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77 Habits

of Highly
Successful Coaches
Today’s blueprint for inspirational coaching

Neil & VickI Espin

Leading Experts in Corporate and
Executive Coaching

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77 Habits
Of Highly
Successful Coaches
Plus 4 Bonus Habits

Neil & Vicki Espin

Published in Great Britain in 2010 by
NABO, 39-43 Putney High Street, Putney, London SW15 1SP
Tel: 0208 788 9064

Copyright © 2010 Neil & Vicki Espin

The Academy Of Professional Coaching

Neil & Vicki Espin assert the moral right to be identified as the authors of this work.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval
system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying,
recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the publishers.

Edited by Marie-Louise Cook

Cover design and typeset by Lisa Snape

Printed and bound in Great Britain by:

PPG Print Ltd. 18-21 Ordnance Court, Ackworth Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire PO3 5RZ
Tel: 023 9266 2232

This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent,
resold, hired out or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form
of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition
including this condition being imposed upon the subsequent purchaser.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data.

ISBN: 978-0-9566192-1-1

Introduction................................................................................ 5

Short Focusing Exercise For The Key Habits............................ 7

Area #1 - Personal Qualities Building ‘Me Ltd.’.................... 11

Area #2 - Developing Key Coaching Philosophies................. 15

Area #3 - Setting The Coaching Relationship

Up For Success........................................................ 19

Area #4 - Setting Compelling Client Goals............................ 21

Area #5 - Powerful Questioning.............................................. 25

Area #6 - Building Positive Self-Esteem In Your Client......... 29

Area #7 - Increasing Your Coaching Capabilities................... 33

Area #8 - Marketing Your Coaching Practice......................... 37

Survey Of Executive Coaching In The City............................ 41

What Others Have Said About Neil and Vicki’s Coaching...... 47

The Academy of Professional Coaching.................................. 49

About Neil Espin...................................................................... 55

About Vicki Espin.................................................................... 57

Newly-qualified coaches often ask more experienced coaches
the same two questions … “How can I shadow you and
watch what you do?” and “What is it that separates the really
successful and effective coaches from the rest?”

While client confidentiality agreements make it impossible

to allow observers to sit in on our coaching sessions, when
we are asked at our workshops and seminars what the key
characteristics or habits of successful coaches are, we’re
thrilled to share what we know.

After all, it was the same question we asked when we began our
own coaching business many years ago. Back then, we looked
for successful coaches to discover what put them at the top
of their game. This proved very difficult as there were so few
professional coaches around at that time. What’s more, the ones
we did find were reluctant to share their secrets.

Now, after many years’ experience, countless highs, lows and

even some setbacks, we know what it takes to be great coaches.
And we want to share that information with you so that you
can avoid the pitfalls and accelerate your success and become a
truly outstanding coach.

In this book, you’ll discover:

• What successful coaches do

• What successful coaches say

• How successful coaches think.

77 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

Bonus Habit Number 1

You’ll find out what you need to know in eight key areas. All you
need to do is read the information and then put it into practice,
and you’ll lift your coaching capability to a higher level.

Bonus Habit Number 2

Don’t read tips books written by people who don’t know what
they are talking about. Read this book: it is full of great habits
that highly successful coaches use.

Bonus Habit Number 3

Make time to read this book. Why? Because coaching provides
time and space for others so be sure never to underestimate the
power of either of these precious commodities for yourself.

Bonus Habit Number 4

Don’t just read these tips; make an effort to understand their
underlying principles. Once you have done that, you will begin
to know what your clients are looking for. You’ll become a
more successful coach, and people will not only seek you out
but will pass your name to others.

Successful coaches expect their clients to give them referrals

and fabulous testimonials.

Of all the ideas about how to promote your practice to a more

elevated and elegant status, there is perhaps just one that flies
high above the rest and that is:

“Don’t learn the tricks of the trade - simply learn your trade;
trust is hard won and easily lost.”

Short Focusing Exercise For
The Key Habits
Before we jump into the focusing exercise, it’s important to
understand what coaching is. It is:

• An adult to adult relationship

• A mutually agreed and committed partnership

• Goals-driven.

The coach’s intention is to empower, facilitate and support the

client to exceed prior levels of personal and/or professional

The coach encourages the client to find their own solutions by:

• Developing their own skills/knowledge

• Changing their own behaviour/attitude

• Raising their own self-awareness

• Encouraging them to take responsibility for their own


The coach provides an independent ear, objectivity and

complete confidentiality.

The purpose of the work you are going to do for the next 45
minutes will enable you to establish your degree of satisfaction
in some key areas of your business and then focus on the one
area you select.

77 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

Your challenge is to use the wheel below...

8 Key Habits
Personal Key Coaching
Qualities Philosophies

Marketing Setting The

Your Relationship
Coaching Up For
Practice Success

Increasing Setting
Your Compelling
Coaching Client
Capabilities Goals

Building Positive Self Powerful

Esteem In Your Client Questioning

As you’ll see, each segment is labelled to represent the eight

key habit chapters in the book. With zero in the centre and 10
on the outside edge of the circle, rate your level of satisfaction
for each of the priority areas.

