This week, I’ve got the two brilliant women who I trained to be a coach with – Jo Wheatley and Zoe Hawkins! Jo and Zoe share some tips on what to know about coaching, how to get started, and why getting training is so important.


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Emma Cossey

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Podcast Transcript

Emma Cossey: This one will be a slightly longer one because I am very pleased to have two very special guests, Zoe Hawkins and Jo Wheatley from In Good Company. If you are on Facebook, or listen to podcasts, you might know them from the Coaching Crowd. So, I wanted to get Zoe and Jo on because I’ve had a lot of questions recently about coaching, how to become a coach. And I trained with Jo and Zoe. And therefore, I thought the best thing to do would be to get them on and to actually get their expert opinions on this. But before we dig into that I’m going to get them to introduce themselves. So first of all, let’s kick off with Zoe, would you like to introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your kind of self-employed coaching journey?

Zoe Hawkins: Yeah. Thanks, Emma. It’s great to be here. So, I’m Zoe. Obviously, one half of In Good Company. And Jo and I have been in business now since 2011. And I think like many freelancers, entrepreneurs, however you want to describe yourself, I’d say our career journey has been a bit squiggly. So, we decided to go into business after being in the corporate world, when we had young children. And for me, I’d always wanted to run my own business. So, it was an obvious step at one point to come into having my own my own business.

It was after I’d received coaching that I then knew what I was going to be doing. So, I had a coach myself, and we were doing some work around kind of career journey and gaining clarity. And I sort of got the bug for coaching. And so, after I had coaching, I went and trained as a coach, not really knowing what I was going to be doing with it, if I’m honest. I knew I enjoyed it and I was passionate about it. So, I thought, I’m gunna go and learn a bit more about this. And so, I trained as coach, I was self-funded at the time, even though my company probably would have funded me had I asked them. It felt important for me to invest in that myself, because I knew that there would be a desire for me to do something with it.

So, I self-funded as a coach and completed that coaching training. And then shortly after that, that’s when Jo and I decided we would go into business. We started out more, I suppose, as a consultancy, so doing some coaching, doing some training, doing e-learning design. Basically, anything that anyone would give us like quite a wide portfolio. And then over the years, that’s just funnelled down into the business that we are today, which is a global coaching training organisation. And also, we have our own portfolio of one-to-one clients as well. I’m sure Jo has got plenty to build on that. So, I’ll offer that over to her.

Jo Wheatley: Yeah, hi Emma, also really good to be here. Zoe and I were also friends before we went into business, which is another piece of the jigsaw, I think. So, we actually met through a learning experience, we’re doing our masters together. We’re similar ages, so we’re at similar points in our lives. We’ve experienced all the ups and downs that life can have thrown at us so far, been able to celebrate together and also support each other through other challenging times. And I was the HR director at the time, I brought a coach into the organisation, I had some coaching with him and thought ‘Wow, you can do this as a job. This this sounds like something maybe I want to take a look at.’

So, I signed up to training and for me, really important part of it was that that it was that it helped me to learn about psychology because that was a subject that really interested me at school. It wasn’t really a big thing when you’re at school. You had sociology, but you didn’t really have psychology, not in my school anyway. And I didn’t end up taking it for a degree subject and so I chose training where I was trained by two psychotherapists, and I absolutely loved it. And partway through the training, I just knew that this was for me and so I decided to resign from my job. And at the time, I thought I’ll just do HR consultancy. Even though I loved the coaching, I hadn’t really put two and two together to think, ‘Oh, I could do that.’ And then Zoe and I had a chat and out of the conversation, we created our coaching business.

To be honest, we haven’t really looked back. Yes, as Zoe said, it’s been squiggly, and I did in fact, go back into an in-house role at a point in time when my husband was re-training and we were still kind of figuring our business out. But actually, that’s ended up being a really had a really positive impact on the business and our confidence and where we were, we took the business. Alongside the challenges of COVID and what that meant for our business and how we’ve responded to that. I just really love, you know, being in control of our own business, getting to make the choices, design the life that we want to lead and as a mum of two children, having the flexibility, so that when they’re ill, or their school strikes. I’m not saying it’s easy still, because obviously, we’ve got commitment to our clients. And my husband has a fairly flexible role. So, I’m kind of lucky in that way. But it’s the impact.

