Coaching & mentoring

Photo Credit: Ricardo Vernaglia 2012

Business coaching & mentoring

Business coaching and mentoring are excellent ways of achieving more, faster or with greater ease.

Coaching provides leaders and team members with a thinking partner who promotes problem-solving and independent thinking.

Mentoring draws an outsider into your business as a resource: a source of wisdom and voice of advice.

What is business coaching?

Business Coaching creates a relationship where it is safe for a business person to undertake experiments with new ways of being and doing. These experiments aim to liberate creativity and expand a person’s self-aware resourcefulness.

More broadly, coaching can contribute to the individual’s flourishing.

Effective coaching rests on premises, including the beliefs that “I can

  • learn from another, making my meanings from our dialogue
  • find strength or comfort through the attention and compassion of another
  • reflect on my situation, and generate trains of thought that may be useful to me”

Providing effective business coaching requires skills that differs from consultancy or training. In a coaching relationship, the quality of the attention you receive — and the deferral of judgement you experience — will directly enhance (or limit) the independence of your thinking.

Why work with a business mentor?

A business mentor will bring her experience and expertise to bear on the challenges you face in work. Mentoring works as a monthly Skype call, a dedicated half-day in your office or an occasional coffee.

Mentors may choose to get more directly involved, for example, both making an introduction and jointly attending a networking or sales meeting with you.

One of the areas where Throughline mentoring can lead to direct involvement is with storyFORMing, the story design process I developed in 2012. If I’m working closely with a founder or founding team on storyFORMing, it is often fast and easy for me to sketch a branding brief you can bring to your copywriter. For companies I find especially interesting, I also write copy.

Is this Business Coaching or Career Coaching?

Really, how we label it comes down to you and your goals.

I’m interested in how people flourish through work in their lives. This include transitions into work after higher education, a family break or creative sabbatical; and also transitions from work into retirement.

In practice, my work (like my training) embraces both business and individual coaching.

My work on Career Timelines is enriched by the story design process I invented. storyFORMing distils how I captured astonishing testimonials and case stories when I worked in PR/Communications. When we point this at your track record, magic happens.

Why work with me as your coach?

My aim in coaching is to provide a clear, supportive process that enables you to do your best thinking and action planning. The reason to work with me is because you want someone you can trust to help you unlock your potential for creativity and effective action.

I’ll challenge you without judgement or negativity to set big aims that feel true and meaningful to you, and help you achieve them. My coaching clients build businesses, test business and product concepts, achieve promotions, and regain their roles after overcoming disciplinary proceedings.

My coaching conversations move effortlessly between work and life topics. I don’t shy away from what’s truly difficult. I’ve supported a family transformed by trauma, and helped someone regain a voice after being publicly targeted by the paparazzi.

I can also help you write and speak more clearly. If you’re speaking on an unfamiliar topic or to an audience that puts you at the edge of your comfort zone, I can support you as you prepare.

My coaching practice springs from formal training blending academic rigour and practical skills building. I have a postgraduate degree in coaching from University of Chester delivered by an ICF-approved organisation,  and certifications in Time To Think and Simplexity Creative Problem Solving.

The fit is a feeling

Coaching is a private, confidential conversation between you and the coach you’ve contracted.

Single sessions and defined programmes (3-6 sessions, with email support) galvanise change.

I often work via Skype, and I know great results can be achieved. At the same time, my favourite sessions are face-to-face.

When people are happy to move beyond the purely verbal exchange (reading and writing), I bring in other channels. These include drawing and building with Lego. If someone is ready to “think with their hands” I introduce 3-dimensional objects like those used in KILN’s IdeaKeg.

You can see me in action and get a feel for me in this 4-minute movie.

Sound good? Here’s how to start:

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More on Kate Hammer, business coach

Contributing as a master-teacher

I became a Fellow of the RSA in 2010. In 2015, I became a Senior Research Fellow of the Basadur Applied Creativity Centre.

As a master-teacher in coaching and creative process, I’ve contributed to professional development programmes run by:

  • Academy of Executive Coaching (UK)
  • City University MICL Programme (UK)
  • Creative Problem Solving Institute/Creative Education Foundation (USA)
  • Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (USA)
  • Notre Dame University iVia Innovation Mentoring (USA) and
  • SoPact (Sweden)

Also, I’ve led postgraduate sessions on creative process at leading universities including:

  • Austrian Marketing University
  • Cambridge University Judge Business School (UK) and
  • Rotman School of Management (Canada).

For undergraduates, I’ve taught Entrepreneurship and a range of arts and humanities topics.

Professionalism

I adhere to the International Coach Federation Code of Ethics and maintain Professional Indemnity Insurance. I take Continuing Professional Development courses yearly.