Zero = completely dissatisfied, 10 = completely satisfied

Look at the circle and ask, “If I have to pick one area to spend
some time and effort on because it would have the biggest
impact on my overall level of satisfaction - which one will it

NB: You don’t have to pick the area with the lowest score.

Short Focusing Exercise For The Key Habits

What made you choose the area you did?

For that area alone, extend the segment and clearly identify
in that space what 10 will be like (when you are completely
satisfied with your performance). This is your inspirational goal.

Next focus on the space between zero and whatever score you
have given yourself (the area you have been able to shade in).
This is what you do well already. Make a note of the things that
you had in mind that enabled you to give yourself a score (any
score, even 1).

How satisfied are you?

Always begin with your strengths. This will bring a positive

mind set to your next part of the exercise, because you will be
feeling really great about yourself.

77 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

Now focus on the gap between your score and your description of 10
and ask yourself, “What stops me from being able to give it a 10?”

The next step is to identify your goals around this area as first
priority and then work to achieve them. These are your journey

Time for some action: rather than simply staring at the gap in
your identified area, note down just one thing that you can do
now as a result of this exercise that will move you (however
slightly) nearer to your 10. Write down your commitment of
when you will take this action.

Coaching Definition

“At the core of coaching is a goals-driven and highly

collaborative partnership in which the coach’s intention
is to challenge and facilitate the individual to find and
choose their own unique solutions to address their agreed
goals which means they exceed prior levels of personal and
professional performance.”

The Academy of Professional Coaching 2010

The final question to you is this:

What has been the most important thing that has come out of
your business wheel challenge?

Write it down.

You can complete the same exercise for each habit chapter; you
will find a blank wheel for you to select 8 of the key habits in
each chapter. Or select a habit of your own.

- 10 -
Area #1
Personal Qualities - Building
‘Me Ltd.’
1. Become qualified by a high quality and respected coach
training organisation. You need to know that you are likely to
be in a unique group of professional coaches who have invested
in their personal and professional development.

2. Get your own coach - the best coaches are work in progress,
which means they continue working on their personal and
professional development.

3. Ensure you have your own personal development plan,

including goals for all areas of your life. This is about walking
your talk. When you are doing this it shows, your clients will
recognise it, and you will be in a better position to support them
in what they are seeking to achieve in their lives.

4. Practise, Practise, Practise. You can read about coaching;

you can listen to an audio recording about coaching; or you can
watch a coaching DVD. All these will help. However, coaching
cannot be learnt from books, audio and DVD alone; the best
coaches are the ones who take every opportunity to hone their
skills and build on their experiences by simply by getting out in
front of clients and coaching. Coaching is not advice-driven so
when you do it correctly, you cannot break anything.

5. Learn to build strong rapport from the very start as it helps

builds trust in your client relationships.

6. Regularly review your own goals. As you grow and become

more self-aware as you achieve your aims, and as you meet

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77 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

more like-minded people, your goals will more than likely

change as you change.

7. Find your own mentor coach. Choose someone you respect

and who has a successful coaching practice. Develop great
habits from the start of your career - invest in yourself in the
early stages of your development.

8. Coaching is a profession so ensure all your actions contribute

positively to your profession.

9. Act in a properly selfish manner. Ensure you take a break

between coaching clients so that you are as fresh and alert for
the last client of the day as you are for your first. Take lunch
and most importantly, take time to unclutter your head of your
own issues before you meet with your client. Not taking time to
do these things will create interference in your coaching.

10. Your life experience is a part of your coaching capability -

so know that everything you’ve learned so far about people is
absolutely relevant to coaching your clients. It forms who you
are today.

This does not mean you give advice.

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Area #1 - Personal Qualities Building ‘Me Inc.’

Personal Qualities

Keep the following quotation by Nancy Kline in mind:

“The brilliant coach is the one who brings out the brilliance of
the client.”

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Area #2
Developing Key Coaching
11. Ensure you are clear about your underpinning philosophies
on coaching. The best coaches are!

12. Know that coaching is a method of facilitating another

person’s learning, development and performance.

Through your coaching, people will be able to:

• Find their own solutions

• Develop their own skills

• Change their own behaviours

• Change their own attitudes

• Access their own inner wisdom.

The key word is own.

13. Through coaching, your clients are able to raise their self-
awareness and take responsibility for their lives - ensure that
this philosophy is always at the forefront of your mind, guiding
your coaching behaviour.

14. Know that people are not their current behaviour. They may
be acting in a way that they feel they ought to or should do or
must do to survive in a business or social world. Let them know
it’s okay to be themselves.

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77 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

15. Be clear about what coaching is and what it is not. Be able to

articulate the differences between coaching and other forms of
developing people sincerely and precisely, no matter who asks you.

16. Recognise your own interference and since it has the

potential to get in the way of your clean listening skills, work
to remove it. For example, ask yourself what else is on your
mind before and during your coaching session with your clients
Where is your focus?

