Stephen Woolston
Life coaching in Maidstone, London and online

Personal coaching

The coaching connection is powerful. We connect. We explore. Feelings heal. Problems unravel. The way gets clearer. Change happens.

Available at home using Skype or Zoom video conferencing.

Sarah’s story

As well as being a really fun conversation, my coaching with Stephen was very illuminating. He gave me plenty of food for thought (literally, we kept talking about cookies!) and made me stop and consider the way we think, especially when we’re feeling anxious or scared.

I had a light bulb moment about perception and not resisting my stream of thought. It’s exhausting and futile, so no wonder I was forever feeling tired! Stephen challenged my way of thinking in a good way.

Two things sprang to mind after our conversation. I love metaphors, especially visual ones. Going with the thought stream made me think of the scene in Finding Dory where Marlin and Dory learn to ride the East Australian current with the help of their new friends Crush and Squirt!

The second image I had was of Dumbledore in Harry Potter, physically casting away his thoughts.

I learned to see that my self-critical or anxious thoughts are like burnt cookies and I have the power over how I react to these thoughts. I can spend the rest of day brooding, moping, worrying and blaming myself or I can fling them in the bin and move on. This was a revelation so thank you!

Mike’s story

Mike was a senior manager in a large financial services company whose career was stalling due to anxiety about speaking in groups.

Using humour to lighten the mood and aid the process, with practices and deep enquiry, Mike was soon speaking with greater ease and confidence in groups.

We didn’t stop there. We chose to not just run to the finish line but through it. As our programme continued, Mike’s confidence grow more and more. He spoke more.

He started enjoying a more outgoing life as well.

What is coaching?

Coaching is a skilled, professional service of powerful, transformative support for your own personal life and work journey.

Some people come to coaching because of problems which feel very present in their lives. Some come to channel their energy into goals and projects, or to sort their lives out. Others come to deepen their spiritual or emotional grounding and drink more from the well of life.

Coaching serves. Powerfully. Practically. Emotionally. Spiritually.

Graham’s story

When Graham first contacted me, he had been off work with stress for some time. Creating a serene, solemn, deeply felt thinking space, Graham learned to slow right down and gently unravelled his fearful, insecure thinking.

Sometimes we relaxed in a mindful silence. Sometimes we explored the thinking.

The process was deeply therapeutic. Graham started to see his thinking for what it was: just thinking. He began to see his world dofferently and he found this deeply supportibe in his return to work.

Do you need a coach?

Everybody needs a coach. (Eric Schmidt)

No you don’t!

I disagree with Eric Schmidt, even if he is the former executive chairman of Google. You don’t need a coach. You won’t die without one. It isn’t air. It can be very powerful to have a coach though; and that’s the real point.

We all get lost in our own thinking. We all fail to see ourselves clearly sometimes. We all fall for our excuses, self-doubt and bad habits. There’s something about working with another person bring us back on track and helps us think clearer, see clearer and do better.

Coaches get coached too, for the very same reason.

A Hay Group Int. survey a few years ago showed 25–40 percent of Fortune 500 companies use executive coaches. Why? Their coaching programmes led to measurable results that passed through to the bottom line.

I mean, what use could a fortune-making company possibly have for happier, more motivated people getting better results, right? 😉

Here, though, we’re not talking about Fortune 500 companies hiring a coach. We’re talking about you hiring a coach for you. Do you have a use for being happier, more motivated and getting better results? I’m sure you do.

I should add, though, it’s not that coaching gives you this. The magic is in you. It always was. Partnering with a coach simply, but powerfully, facilitates you in accessing it, channeling it and staying on track.

Sheila’s story

Sheila had a really exciting personal ambition which was an amazing outlet for her talents as an entertainer. She was really committed and looking for coaching help.

At the point Sheila contacted me, however, she was drained. She had taken on too much and had become overwhelmed. Her project was stuck and her wellbeing was at a low ebb. The problem here wasn’t any lack of vision or motivation, it was a lack of self-care.

We started with restoring the self-care.

Gradually, her energy returned and as we continued further, she unravelled her stuck thinking, started to get clear how to get her project moving again and she did it. Within three months, what had been stalled for years was producing great results for her.

How it works

Working with me is really simple. First you enquire and we do some powerful work together. I will block out two hours for you. There is no cost or commitment at this stage.

If working together is a good fit we both want to continue, you’ll enrol and sign a client agreement for a 16 session programme which can be consumed either one session per week or one per fortnight, working around holidays and other commitments as necessary.

This gives us space for the coaching connection to develop and for the work to breathe, deepen and build on the insights of the early sessions.

We will review after 4 sessions to make sure it’s something you want to continue with.

We meet by phone or Zoom video and spend anything between an hour and ninety minutes together, depending on where the natural break is. Expect practices and field work for you between sessions.

Our sessions will be committed and filled with unconditional respect.

How big is your sunflower? That’s what everyone seems to care about. The thing is, tall sunflowers have deep roots. Without growing deep roots first, they’d never get very high.

Seth Godin

Life coaching and therapeutic conversation in action.

My style of coaching

My coaching is different to a lot of people out there. It’s not the old fashioned, aggressive, big-go-get-it, massive-pain, massive-action style of coaching. It’s about you. It’s about revealing the love, peace, creativity and widsom at your core and letting that be your guide.

