Meet the Coach: Gray Hughes
Gray Hughes is an online life coach
What attracted you to become a coach?
I was in the process of making a career and life change from the corporate world to something more fulfilling. A friend gave me a book entitled Creating the Impossible by Michael Neill, which encouraged me to be completely open-minded about the next step in my life.
Deciding to train as a life coach was based more on a feeling rather than a logical decision, as if coaching had chosen me rather than vice versa. Despite the many reasons not to become a coach, I did it anyway and never looked back.
Inadvertently I had learnt my first lesson in coaching: limiting beliefs hold us back from our dreams, our purpose and our fulfilment.
I love coaching. It is my purpose and my passion.
Where did you train?
I trained with Jean-Francois Cousin, former Chairman of the International Coaching Federation (ICF) Global Board.
Jean-Francois Cousin's Mastery to Artistry programme transcends coaching training with an holistic approach involving mind, body and creativity.
This approach helps the client draw on all of their resources so that they can quickly get to the nub of the issue and move forwards in their life.
What kind of coaching do you offer?
I offer transformational life coaching, focusing on the person as a whole.
That's why I often find myself providing career coaching in one session followed by self confidence coaching in another and perhaps relationship coaching in the next – all for the same client.
It is simply not possible for home life, family and relationships to be completely separate from work and vice versa. We are just not wired like that. So I begin by encouraging the client to get everything out on the table rather than quick fix problem-solving.
How does transformational life coaching help people with lack of confidence?
Transformational life coaching helps people with lack of confidence by focusing on the facts:
How did you get to where you are now?
What have you achieved in the past?
What positive feedback have you received?
What have you done to overcome challenging situations?
How did you do that?
What might you be capable of if you were to unleash your creativity, resourcefulness and intelligence?
Transformational life coaching literally transforms people's lives as they learn to empower themselves and take charge of their lives.
It's not rocket science, it's very pragmatic, but crucially based on trust, open mindedness, commitment and accountability.
What sort of coaching clients do you usually see?
Typically I see successful career professionals looking for more purpose and fulfilment, and would-be entrepreneurs looking to start and/or grow their own businesses.
However, rarely are their perceived hurdles the only things that are holding them back. There are invariably deeper issues which need to be explored before they can empower themselves to take the next step – lack of confidence being one of the most common.
People are people, and their life away from work is bound to have an effect on the big picture.
Although my experience of working in the corporate world – initially employed and then through my marketing business – can be helpful with career coaching, my clients invariably discover their own most effective way to get to where they want to be.
By finding their own solutions they take responsibility, make a commitment and own the process of moving forward.
Do you ever suggest books or other materials to clients?
Rarely do I make such suggestions. I occasionally mention a quote or suchlike, but only if it chimes with their journey and the wisdom that they are uncovering for themselves.
What do you like about being a coach?
I love to see a client pause and contemplate. This is the golden moment when they are invariably about to question their own thinking. A door opens and suddenly anything is possible as they discover an insight which literally transform their lives.
What is less pleasant?
One thing that saddens me is when a client focuses only on what they don't want as opposed to what they do want – what they cannot do as opposed to what they can do.
With this level of negativity it's very hard for them to take advantage of the potential life-changing benefits that coaching offers.
What is one life lesson you try to live by?
What do you wish people knew about coaching?
It may be simple but that doesn't mean it's easy. It takes courage and real commitment.
The first step is to get out of your own way.
Do you have a favourite client testimonial or particular success story?
Rich Carter, Independent graphic designer, Rich C Studio, Frome, Somerset:
"I worked with Gray as I transitioned from a full-time employed role into self-employment. Working through issues, which looking back, were toxic roles – Gray helped give me confidence in my abilities and belief in myself that I could make things work if I was to pursue self employment. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Gray’s services to anyone – we always had mutual respect for one another which helped build constructive sessions with meaningful outcomes. A really positive experience and a great coach."