• Is it based on fear or doubt (self 1 - conscious mind)?

• Is it simple/relaxed/enjoyable (self 2 - unconscious mind)?

• How easily are you distracted? When your tasks are ‘must
do, should do or ought to do’, your focus is easily distracted.

17. It is not the coach’s role to judge how other people lead
their lives, or how they may treat others nor is it the coach’s
role to judge others by their own values. Continually develop
the key habit of being totally non-judgemental. Accept people
with Unconditional Positive Regard - UPR.

18. Understand how important it is to let clients know that when

you summarise what they have said you will add nothing into the
feedback. Ask the client if your summary is correct and that the
client accepts what you have said. Get into the habit of always
checking with your clients that your summaries are accurate. You
may get a surprise when the client says, “Did I really say that?”
You must be 100% positive and say “Yes, you did.”

19. Remember to be human. While it’s important to have a

detached objective relationship with your client, there are times
when you just need to speak your own truth.

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Area #2 - Developing Key Coaching Philosophies

Key Coaching Philosophies

- 17 -
Area #3
Setting the Coaching
Relationship up for Success
20. Work with each client to agree the measures of success
before the coaching relationship begins so that you will both be
able to assess the effectiveness and the client can feel inspired
by their progress towards their goal.

21. Ensure your coaching clients know what to expect from you
by sending them a few key points about how you work before
you work with them for the first time - this is contracting with
the client.

22. Prepare any materials that you use regularly and have
access to them to send to clients by email.

23. Determine the type of coach and coaching style each of

your clients wants, and adapt your style to match that need. For
example, you need to decide whether or not a particular client
who is going through a tough time will benefit from being

24. A brief self-awareness raising questionnaire or exercise sent

to the client before the coaching begins will put them in a great
mind-set for coaching.

25. At the beginning of the coaching relationship, clients will

often ask, “When do we start?” Let them know they start from
the very first contact. In fact, they started the moment they
thought about calling a coach. Remember this phrase, ‘Change
starts with a single thought.’

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77 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

26. Conduct a brief review at the end of every coaching

discussion to find out what benefit the client has gained. Ask
your client to be specific and to notice how differently they feel
at the end of the session compared with how they felt at the
start. This will give you clear pointers about what you do well.
Ask your client to email this to you as it will be great for your
portfolio and will do wonders for your confidence.

27. Your enthusiasm with the client is vital. Remember this: if

you don’t fire your clients with enthusiasm, they will fire you
with enthusiasm!

Setting The Coaching Relationship

Up For Success

- 20 -
Area #4
Setting Compelling
Client Goals
28. Coaching is a goals-driven process, so spend time at the
beginning of a coaching relationship working with your client
to agree clear, robust goals that s/he is visibly committed to.
Effective goals set the relationship up for success and act as a
touchstone to keep you both on track.

29. Never underestimate the value you add to people’s

achievement of their personal/professional goals. Therefore,
ensure you accurately reflect your value in the fees you charge.
Your worth to your client is likely to be greater than the value
you place on it yourself.

30. Understand what usually stops people from setting goals:

• People might not set goals because they don’t know what a
powerful and positive impact they could have.

• People may not know how to set goals, because they don’t
know where to begin.

• People can have a fear of rejection. If they choose to share

and set their goals with someone who ridicules them, they
may give up entirely.

• People can have a fear of failure. They avoid failing by

never setting a goal in the first place.

One or more of these may impact the goals’ discussions you

have with your clients.

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77 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

31. Hold your client responsible and accountable for taking action
on the commitments they have made to themselves through your
coaching. Make the first question of each coaching discussion
about the progress made since the last time you worked together.

32. Ask high value questions to elicit a clear goal from your
client at the start of the coaching relationship. The relationships
can flounder when clients do not have a clear goal.

33. Give feedback to your client if they are not making progress
towards their stated goals, or if you find yourself returning to
the same point often. A simple and powerful phrase you may
wish to keep in mind is ‘vision without action = hallucination’.

34. Listen to the response from your client when asked “What
do you want?” and reflect back if they tell you what they don’t
want. People generally find it easier to say what they don’t want
rather than what they do want.

35. Encourage your client to make commitments, not to you but

to themselves. This is far more powerful than a commitment
to the coach: and the achievement of these commitments will
mean so much more. People soon realise not taking action
around their commitments means the only person they are
letting down is themselves.

36. You can establish how willing your client is to achieve the
goal by asking them to rate it on a scale of 1-10, 1 being not
at all willing and 10 being totally willing and committed. The
rating is often a useful indicator of likely progress.

37. If your client rates their willingness to achieve a goal less

than 10, challenge this by asking, “What’s stopping it being a
10?” or “What needs to happen to make it a 10?”

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Area #4 - Setting Compelling Client Goals

After all, you can’t cross a 10-foot gap by moving seven feet
today and three feet tomorrow. It’s all or not at all.

38. Be aware that a lower than 10 willingness rating can also

indicate that there are other yet undisclosed or unintended
barriers to change the current situation.