Remember, I’m not interested in success without wellness. My work is about success with wellness and that’s why I place so much emphasis on cultivating your ground of being as well as working with your problems and goals.

We slow things down. We co-create a therapeutic, deeply felt thinking space. I listen, deeply. I enquire. We take all the time we need. Through the space we create and the practices we undertake, we stimulate the resources you need to come up from within you.

I don’t just want you to deal with some problems and some goals. I want you to experience a ground of being that allows you to gracefully meet any problem and any goal.

My philosophy of coaching

Despite my corporate background, I believe the magic of coaching reaches way beyond material goals and that presence and spiritual nourishment are key to any meaningful coaching journey.

I also believe:

Our work is not about me changing you as if there is something wrong with you. It’s not about me rescuing you as if you are a child. It’s not about me giving you my wisdom as if you lack your own. You have all the resources you need. Our work is about creating and sharing a deep thinking space for you to realise your gifts.

How to enrol or just enquire

The first step is to contact me (see footer) and we’ll take it from there.

Remember, we’ll always do some work before you agree to a coaching programme. If it turns out this work is not for you, it’s easy to walk away at no cost. There’s really nothing to lose but time by trying it.

What typically brings people to coaching?

There are many reasons people seek coaching, including:

Coaching should be fun—sometimes!

There are several different kinds of coaching session.

Some sessions are solemn, serene, sacred spaces in which we honour ourselves and our feelings. Not heavy. Not sternly serious. Just solemn and gently so.

Other sessions are about challenging our thinking, provoking change and motivating ourselves. Those sessions should be fun.

There’s something about stiff and humourless coaching which is not conducive to change. On the other hand, we learn and change much better when we’re having fun. If we’re challenging our thinking, it’s doubly effective to be able to laugh at that.

Frequently asked questions

What’s the difference between coaching and therapy?

Coaching is not therapy, but it is therapeutic. Treating psychological trauma is work in the domain of therapy. Working on problems and goals is work in the domain of coaching. Working through difficult circumstances and creating change can be in both.

How much do you charge?

My standard coaching fee for senior professionals is £2995 for a programme of 16 sessions. For junior professionals and people on small incomes, we can tailor the fees to your circumstances. If money is a potential blocker, I’d prefer us to figure out a plan that works for both of us than let money be a blocker.

What are your credentials for coaching?

My training to this point consists of over 150 days of classroom training over 32 training courses taken over 18 years, plus, what’s even more important than that: lots of experience. See more at my profile.

Does coaching involve giving advice?

Coaching isn’t about telling you how to solve your problems. That would be infantilisation, the opposite of what coaching aims to do. You are the expert on you. Coaching channels your strength, your courage, your wisdom, so you can use your resources to meet your challenges.

Do you coach in the evenings?

Due to people’s working schedules, evenings are actually when I do most of my coaching.

Does your work involve NLP?

My work could draw on a variety of sources which includes practical Psychology, NLP, business coaching, meditation and spiritual understandings such as The Three Principles.

What styles of coaching do you do?

I am experienced in four particular styles of coaching. I might draw on any or all of them in our work together:

Classic coaching: the classic goal and performance coaching.

Presence intelligence: Coaching with presence and connection to a deeply felt thinking space to evoke wisdom and clarity.

Coaching with the Enneagram: Coaching inner growth and releasing fears and anxieties through deep inquirt and self awareness.

Coaching with NLP: Coaching with hypnotic processes to change habitual patterns of feeling and behaviour.

Life coaching in Maidstone, London and online

There is nothing more transformative that acting from love, knowing you are loved, knowing you matter and knowing you always have a choice.

Inspired by Bill Cumming.

If coaching interests you, even if you are not sure coaching is for you yet, send me an email for an exploratory conversation.

Emma’s story

The coaching I was fortunate enough to be gifted by you was life changing. It was a revelation and the start of a new unravelling. You worked intuitively with grace and depth. Through the questions you asked and with the safety you provided, I was able to see something from my past had caused a self limiting belief that has held me back so often. This seeing was powerful and I believe has been a major influence in enabling me to stop procrastinating and step up to create and share my new website.

I would take pleasure in recommending you to anyone who is looking to release blocks to evolving their business or personal lives. I would also highly recommend you for your easily accessible and enjoyable teachings of language uses. Your wisdom and knowledge combine to create something quite magical. Thank you!

Karl’s story

The coaching I had with Steve was very helpful and enlightening. He helped me to prepare for an important interview and to look at some family concerns in a completely different light. He has a natural ability to work with people. He works subtlely: it often wasn’t until after the sessions that I really realised what he did. I always left the sessions feeling extremely positive and ready to tackle my challenges. I would thoroughly recommend Steve.

• • • • •

The qualities that Stephen brings to his coaching are perfectly suited. Like his presence, his work is subtle and yet strong. Intuitively, he knows where to listen, what to ask and where to guide. He has integrity, skill, experience, and, most importantly of all, he cares. Whatever you’re looking for this is a man you want in your corner. Be warned, working with Stephen could change your life.

Lisa Wood, Programme Support Director, Pause Place

Every time I have a deep conversation with someone, they become not only a window on the human condition but also a mirror, as I haven’t yet encountered a hope, dream, fear or insecurity articulated by another that we haven’t all lived ourselves. From the comfort we are not alone, not broken, and from the connection that avails, we lighten and see new possibilities. In all the years, this is an ordinary miracle that never ceases to amaze me.