What drives Zoe and I is the positive impact we want to make in the world, how we want to support people with their own everyday mental health, and also how they support other people with those things. And we have our own stories and reasons as to why that is so important to us.

Emma Cossey: And it’s funny when you mentioned there about HR and I’ve noticed there’s so many HR people who become coaches and especially in your Facebook group, and I think it’s because coaches genuinely want to see their coachees develop and grow and blossom and all that kind of thing. Some people are going into coaching to do these six, seven figure businesses., and that’s that kind of goal. But what I’ve always loved about your community is it’s full of people that genuinely just want to help people, and support people and help people achieve their goals. I think that’s it’s incredible that you’ve fostered such a kind, supportive community.

Zoe Hawkins: Yeah, I would say we are a coaching training business, that it’s about quality first, you know, it’s about really honing those skills, really become absolutely great at what you do. And we do want our coaches to be commercially successful, which is why on our programmes, we also have access to the business lounge, which gives people the information on how to set up a business. But that six and seven figure mindset, or what you see happening in the online space isn’t really the corner of the online world that we play in.

I remember when I set out, I was probably earning about 50k, I just wanted about 50k. I was quite happy with replacing my salary, doing something that I loved. And at the time, probably working less and flexibly, and I succeeded in that. That felt really good to me, because I was like, ‘This is great, I’m in control of that.’ Then you get to push whichever levers you want. So, if you want to go for the high growth, high income, then great, you do that, if that’s what is important to you, and it suits your lifestyle, then do that. But, you know, at the time I was in a season of life where I had one young child, I’ve now got three young children. So, you have to recognise sometimes that you’re in a season of life, and you want to enjoy that season of life.

So, it’s about creating the balance that’s right for you. So, I think all the noise around the six and seven figures, if that’s right for you, absolutely. But we are more around be excellent at what you do. And that will inspire also people to want to continue to work with you. And yes, commercial is important. So, you know, we try to bring the balance.

Emma Cossey: Perfect. So, one of the most common questions I get is, do I need to train and qualify as a coach to be a coach? I know personally, I’m very much yes, yes, I think you do. There’s a difference between being a coach and a mentor. And I think there’s a lot of confusion between that. But I thought I would pass over to you guys and I’ll start with Jo. Do you think it is important and why do you think it’s important to be trained and potentially qualified?

Jo Wheatley: I do think it’s important to get trained. And the reason there’s lots of different reasons for that. One of which is that when you train to be a coach, if you’re talking about let’s say a level five programme. If you do a level five programme with us that is 22 and a half hour lessons where you are practising being observed getting feedback, and that’s how you get good. It’s all of those micro changes or opportunities or you know, having somebody help you to kind of step back and look at that conversation in a different way that really helps you to get great at it and starts to learn how to master what it is to be a great coach.

You also have a learning platform with demos that Zoe and I have done, where you get to see the theory actually put into practice. Because, you know, theory is one thing as we know, but in practice is something different altogether. If you want to freelance and part of your strategy is that you might do some associate work for organisations. They will require you; I would say 99% of them will require you to have a coaching qualification and also to be accredited. And to get accredited, they are going to want to know what training have you done? How have you got good at what you do? And can you evidence that for us? So, it’s really important, in that respect, so that people understand what it is that you’ve learnt.

It’s also important to have training because understanding the code of ethics of coaching, so lots of people talk about coaching as being unregulated, meaning that anybody can say, ‘Yeah, I’m a coach.’ But there are Code of Ethics that exists. There are also competency frameworks that the there are three main coaching bodies. In the UK, you’ve got the European mentoring and coaching Council, they’re often called the MCC, you’ve got the International Coach Federation, the ICF. And you’ve also got the Association for coaching. And they’ve all got their own core competency framework. So, when you do training, you want to look for a training organisation, whose course is accredited by one of those. What that means is that the content will ensure that you are being trained, so that you can meet and demonstrate those core competency frameworks.