Setting Compelling Client Goals

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Area #5
Powerful Questioning
39. Note which questions work well and use them often.

40. Listen actively for your clients using generalisers. Challenge

them (with respect) - probe and explore sweeping statements like:

• “Everyone says so.”

• “This always happens to me.”

• “People are better at this than me.”

The key words here are ‘everyone’, ‘always’, and ‘better’ - find
out what they mean to your client.

41. Unhelpful comparators from your client will not serve

them well. Know what they are and listen out for them. Find
out more information by asking about words and phrases like
‘better’, ‘bigger’, ‘more than’ etc. Ask:

• Better than whom or what?

• More than who or what?

• Bigger than who or what?

Comparators simply eat away at who you are so never allow

this to happen.

42. Listen for your clients’ rules (they usually begin with
words like ‘must’, ‘should’ or ‘ought’. Help them to see for
themselves where the pressure is coming from to hold the rules
in place by asking questions like:

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77 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

• What would happen if you did that?

• What would happen if you didn’t do that?

• What is the worst that can happen?

• What is the best that can happen?

43. Know that any question that starts with ‘why’ will close down
your clients’ thinking. ‘Why’ will encourage the client to look for
some kind of justification, which is not necessarily helpful.

44. Open up your clients’ thinking by asking questions that

begin with words like ‘how’ or ‘what’ rather than ‘why’.

45. Keep in mind the following key question when listening to

your clients’ responses in the willingness stage of GROW:

“Does the action they are about to take move them closer to
or further away from their primary goal?”

Then ask to check for clarity and focus. If the action takes them
away from the goal, challenge the action/option.

46. Ask questions one at a time. Resist any tendency to roll two or
three questions into one (for example, “So what can you do about
this, who do you need to help you and when will you do it?”).

If you do this, the client will tend to only answer the last
question, and you risk losing a potential key moment through
haste or over-enthusiasm.

47. Instead of thinking about the right question to ask, just let
your inner wisdom take over. It will in all probability be exactly
the right question at the right time.

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Area #5 - Powerful Questioning

48. Remember one key thing about questioning: if you ask a

question that doesn’t sound right to you, take it back and ask
another. It is okay to say “That isn’t what I want to ask you
right now, I want to ask you another question instead”. The
client will appreciate your honesty.

Powerful Questioning

“God never had the time to make a nobody, only a somebody.”

Mary Kay Ash

- 27 -
Area #6
Building Positive Self-Esteem
in your Client
49. Get people to acknowledge what they’re proud of and what
they’ve achieved in their life so far. One way to do this is to
encourage them to keep a journal.

50. Encourage clients to know (and if they don’t know to find

out) what other people recognise in them that’s positive. They
can do this by giving a clean sheet of paper to partners, children,
family and caring friends, and simply asking them to fill out the
sheet with all the things they think your client is great at.

51. If things get tough your client may need to be reminded

why they set off on their coaching journey. This is the time to
re-focus them on the original motivation or driver for pursuing

52. The hardest emotion for a client to bring to a new coaching

relationship is vulnerability. Clients can unconsciously build
up a protective shield around themselves and find opening
themselves up to another person, in this case the coach,
extremely difficult.

53. Help your clients to identify their limiting beliefs. Ask your
client to note down all the things they hear themselves telling
themselves that do not serve them well. Ask them to identify
what hard evidence they have to prove that any of them are true.

Once this is done you can help your clients to remove these
limiting factors themselves and put in place empowering beliefs
that will build esteem and self-confidence. People are often

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77 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

amazed at the fact that the things that have been holding them
back the most in achieving success are actually not true or real.

By the way, you may wish to do this for yourself, especially

around your coaching capability.

54. Enable your clients to realise that limiting beliefs usually

have no foundation in fact. Limiting beliefs are only supported
by the continuous search by your client for evidence to support
them. Admitting these beliefs out loud with you is often the first
step to changing or completely eliminating them.

55. Know the key coaching equation: Performance = Potential

– Interference (P = P – I).

56. Help your clients to identify and address their own

interferences, such as:

• Fear of success

• Self-sabotage

• Lack of self-confidence

• Self-condemnation

• Poor concentration

• Trying too hard

• Lack of will-power

• Being a perfectionist.

57. Working with clients on their strengths will build esteem

and confidence quickly. It is too easy for a client to say what

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Area #6 - Building Positive Self-Esteem In Your Client

they don’t do well, so encourage them to concentrate on what

they do well. Notice their reaction when you only talk to them
about their strengths.

58. If a client insists on talking about strengths and weaknesses,

and wants to work on the weakness to eradicate them, share
this phrase: ”We can work on your weaknesses. However, if we
focus on them, you will just end up with strong weaknesses”
and wait for the response!

Whatever you focus on simply gets stronger and can become

your reality.

Building Positive Self Esteem In Your Client

- 31 -
Area #7
Increasing Your Coaching
59. Develop tenacity because when your client feels like
giving up, has had a setback, feels unsure or begins to doubt
themselves, you need to proactively and positively let them
know you are not prepared to give up on them.

