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What is coaching?

Coaching is the one-to-one conversations a person has with their coach to help them develop and unlock their potential to maximise their performance at work.

Coaching can help founders of businesses with their own confidence and self-belief, helping them build resilience as they take their idea and start to build a business. This self-awareness can help them to seek advice and help when they know they have a developmental need and allow them to play to their strengths.

At Visionnaires, when a founder has a high-growth potential business and is invited to join our incubator, they can access sessions with fantastic coaches from Henley Business School. These coaches are working towards or have recently graduated from their Level 7 coaching qualification.

What can you expect from coaching sessions

So what can our founders expect from these coaching sessions? Well, the first session is one of discovery. The coach will ask lots of questions to find out as much as they can about the founder.

The next sessions are about setting goals and helping the founder work out how best to achieve them. As they work with their coach they build confidence in what they’re doing, the decisions they’re making and the directions they’re taking. Many founders enjoy the accountability aspect of having a coach – next time they meet with their coach they’ll be asked about what’s happened since the last time they met!

Coaching isn’t therapy…

It’s worth noting what coaching isn’t. Coaching is not therapy, although it can feel very therapeutic when you’re given the headspace to think! It’s also not mentoring, which is where experienced business people advise and guide founders as they build their business. Coaches ask questions to understand, they playback what they’re hearing but don’t give advice; although they may sometimes make suggestions.

As a coach, I work with many founders and leaders within startups to support their development and help them work at the top of their game. We start by setting goals and then I ask lots of questions to understand as much as I can about their current situation. This usually enables them to think about all the options they have about doing something to help solve their situation and move them closer to achieving their goals.

All coaches have their own particular style but generally, everyone agrees that coaching focuses on personal development and improving a person’s performance in whatever they’re working on. Founders building businesses have told me that coaching feels supportive, gives them headspace to think things through and helps them come to the answers to problems themselves. All of this gives them confidence and self-belief in their own abilities as they build their business.

If you have an idea for a business but are not sure what to do, why not take a look at our programme. Sometime in the future, it could be you in our incubator with access to fantastic coaches and mentors! Find out more about being a mentor here.


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