The other thing to bear in mind is that not all coaching courses are qualifications. So, when we talk about being qualified as a coach, I think that’s often a term that’s used loosely for people because for us, the ILM bit of our accreditation says that our courses are qualifications. So, our level three, five and seven, they are of qualifications. You’ll see other courses that are accredited, and they will be accredited with a coaching body. But that doesn’t mean it’s a qualification. It meets the coaching body’s framework. Ours has both. So, they are both qualifications, and they are also accredited by coaching bodies, as well.

A coach in training is professionally transformational, it’s also personally transformational. And we always say that to people. And when they get to the end, they always say, ‘Oh, my goodness, I know you said it was going to be, but I just thought oh yeah, but actually it really has changed my life.’ So, if you’re somebody that that loves deep relationships, and connection, that enjoys being with like-minded people, who want to make a positive contribution in the world, the opportunity to experience that in a prolonged period, over training is just something really special. And for me, to train to be a coach is one of my favourite life experiences, it completely was transformational for me, and what I love is that we create that for lots of people, you know, coming through it, and that still excites me to this day.

Zoe Hawkins: Yeah, I would add to that and say, obviously, as Jo’s described there, like the industry is moving. And I think people are looking for credibility, and they are looking for a way to demonstrate your excellence and your expertise. And I think coming on a coaching training programme does that. So, you might think of it as a box tip, if you’re already skilled. I’d also say we’ve never had a learner come on our programme that we would consider to be a ready-made coach. There is always something that you can learn, even if you’re really experienced, you’ve done coaching training before, we have had coaches who are qualified to come on our programme, in order to stretch themselves and develop. We meet learners where they’re at. So, if you’re coming and you are brilliant, we’ll take you brilliant, plus, plus, you know. Or, if you’re coming as a beginner, we’ll take you from an absolute beginner to an excellent coach and wherever you need to be.

So, I think for me, it’s not really a question of, should I, it’s more of a question of what are my learning goals? What am I going to get out of training to be a coach, because there is always something you can get out of training to be a coach and Jo and I are lifelong learners. So, we would just say, ‘Well, why wouldn’t you?’ Like why wouldn’t you invest in being the very best coach that you can be? Because it’s a really exciting and fulfilling journey. Obviously, there is a financial investment that comes with it, and also, we believe that that pays itself back in the skills that you gain and the confidence that you get through the personal transformation. You know, it’s the it’s the client work in the freelancing world anyway that will pay that back for you over and over and over again.

Emma Cossey: I think one of the, the lovely things about particular training with you guys, because I looked at a few different ones when I was looking for coaching training. I went to one of the big companies in London, and they had a two-day free thing. But it was a huge group of people, and what I’ve always found with, because I’ve done ILM five and seven training with you guys, is you have smaller groups, but you create such strong connections with people. I think during our training, I definitely had a big old ugly cry in ILM five. And Jo came out was very kind looking after me. And I think everybody had those sorts of breakthroughs. So, the personal development that you were saying about. But yeah, definitely the professional development. One of the biggest learning curves for me, was learning to listen, and actually not jump in and try and fix things, that was the hardest. And it’s still something I’m working on to this day, as someone that is a bit of a fixer and likes to point solutions for things. And even before this course started, I’d already hit Zoe with another app and another AI tool and things like that. But that is one of the most challenging things, I’m still very much developing that and I feel like even after doing the courses with you guys, that I feel like that’s that learning still falls under you and your group. So, it doesn’t feel like just a standalone course that you’re doing. It’s like becoming part of like an alumni of people that are all looking to develop.

Zoe Hawkins: Yeah, we genuinely care about the journeys of each and every one of the coaches that comes through our organisation. And you know, and you joined us many years ago, and we still have the relationship today. And it is, I think it’s really important, I think, because of the level of personal transformation and growth, that you go on. Feeling like you have a community and you are part of something helps. There’s nothing, I don’t think there’s anything easy about training to be a coach, it’s a lot of work, like we’re not going to sugar-coat that it is a lot of work. And it takes a lot of commitment. So, when you’re in a community of people all doing it together, it makes it easier because it’s a shared experience. And I think that probably one of our differentiators is the connection and the specialness of the space that we that we create.