60. Build your personal presence. It’s vital that your client
knows that no matter what, your energy and enthusiasm will
always be on the end of a phone or at the very next meeting.

61. Become aware of the level of your coaching capability

and then consistently take action to lift it . The higher your
capability the more you will be prepared to take what you first
thought of as a tough client.

62. Get to grips with a range of fundamental coaching tools so

that you can use them fluently with your clients.

63. To ensure each of your coaching discussions adds value to

your client, use this simple yet thought-provoking equation: 1 +
1 = 3. If you add no value to your client then, 1+1 will only = 2.

64. Remember that coaching is not advice driven; therefore,

know that each time you give advice or guidance in whatever
guise, you are taking away your clients’ opportunities to learn.
The client will have ways of their own to solve their issues,
concerns or worries; these are the precious gems that each
client really needs to discover themselves.

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77 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

65. Understand that coaching is an interactive process that is

designed to help individuals to develop rapidly. The essential
features of coaching are that it is an approach to both personal
and professional learning and self-development that is:

• Short-term

• Time-limited

• Paid for

• Goal specific

• Action orientated,

• Personally tailored.

66. Know how to give and receive feedback appropriately. This

is a key area for coaches to work on to ensure they continue to
develop (and it’s a habit that great coaches have).

There are four key areas you need to work on continually in

order to raise self-awareness:

i) Your open area: aspects of yourself that you and others are
aware of.

ii) Your blind area: aspects of yourself that others see, but
you are unaware of. If you do not ask for feedback the
chances are you will never know.

iii) Your hidden area: aspects of yourself that you are aware
of but that others don’t know about. If you won’t or don’t
disclose these aspects then they will remain hidden and
you may be limiting your development as a coach.

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Area #7 - Increasing Your Coaching Capabilities

iv) Your unknown area: this is something about yourself

that neither you nor others know about. Insight tends to
come from the ‘light bulb’ or ‘aha’ moments’. Ensure
you notice these moments when you are coaching then
encourage your client to tell you what happened. In this
way, the information goes directly into the ‘open area’.

The Johari Window

Be extremely careful with your feedback: you can really hurt

someone, deep down, if you happen to get this wrong. A piece of
ill-informed, badly-timed feedback can stay with a person forever.

67. Become comfortable with not talking about you. Most

humans find it easy to talk about themselves however coaching

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77 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

is not the time to do it. Use the power of silence and encourage
the client to talk about themselves.

If you have asked a question, wait for the answer. An early

intervention may kill the work in progress from the client, and
you may never know what they might have been about to say.

Increasing Your Coaching Capabilities

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Area #8
Marketing your Coaching
68. Continually look for opportunities to win new clients. The
more clients you have the more people you can help to achieve
what they are looking for and the more successful you will be.
Referrals and recommendations will only come about when you
are consistently marketing and delivering quality coaching.

69. Network with the most successful coaches - they are the
people you will learn most from. They may also at some point
in the future need to recommend another coach so make sure
it’s you.

70. Ensure your letterhead, business cards, emails and website

reflect the kind of coaching business you have as this puts you
in the same bracket as other professionals.

71. Work on how you introduce yourself at networking events.

Will you have a clearly defined, practiced and carefully thought
out answer or will you talk about coaching in a generic sense?
Ensure you have a 1-2 minute response that has hook questions
in it. A hook question demands an enquiry question from
whoever you are talking to.

You may include:

• Your mission statement

• How you work

• What the client can expect.

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77 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

For example: “I am a professional coach; my focus is on my

client’s success. I work on a 1-1 basis with my clients on a
regular basis, which helps them get results more quickly than
if they were trying to do it on their own. Would you like an
example of how I do this?”

This last question is ‘the hook ‘ and demands a response.

72. Measure your success at a networking event by how many

business cards you collect not how many you give out. When
you get back to your office call those people to thank them for
their time and to arrange a business meeting, remembering the
old adage ‘strike whilst the iron is hot’.

73. Continue to communicate regularly with people you meet

at networking events. Remember people are more likely to hire
you or recommend you to others when you are at the forefront
of their minds

74. Write down the names of everyone you know with their
contact details. Do this in three categories:

i) family

ii) friends

iii) colleagues.

Then call them and ask them to give you the names of three
people they know. By the end of this exercise, you’ll be amazed
at the number of names you have collected.

75. Take every opportunity to speak to groups of people. This

may be daunting but take your courage in both hands and just
do it. Simply remind yourself why you are doing it. If you

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Area #8 - Marketing Your Coaching Practice

have a reason to do something then it becomes a pleasure not a


76. The press are always looking for a story; make sure your
story is the one they tell. It may not be enough any more to say
a coaching business has opened up so send the editor a press
pack. This could contain:

• A press release

• One of your articles

• A case study on what you have done

• A hot topic that is currently in the news.

Remember to give it local flavour and interest.

77. Be aware that you, your materials and everything you

publish, hand out, say and do are your personal brand. Make
sure it is a quality brand.

- 39 -
Survey Of Executive Coaching
In The City
A survey of coaching practices in the City in has revealed that
employers have access to very little reliable information on the
subject of Executive Coaching.

