Once you have let me know about the problems you are experiencing, either via this web site or
over the phone [see menu item 'Booking phone sessions' ], and I feel
that I can help you [see menu item 'The sort of difficulty I can help with' ], we will start to work together.
Changing our behaviour rather than changing the other person
One of my main findings from twenty plus years’ work is that – much as we might like to - it’s
very difficult to change other people’s behaviour. An easier, but still difficult, option is to
change our own behaviour; the way we think and the sort of thing we actually say in our
conversations. When we do this, using the principles and skills that I will introduce you to,
we not only become much more effective ourselves, but we can also influence the other person,
indirectly, to change the way that they behave in the conversations that we have with them.
Becoming aware of our own ‘automatic’ thinking
We are not usually aware of how we think, or how our thoughts influence what we say. It’s this
‘automatic’ nature of our thinking that causes most of our problems in conversations. Therefore,
during the coaching sessions, I will work with you to help you recognise how you think and to
identify anything that is unhelpful in your thinking. From there, I will help you to use the new
principles and skills (to help you to think differently - more helpfully) so that you are able
to have different, more effective and much more enjoyable conversations.
Practising the new skills and principles
I shall ask you to try out some exercises - between sessions - using the new principles and
skills. Don’t worry; we’ll take things a step at a time, working at the rate that you’re happy
with. We’ll begin with things that won’t affect any one else at all; with you observing your own
thoughts and words, listening to other people’s conversations - on the radio, on the TV or in
real life – that sort of thing. Once you’re happy to do so, you’ll start to put your new
thinking and skills into practice with my guidance and support. We’ll use the results of your
exercises to tailor our sessions to your particular needs, and to help you move on to an
increasingly skilled level of performance in your real-life conversations.
Deciding how many over-the-phone coaching sessions to have, and how often to have them
It’s difficult to give precise numbers here because these differ with each person but, in
general, most people have needed between six to twelve sessions. With regard to how often
to have them, the typical pattern of sessions is that the first two or three sessions take
place quite quickly (once a week or, sometimes, twice a week) so that I can give fairly
immediate guidance and support in the early stages when people are gaining familiarity with the
approach and when there are more likely to be uncertainties and questions. As people gain
confidence and fluency with the approach, the sessions become less frequent at, say, three or
four week intervals after which people either stop the sessions or contact me as and when they
feel the need to do so.
You can have as many or as few sessions as you wish, and you can discontinue the sessions at