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Free coaching sessions

The Henley Centre for Coaching & Behavioural Change would like to offer you the chance to coached by coaches studying for Henley's Professional Certificate in Coaching programme. This offer of coaching is free and takes place at the lovely riverside location of Henley Business School, Greenlands Campus, Hambleden, Oxfordshire, RG9 3AU.

The Henley Centre for Coaching is the leading centre in the UK for coach training and coaching research. As part of our programmes, coaches need to practice their skills. We have formal arrangements with five charities as part of Henley Centre for Coaching CSR work, where we coach managers in five charitable organisations - ACEVO, Barnardo's, The Salvation Army, Community Impact Bucks and Reading Voluntary Action. However, we also offer places, where these are available, to individuals outside these organisations. This service is free and is open to staff at the university and others.

What is coaching?

Coaching is a 1-1 conversation which is facilitated by a coach, but is focused on the needs of the client (coachee), with the objective of supporting the coachee to become more self-aware, take more personal responsibility and through this, to become more effective. The role of the coach in the process is not to provide the answers, but through questions and providing a process, to enable to coachee to identify their own solutions, and consider the best course of action for them, their team or organisation.

How can coaching help me?

Coaching is helpful in supporting people resolve a wide range of challenges in their organisations, like dealing with a person you find difficult, applying new skills and approaches, overcoming barriers and bringing about change. While it does not offer a "magic solution", the feedback is that coaching provides a useful space to talk about an issue and to have someone who is independent to listen, support and challenge you as you work out a solution, can lead to a more constructive discussion.

Who will provide the coaching?

The coaches are participants undertaking the Henley Professional Certificate in Coaching course at Henley Business School. They are part way through this postgraduate programme and are required to undertake a specified number of coaching hours and receive feedback on their practice from their coaches. Most of the participants are individuals with up to twenty or thirty years of management experience and have already undertaken coaching with other clients. (

Some Personal Reflections on Coaching

Patrick Favell:

"I found the opportunity to be coached was invaluable particularly as I was going through some rather traumatic times. The skill and commitment of all those who worked with me was a revelation and delight. The difference has been lasting and invaluable."

Chris Dalton, University of Reading:

"This was a great opportunity to get my thinking straight on a number of important issues which otherwise might have been left unattended in the day-to-day tasks that fill the day. I would recommend anyone to try out a coaching session."

Ed Smith, BT:

"The main benefits of coaching for me were that I had to be able to describe the improvements I was looking for to another person and start to work out how I was going to achieve these goals. Discussions with the coach enabled me to understand better what I needed to do and what the barriers to progress might be. I could then, following discussion come up with an action plan. At all stages the coach was helpful and encouraged me to consider a wider set of possibilities."

Dates and timings of sessions

When we receive your request, we will place you on our Coach Waiting List. The wait will vary depending on the number of people who have been nominated before you.

As we are a research active centre, we may ask you to complete a questionnaire or participate in one of our current research projects. For example, this might include responding to a questionnaire about the impact of coaching. In all the research we do, your data will be anonymised, and there will be no reference to you or your organisation.

When an opportunity becomes available we will email you, and connect you with a coach. We will leave you and the coach to arrange a date and time suitable for both of you. The meeting may be face to face, by phone or Skype.


Henley coaches uphold a strict code of conduct around maintaining confidentiality within the coaching relationship. Nothing that is revealed or discussed in a coaching session will be repeated to any third party in any attributable way. No details of the coaching clients or sessions will be distributed amongst the participants of the programme, and no details of the coaching clients or sessions will be kept on file.

The only exceptions to the confidentiality rule are in the case of the client revealing to the coach information which indicates that they are breaking the law or likely to physically inflict harm on themselves or others. If the coach becomes concerned that any of these issues are arising, they will inform the client immediately, and let them know that they are required to advise an appropriate authority - preferably with the client's permission. If you have any concerns about any aspects relating to confidentiality, please contact Henley and we will be happy to discuss this with you.

Expectations for the coaching sessions

Your coaching session will be conducted as a genuine session, in which you will be able to work on whatever issue, or issues, you choose to bring. Your coach will begin the session by establishing a framework with you in terms of time, confidentiality, assurances, and setting mutually agreed boundaries around the scope and range of the content of the session. You may wish to introduce more personal aspects to the issue you wish to address, or you may wish to keep the session purely focused on business issues. Your coach will help you find the approach which will be most productive for you, and with which you are both comfortable. If, at any time, the session moves into areas outside the coach's field of expertise - for example, if it becomes apparent that a counselling approach might be helpful around a particular issue, then the coach will advise you of this, and will not attempt to operate outside their own professional limit.

You can have more than one coaching session. Between 3 and 6 meetings is common. The number and frequency of the sessions will be for you and your coach to agree.

If you would like to express your interest in receiving coaching, please contact Sharon Hickman at

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