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Trainer In The Spotlight - Susan Grandfield


It goes without saying that we are incredibly proud of our team of trainers here at The Coaching Academy! They are hand-picked from the cream of the UK's finest coaches and all have a wealth of experience, knowledge and qualifications. To find out more about our trainers, we'll be sharing their stories with you, so to start here's Susan Grandfield.

By now, you’re probably familiar with our feature “Coach in the Spotlight”, where we shine a light on our fabulous coaches and their success stories. It goes without saying that we are also incredibly proud of our team of trainers here at The Coaching Academy! They are hand-picked from the cream of the UK’s finest coaches and all have a wealth of experience and qualifications. We’ll be sharing their stories with you so to start here’s Susan Grandfield.

What were you most proud of from 2012?

I was proud that I managed to grow my business despite all of the doom and gloom I was reading in the press and hearing from others! I put it down to the fact that I consciously chose a positive mindset at the start of the year which kept me alert and open to new opportunities. Opportunities that I might have missed had I been more focused on the tough conditions in the market place and chosen to believe that people were spending less on their personal and professional development.

What’s your main objective in 2013?

To maintain a sense of balance in my life. To balance work, non-work, health, well-being, family, fun and spirituality. It is not always easy in the fast paced world we live in, but over the past few years I have experienced the benefit (mentally and physically) of giving energy in equal quantities to all areas of my life.

If you want to attract more clients, I recommend…

Stop trying. Now that might sound a bit counter-intuitive, mad even! But what I mean is that clients can sense if you are desperate for business and they tend to be put off by it. I have found that when I take a more relaxed approach to attracting clients by listening to the people I meet, engaging them in conversation, asking some incisive questions and generally showing an interest in them, that I seem to have more success in developing client relationships. The "hard sell" where you try to convince someone that having a coach would be a good thing for them, just doesn't work.

My best advice for marketing your coaching business is…

Get out there and talk to people. Amazingly there are still lots of people who don't really know what coaching is how it can benefit them so it is so important to get talking to people so that you can find out more about them and the challenges they face so that you can position your coaching in a way that sounds appealing to them. Networking is a good way to get yourself out there. It's not just face to face conversations that are important. Social media is a must for any business and a critical part of any marketing strategy for a coach, I believe. Social media breaks down many of the boundaries that exist to us reaching the vast number of potential clients that there are out there for each of us. So, conversations (in person or virtually) are key. After all, coaching is about relationships so it pays to start building as many as you can so that people get a feel for you, what you do and whether you are the right coach for them.

How did you build your confidence in the early days as a coach?

It is really daunting when you first qualify and put yourself out there as a bona fide coach. I can remember the self-talk that was playing out in my head when I was networking and talking to people about working with them as a coach in the early days. Mostly it was saying "who do you think you are?", "do you really believe people would want to be coached by you?" "what do you know about coaching?". So, something I did to build my confidence, and subsequently my credibility, was to write. I began writing my own blog then I moved on to writing articles for on-line websites. Now I am proud to say that I have had articles published in journals such as The Training Journal. Writing consolidates what you know and understand and helps you to express (to yourself as well as potential clients) who you are as a coach and that brings with it a sense of pride and satisfaction.

You may be surprised to know that…

One of my other big passions (besides coaching) is dancing. I have been dancing since I was 3 years old and, although I haven't been a regular dancer in all of the years since, it is something I have kept coming back to in many different guises. I have learned, to varying levels of proficiency; tap, ballet, majorettes, contemporary dance, jive and spent many years as a dancer in various amateur dramatic societies. I think dancing is the outlet for my inner creativity!

My favourite self-development book is...

There are so many to choose from but if I chose the one that I have found myself returning to most often in my career it would be "Transitions: Making Sense of Life's Changes" by William Bridges. I have read it a number of times and each time I get something new from it. I think it very much depends on what stage in life you are at and what changes you are facing at that time.

If I was alone on a desert island, I would need to have (three luxuries that don’t include family members, pets or friends) with me...

My kindle, a notepad and pen (I'm classing those as one item!) and a box of chocolate truffles from Hotel Chocolat! My kindle because I love reading and I have it chock full of all sorts of fabulous books that I could read forever. The notepad and pen because I find writing is a great way of thinking things through and reflecting my thoughts. And finally, I am a bit of a choc-aholic and Hotel Chocolat produce the most amazing truffles which are a real indulgence and would be perfect company on a desert island.

My favourite place in the world is…

Sitting in a tiny family run restaurant on the hillside above a town called Tremezzo on Lake Como. Small, intimate, quiet, fabulous food, inspiring scenery and the perfect place to get that sense of balance I mentioned earlier.

The most unusual thing I have ever done is…

I'm not sure how unusual this is but it would have to be travelling across Canada in a VW van with a friend. The van was unreliable and temperamental but it was one of the most fun things I have ever done. My definition of success is: Doing what makes your heart sing.

The thing I most love about coaching is...

That it has so many applications and can benefit so many different people in different ways. I have had the pleasure of working with people in industries from retail to oil and gas to the creative industries and have worked with clients who are front line service providers as well as CEO's of large organisations. Each person gets something different out of the relationship and that is the magical thing about coaching....it's versatility and the fact that it is 100% tailored to the individual.