Jo Wheatley: I think it’s also why a lot of people are coming on to our emotions coaching practitioner training now. It’s a natural flow on and you’re talking Emma, about the emotional experience of training to be a coach. And actually, a lot of people that come to train to be a coach that come because they’ve had coaching themselves. So, they have already evidence for themselves, they’ve already experienced the transformational nature of it. And they kind of want to break it down and know well, how can I do it for myself so I can have it on tap. And, you know, when we talk about the return on investment, I think one of the greatest returns on investment, for me anyway as an individual, is that I describe it as an insurance policy for my mental health. So, of course, all of us have things that we experience that, you know, if we think about a Weibull that can kind of like bend us over.

For me, coaching just really helps to bounce me back up a lot quicker, I think then if I hadn’t have had that. And so, when you’ve had coaching and then you want to deconstruct it. So, you’ll often hear people say, ‘Ah, that’s what my coach did with me. Now I know what it is that they did.’ And it removes the mystery behind it. So, I think that’s a really important part of it. And as you describe having that awareness that it is possible for you to want to rescue because you’re empathic. That’s part of what coaching mastery is, is having the awareness that that might happen. And also having strategies around how you prepare for it, knowing where that might show up for you. Having the support of a supervisor, so if you’re wondering if that’s happened, you can figure it out, has it happened? And then how do I want to deal with that, you know, with my coachees. So, being a great at coaching doesn’t mean that you don’t do any of these things, or you’re not susceptible to them. It just means that you know they can happen, and you are ethical around it.

Emma Cossey: Yeah, the ethics is particularly interesting, even just being able to understand what to do if something happens in a coaching call that needs to be escalated. And when you can, there’s so many different things that I didn’t realise when placed in terms of what you could escalate and in what kind of situations and I think that’s all very important for people to understand. Just sort of calling yourself a coach and going into a session and not being aware that safeguarding I think is quite worrying sometimes. So, I know that’s a big part of what you guys teach as well.

Jo Wheatley: Yeah. And so, I think about that your audience of freelancers. One of the great things about training to be a coach is you get coached every single day, in our course anyway, on every single what we call live sessions. So, when we’re together practising, so that means you’ve got to bring stuff. So that could be business stuff, it might be you’re trying to decide what quote to put together, like what’s going to be the financial number, and you’re procrastinating or, you know, got all this fear and all these other emotions coming up, and you want to be able to talk it through somebody. You get to do that on the course. Maybe there’s a strain in a relationship outside of work, and that’s, you know, interfering or causing difficulty for you and you want to unpick that and understand that more, maybe take a new approach, or maybe you want to put some boundaries in place, you know, freelancers, boundaries is a is a big thing. Maybe you know that there’s some tech that you need. But you’re just petrified of, you know, the House of Cards falling down, if you introduce that new bit of tech, but it’s holding you back. Bring all of that stuff to your coaching training, get the most value that you possibly can out of it. And in bringing those authentic situations, you’re going to be honouring your fellow learners because they’re getting to do what they will be doing.

We know that some freelancers that wants to train as coaches are doing that, because they want to support their clients in in additional ways. Some people might be thinking about pivoting their business in the longer term, maybe or the short term into coaching, seeing how the coaching industry is booming. And it really doesn’t matter what the reason is that you come into coaching, I mean, we will want to know, because we want to understand, what’s the reason each learner is here on the programme, what they want to get out of it. And so how can we support them specifically with that. But you get to make those choices on the course, you know, the course it gives you that foundation. When you add in that personal resilience, as I was saying, it’s like, why isn’t everybody training to be a coach? I think at some stage, I really do think at some stage in the world. It will be you know, the norm, we think about schools and, you know, I see like emotional intelligence being brought more into schools, usually like for a specific period of time, rather than being truly embedded. But I really do hope that that will become more embedded into the curriculum. So, from a very early age, all the way through then to organisations. And we know that lots of organisations are supporting people with coaching, and we’re working with organisations bringing coaching training in. So, it’s exciting.

