Generally speaking, there are a fairly limited number of reasons why we engage with self-improvement activities in the pursuit of self-mastery:

  • to increase our value so we can command a higher salary (if we are employed)
  • to improve our creativity, intelligence and decision-making skills in order to grow profits (business owners)
  • to maximise job satisfaction
  • to achieve a sense of balance and control in our lives along with the associated improvements in health and feelings of contentment that inevitably partner these qualities
  • to improve and deepen relationships
  • to pursue improvement for the sake of improvement

A professional athlete is a good metaphor to represent the pursuance of excellence. They are like the gladiators of the modern day. In order to perform at their best, professional athletes understand the vital importance of using a coach. The coach is an external, objective window into their bodies and minds. Employing a coach is just accepted as the norm in the world of high performance athletics. There is so much at stake for them. Most of us cannot think of even one professional athlete who doesn’t employ the services of a coach. Is it not obvious, then, that a business professional, indeed any individual, might also benefit hugely from such an important relationship?

In purely financial terms, a survey conducted by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (April 2009) found “…a median return of 7 times the initial investment. In fact, almost one fifth (19%) indicated an ROI of at least 50 (5000%) times the initial investment while a further 28% saw an ROI of 10 to 49 times the investment”.

I’ve been interested in the exploration of human potential since my teenage years. It was only after my first career as a Chartered Management Accountant that I decided to pursue it as a career. That led to three decades developing a unique blend of experiences in the fields of healthcare, as a clinician and clinical director, elite athletics, teaching martial arts and, since I sold out to the employees of my main business in 2015, coaching executives.

My manufacturing experience encouraged a very process and systems orientated approach to continual improvement. My martial arts, endurance athletics and clinical experience has helped me develop an appreciation of the connection between habitual thought processes, unconscious assumptions and human performance; both physical and mental. We often cannot see what is hidden in plain sight because of these habits of thinking. In order to see these factors and understand their dynamics, a coach can be invaluable.

I’ve always suspected that humans are capable of a lot more than they think they are and that our problems are, to a huge extent, self-created. What really holds us back is ourselves. In my role as a coach, I challenge businesses and their people by stimulating creativity, supporting intelligent planning and encouraging decisive action. I coach individual executives and business professionals across a wide range of sectors and facilitate strategic thinking with boards of directors. I have many years of experience starting and growing businesses of my own, some of which are in their 25th year. As such, I am also well placed to offer business coaching for small business owners who need to be held accountable to someone who isn’t connected to them or their business. I help them plan, develop ideas, construct systems and navigate challenging circumstances. A coach’s objectivity is one of their strongest weapons. The ability to offer an objective, third party perspective is invaluable in almost any set of circumstances.

A business’ greatest asset is the ideas generated by its people. My niche is to uncover and nurture these ideas whilst helping clients achieve the clarity required to reach that critical level of confidence necessary to act decisively. My extensive clinical training and experience have allowed me to develop the unique ‘Active Ingredients’ through which I deliver my service. That is, the functional components of how I deliver my value (what I do and how I do it to achieve our objectives). In a word, it’s the unique set of experiences and intuition I have acquired from doing the same thing thousands of times with thousands of people over many years. More specifically:

  1. Rapport building skills – preparing a relationship that facilitates trust and positive action
  2. Observational skills – listening and watching
  3. Questioning skills – asking the right questions at the right time in the right way
  4. Analytical skills – making meaning out of what is said, how it is said and in what context
  5. Framing skills – presenting evidence in a manner that is most likely to facilitate a productive outcome
  6. Modelling skills – selecting and using appropriate models as tools to facilitate insight and action

My first hand experience with multiple small businesses and large multinational corporations often comes in pretty handy, too.

If you feel it would be worthwhile having a brief, free, no obligation chat about any of the concepts here and discuss how they can generate value for you and your business, contact Sean on sean@refinity.co.uk or call 01522 700600.

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