Frequently asked questions

LinkedIn and CVs

How long does it take to complete my CV and/or LinkedIn profile?


On average the turnaround from start of assignment to completion is around 3-4 weeks. It can be faster. It can also be a lot slower. It all depends on the complexity of your specific CV rewrite, the time it takes to get comments and sign off back from you and other CV writing commitments that I am working on in parallel.




How does your CV and LinkedIn writing process work?


My CV writing process is interactive and includes the following steps once we have contracted with each other:

  • You send me your CV and LinkedIn URL along with the details of any specific jobs you are applying for

  • I do an initial cull of your CV to distil the key information in your CV that responds directly to the positions you are interested in and identify where elaboration and key information is required

  • We schedule an initial coaching session of one to two hours (either face to face or online) to probe how you specifically are seeking to be positioned and draw out your relevant competencies, achievements and potential capabilities and fill in the gaps identified in the initial cull.

  • I prepare a second draft of your CV for your detailed review and comment. We can meet online to discuss the second draft.

  • Once you are comfortable with the second draft, I then focus on your LinkedIn profile (if you have chosen this option) and work through ensuring that your profile has all the relevant key words that could come up in searches. I also reword the text of your CV to make it conversational and appropriate to the LinkedIn community. Once you have reviewed the draft text and signed off, I upload that text to your LinkedIn profile on your behalf, and make the necessary tweaks to your profile to optimise it.

  • The final step is to take you through the key principles of how to optimise your LinkedIn strategy and recommendations on specific actions you could consider taking to increase your profile and presence on LinkedIn.

Please take a look at my CV and LinkedIn packages which include everything from a guided DIY do it with you package to the complete done for you package.




What other objectives are there for a CV besides applying for a job?


To make sure that you get what you need out of your CV, I need to have a clear idea of your specific objective for developing/rewriting your CV and LinkedIn profile. There are several different reasons for updating a CV and each reason can have its own specific nuances in terms of how the CV is prepared so understanding which of the following reasons would give me good guidance:

  • to submit for a job application that you have already identified,

  • to use in proposals and tenders and other company marketing,

  • to present yourself as an expert for speaking engagements/conferences etc,

  • in response to a nomination for something (an award etc),

  • just in case / to be ready for unknown opportunities and/or threats





Coaching sessions

What is coaching?


Coaching provides the opportunity to individuals to:

  • develop and enhance their skills and abilities
  • identify, acknowledge and shift away from limiting beliefs and derailing behaviors
  • identify and discover new ways of doing things
  • take action through the development of SMART action plans
  • be held accountable for taking action by the coach
In coaching, a core belief is that the answer lies within the coachee and that the role of the coach is to:
  • ask powerful questions to help the coachee develop their thinking
  • help the coachee develop insights and awareness
  • hold a space for the coachee to be honest and open
  • hold the coachee accountable for taking action
You are invited to read the following blogs for further information on What to expect from coaching and 6 things that coaching is.... and 4 that it isn't




What it the difference between coaching, mentoring, training and consulting?


Coaching is different to mentoring and consulting in that the coach is not there to provide the answers, but rather facilitate a process in which the coachee arrives at the answers for themselves. Further, coaching is different to counseling and therapy in that coaching is action oriented and forward looking as opposed to reflective and concerned with the past. My blog on what coaching is and isn't elaborates further.




What factors will make my coaching programme a success?


The success of coaching is largely linked to how coachable a coachee proves to be. Coachability is a function of the following:

  • level of engagement of the coachee
  • level of awareness of the coachee
  • willingness of the coachee to try new approaches
  • willingness of the coachee to ask for help from stakeholders
  • willingness of the coachee to commit to and implement an action plan.
If you are willing to be brave, curious, vulnerable, honest, if you want to invest in your self development and self leadership then let me know - I would love to work with you! Your responsibility is to be courageous in your self reflection, be open to generating ideas and alternatives, be curious about seeing things from different perspectives, be honest in reflecting on your development areas, implement the agreed actions, and report on your progress.




How do we meet for sessions?


I am based in Johannesburg, South Africa and work comfortably with all my clients online using Zoom or Skype as a platform for sessions.

I work with clients in time zones up to three hours ahead and 7 hours behind Central Africa Time.