Emma Cossey: Yeah, I mean, I came to you guys, four months after having my son, I think, and the coaching massively helped anyway, when going through that transition, but also has, I’ve definitely found, I’ve been embedding coaching elements into parenting, sometimes without knowing. Let’s talk about qualifications. So, what qualifications can people get with your courses? And what are the differences between them?

Zoe Hawkins: So great question. So, we have three core qualifications, there’s a level three, level five and a level seven. And you can start at any level, you don’t have to do the three to do the five to do the seven, you can jump in at the level seven, if that’s what’s right for you.

So, a level three is what we would describe as our foundation level, it introduces you to what coaching and mentoring is, it does help you to gain some skills in coaching and mentoring. It isn’t necessarily designed for the person who wants to be a coach, it’s not in depth enough. But if it’s somebody who is sat there as a freelancer thinking, I think this is something that I’m interested in, but I’m not 100% sure, let me just go and gain some foundational skills. That’s a great piece to like, dip your toe in. If you’re somebody who’s like, no, this is absolutely what I want to be doing. Then you’re probably looking at the level five.

The level five is the qualification you started on Emma wasn’t it, and it’s a thorough coaching qualification, and it will provide you with everything from those foundational skills, you know, up to having various different conversation structures, tools and techniques, helping clients with their values and beliefs and overcoming mindset hurdles and obstacles that are in the way of them achieving their goal.

Then the level seven, which is the next one up, this is for people who are really interested in working with senior and executive clients, which can also be business owners. So really working with people who have a have a lot of scope and responsibility for either budget, people, you know, size of organisation, and that is your highest level of qualifications. It’s equivalent to a masters. So, if you are somebody who is a lifelong learner, who knows that they’re in this for the long haul, that coaching is a thing that they’re going to do. Then just come in at the level seven, because you can start on a level five and top up to a level seven. But if you complete your level seven qualification, and then you think I’d really like to do some more, you have to redo the level seven qualification from scratch. And as you know, these qualifications, they’re thorough.

So, with our level five, you do 54 hours of coaching practice. And with a level seven, it’s 72 hours of coaching practice, with a level three, it’s 20 hours of coaching practice. And there are three assignments for all of those qualifications. The second assignment, if we talk about that one, is your what you call your portfolio of evidence. And this is what you keep alongside you in your coaching hours. So, that’s about reflecting on, how did that session go? What have I learned? What am I going to do about that learning? For those of people who like to kind of break things down, if you keep that up along with every single coaching session that you do, that one writes itself. We know that it can feel quite intimidating, thinking about doing a qualification, particularly when you start talking about a master’s level qualification, that you’re in a container where we break it down every single step of the way. So, it’s like bite sized chunks.

So, the first assignment or the qualifications is really the theory and showing how you’d apply the theories, so showing that you can understand the difference between coaching and mentoring. That you understand the barriers that are in place, when trying to introduce coaching and mentoring to an organisation. And you understand things like what are the alternative options to coaching and mentoring and what’s going to make coaching and mentoring effective? Now it’s based in the context of an organisation, which as a freelancer, you might think, ‘oh, not sure that’s right for me.’ But actually, if you can explain coaching and mentoring in the context of an organisation, this might be one of your client organisations that you work with, or it might be an organisation that you’re familiar with. It really consolidates your knowledge and helps you to build confidence to be able to explain coaching in any situation. And it is an inclusive qualification. So, it means you can coach in organisations, but you can also coach private individuals. So, it’s a really comprehensive organisation.

Then your third assignment, which you do, when you’ve completed your coaching hours is a reflective piece of writing about your strengths, and your development areas of planning to be becoming a coach. And as I said, we break that down so that your paced through that journey, and you’ve got up to three years to complete the qualifications. So, you know, one of the things, I think freelancers like is flexibility, and there is flexibility within the qualifications to set your own pace, and to do it at a pace that is right for you, and fits with what lifestyle you’re living at the time.

