How To Feel Invincible In One Easy Step

Maria Walker puts her preconceptions to one side to try Personal Coaching

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Charlotte can be contacted on 0208 996 5055 or

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Armed with a whole load of preconceptions about Personal Coaching (sometimes called ‘Life Coaching’) I went along to meet Charlotte Frische at How To Associates in Turnham Green Terrace for a taster session this week.

If, like I did, you wonder how a coach would know more about an individual than they would know themselves – they don’t. “What coaching does is to hold you responsible for your own life” explained Charlotte welcoming me into her office. “So many people make excuses for why they are not living the life of their dreams – age, family obligations, money etc”. “What I try to do is to strip away the excuses, get to the centre of their ‘story’ and ask themselves – why am I not living my life right now?”

The person seeking coaching may come to the first meeting with their own set agenda, often based around a lack of confidence in either their business or personal life. Others don’t actually know what they want to achieve - apart from some kind of change - and the coach’s role will then be to help them out of their rut. This larger ‘agenda’ is then broken down and dealt with in smaller parts.

So why would you look for coaching rather than speak to friends, or even a therapist? “Coaching differs from therapy in a number of ways, one reason being that coaching is not designed for those who are depressed or mentally ill” Charlotte told me. “The parallel I would draw would be that just as healthy person may use a personal fitness trainer to guide them to reach their physical goals, a healthy person may use a personal coach to guide them towards their dreams or life goals. As for friends, whilst we all need a good friend to confide in, often their opinions may be slightly biased, or they may not tell you the whole truth for fear of being hurtful”.

As the key to success in coaching lies in the relationship between the coach and the client, it is vital that you find a professional with whom you can bond, and this is undoubtedly an area where your best guide is your own intuition. As the coaching industry is currently unregulated Charlotte recommends starting by asking friends and colleagues for recommendations.

“It pays to ask probing questions when interviewing a potential coach, for example which coaching qualifications they hold, how long they took to train and are they accredited by a professional body?’” advises Charlotte.

When asked for specific advice for Chiswick4 readers who may be looking for work after redundancy Charlotte replied “Advice-giving is not what our profession is about. I would be more inclined to ask the following questions:

• What needs to happen for you to reach the end of your life with no regrets?
• If you had a secret ambition, what would it be?
• In your wildest dreams, what do you really want?
• Having asked the above questions, what does work look like for you now?”

I went in to the session a sceptic, not expecting too much, and emerged with a new coping technique and feeling invincible! Surely that’s got to be worth a try.

Having moved to London from the North of England nearly 20 yrs ago to study at UCL, Charlotte settled in Chiswick. After rising through the business ranks, she became a NLP master practitioner and her coaching clients have included investment bankers, charity workers and judo Olympians. Charlotte can be contacted on 0208 996 5055 or

Maria Walker

May 29, 2009