If you are based in Johannesburg and prefer to meeting in person within 15km of the Bryanston area, that can be arranged (additional fees may apply) – but with traffic, social distancing and the availability of technology, we really don’t need to meet in person – and I assure you, I have experienced clients being far more comfortable online than they are face to face in the same room.




How many sessions do I need?


Coaching works optimally on the basis of sessions spaced at regular intervals over the course of a few weeks or months – generally starting once a week and potentially reducing to once every two weeks or even once a month (depending on your goals, availability and budget).

I recommend committing to a minimum of 3 to 6 sessions to start with. The reason for this is that between sessions it gives you time to really reflect on our discussions, as well as start implementing actions that we have identified.

All sessions are 50 – 60 minutes. Please take a look at my coaching packages for more informaiton and pricing.

If you would like to book afree discovery call to explore working with me we can discuss coaching packages and options in that call. Book a discovery session




How does your  coaching process work?


I coach on issues of a personal nature affecting my coachee’s ability to perform at work, issues with other people including professional relationships, communication, leadership and management, and on business issues associated with the coachee’s mindset around managing herself and her career as a business.

I use various modalities and tools to develop the coachee’s awareness and insight and support them in achieving their goals, including:

  • the Competency Model to map and create insights and awareness around behaviour, experience, ability/aptitude, knowledge and skills with a view to developing a concrete personal development and learning plan,
  • the Learning Model which looks at positioning with regards to competence and development needs and creates awareness around the journey from unconscious incompetence to mastery of competence),
  • discussions around the coachee’s Career Canvas to map out their value chain (including personal behaviours, stakeholder management, remaining relevant, developing a CEO mindset, self-care and resilience, effective communication, personal brand and thought leadership), identify areas for development and a roadmap to achieve these development goals,
  • the Leadership Pipeline and associated transition points, behavioural challenges and competencies requiring development,
  • facilitation of the coachee’s Stakeholder Analysis to identify and define the actions required to deliver value to these stakeholders, build relationships and develop a strong professional network,
  • Framing and Perspective Taking to create awareness about other points of view on a situation.

Each session is a combination of directional and non-directional coaching methodologies.

The overall objective is action-oriented with “between session” work assigned to the coachee for completion by the next session.

The first session focusses on establishing the coaching agreement with the coachee, developing rapport and identifying the goals and desired outcomes for the coaching assignment. (If the coaching assignment is being sponsored by an employer, this is session is typically 1.5 hours and concludes with a brief report to the sponsor. The sponsor’s participation in the first session is optional but highly recommended - at minimum a formal briefing discussion may be required ahead of the first session to determine desired outcomes for the coachee).

The final session of the coaching assignment reviews progress towards the overall desired outcomes the development of a report to the sponsor on the overall assignment.





General

What are your qualifications and professional memberships?


I am a member and registered coach of Coaches and Mentors of South Africa (COMENSA) www.comensa.org.za and was trained by SA Business Coaches www.sabusinesscoaches.co.za and subscribe to both organisations' codes of ethics. I am also an accredited to undertake thinking preference profiles using the Neethling Brain Instruments, and I use these profiles as the basis of many of my coaching conversations. In addition my academic qualifications include a a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from GIBS, a Certificate in Business Project Management from WITS Business School, a MPhil Environmental Management from UCT and a BSC Town and Regional Planning from WITS. Prior to moving into coaching, I worked in the mining industry for almost 20 years providing consulting advice on environemtnal and social risk management to mining clients in South Africa, as well as across sub-Saharan Africa and South America.




Where are you based?


I am based in Johannesburg, South Africa and work comfortably with all my clients online using Zoom or Skype as a platform for sessions. I work with clients in time zones up to three hours ahead and 7 hours behind Central Africa Time.

If you are based in Johannesburg and prefer to meeting in person within 15km of the Bryanston area, that can be arranged (additional fees may apply) – but with traffic, social distancing and the availability of technology, we really don’t need to meet in person – and I assure you, I have experienced clients being far more comfortable online than they are face to face in the same room.




Do you work with people outside of STEM professions?


I adore working with people who are passionate about tech, and particularly those in STEM careers, however I have worked with a wide field of clients in diverse areas, and am always open to exploring coaching relationships with people from diverse backgrounds. Read more about my coaching packages.




Do you only work with people in South Africa?