Jo Wheatley: And we’ve just had our orientation call for the newest group that are starting. And one of the things we always say in the orientation call is, you have already passed, we want you to, you know, enter into this qualification, you know, the different lessons knowing that we will get you over the line. So, we know that some people are amazing at the coaching practice, but when it comes to translating that into written form, that’s a challenge for them.

We know that other people may not, you know, they might get bit nervous when they’re being observed or getting feedback from others. But actually, all the knowledge is there. And when it comes to the assignments, you’re like, wow. Others, you know, everybody has their own unique experience with that we are there and our team are there to support each individual learner in the best way that we can to get them over the line.

So, if you want to pass in nine months, we’ll support you with that, if you want to pass in two years and 11 months and 20 days, we support you with that. Because everybody has got you know, their own commitments outside of the course to do. And what I hope is that every learner feels that they can have that relationship, you know, with us, or the people that are training them, and feel that they can tailor and break it down, as Zoe said into these bite sized chunks.

So yeah, when you sign up, sign up knowing that we will get you over the line. If you don’t pass first time, we say it’s totally normal. And we’ll give you the referrals, we will be very specific. So, you know, right, so I just need to add couple of lines in that place. And so, it doesn’t feel like, Oh, I haven’t you know, passed it first time. There’s no shame that all this course is about is learning and learning is about growth. So, there is no judgement on those things at all.

Zoe Hawkins: Yeah, we are not a school. We are not a university. We are not Oxford and Cambridge. It’s a big assumption, but I think there’s a lot of freelancers, or certainly a pool of community freelancers, that are freelancing because they didn’t fit into the corporate mainstream world, or the educational system. And we do not want that to be a barrier for people. We meet those learners where they are at with their needs. And with that, we will do everything we can to accommodate because coaching needs to be accessible for everybody. So yeah, whatever background you’re coming from in terms of academics, we welcome you wholeheartedly. And we know, from our experience, when people do our programmes and pass their assignments, it almost replaces the experience that they’ve had. There’s obviously learning and stuff to cover, but they feel really good and really proud and positive to have had a positive learning experience. And so, it’s a real gift to yourself, I think when you’re able to do that.

Jo Wheatley: And beyond academic backgrounds, you know, the more diverse the cohorts that we have, the richer the experience for every single learner and the tutors themselves. And so, as tutors, we’re also there to learn from all of the individuals that are there. And that’s the nature of coaching. When I coach a client, I enter into that, co-creative learning environment. So the more open I am to learning, the more open I think the coachee is to learning, and that’s the same essence that we look to create on our programmes. So, wherever anybody is in the world, whatever their background or life experience, you are all welcome. And we get really excited, the more diverse the groups are; we’re like ‘oh great’ you know. That’s the exciting bit, because it’s the sharing of stories, you know, it’s the, it’s the connections and the stretching and the new, the newness that is the challenge. It’s the combination of challenge and support really, that equals growth.

Emma Cossey: I know 100% From my personal experience that I had a very much a block around assignments and things like that with my ADHD and struggling at university. And exactly like Zoe said, it was very much a healing process. Doing that first assignment, I know I came to both of you, and you gave me so much extra help and support. And I felt very much celebrated when it passed as well, my first assignment. And yeah, so from a personal point of view as well, I can definitely backup that that’s what’s coming through as well as a coaching trainee.

Jo Wheatley: I have my own blocker when I was at university and had to do this dissertation, I can remember it to this day, and I went to the programme lead and I was probably wasn’t yeah, and you know, into it. I just was so close to tears, and like, I cannot come up with something new. Like, I’m just, whatever age I was, 21, and she was like Jo, you don’t need to come up with anything brand new. All you need to do is just repeat something and add like a new insight. And I remember that feeling of like, ah, I can do that. Okay, I can do that. You know that relief. And it’s like the panic of you know, when you’re doing something, it’s really important to you, you can see out in front of you all the benefits of it. But there can be that mental block. Now I’m grateful that I had that experience because I can draw on it and actually, our own exert its own eyes own experiences of different things. Obviously, there are we lean on that as we think about how we design the programme, how we show up for individuals, how we show up for the groups.

