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Niche in the spotlight - Parent and Family Coaching

The Coaching Academy Blog

Posted: September 2014

We love to celebrate the success of our coaches many of whom are doing great work within fascinating niches. Today we are looking at Parent and Family Coaching with Sharon Lawton.

We love to celebrate the success of our coaches many of whom are doing great work within fascinating niches. Today we are looking at Parent and Family Coaching with Sharon Lawton.

1. What is your niche?

I am a parent and family life coach specialising in parenting skills, self esteem, confidence, anger/conflict management, improving family relationships using DISC Profiling and emotional health. Basically empowering people to become the parent they want to be. It’s also how I developed my Company name. Natural Flair – it just fits with the whole ethos of my style and niche.

2. What made you decide on your niche?

That’s an interesting question! When I was training with the Coaching Academy to achieve my Life Coaching Diploma diploma, one of the accelerator days specifically asked us all to look at what our “niche” would be. All the activities I did that day pointed me towards parenting – however I had convinced myself that this was NOT an area that I wanted to be involved in. I had spent many years running a parent and toddler group and running children’s groups at my local church and being the chair of the PTA (Parent Teacher Association) at my son’s school – I felt that I wanted to move away from this area and do something more “grown up” How wrong I was! So although I spent the first 12 months or so coaching specifically around self esteem, opportunities kept arising around family and parent coaching. When I embraced those opportunities my coaching practice changed! – I remember hearing “Your niche usually finds you” This can be so right!

3. Why are you passionate about your niche?

I believe that change is always possible, but change starts with us taking responsibility for our lives including our behaviour, communication style and attitudes. Parenting is a tough job, and I believe it’s the most important job that we will ever undertake and one that we don’t get any training for. Often the clients I work with need encouragement and support to discover the confidence to introduce strategies in their family life. Along with developing tools to empower them to know there are no “text book right answers” just the ones that work for them and their families. When you see and share in a parent’s journey as they feel more positive, meet their own and their child’s needs and hear how much they enjoy having fun with their children and being a parent - it’s like magic! What is really fantastic is that I work in an area of coaching that I absolutely love.

4. What sorts of challenges do you help people solve?

Every parent, family and child are unique and so therefore their challenges are unique to them too, and there isn’t a parenting magic wand. I also tell my clients that there is no such thing as a “perfect parent” and we are all doing the best job we can with the tools that we have available to us at the time. Many parents have really high expectations of what life “should” be like and the reality can be very different and this can be tough for them to examine. So together we unpick their personal challenges, look at their personal parenting style and what they want to achieve and change. Common challenges are around; • Not wanting to be a “shouty” parent • Wanting to feel confident about the decisions they are making for their families • Busy working mothers and fathers juggling work and family needs • Wanting to enjoy the time they spend with their family • Setting positive boundaries with good rewards and penalties • Not falling into a negative anger trap • Not wanting to say “No” all the time, shouting, feeling negative then ultimately guilty.

5. What benefits do you see your clients get from coaching?

My intuitive and motivational style of coaching may sometimes be challenging but will be the difference that makes the difference. Where parent coaching is concerned the key to being the parent you want to be is about confidence in your parental authority and this involves a huge amount of self awareness. I spend alot of time with my client looking at parenting styles, self esteem, how the family communicates and looking at how what we pay attention to we get more of. When clients start to implement tools and strategies that work for them they become really empowered. They start to model empathy, become more positive and feel good about themselves – of course it’s contagious and they notice it in their children too. Happy parents = happy children.

6. Where do you find your clients?

Mainly word of mouth now, or via my website. I do have clients approach me for 1-1 coaching after attending parenting programmes that I run. Oh and of course via the coaching academy coaching directory.

7. How do you market yourself?

I feel it’s really important to have a good solid website and presence on social media. I have a facebook page, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts along with my weekly motivation tips campaign “Monday Moments”. I’ve had to learn to market myself verbally, which doesn’t come naturally to me and I always have business cards in my purse. Working with my local authority has also enabled me to raise my profile hugely as a parent expert in Hertfordshire. This has led to TV appearances on Sky TV which was very exciting.

8. What other services do you offer?

I offer a range of other services alongside my 1-1 coaching programmes including;

  • DISC Personality Profiling,
  • Thought Field Therapy,
  • Personal development master classes in resilience, anger management, assertiveness and self esteem;
  • Training in schools around emotional health and conflict resolution,
  • Parent skills master classes and family programmes
  • Light bite sessions for working parents at their place of work for clients like Shell UK.
  • I also have provided webinars and have been asked to be a guest speaker both at conferences and on TV discussing the many different aspects of parenting and life skills.

When Sharon embraced her niche fantastic opportunities have occurred for her, even leading to TV appearances! What are you passionate about? Could this be your coaching niche? Join the discussion on our Facebook page to let us know.

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