About coaching

Our clients include men and women in prison and in the community, as well as young people, parents and their children. CIAO works one-to-one to help them:

  • take responsibility for their lives and their impact on others;
  • develop self-belief, inner-resources and options;
  • and take meaningful steps to change what they want.

In the first session we help clients step back to take a wider view of where they are now, so they can see new possibilities and what they want to change for themselves. Working on values, strengths, goals and assumptions helps clients put in place new ways to achieve those changes.

Coaching is radical – it gets to the root of who you are and what makes us human and is completely tailored to meet each client’s needs. Coaches listen, watch, question, challenge and support their clients to change what they want.

It’s no soft option. Skilled coaches typically take up to 6 hours to explore the three vital areas below.

  1. Who are you?

Exploring values and clients’ positive aspects increases motivation and sense of direction: “It enables me to tap into my own resources and build on my strengths.”

Different perspectives and understanding others help manage emotions and reduce violence and impulsiveness. Admitting what is deep inside can help a stuck client move forward. Many often say: “I’ve never told anyone this.”

  1. What do you want to change?

Coaches question, rather than tell. We are not mentors. Clients realise they’re in control of their own lives, as they choose where to start and what to change. They have the answers, not us. We don’t know anyone else’s life better than they do.

Working as equals, without dwelling on any offending history nor giving advice, makes this a very different experience to most criminal justice interventions.

  1. How are you holding yourself back?

Great coaches go far beyond goals to break patterns and overturn the assumptions that stop people changing what they want. Strengthening self-direction and problem-solving means clients also make the most of other services.

Mentoring, coaching or counselling?

People often ask how coaching differs from mentoring and counselling. Here’s CIAO’s take on this.Coaching

Coaching and mentoring look to the future, whilst counselling looks more to the past. However, there’s no solid division.

CIAO coaches help clients work out their own answers and do not act as mentors. Mentors often offer advice and can use coaching techniques whilst also offering more practical solutions and sharing their own views or ideas. This is why coaching is shown as a field within mentoring. Coaching itself is often described as Executive Coaching (around work) or Life Coaching (around everything else) but most people discuss both work and home regardless.

CIAO does not advise, direct, suggest solutions, provide answers, share experiences or advocate on behalf of its clients. Holding this tension means our coaches can help people realise their own potential.

Which approach to take?

Mentoring, coaching or counsellingHere’s a sheet to consider which approach may best help a person move forwards. Many of CIAO’s coaches are also qualified counsellors and mentors, and we believe the different approaches all have their place.


Want to join us?

CIAO always wants to hear from great coaches. Just click here for more information.