Emma Cossey: So, we talked about the qualifications, what does training look like? When I first started, it was just in person, but now it’s just exploded with all these options. So, what are the kind of options for people who want to be training?

Zoe Hawkins: Yeah, we’ve got a lot of options. And depending on when you’re listening to this, there may be even more, Jo and I actually sitting down to design our schedule today. But as things stand, we have a number of different formats. So, we have a bite sized format, which is where you take a lesson each week. And the lesson is, you do pre-learning on your own, so through a learning portal. There’s often a video, some resources to read, a coaching demonstration of Jo and I sort of putting into practice the theory that you’ve learned. And then you’d come to a live session, and the live session is two and a half hours. And then you practice essentially what you’ve been learning in that pre-learning facilitated session.

So, you’ve got your bite sized chunks is one format. And we would do those over daytime and or sort of an evening. And then we’ve also got more of an intensive version, of what we call a semi-intensive where it’s three days of training. And there’s two lessons per days or in the first chunk, you get through six of the lessons. And so, we do you know those formats, and then we’ve also got an intensive where you start with a week’s training. So, in one week you do 10 lessons, and then the next week you do the next 10 lessons. And we’re also exploring other options like a weekend option. So really, I think what we’re saying is whatever your circumstances we would hope that when you come to look at how do I want to learn? How do I want to experience training, that there will be an option for you.

We’re also looking at broader time zones as well. So, most of our audience at the moment in the UK, but we draw from overseas, we’ve had people from Singapore, America, the Middle East, Europe, continental Europe. So, we are looking at expanding programmes to suit different time zones as well.

Emma Cossey: And I know with the in person one, you got paired up with somebody, which meant that you can practice and really develop that coaching relationship. And is that still the case for the online ones as well in the intensives? And things like that?

Jo Wheatley: Yeah absolutely. It’s a core part of it. So, in the lessons, generally speaking, you’ll be partnered with two different people. So, you’ll do a practice in the first half where you’ll be paired with somebody, you’ll coach them and get feedback from them. And then they will coach you and you will give them feedback and you debrief together. And then we always come back into the bigger group, and we discuss any questions that have come up now that you’ve practised. Then after the comfort break, you’ll be paired up with somebody else, and then you’ll be practising doing that same thing. So, generally speaking to coaching practices per lesson.

On top of that, you’ll also be put into a coaching triad. Sometimes it’s a duo, but it’s usually a triad. And so that means outside of those lessons, so when you’re in your bigger cohorts, some people really like, like me, to have, you know, smaller, more intensive experiences. So, in your triad, you will have somebody that you coach for a six-session programme, because whilst you’re practising different coaching tools and techniques, kind of in an ad hoc basis in each lesson.

Ultimately, it’s about learning how do I create a tailored coaching package for each of my clients. And that’s what you do in the triad. So, you’ll coach, somebody in your triad for six lessons, and you’ll be observed by the third person in your triad, and you’ll get feedback and you’ll all do a debrief on that. You will also have somebody in that triad, who is your coach, and coaches you for six lessons, and the other person again, will observe. And then you will also have the benefit of observing the other two coaching. So, you get to do it, experience it and watch it, six sessions in that triad. So, there are lots of different layers to the coaching qualification.

So, hopefully, whatever you’re learning preferences, there’s an element of the programme that’s going to really speak to you.

Emma Cossey: Is there anything else you would like people to know about becoming a coach? I’ll go Zoe for that one.