No, not at all. While many of my clients are in South Africa, a lot of them are note. I work with clients in time zones up to three hours ahead and 7 hours behind Central Africa Time.In fact over the last 4 years I have successfully worked with people in the following countries outside of South Africa:

  • Zambia
  • Chad
  • Mauritius
  • Rwanda
  • Italy
  • Germany
  • United Kingdom
  • Switzerland
  • United States of America.





Assessments

Do you use any assessment tools?


I work with the Neethling Brain Instruments Thinking Preference Assessments to assist my clients in developing further insight into how their natural thinking preferences show up in their behaviours, and how these may be interpreted by people with different thinking preferences.

The value of these assessments is that they give insight into how to communicate, manage, engage and lead using all a whole brain approach rather than limiting one’s thinking to a dominant preference - with the impact being improved influence and impact.

This assessment is offered free with any package of 3 or more coaching sessions purchased upfront.

You can find more informaiton here about the Neethling Brain Instruments Thinking Preference Assessment. For absolute clarity, it is an online asessment - I promise it's not scary and there is no wiring attached to your brain via an instrument ;-)




What is the NBI thinking preference assessment?


As a certified NBI Practitioner (SA010-1579) I am able to offer my clients the opportunity to learn more about their preferred way of thinking, making decisions, communicating, leading, managing and relating to others. The NBI® is a 30-question diagnostic survey that indicates and individual’s personal thinking preferences.

The benefits of understanding one’s thinking preferences include:

  • greater insight into the way you prefer to think and an awareness around contexts that support your thinking preferences, and contexts where alternative approaches to thinking may need to be developed
  • increased awareness of, sensitivity to, and respect for the thinking preferences of others
  • development of skills around adopting the thinking preferences of others in order to communicate with them in their own “language”
  • insights into your preferences in relationships in the workplace, insights into your own and your colleagues’ unique preferences and how these impact on work relationships
  • greater understanding, tolerance, and curiosity, instead of frustration, judgement and criticism
  • opportunity for better relationships, more dynamic contributions in a team context, and sound and relevant decision making

Each individual profile is a descriptive, non-judgmental analysis, with no profile being better or worse than another. Instead, the profile gives a description of an individual’s thought preferences, and recommendations are made based on those preferences.

The NBI thinking preference assessments are particularly useful as a developmental tool for individuals and teams as they identify areas of team strength, areas of team development potential, and they help to clarify where teams may be skewed towards or away from a particular way of thinking which may have a negative impact on decision making.




What is the Values in Action Inventory of Strengths


am also able to offer the Values in Action Inventory of Strengths assessment which has been designed by researchers in the field of positive psychology, to identify an individual’s profile of character strengths. This tool is valuable in helping coaches to identify their own positive strengths and learn how to capitalise on them. Equally it opens up conversation around how each strength has the potential to be overplayed or underplayed, with negative results, depending on context and the individual’s state of mind. An awareness of overplaying and underplaying strengths can provide great insight into how to leverage one’s strengths appropriately in different contexts.





Preparing for your first session

What can I expect in my first coaching session?


Essentially you can expect a conversation in which I ask you a lot of questions to understand more about you, and extract some of the headline issues that you want to address in your coaching sessions. You are welcome to ask me questions too. The objectives of this first session are for both of us to:

  • get to know each other
  • consider the concept of coaching and what it is and isn’t
  • discuss the roles and responsibilities of the coach and the coachee
  • establish how we will work together including develop clarity on the coaching style that will best suit you
  • get a sense of where you are now and what has brought you to coaching
  • explore your goals and desired outcomes from coaching - long term, medium term and short term
  • set priority areas for coaching
  • talk about the overall coaching process and way forward and ultimately set the foundation of a coaching relationship based on trust, respect, honesty and curiosity.
We might even enjoy the conversation and have a bit of a laugh!




How do I prepare for my first session?


One of the first questions I am going to ask you is what outcome you wnat to get from coaching, so perhaps reflect on that a little before our first session. Aside from that, make sure you have a decent wifi connection (if we are meeting online which is pretty likely), a quiet private place to sit, something to drink, a pen and paper and an open curious mind.





Got other questions?

None of these FAQs answered my question, how do I get in contact?


I am looking forward to your question so that I can develop it into a new FAQ. In the meantime you are welcome to contact me via my contact form. I look forward to hearing form you.