmes. While coachees reported improved work life balance and improved job motivation. In addition, a study by Quilken ( found, from a review of research to date, the reported Return on Investment from coaching was between 5 and 10 times the cost of the coaching.

A number of different approaches to coaching exist and at Impact Consulting, we draw on a various theories and techniques as appropriate to the specific situation. One of our favoured forms of coaching is derived from the principles and practice of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) (Beck, 1976; Ellis, 1994).

Cognitive behavioural approaches emphasize that our reaction to an event is largely determined by how we view the event and, not by the event itself. We work with clients to help them to identify, examine and re- evaluate some of their less helpful beliefs, which are inhibiting their performance, and work to develop and try out alternative viewpoints and behaviours that may be more effective

Cognitive Behavioural Coaching (CBC) does not seek to give people the answers to their problems or difficulties, but through a collaborative process helps them to reach their own conclusions and solutions

“We have found this approach very successful. Through using techniques derived from CBC, we have helped clients who have suffered from a variety of difficulties including panic attacks, stress, depression, managing uncertainty in their career, performance anxiety when giving presentations and a variety of other issues. The theory and techniques help people to develop a more realistic and objective way of thinking. It is extremely empowering when we realise we can control or change the way we think”

Our clients have reported some remarkable results from coaching, with one client reporting that the experience changed their life.

“This was without doubt the best use of my time in a long period.
The experience was a revelation! I have already recommended Sarah to colleagues, her knowledge, commitment and enthusiasm for coaching and the underpinning theories and principles shine through during the sessions. Sarah allows you the space and time to come to your own conclusions and supports you in looking at difficult areas of your personal and/or work life. My self esteem has improved and I feel more able to view events in a more positive light. With Sarah’s expert guidance I am more content, confident and enthused about my current and future career prospects. Thank you very much for providing such a life changing opportunity, I have enjoyed my sessions and will miss meeting with Sarah” Associate Director of HR, NHS

“My coach quickly established with me key areas for work and helped set goals and a timeline around them. The purpose of coaching was to establish a new career path for me. One direct result of the coaching was that I have a new job which my coach was instrumental in obtaining for me. A very worth while experience.”

The evidence from our clients highlights the enormous value and potential of coaching. As global crises mount, anxiety and distress will become increasingly common. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that depression will be the number one health problem by 2020. Through coaching, we can help people to develop strategies that they can use for the rest of their lives to take control of their thinking, and ultimately increase their personal power and resilience.