As featured in The Coaches Training Institute’s (CTI) Transforum blog June 2013.

For many of us, starting the journey of setting up a coaching practices comes with many new questions and decisions to make, such as: “what kind of client do I want to work with?, do I want to specialise in a niche, and how will I know I am doing a good job for my client?”

In fact, the latter question is what I hear many new coaches struggle with most. Their concerns show up as “how do I give my clients full value for their money in order to justify that I am delivering as their coach?”

One of the ways some of us deem value for money and quality of service is by quantity, i.e. offering more. In the case of coaching, this means longer duration coaching sessions. But if we are fully utilizing co-active skills such as intuition, curiosity, listening, self-management, taking charge, intruding, and seeing the client for their full magnificence, is there really a need to spend more than 45-mins on a coaching sessions?

Since March 2011 when I started running my own coaching practice with international private clients I have experienced both receiving and delivering powerful 45-minute (or less) coaching sessions, especially during the 15-min skill drills in core curriculum and certification training.

In Sept 2011, I wanted to put my theory, that effective coaching conversations can be done in a short space of time, to anyone and anywhere, which is when the idea Our People’s Coach™ was born. I took to the streets of London and Birmingham in UK with a camera crew, to do ‘speed coaching’ as Our Peoples’ Coach. After completing 45 coaching sessions with people at random, I was really surprised at how much trust and connections could be created within just 10-minutes of coaching. Hear the feedback from the coachees:

These are 5 main reasons for why speed coaching is effective (based on the feedback and my observations):

  1. The impact of knowing there is limited time, forces the coach to intrude and bottom-line – there is no room to get sucked into the story, ‘the problems’ or to explain how they reached their thoughts. For the coachee this gives them permission to say it as it is, and become aware of the simple truth behind their stories, details and excuses.
  2. There is a safe space created for the coach to fail and be less attached to needing their intuition and observations to be right, because the coachee appreciates that you have no previous knowledge of them.
  3. Having said this, the impact the coach’s intuitive hits, acknowledgment and championing when they do land have on the coachee, can create real trust from the coachee and really being seen by a stranger, in such a short time can be a very powerful experience for them.
  4. In the western world, many of us expect immediate action and results. It’s so common to hear people complaining that they have little time to pause, allow themselves to enjoy the present moment or connect with what’s important to them. The gift speed coaching offers, is a taste of how powerful it can be to take just 10-minutes to explore powerful questions in a safe and non-judgmental space. It becomes a powerful reminder that It’s not necessary to meditate for hours, in order to deeply connect with yourself and that learning can come from the most unexpected places in life.
  5. As a whole, speed coaching, especially on the streets, really puts all the coach’s skills to the ultimate test, and forces them to step up their self-management and level 2 and 3 listening, in order to stay focused within an uncontrolled environment and limited time.

For me ‘speed coaching’ is not about the pace of the session being fast and rushed, rather the coach maximise their skills to cut through the stories and really get to the core of the person and draw out their bigger self.

After publishing my ‘Our Peoples’ Coach’ video on YouTube, many coaches around the world have expressed their excitement and desire to be involved because speed coaching does work, when done well. Since Oct 2012 we have had 2 Our Peoples’ Coach Flash Mobs™, that’s 42 coaches and 121 coachees in 6 hours.

Keep up to date with the positive impact  the Our Peoples’ Coach Street Team are making by checking the positive impact counter on the right seeing the success stories of both street coachees and coaches.


Your Take Away…

What will you try to test that old age saying less is more?