Zoe Hawkins: Oh, that’s a that’s a question, isn’t it? I think we’ve covered a lot of ground. But I think what I would finish with is just to reiterate how enjoyable the process is. As much as it is challenging and stretching, and there will be times on the programme where you’re going to feel out of your depth. And there’s also going to be times on the programme where you’re going to feel like you’re smashing it, and doing really, really well. But everybody that goes through the coaching programme, it just ends with that feeling of I’m so proud of myself for investing the time and the commitment to do this, and you just learn so much. It is potentially a life changing experience. Even if that doesn’t translate into big decisions that you’re going to make, like, you know, Jo and I leaving and setting up a business. Mindset shifts, you know, shifts in long held beliefs, the growth and confidence, self-esteem, you know, it’s just a huge part, I think of your adult education, and hugely enjoyable. So, that’s probably where I want to sign off.

Jo Wheatley: I would say it’s a huge gift to yourself, to come and train to be a coach. And it’s I also believe that it’s a huge gift to the planet. We’ve got challenging, you know, lots of challenges that are facing the world. And I think, we need to have those mindsets. I would also say, and this would be true of Zoe and I, that there are lots of people that perhaps don’t want to go to counselling, don’t want to go down that route. And training to be a coach, they know that they’re going to experience coaching on it. And so, you get to have that sort of support whilst you’re also training to be a coach.

So, there are multiple benefits from training to be a coach and I just think it’s joyful. And the feedback that we have is that when people are on the course, they feel that those, whether it’s one session a week or they do the more intensive option, that it creates this bubble. It kind of gives them life it gives them oxygen it resources them. And so, you’ll know when the time is right. If you’re listening, you’ll know when the time is right for you. And if this is something that, maybe it’s been niggling you for a while, you know, there’s something that you want to do, or maybe it’s something you want to plan for later down the line. Do your research and find, you know, find a coaching programme that matches your needs. We are a provider. our, our, what we care about is actually the broader picture, which is that people get to access the support that they want or need. Or the training that they want and need, that is the right fit for them.

Zoe Hawkins: If we are the right fit for you, and you do your research, and you find us. Emma, you’re one of our affiliates. So, speaking to your audience, reach out to Emma first, you know, book through Emma’s link, and then Emma gets a reward for building her community as well.

Emma Cossey: Yeah, but it would definitely, I’m affiliate because I love what you guys do. And it has been genuinely life changing for me to go through the training. So, thank you so much. So, if people want to find out more, obviously, this will be on the show notes as well. But where can people find you? So, Zoe I’ll kick off with you.

Zoe Hawkins: Yeah, so a couple of places, you can come to our website that’s got all of our information about our courses, which is You can also tune into our podcast, if you’re like listening, I assume you’re here because you love podcasts. So, tune in to the Coaching Crowd, you can find us on all the usual streaming sites. We also have a book called Deciding to Coach that might be something if your reader you want to get your head into and have a little look through that. And we also have a Facebook community called The Coaching Crowd. So, you’re welcome to join us inside that community.

Jo Wheatley: Yeah, people often get confused with our business, our business name is actually In Good Company. But we’re also very well known for our brand, which is The Coaching Crowd, which is the podcast and, and the Facebook group. But we have talked a lot today about the different levels of coaching qualification, and that sometimes is the blocker or the hurdle for people. It’s like, I still don’t know which level to do. So, we’ve got a quiz that will take you about three minutes. And it will then tell you which level of course is the best fit for you. And you can follow up by having a call up after you’ve completed that with a member of our team that can talk to you specifically about your needs and double check. You can access that quiz at

Emma Cossey: Thank you. And I particularly recommend both the book and the podcast, they are perfect for new coaches or people thinking of coaching because you just go into so much more detail of a lot of the kind of common questions that people might have. So, highly recommend that. Thank you so much for coming on. It’s been really lovely. And yes, I just hope lots of people work with you because I loved it. And I know, I’ve got a lovely group of coaching friends through training with you and being in The Coaching Crowd as well. If you’re listening on Spotify, I’m going to put a poll in there because I’ve just discovered you can do that. So, if you have been coached for there’s a poll that will be ‘Have you been coached before’ yes, or no? So’ I’d love to know your answers on that. All of the links will be in the show notes. And Jo and Zoe, thank you so much for coming on.

Jo Wheatley: Thank you.

Zoe Hawkins: Thanks for having us.



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