Coaching is a relatively young industry which lacks formal

standards. Because of this, around half of the decisions made
on hiring coaches are based on referrals, according to findings
from recruiter Morgan McKinley and Vicki Espin from the
Academy of Professional Coaching.

“Coaching refers to a vast array of activities from internal to

external coaching and from life coaching through to executive
coaching. There are currently no professional coaching
standards as well as little or no regulation of the industry.
Consequently, HR professionals have few guide lines to help
them choose a coach or to measure the outcome of coaching.”

Robert Thesiger

The results of the survey are:

Q: What do you understand coaching to be?

17% - same as mentoring

8% - same as training
4% - another name for counselling and therapy
4% - the same as management consultancy
67% - none of these. When pushed, 40% of these
respondents said it was more like mentoring.

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77 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

Therefore, it would seem that while we think that buyers are aware
of what coaching is, the survey indicates this is not the case.

Q: Do you currently use executive coaching?

70% - yes
30% - no.

Q: What is executive coaching used for?

25% - to enable key people to work on their own personal/

professional development plans
23% - to address specific issues
20% - to enable people to continue to perform
15% - to positively impact people’s bottom line performance
9% - to support formal training
5% - other
3% - as a perk.

One of the biggest missed opportunities with regard to coaching

is the failure to use it to support formal training.

Q: To whom is executive coaching offered?

8% - Chairperson
12% - CEO
22% - MD
26% - Directors
12% - Middle Managers
20% - other.

Q: Do you use internal and external coaches?

50% - external only

12 % - internal only
38% - both.

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Survey Of Executive Coaching In The City

Q: What selection process do you use?

52% - a strict selection process

48% - word of mouth or referrals.

If almost half of the coaching opportunities are fulfilled through

word of mouth then a coach’s network and professional
standards are vital.

Q: What criteria do you use when selecting an

executive coach?

27% - coaches must be qualified

14% - coaches must have testimonials
22% - coaches must have a minimum length of experience
23 % - coaches must be able to provide references
14% - other.

Being qualified by a recognised coach training provider is vital.

The survey shows however that experience and testimonials
play a significant part in gaining business in the City.

Q: How do you train your internal coaches?

50% - we use external trainers

35% - we use internal trainers
15% - we don’t train them.

Q: Do you measure the success of executive


54% - yes
6% - no, it’s too hard
6% - it’s not considered necessary
34% - no, don’t know how to; we haven’t found a method of
doing this.

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77 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

Forty percent of respondents would like to measure the return on

their investment but just don’t know how. In this book, we have
described how to maximise this key area. Until the coaching
profession gets to grips with this as a whole then the door is open
to some coaches where the ROI may not be encouraged.

Q: How do you measure the success of executive


36% - changes in behaviour

24% - the reaction from the person being coached
22% - a positive change in the person’s knowledge
12% - impact on bottom line performance
6% - other.

This reflects the Kirkpatrick model of measuring success and

will provide a good cornerstone for coaches to make a start on
the measurement of success.

Q: Is coaching used strategically or ad hoc in your


64% - ad hoc
36% - strategically

In this book, we have looked at how to align the objectives of

the business with those of the line manager and the individual.
If this framework is used more widely, it could remove the ad
hoc approach seen in this survey.

Q: Is coaching managed by HR or the Line?

76% - HR
24% - Line

Miss out the HR professionals at your peril.

- 44 -
Survey Of Executive Coaching In The City

Q: Over what length in months would a typical

coaching intervention be?

24% - 0-3 months

29% - 3-6 months
22% - 6-9 months
14% - 9-12 months
11% - 12 months+.

Q: Are you planning to increase your coaching?

28% - yes
22% - no
50% - not sure

This result is extremely positive. The 50% and 28% of

respondents are prime targets for a coaching programme.

- 45 -
What Others Have Said About
Neil and Vicki’s Coaching…
“You have inspired me not only to go on and become a great
coach, but also to approach my life in a whole different manner.
Thank you very much for what you have done.”

“Through your skilful coaching I have claimed the power which

lies within myself to recognise the ownership I have over my life
and, from that, see that I can develop situation and circumstance
to the point where I have a choice over the direction I take.”

“Your coaching abilities are impressive. Through a variety of

flexible and balanced approaches combining great subtlety and
wisdom and including active challenge and question you have
shown that I can have the life I want. This is indeed testimony
to your skill as a coach; despite challenge and question, I
consistently emerge with resultant greater confidence, enhanced
self-knowledge, sense of purpose and direction.”

“The coaching you provided has been more insightful than

I ever expected but, more than this, it has liberated me and
enabled me to become insightful about myself. This is indeed a
gift for which I am eternally grateful.”

“Quite simply Neil’s coaching has transformed my life! After

redundancy, I found it hard to pick myself up. In my first
coaching session, I identified my goal to be to find another job
or to set up my own business. After 5 sessions with Neil, I have
actually achieved both goals and both with far more success
than I could have dreamed of. I have, literally found my dream
job and doubled my salary.

