James Wright


Commonly asked questions about coaching…

What can I expect from coaching?

Coaching secures the best possible return on investment from your most valuable asset: yourself. (And, in business, the best possible return from your second most valuable asset: your staff). Coaching requires a structured, committed partnership to release an individual’s potential to achieve outstanding results.

What are some of the key benefits of coaching?

Coaching works at a deep cognitive level to identify the limiting beliefs and behaviour patterns that hold people back from meaningful achievement.

What is the basic methodology?

Success in business, as in life, is all about choices, decisions and questions.

  • Firstly, it integrates and balances your professional and personal values, so that you remain true to yourselves; overlooking this balance is the principal downfall of many ambitious and worthwhile plans.
  • Secondly, it gets people to identify whatever it is that they want for themselves and their lives and businesses, and what is holding them back from achieving it.
  • Finally, it shows people how to work with ambitious goals, to improve the quality of the choices they make, the decisions they take and the questions they ask themselves.

How do I know if a coach is right for me?

If you are with the right coach you will be consistently bringing out your best, and you will be highly motivated to approach big goals with a positive mindset. To assure yourself that you are working with the coach that is right for you, ask yourself:

  • Do I feel understood and supported by this coach?
  • Do I feel empowered and motivated to take action by this coach?
  • Do I feel challenged to break through restricting habits and beliefs with this coach?

If your answers are “no” to any of these, your coach will welcome your feedback, and you should look around for another.

Who works best with a coach?

‘Coachable’ people ideally have three qualities:

  • They have goals they’re committed to achieving.
  • They’re frustrated by something that is getting in the way of their success.
  • They’re open to input from another person.

How do I know if I’m ready for coaching?

Here are a few lateral thinking questions for those deciding whether coaching might suit them. State your answers first before clicking on the Answer links

Q1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?

Answer 1: Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe and close the door. This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way.

Q2. How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?

Answer 2: Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant and close the door?

Wrong! The correct answer is to open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door. This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your actions.

3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference for all the animals. One is not present: which one didn’t make it, and why?

Answer 3: The Elephant of course. It is still in the refrigerator. This tests how you apply old information to new scenarios.

Q4. OK, one more question. You have been invited to the animals’ meeting too but you are late and there is a river you must cross to get there, but it is infested with crocodiles. What will you do?

Answer 4: You swim across. All the Crocodiles are attending the Animal Meeting! This tests whether you let your fears overcome your logic.

What are some of the key benefits of coaching?

Coaching is a structured, committed partnership designed to release an individual’s potential and achieve outstanding results. Coaching works at a deep cognitive level to identify the limiting beliefs and behaviour patterns that hold people back from meaningful achievement.

What are some of the rewards and challenges of becoming a coach?

Coaching is not a career for everyone. It is a rewarding and fulfilling career choice if you are passionate about human potential and making a difference in other people’s lives. We are supposed to be detached from our coachees’ eventual outcomes too, which can be counter-intuitive but necessary if we are to be profoundly useful, rather than helpful to the person There is also a constant underlying expectation that coaches should live life in an exemplary way.

PersonalIy I quite like the challenge of that although I’m relieved that while I fall short of that zenith regularly I seem to be generally effective nonetheless.

What do coaches do?


  • help people discover powerful, compelling goals and then reach them quickly
  • provide frameworks to help people stick to them, even when the going gets tough
  • ask people to consider doing more than they would have done by themselves
  • focus people on the actions and behaviours that will produce significant results, fast
  • provide perspective to help people accomplish more in their lives
  • motivate people to stretch themselves
  • encourage people to be their best
  • challenge people to think bigger and realise an even fuller potential
  • allow people to explore structured risks
  • provide a non-judgmental, fully confidential and objective sounding board
  • shift how people think, feel and behave towards their own inherent greatness
  • help people think laterally to create lots of options, and then think deeply about the priorities and choices they wish to make
  • give people a step-by-step process to avoid the ‘overwhelm’ of not knowing where to start
  • work within an agreed time-frame – deadlines give the process urgency and importance
  • identify people’s old obstructive habits, work to break them, and develop productive habits instead
  • ask the hard questions and hold people accountable to their stated actions

(Translation for those who prefer business-speak)…


  • develop more easily-accessible time-management and planning ideas
  • expand personal and professional visions, translated into increased ROI
  • create awareness and perspective of external stressors
  • develop open communication loops and 360 feedback principles
  • improve communication and presentation skills
  • identify confident and structured innovations
  • provide an objective, non-judgmental, totally confidential sounding board
  • align business and personal values

How does coaching work?

Coaches typically work one-on-one with individuals, typically for a period of three to six months for one hour per week/fortnight. This may be in person or on the telephone. This is long enough to complete a significant project, and short enough to stay focused and motivated. Coaching is a unique conversation that will examine closely what it will take to move the client towards the goals they’ve created. It is always totally confidential and a person can talk unreservedly in a safe, nurturing, and highly productive environment.

Coaching sessions provide exciting, challenging goals, a structure to reach them, feedback, perspective, accountability and encouragement. During each session coachees will commit to taking actions for the following session.  At the following meeting, the coach discusses the obstacles faced and the insights gained as a result, then helps the coachees set new actions and develop new habits to continue moving towards achieving the results they want.

Coaching works by supporting coachees to move forward and eliminate what is holding them back. Coaches do not tell a coachee what to do, and will not impart their own agendas (contrary to what people are probably more used to experiencing when looking for help).

What tools do coaches use?

We might use assessment programs and checklists, language distinctions and coaching models but mostly we draw on life experience, our coaching skills training and an instinctive assortment of improvised and perceptive and provocative questions.

What goal areas do people typically want to be coached on?

There are many reasons that people hire coaches. The most common goal areas in which people want to see improvements include finances, career performance, career direction and transition, communication skills, relationships and health.

Is coaching the same as counselling?

No. As a generalisation, counselling is mostly about how you came from a point in your past to be who, or where, you are now; coaching is about helping you get from where you are now to a specific point in the future. Coaching is 100% focused on people achieving insights and goals. One way of making a clear distinction would be to say that counsellors offer remedial support, whereas coaches developmental support.

There are similarities between coaching and counselling too, however; both work one-to-one over a period of time, both require advanced questioning, listening and other communications skills. One can most definitely complement the other although the desired outcomes may mean that they are worked on separately.

How is Coaching different from other interventions like Consultancy, Therapy or Parenting?

There can be difficulties distinguishing between these. There are often overlaps too. The analogy below helps point out the differences between each relationship.

A Consultant…

…studies the mechanics of riding the bike… teaches you the laws of physics, how the bike is propelled, what is necessary for balance, and laws of motion/propulsion… tells you where to sit, where to put your feet and when to pedal …then leaves you to it.

A Therapist…

…discusses the basis for your fears about riding and consequences of falling… explores whether your parents rode bikes and why that might be important… explains why it is important for your self-esteem or psyche that you learn this and become good at it.


…buy a bike for you… may put on training wheels and take them off when they think you are ready… runs alongside you on the bike holding on until you have the balance to continue and then cheers you on as you go riding off into the sunset… will most likely threaten to take away riding privileges if you don’t wear your helmet.

A Coach…

…asks you what you think you need to know about how to ride and asks where you might find that information… asks you to picture the ideal bike you see yourself riding… may be there when you are about to get on for the first time, or may not… rides alongside you,“checking in” to see how you are enjoying the experience and asking what might make it more fun… asks you what you might need to take best care of yourself should you fall, about your experience and what your new insights are, whether or not you want to pursue mastery of bike riding… if so, helps you devise a plan and if not, helps you to devise a plan to sell the bike.