During 2015, after a long career in design and user experience for digital media, I decided to expand my skillset to include coaching. My thinking then was to help some of my clients become better and more confident in solving their own challenges. To be honest, that fall when I started my training, I was not at all sure about what this all would entail.
Having performed countless interviews as a usability practitioner for almost 20 years I considered myself a pretty good listener at the time. Six months later I looked back and realized the many, many mistakes I had been making in interview situations.
But most importantly: I had come to realize the immense power of listening without judging. Not only had I become a much better listener; by practicing the art of asking powerful questions and creating self-awareness, I was able to help people make real and sustainable changes in their lives.
It wasn’t me giving advice, telling them what to do or doing it for them. As people became more aware of their own creativity, skills and emotions they found the motivation to push themselves to make the necessary changes.
And that is the true power of coaching that I have come to embrace: you may not take to heart the advice that comes from others, but when the advice – the motivation and planning – comes from within yourself, that’s when you’ll do what it takes to get to where you want to be.
Today I am coaching people from different industries and in all walks of life. I am helping people uncover that power within them so they can move faster towards their goals.
And I’m loving it.
Common questions I get
- So you are a trained coach; who did you train with?
- What is personal coaching really?
- What type of coaching is it you do? What can I get help with? Career coaching, UX coaching or what?
- So you don’t give advice at all?
- How is it different from mentoring?
- How often would we meet and for how long?
- Is it always face-to-face?
- What if I don’t like you?
- Before I take this important next step, who are you?
- Okay, you got me interested, how much does this cost?
- Hmm, I’m not sure I can afford that
- Nice, I’m ready for that first meeting, what now?
1. So you are a trained coach; who did you train with?
I attended a training course that meets the requirements for ACC-level coaching, provided by Leapfrog in Sweden. ACC stands for Accredited Certified Coach as part of the International Coach Federation’s credentials system.
For me being a member of International Coach Federation (ICF) and pursuing certifications means ensuring quality and accountability in my work. My approach to coaching is aligned with the ICF definitions and practices that have been adopted by more than 18,000 ICF-accredited coaches worldwide. I also adhere to the standards of conduct described in the Code of Ethics.
2. What is personal coaching really?
This is how ICF defines coaching:
Coaches are trained to listen, to observe and to customize their approach to individual client needs. They seek to elicit solutions and strategies from the client; they believe the client is naturally creative and resourceful. The coach’s job is to provide support to enhance the skills, resources, and creativity that the client already has.”
The most challenging part to wrap your head around when you are new to coaching is often the concept that the change happens from within the client, and not by external guidance. My job as a coach is to listen and, using questions, help you uncover realizations about your own behaviour and approach to the problem. This is what will help you start to define and perform tasks that will bring you closer to your goal.
3. What type of coaching is it you do? What can I get help with? Career coaching, UX coaching or what?
There are many different approaches to coaching and on my website I simply state personal coaching. It’s no surprise that a majority of my clients have come from the UX/web industry but I have also had clients from industries I’ve had no prior experience in. I am interested in all of you.
The premise for coaching is often that you feel stuck. You want more or less of something, or you are at a crossroads, and are having trouble taking the next steps to be where you want or not feeling comfortable enough to make an important decision.
When coaching I help people deal with that indecision or inaction and I love making myself available to all who feel intent on getting past this obstacle and moving faster towards a place that provides more satisfaction.
Remember, coaching will not only benefit the specific area we are working on, it will benefit all areas of your life. You are one person and relieving pain points in one area will naturally benefit how you approach other aspects of your life.
4. So you don’t give advice at all?
When coaching people who work in the web and UX industries it is of course common for me to receive questions about such things as tools, courses, techniques and methodology.
As a coach I am however not a teacher or mentor. I am the listener. I am the person who is helping you understand yourself better. I am you ally and partner in overcoming your obstacles. I am the person who challenges your train of thought and reminds you about your own triumphs, reactions and emotions so you can unleash your own creativity. You are bringing the content. I bring the process and complete focus on you developing yourself.
This does not mean that I will never give advice or provide you with information that can help you pursue tasks that you have committed to.
And if there is a situation where I feel that advice can help the thinking process I will of course not withhold it, but I will, when appropriate, make it clear that I am stepping out of the coaching role and am providing information or inspiration for a specific purpose.
5. How is it different from mentoring?
Coaching and mentoring are terms that often get interchanged when speaking about getting career help. The two are however quite different in nature.
