EMCC- EIA Coach James

Coach Spotlight: Coach James

March 28, 2024

Posted by BOLDLY

Welcome to our BOLDLY Coach Spotlight featuring Coach James, a visionary leader in personal and professional development. With over 15 years of global experience, James combines design thinking and positive psychology to instill confidence, enhance communication, and fuel motivation. Recognized for his transformative approach, James has earned acclaim as a keynote speaker at international conferences. Join us as we uncover the secrets behind James's methodology and the profound impact of his work! Welcome, Coach James, to our BOLDLY Coach Spotlight.

1) Where do you live now, and where else have you lived in the past decade? Which was your favourite place to live?

I'm now living in Dublin, after spending nine years in Vietnam, one year in Thailand and six months in Malta. Vietnam remains to be my favourite place to live, though I made the move to Ireland for both a career change and family reasons.

2) What's one hobby or activity you've always wanted to try but haven't had the chance to yet?

A hot air balloon ride. Even though I'm afraid of heights, I've done a skydive (best experience ever), bungee jump (most terrifying experience) and parasailing. After working through the adrenaline rush, there was a strong sense of peace from being in the air. Intense emotions and bodily sensations made me feel fully alive after each of the experiences. Nothing has stopped me from taking up a hobby I wanted to try and I've never regretted starting a hobby! 

3) Can you tell us a little about your professional background and how that transitioned into Career Coaching? 

Most of my professional background has been in teaching, tutoring and training. I've always been driven to help people achieve their full potential and in previous jobs this was somewhat limited. What better way to have an impact than to help people achieve their full potential in their career journeys (after all, people spend almost 50% of their waking hours working so best enjoy it!). After careful reflection on my own career journey, in depth study into human motivation, I've learned a lot about what drives people, and my main goal now is to help others engage in the process as it is life changing.

4) How does your background in education contribute to your effectiveness as an executive coach?

My background in education has been a diverse mix of professional and personal development. While theory is useful, I focus on how it can be applied in different situations and contexts. I understand the power of autonomy and other psychological needs and always make sure to keep these in mind when working with clients. I won't ever suggest something unless it's either been supported by research or that I have personally tried myself. I am currently training to be a therapist to improve my awareness of wants and needs and my coaching is regularly supervised to ensure I notice my own blind spots and provide the best service to my clients.

5) You also volunteer as a Careers Mentor for the National College of Ireland in your down time, what motivates you to dedicate your time and expertise to supporting students in their career development journey?

My drive to help others reach their full potential, particularly at such an important stage in people's lives. If you enjoy what you're doing, it doesn't feel like work, but rather an intellectual and satisfying challenge.

6) How do you find executive coaching helps leaders enhance their self-awareness and identify areas for growth and development?

People are so complex and dynamic, so there isn't a one size fits all approach to coaching. Before rushing into set any goals, self-awareness is crucial. Without this step, leaders will either set goals that don't truly work for them or lose motivation along the way. It simply feels like something is still missing and not sustainable. While you may need to be patient in the beginning, it pays off in the long run. 

7)How do you approach building trust and rapport with your executive clients, and why is this important for the coaching process?

Listening, empathy and curiosity. If I don't listen, I won't realise what it's actually like for my client and if I don't ask the right questions, I won't help my client see their situation from a fresh perspective and make the changes they need to make. Being honest and not afraid of making mistakes is important because it helps us realise if something is not working and that nobody is perfect. Without trust and a genuine relationship, nothing will work. We won't get to the heart of what matters and discover what's stopping progress. Research into both coaching and therapy shows that the client-coaching relationship is the most important element to success.

8) How do you measure the effectiveness of your coaching interventions with executives, and how do you ensure accountability and ongoing support?

This ultimately depends on how my client wishes to measure their success (as these metrics are different for everyone). Another way is to administer a brief survey before we start coaching and when we finish. If my client feels comfortable, we can even include a third party. Each person needs accountability but how this is done varies from person to person. I will make an agreement with my client on how best they want me to support them along the way, which channel of communication to use and ensure healthy boundaries are in place. Some people benefit from daily / weekly check-ins, while others may find this micro-managerial, but I promise to find a way that works.

9) Finally, what advice would you give to someone early in their career, who was considering engaging a coach?

If the thought has crossed your mind, you are already ahead of the game. Carry out due diligence. There are a lot of coaches out there ranging from those who completed a weekend course to others who have invested years in study and hands on practice. Some coaching programs don't even include any supervised practice therefore some coaches don't have any accountability for their work. Don't be afraid to ask about their qualifications, experience and whether they have a coach or supervisor. If they don't, they won't have the feedback they need or know what it's like to be effectively coached. Unfortunately for some people, coaching has become a get rich quick scheme, while using real people as their test dummies.

We couldn't agree more James! This is exactly here at BOLDLY we pride ourselves on having qualified and experienced coaches who have passed accreditation, ethics and reference checks before being approved for our BOLDLY Coach Marketplace!

Thank you once again, Coach James, for joining us in this week's BOLDLY Coach Spotlight! To schedule a complimentary 30-minute chemistry session with James or to discover more about the services we provide at BOLDLY, please visit www.boldly.app or reach out to us via email at connect@boldly.app.

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