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77 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

“In addition I have a successful part-time business which I have

built up in just four months. It has all come down to beliefs.
Neil has helped me to recognise and challenge the unhelpful
things I have been telling myself all these years. I now have a
new set of beliefs, and they work! I can’t wait to explore my
next set of goals!’ I’ll let you know how I get on being a top

“The corporate coaching master class was truly wonderful -

full of information. I have so much more knowledge, not to
mention the confidence to go out there and get my coaching
business established.”

“I held my first workshop, and I really want to thank you for

giving me the encouragement to take the step to ‘just doing it’.
It was a success. A group of delegates will be going out and
telling people about me power to word of mouth”

“There are so few truly-inspirational people around in the world

that I like to acknowledge two such people when I meet them.”

“I was present at the young mentors’ group presentation at

Nottingham University. You made the day incredibly interesting
and showed me a completely different way of approaching any

- 48 -
The Academy of Professional Coaching
Outstanding Training By
Professional Coaches in Personal
Coaching and Corporate and
Executive Coaching
At last – a coaching organisation that’s free to join and
which will teach you the latest coaching techniques that
professional coaches with high fee paying clients are using.

You’ll learn coaching skills so you can:

• Start a coaching practice and create the ultimate

lifestyle business

• Coach your staff to create better relationships and

maximise productivity

If you’re already coaching, you can:

• Sharpen your existing coaching skills

• Find out what you must do to create a full-time profitable


The Academy of Professional Coaching is an organisation you

can join free of charge and which will give you help, support
and advice – at no cost.

Join now and attend a free two-day introduction to the most

exceptional coach training programme in Europe created by the
pioneers of professional coaching in the UK – Jonathan Jay,
Vicki Espin and Neil Espin.

- 49 -
77 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

During this two-day event, you’ll be given practical coaching

skills and proven business building techniques that you can
use immediately. You’ll have an opportunity to discover a
little more about The Academy of Professional Coaching (no
hard sell, we promise – you will get two full days of practical
strategies you can use immediately).

And if you want further professional training, The Academy of

Professional Coaching can help you achieve a globally recognised
coaching accreditation from The Institute of Leadership &
Management; Level 7 accreditation in coaching is the highest
qualification offered by this esteemed leadership organisation.

This extensive programme is taught by professionals who

coach for a living – rather than trainers who train others most of
the time and who don’t have a ‘real business’.

You will be mentored by professional coaches who use these

skills in an executive environment every week. This is an
opportunity to learn practical proven skills rather than theory.
You’ll discover what really works so you can create a high fee-
earning business from scratch.

So Who Is Behind The Academy of Professional Coaching?

Jonathan Jay is the man who brought coaching to the attention

of the UK. He started - with a tiny £145 investment - what was
to become the world’s largest coaching school - The Coaching
Academy. For eight years, he attracted thousands of delegates
from every continent. The company grew and grew - mostly on
recommendation - and he sold it at its height in 2007.

“I sold the The Coaching Academy as I was disillusioned

by the coaching profession – it felt as though it was full of
people who talked about it – but never actually coached.”

- 50 -
The Academy Of Professional Coaches

After intensive research over the past few years, he has

developed a new type of coaching organisation – The Academy
of Professional Coaching - which is unique in two ways:

1. Its coaching programme is run entirely by professional

coaches - with 25 years of combined experience.
Commanding fees of £5,000 a day, these professionals
are more experienced than any comparable company’s

Jonathan believes you should only learn from people who

can PROVE their knowledge, experience and standing in a
professional environment and so The Academy of Professional
Coaching team is composed of people who are at the top of
their game. The team is led by Neil and Vicki Espin, the UK’s
most experienced professional coaches. Both have extensive
experience of working as executive coaches with UK and
multi-national organisations.

2. The Academy of Professional Coaching’s primary focus

is the business and financial success of its members. To
succeed as a professional coach today, you need more
than education and training in coaching – you need
to know how to operate a profitable business. It’s for
that reason that Jonathan Jay has created a sales and
marketing programme for coaches that is unrivalled –
anywhere. And the results are 100% guaranteed.

Jonathan Jay says: “I always knew that if I returned to the coaching

profession I would only do so if I could partner with professional
coaches who could teach you what is demanded by clients TODAY.

“And I was determined to give our coaches a thorough and

practical grounding in modern successful money-making

- 51 -
77 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

techniques. So many coaches fail miserably to make an

adequate let alone great living from coaching. Their heads are
filled with theory but they don’t have a clue about running a
coaching business. Some even struggle with the concept of
making money from coaching. They finish their training and
then, because they don’t know how to run a business, flop. Too
many are forced – through financial failure – to give up on their
dream of being a full-time coach.

“We are looking for people who have an absolute commitment

to being successful in the business of coaching. We want our
members to achieve a 100% success rate.

“If you decide to sign up for one of our paid programmes, we

will set you up in business in a way that the hard work is done
for you – you won’t have to worry whether you’re doing it right
or spend hours trying to figure things out on your own. It will
be done for you.”

