What does a personal development coach do?


One of the questions I often get asked is "what does a personal development coach do?" The answer is quite simply; I work with you on your personal development. This can mean different things to different people depending on your understanding of personal development! It is a lifelong learning process that covers the things you want to improve on or develop in and get more from your life to feel happier and more fulfilled, personally.


For some people, personal development means career progression. This might include training and qualifications or learning something new. For others, it’s about thinking about how an experience has made you confident in your role and you’re wondering what else you could achieve in your career. Other people define personal development as emotional intelligence, maturity, resilience, improving relationships or something else that affects you personally.

Personal development coaching is a structured confidential conversation between two people: you and your coach. Some people know exactly what they want to talk about, others feel like something needs to change but they are not sure what that is or how to start finding out. As a personal development coach, I might ask you to tell me about yourself and what it is you want to get from coaching. We can use an assessment to help start this conversation off and structure your thoughts. I might ask you to complete an exercise or DISC profile questionnaire as a starting point, depending on what I think will help you the most. From our discussion, things will start to become clear on what areas of your personal development you want to work on and where you want to start. We will work on this together. I will support you to make sense of your experiences and help you to break down your thoughts when they start to run away with you, so you don’t become overwhelmed. We will take the smallest of steps that you feel comfortable with. You may, of course, be ready to take the leap right now. In this case, go for it, your plan will be robust enough for you to act when you’re ready. This is different for everyone.


Now you’re getting started, we agree on how often to meet up, usually for an hour or so, and check-in with your plan. This can be once a week, two weeks or even monthly. We start to produce realistic next steps to keep focused on your goal. In our conversations, you can learn how to stretch yourself without getting overwhelmed. You can learn more about yourself and grow in confidence to trust yourself to rise to new challenges. Most importantly, however, this is your personal plan and your personal development coaching. You are in control of it. I might encourage you to try new things, test out scary strategies in a safe way and have a go at thinking about a situation in a unique way. We might make changes to the plan and test out what is working well. If something is not going so well, we will find a different way to overcome it. With reflection and honesty, we will find the underlying cause and find something that works for you.


As you make progress, we then talk more through the realistic details of your plan, so you gain more clarity and really bring your goal to life. I’ll help to keep you on track, motivate you through any setbacks you have and celebrate your wins with you too. We can overcome any fears and obstacles that might be getting in your way by talking them through. Together we work on your plan, so you don’t give up on your dreams. Working with a personal development coach can reduce the pressure and isolation you feel when things are challenging. By working with someone you trust who is completely on your side you can regain the rewards and excitement that may be missing from your life or career.


Personal development coaching is great for taking time out to think about the direction you want to move in, either in the short or long term. It is a lifelong process of learning and using your experience to increase your confidence. We can work together to ensure you make decisions that are right for you. The most important thing you can do is to reflect on your innovative ideas to keep you focused on taking action. If you’re procrastinating, we will find out why. You will leave each session with a plan you’ve created as we talk. The sense of achieving something you never thought possible can become a reality by working with a personal development coach.


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