Frequently Asked Questions
First, ask yourself if you have an idea of what you want to achieve. This does not have to be precise, but some thought needs to be put into it. Some clients feel something is wrong or out of balance in their lives with some areas going well and some really needing attention. Addressing this imbalance maybe the goal. For some, the goal is more concrete like get a job/promotion, address a financial issue, lose some weight or get fit. Some feel that talking to a colleague or confidante is enough to get a resolution and this may be the best route for them. Nevertheless, some patterns and barriers to achievement are more deeply embedded and need professional focus. What a coach will bring is the structure, guidance and accountability to move forward. I speak to clients who have in the past, started on a journey only to falter due to lack of confidence, motivation and clarity. A coach helps them stay the course. Speaking to someone non-judgemental in confidence, whose only agenda is to help you, is also the one of the most overlooked and powerful benefits of coaching.
First, we would have a discussion of how I can be of help to you. This can be a phone call to chat about what you want to achieve or what is bothering you. After this call I will be clear if I am the best person to work with you or is there someone else that may be more effective. It would be unethical and damaging to my reputation to take clients on without an excellent chance of success. This serves you also in that you are getting the best value out of the experience.
In short, I am on your side. A lot of financial advisors will tell you this but invariably they are subject to understandable pressures from product providers to promote these products and services. While I hold a number of financial services qualifications, I am not governed by these bodies in the execution of my financial coaching duties. As a financial coach I do not sell products such as pensions, investments and insurance, or receive commission in any form. There is thus no pressure or sales agendas at our coaching sessions. . Many feel that sitting with a financial advisor makes them feel that the meeting is not "theirs". The coaching session, nevertheless, is firmly yours, confidential, supportive and forward-thinking. My role is not to tell you if a product or service is right for you. You will, with financial coaching, be able to decide this for yourself. I support and guide you to make better decisions, change behaviour so you can improve your finances and prevent shocks in the future. My coaching helps clients take back control of personal financial matters by focussing on life goals, financial knowledge and the tools to make it happen. Many clients seek to break behaviour that is not “serving” them, yet they repeat the same patterns over and over again. Understanding this behaviour and changing the root cause is central to the addressing of the underlying financial issue. Through coaching clients are enabled to make better decisions and gain confidence when interacting with their spouse/bank/financial advisor/accountant about money. The areas financial coaching is most relevant for clients include saving, budgeting, retirement planning, insurance protection and taxation.
Topics are limitless but below are examples of some of what clients want addressed by a financial and career coach: • While I am earning a good salary I never have any money. I want to be more in control • I want to feel more comfortable with my financial decisions • I need to discuss putting a spending/savings plan together so I can afford to buy a house • I just need someone to talk to about money who will be impartial and non-judgmental • I cannot communicate with my spouse about money and want to improve it • I feel my habits around money are not serving me • I hate my job and am not doing the things I was meant to do • I feel my time is running out to do the things I have always dreamed of • I want to be able to talk to my financial advisor with more knowledge and confidence • I want to move jobs and need to plan a strategy on how to get the new one • I need help with my CV and don’t know if it is effective • I feel I should be further on in my career but there seems to be something stopping me. I need clarity
Each individual coaching client has a different financial and career background. After our initial complimentary phone conversation during which we explore your reasons for seeking coaching, we agree on a series of coaching sessions, up to 12 in total, though typically 6, depending on support needed. The first session will be a face to face session lasting 2 hours. Before financial coaching sessions you will be asked to complete a questionnaire and a Statement of Financial Affairs, clarifying your income and expenditure, assets and liabilities. Subsequent sessions will take a little over an hour each and can be weekly, monthly or spaced out as appropriate. Each session will have a topic or high-level goal. Our focus on that topic/goal will yield action plans for you to address before the next session. They will be your tasks and you will be accountable for these. Commitment to these action plans will motivate you and ensure momentum and clarity as you move towards your target goal. We will monitor and reflect on your progress towards this goal at each session. Clients may need support between sessions and I am available by phone to address any interim queries you may have. In general sessions are paid for at the session or shortly afterwards as agreed.
Financial coaching clients may seek a one off session to address certain topics that are weighing heavily on them. These could include major life events such as separation/divorce, moving to a new house, redundancy or just about anything that you need to discuss. Career coaching clients may seek a one off or a two-session package for CV and interview preparation. A CV preparation session will address how your CV reads and whether it communicates your desired message. Interview preparation takes the form of role play and is useful when seeking to become more confident in an interview setting. Other topics commonly addressed include networking strategies, presentation skills or communication skills.
Each session time and date will be agreed in advance and will take place at your place of work if appropriate, or a place suitable for a one to one coaching session. I would prefer not to see clients in public areas or in their home as this has too many distractions. There may be exceptions to this. I meet clients in consulting rooms on Baggot Street, Dublin 2 if this is more suitable to your situation. Remote sessions through Skype/Zoom may suit for sessions also.
Well I am waiting for some? Do you have any? Mail me or buzz me.
Many coaches speak of an “aha!” moment where a client gains insight or something falls into place with their plans. While this does not always happen, coaching is effective when: • You are achieving things towards your goal • You begin to think differently in other areas of your life • You gain clarity and purpose • You can make informed decisions that fit with your purpose and values • You are feeling increased motivation and confidence • You realise that you know how to be more efficient and effective at getting things done • You are energised • You are sticking to your plan
Obviously I need to get an insight into your financial background; how much you earn,spend, owe and what patterns emerge. I try not to overburden you with the detail as I have found many just want to talk about their thought processes around money rather than pore over the figures for hours. When making a plan, it needs to be supported by the figures to make it real, quantifiable and most of all, motivating. It is about changing habits and behaviour more than anything else and while money is the subject, it is often about other things that have an impact.
How important is your goal to you? Are you sick of being in debt or in a state of confusion about your finances. This is a good question to ask yourself when looking at cost. What will it cost you not to get to your goal? If you achieve what you set out to do, will it be worth the money? Another one I ask is "are the long term savings worth the fees". The trap people fall into is that they don't aggressively go after their goal and half-hearted attempts to conquer the problem allows them slip into the old patterns of behaviour. Thats where the problem lies in the first place. Commitment is so important and the fee locks in the commitment to action and results.