If you join one of the Academy’s paid programmes, you’ll:

• Have your marketing copy written for you

• Have your first information product created for you

• Be mentored throughout the entire process

• Be able to get your business up and running in weeks

You’ll be shown cutting edge marketing processes guaranteed

to create a full coaching business – none of the patronising ‘get
yourself a business card’ nonsense taught by other companies.
This is real life marketing strategies that anyone can learn.

- 52 -
The Academy Of Professional Coaches

So why is The Academy of Professional Coaching so

different to other coaching companies?

• This is an outstandingly different coaching organisation

where you are taught ONLY by full-time professional
coaches (rather than ‘trainers’)

• Your qualification is not an internal one or a ‘coaching

industry one’ nor one from a company with commercial
interests or connection to the training company. The
qualification offered is the highest external British
qualification available - an award from the Institute of
Leadership and Management at level 7 – the highest
level available.

• The assessments are completed by appointed ILM

assessors – not in-house by a company employee who
has never coached for a living

• The programme mentors are full-time professional

coaches – not employees who have never coached for
a living. This means that you won’t be mentored by
people who have never done it themselves.

• This is the only company to proudly publish its pass

rates – all ILM assessed and verified – a staggering
100%. Companies that won’t reveal or fudge their pass
rates should be avoided.

• This is the only company to offer a genuine money-

back guarantee rather than a conditional guarantee. This
means you know that your investment will always be a
wise one.

- 53 -
77 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

• This is the only programme to gain national recognition

through 2 major awards - nothing else comes close!

• The only company to offer fresh, innovative coaching

models that are being used in the UK’s largest
companies, which means that you aren’t taught old hat
models like the ‘GROW’ model. This is important –
you should have knowledge way in excess of what you
could learn from a text book.

- 54 -
About Neil Espin

Founding Fellow of The Academy Of

Professional Coaching

Founder and Finance Director CECO

National Training Award Winners


Along with our corporate partner winners

of The Training Journal Award for
‘The Best Coaching Programme 2008/2009’

• Trained as a professional coach with the Alexander

Corporation in 1990

• Institute of Leadership and Management Tutor for Level

7 Diploma and Certificate in Leadership Mentoring and
Executive Coaching

• Institute of Leadership and Management Level 7

Professional Diploma in Executive Coaching

• Fellow of the Institute of Sales & Marketing

• Tutor Bradford Business School

• Author of:
Your Life Your Choice
Building a Great Coaching Business
77 habits of Highly Successful Coaches

• 25 years’ experience in senior leadership roles

- 55 -
77 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

• Prices youth business trust mentor

• Shareholding Director of CECO since its inception 1996

• Accepted as opening keynote speaker on leadership and

coaching at The CIO Global Summit, achieving 2nd highest
feedback from delegates

Previous speakers have included NASA, Toyota, Sony,

Walmart, San Francisco Giants, Government of Canada
and Unilever.

- 56 -
About Vicki Espin ma

Founding Fellow of The Academy Of

Professional Coaching

Founder and Finance Director CECO

National Training Award Winners


Along with our corporate partner winners

of The Training Journal Award for
‘The Best Coaching Programme 2008/2009’

• Trained as a professional coach with the Alexander

Corporation in 1990

• Institute of Leadership and Management Tutor for Level

7 Diploma and Certificate in Leadership Mentoring and
Executive Coaching

• Post Graduate Certificate in Coach Supervision at Oxford

Brookes University

• MBTI accredited practitioner step 1 & 2

• Member of the CIPD

• Author of:
Your Life Your Choice
77 habits of Highly Successful Coaches

• Member of the Steering Group who designed and developed

The National Occupational Standards for Coaching & Mentoring

- 57 -
77 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

• MA in Human Resource Strategy University of East Anglia

• Director of CECO since its inception in 1996

• Mentor Nottingham University Business School

• Founder of Extraordinary Women Conference and Awards.

- 58 -
Neil & VickI Espin

If you want to be a better coach – discover the 77 habits A publication

of highly successful coaches in this brand new, updated
edition of the bestselling book by Neil and Vicki Espin. of The Academy
of Professional
Neil and Vicki Espin – two pioneers of executive coaching in
the UK – have distilled a combined experience of more than 40 Coaching
years into 77 ‘habits’ for those who want to emulate the best.
These 77 habits are the differences between the average coach
and the successful one and following them is a roadmap to your Training By
achievement as a coach – either to your team or as the owner of Professional
a coaching business.
Coaches in
Over the last 15 years Neil and Vicki have trained thousands Personal and
of new coaches in coaching skills as well as working with the
Europe’s leading companies to unlock the latent potential in
their teams. and Executive
Their highly successful Institute of Leadership & Management Coaching.
accredited coach training programme has gained national
recognition 2 years’ running; firstly, by the Training Journal Published by
and then in the National Training Awards. Their intensive
mentoring of every participant on each of their programmes
has ensured a 100% pass rate - testimony to the skill and
experience of their approach.
They are both Founding Fellows of The Academy of Professional
Coaching. UK £9.99

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