What is coaching?

Coaching is a way to create the life you truly want to live! It will support you to develop your potential and talents, your hopes, wishes and dreams, as well as to discover more of your authentic self, and work towards real fulfilment.

Coaching is a one-on-one interaction in which your coach works with you in order to help you clarify your thinking, create a clear vision, discover new possibilities and potentialities, set goals and create a strategy for achieving them. Your coach will help you implement your strategy – dealing with the obstacles and help you through fears and discomforts that often come when making changes, while offering support and encouragement so that you actually achieve what you are after.

Your coach can also work with you on a single, specific issue or goal, such as a creative project, writing a book, finding a new career or moving through a life transition or facing a crisis.

Like sports coaches, a personal coach provides an unbiased outside eye to help you see things more clearly, applies specific techniques, shares learnings from life’s experience and cheers you on. And most of all, the synergy of coaching – the creativity of two minds working together towards your objectives — is extremely empowering.

Who works with a coach?

Coaching is for those who want to be proactive in their lives – not just to wait to see what comes — but to actively decide what you want and pursue it and pursue it with passion.

Often people who have a life coach already have good lives and want them to be better in some or in numerous ways. Working with a coach requires readiness and commitment to take charge of what you want and then to go for it. It requires courage to drive through the obstacles to change, but when you become fully engaged and directing your life in such a way, the rewards can be amazing.

Purpose = direction = clarity + focus + action = results

Working with a coach can simply improve your life or move it beyond what you ever imagined possible.

What can coaching do for me?

Your coach is there to help and support you in moving your life forward more quickly and effectively than you could by yourself. Coaching can help you:

  • Advance in your career
  • Make your current job more satisfying
  • Change careers
  • Head back to work after raising your children
  • Manage your small business or private practice with better focus and structure
  • Start and complete a project you’ve been putting off
  • Improve your relationships
  • Create initiative to prevent and/or cure burnout
  • Resolve ongoing negative patterns
  • Improve your health and well-being
  • Organise your environment more effectively
  • Improve your financial situation
  • Be more productive
  • Have a more balanced and improved quality of life
  • Gain new perspectives
  • Make your big ideas and dreams possible
  • Ground an invention
  • Paint that painting
  • Have a deeper connection with your spirituality
  • Achieve more than you can on your own
  • Become more of you than ever thought possible

What does a coach do?

  • Help you get a clear vision of how you want your life to be
  • Be an objective and attentive listener
  • Give you honest and compassionate feedback
  • Remind you of your strengths and gifts
  • Guide you in acquiring useful life skills and resources
  • Remind you of your commitments to your goals should you falter
  • Help you progress more quickly toward your dreams than you could by yourself
  • Teach you simple techniques for breaking through overwhelming feelings that are hindering you from taking action
  • Offer a powerful support system with lots of encouragement and positive feedback
  • Customise skills, tools and techniques for your unique needs

One of the intangible benefits of coaching that many people particularly enjoy is having someone there who is totally focused on you and your needs, without running their own agenda. A coach can listen to you like no one has ever listened to you before! For many people, this is very healing and a real confidence-builder.

Suzanne’s coaching cpecialities include:

Life Coaching

Whole Life Coaching – achieve fulfilment and balance in all areas of your life
Inertia – coaching for when you’re stuck and don’t seem to have the energy or time to be able to achieve goals and ambitions
Creativity and the Arts – coaching to reawaken your creative direction career or jump start your career and live the work you love
Living Creatively with Cancer – an attentive ear and a compassionate heart as you find creative ways through your cancer journey
Transforming Death – death is a life transition; prepare creatively for this great adventure as you would any other transition in life
Spiritual Coaching – add a spiritual perspective to your coaching experience

Business Coaching

Executive Coaching – one-on-one support and guidance for your corporate career
Career Coaching – clarify your direction, understand your career path, plan a transition or start a new direction
Business Coaching — bespoke programs for organisations

See the Coaching Specialities page for more details

How does coaching work?

Coaching is usually provided through bi-weekly phone or face-to-face sessions, usually of 30, 45 or 60 minutes’ duration, depending on your program. The initial Self Discovery Session, in which we discuss your background, concerns and coaching goals, is a two-hour session and may be done face-to-face, in person in Carlingford, Sydney Australia or over the phone with prior arrangement. You can also reach your coach by phone or e-mail between sessions to share successes, ask questions or work through rough spots.

There is no standard program and the length of time you stay with your coach is decided by mutual agreement. Change takes time, so an initial six to twelve-month commitment is encouraged and many people stay with their coach for a number of years.

We also offer short-term, focused coaching to help you achieve a specific goal, such as clarifying your career, completing a project, creating an art work, a writing project, or making an important life decision.

For more information visit Coaching Programs page.

Do I have to be in Sydney to work with you?

No. A lot of coaching is done over the phone, so I can coach you from any place you have a phone connection or a computer connection via Skype and where you have a sense of comfort, focus and privacy. If you are in the Sydney area, we have the additional option of meeting in person. Sometimes clients do their first session in person and then switch to the phone. How we work can be agreed during our initial session.

What happens in a coaching session?

Coaching is customised for each individual. Each session will be a little different, based on your needs at that time. In general, your coach will listen to where you are and where you want to go, ask questions to clarify or get further information, give you feedback, brainstorm ideas and challenge you, offer encouragement and validation for your successes, support you in finding the learning in your failures and mistakes, and help you see the bigger picture.

Your coach may also make requests or give assignments, suggest a course of action or ask you to come up with one. At the end of each session, you will agree to some action steps that we feel will most effectively move you toward your goals at that time.

Why should I hire a coach? Can’t I do it myself?

Coaching empowers you to go beyond what you could do by yourself. You may feel you should be able to accomplish your goals on your own, but often people get tripped up by their own limiting beliefs about what is possible for them, or simply overwhelmed by all that life demands. As a result, even though they may know what to do, they don’t take action.

A coach helps you to see past your own thought process and beliefs to get more clarity and see new possibilities. A coach helps you achieve more in less time by helping you plan a strategy and giving you unconditional support and encouragement. A coach helps you come up with achievable action steps that will bring you closer to your goals.

Coaching is an investment that you make in yourself and in living the life you truly want to live. It can move you toward your hopes, wishes, dreams and goals more quickly. It may even save you money in the long run, and it surely will save time and wear-and-tear of struggling through the process by yourself.

How does coaching differ from therapy?

While emotional issues may come up in the course of coaching – and you learn more about and develop yourself in the process – coaching primarily focuses on helping you achieve specific goals through taking action and developing constructive behaviours, rather than on healing psychological issues. Coaching focuses more on the present and future than the past. It is about generating possibilities and moving through any blocks or obstacles, rather than healing deep-seated emotional issues and traumas.

While Suzanne McGillivray has training in psychotherapy, she uses her experience and understanding to better assist you in your process and will be coach and not therapist. Coaching and therapy can be mutually supportive, and some people work simultaneously with a coach and a therapist, or use coaching as the next step after therapy.

Suzanne offers self development services and programs, please see The Quest page.

What is the cost of coaching?

Coaching rates vary considerably from coach to coach and in the type of coaching received. Keep in mind that you get what you pay for. An experienced coach will cost more than a beginner, but you’ll get faster and deeper results. For an overview of our programs and rates, go to the Coaching Programs page.

Half-hour introductory Strategy Session

Half-hour phone session are offered so that you may try get a taste of coaching, get acquainted and answer some of your questions and to see how we might work together.

Book your free 30 minute Introductory Strategy Session today!

See our personal and professional development courses available