While mentoring is generally a long-term relationship, coaching is more task-based and focused on making a change over a shorter duration of time. As such, coaching is more structured and follows a regular meeting schedule. It would be odd for a mentor not to have experience in the industry you work in but, as I’ve mentioned, coaching is about specific development areas/issues and the process followed by a coach will help with those issues whether you have a common professional ground or not.
In coaching, goals to achieve are more immediate and tangible. We’re in it to make an impactful move, faster than you could do on your own, from current towards desired conditions.
However, if you really are interested in both coaching and mentoring I would be happy to talk about how we could set something like that up! Remember, I don’t follow a predefined program, I am here, together with you, to design and carry out the best partnership for your development.
6. How often would we meet and for how long?
Typically an agreed coaching schedule means that we meet once every two weeks. Each session lasts approximately 60 minutes (sometimes more). As coach I also spend some time with preparations and documentation before and after each session.
In a coaching partnership I am certainly also available between sessions for briefer questions.
Depending on your circumstances I offer arrangements of 3, 6 or 12 coaching sessions. Deciding on less than 12 sessions usually comes down to what type of issue we are addressing but also of course on how much you are able to commit to at this point in time.
Note! Before starting on a coaching programme I always offer one free session that is for us to get to know each other better, for you to feel more comfortable with me and “test the waters”, and also begin to look at how a measurable goal for you could be defined.
7. Is it always face-to-face?
I do three types of coaching at the moment:
- Face-to-face – most often in my studio (for company arrangements these can be on location in an office as well)
- Skype – for more flexibility and long-distance, both with and without video
- E-mail – to reach more people
E-mail? Yes, in fact I’m currently recruiting for a test round of e-mail coaching. For people who can’t afford regular, hour-long meetings – or for other reasons are unable to meet – I am offering e-mail coaching as an option. The whole idea for the e-mail offer has come about after working for several years, as a designer, with an online platform for behavioural therapy. I am truly familiar with the connection that can be made over digital messaging. If this turns out well I am hoping to bring it to more people.
8. What if I don’t like you?
Very fair question. I always offer one free pre-meeting. If after this meeting you feel that coaching is not for you, or that I am not the right person for you to talk to, you can walk away – no strings attached. You can always also ask me to recommend another coach and I will be happy to help you. In coaching it is very important that you feel at ease with your coach.
9. Before I take this important next step, who are you?
It’s such a tough question to answer, isn’t it. Most people who hire me come via recommendation and have a basic idea of who I am and that’s enough to book that first free meeting. Thankfully a while ago I did this really long interview that I think portrays me quite well so if you really are interested in learning more about me, head on over:
Also, here’s what coaching clients have had to say about me:
“Per’s emotional safety and useful tools helped me work through the obstacles I envisioned for myself during my work practice. This made my performance flow much more smoothly than before.”
“Those of us who want to move fast and are full of energy need help and tools to stop ourselves. Per has an ability to help me still myself when I need it. In his role as a coach he makes me reflect, take a stand and want to change course towards that which is important.”
All coaching is of course confidential.
10. Okay, you got me interested, how much does this cost?
I am currently (until end-of-year 2016) offering coaching arrangements at these discounted rates for private customers:
One free first meeting and then:
- 120 (140) USD per session OR
- 3 sessions @ 342 (399) USD (5% discount/session) ≈ 1.5 months
- 6 sessions @ 648 (756) USD (10% discount/session) ≈ 3 months
- 12 sessions @ 1224 (1428) USD (15% discount/session) ≈ 6 months
- 6 sessions @ $1080 USD ≈ 3 months
- 12 sessions @ $2040 USD ≈ 6 months
Group rates available.
11. Hmm, I’m not sure I can afford that
Send me an e-mail. Maybe we can work something out. Maybe you would be interested in being part of my next phase of the e-mail coaching approach I am working on, or being a practice client during further training. Otherwise, perhaps I can point you in the direction of some other potential ways of working through your challenges.
12. Nice, I’m ready for that first meeting, what now?
Fill in the form Interested in Coaching, providing some details about yourself. I’ll get back to you with some proposed dates for our first meeting.
If you know others who may benefit from getting unstuck in their work or personal life, I would really appreciate if you share this page with them.
Up top I mentioned that I’m loving how listening allows me to help people. I’m also hugely grateful for the opportunity, as well as the trust and confidence people are willing to place in me.