Personal Coaching

What is personal coaching?personal coaching

The goal of personal coaching is not to teach wisdom, but to unpack the skills already there, but lying dormant. It’s like we have a set of amazing muscles in our bodies that we don’t even know exist (which is true!) – and when you start to exercise these muscles, and work in a co-ordinated way – the result is transformation.

So it is essential to see personal coaching as not something that is giving by the coach and accepted by the client. It’s not that kind of transaction. That is more of a traditional mentoring relationship where the master instructs the apprentice. With coaching it is not about that. It’s about the coach blowing off the dust and uncovering some dormant strengths underneath.

We all have dormant strengths and we all have our signature, dominant strengths.


Personal Coaching is about

  • Identifying your Strengths and Personal Values
  • Aligning your strengths and values into an Overall Life Purpose

Once this is in place, you can commit your energies to the right places and make real progress – instead of an unfocused, unconscious luck-based approach.

Personal coaching is not about the coach being the authority figure!  Instead of looking across a desk at the couch (like a psychologist), think of de-centered, collaborative learning, with peer review, discussion and debate.

At Bren Murphy Life Coaching – it’s about curiosity, trying things out and working together.  Personal coaching evolved from the positive psychology model of personal development. That means it is based on strengths – instead of looking at and focusing on weaknesses and lack.  I appreciate you may have your limits and blockages – but that is not what we want to focus on.

People are infitintely blessed with unique powers of intelligence, creativity, resilience, the power of choice, and unlimited other resources. We have, at our core, the ability to overcome and inspire ourselves to accomplish – that is the underlying belief at

1st Personal Coaching Conversation

Prior to the first coaching call with a personal coach, you will share some background information. It’s realy helpful to surrender and be completely honest as soon as you can. By revealing the key “secret” you have surrounding your blockage – it makes it so much simpler to work through it. Remember, coaching is not about the personal coach teasing out information you withhold – for effective results, rapid reveal upfront means we can get down to business and move forward. It’s not about shame and witholding – it’s about getting things done and getting results.

Confidentialilty and Professionalism

Working with a personal coach may be a new experience for most clients – and each client bases the experience on previous encounters with professionals and therapists or counsellors. But the personal coaching relationship is different – and I like the word alliance. The alliance is a reflection of the coach and the coachee’s boundaries and expectations.  Personal Coaching has strict boundaries and professional standards.

But underneath each coaching alliance is the understanding that the personal coaching experience is focused on getting a positive result for the coachee.

Sample Coaching Alliance Building Questions.

-What do you hope to accomplish by the end of our time working together?
– What areas in your life do you see things as going well?
– What areas in your life do you see you could be doing better?
– What gives you the most joy, satisfaction or fulfilment in life?
– What aspect of your life are you tired of – what drains you – what do you like doing the least of all?

The treasure’s inside the pyramid – we just need to find it The two keys to entering the “pyramid” are

Active Listening and Powerful Questions

From reading about my story, and watching my videos and reading my blogs about Life Coaching Sydney  – you might get the wrong impression that I am always talking. That’s not actually true at all. As a business person, I act as marketing and sales for Bren Murphy – but when we enter the coach/client alliance relationship – things change. For starters – I participate in active listening.

Active Listening Personal Coaching

– without judgement – non-judgmental – I never judge my clients – it’s the one sure way that the client is less open and self censors and holds things back. The alliance is ended.
– being fully present – I don’t plan my response in advance, I don’t read scripts, I don’t nod whilst I think about what I am going to say next.

Powerful questions in Personal Coaching

Powerful questions are the structural, foundational framework that life coaching is built upon. Once you establish your essential values and align your life purpose, it is about teasing out the how to through a series of questions.

By asking powerful questions – you become engaged and curious about your own coaching process. It works to immerse you deeper in the process and you find yourself spending time in between caoching converations re-thinking the same question and finding ways to answer it more completely. This is when coahcing really steps up.

My life coaching questions are not directed, rhetorical or yes/no questions. Good questions do not lead to dead ends or subtle judgements or comparisons. Questions should provoke curiosity and a desire to explore and discover – remember it’s about peeling things back and looking inside.

Example deep, provocative questions that are most likely met with an initial silence and some introspection…

– What do you want?
– What apsect of this is important to you?
– What options can you create here?
– What other ideas/feelings/thoughts do you have about this?
– Can you think of one more possible way?
– What are the possibilities?

Let’s not forget the weight that comes with answering powerful questions – and the reality that most people will pause and rub their chins when asked. Powerful questions are just that and they are indeed thought provoking.

Bren Murphy Personal Coaching

Bren Murphy is a Certified Life Coach trained by Anne Hartley in heart-centered personal coaching.