Being a coach can change your life!

23 Sep 2014

Most people enquiring about training with us at some point pose the question “Apart from the coaching skills, what else will I get from doing this course?”

How do we begin answer this question?

Over the years there have been some wonderful delegate stories.  One example that springs to mind is the woman who had been saving money for over ten years so that she could have radical cosmetic surgery to overcome her poor self-image; by the end of the course she declared to all her fellow delegates that she didn’t need the surgery now and was going to use the money she had saved to fund herself through a three year University degree in Psychology.

Other delegates have found happy relationships or ended unhappy relationships; undertaken various feats of endurance; taken up singing, dancing, art, sports; done stand-up comedy; given TED talks; emigrated; built their own ‘Grand Designs’ style home; given up unfulfilling jobs; started businesses; started social enterprises; completed Masters degrees and PhDs – in short, being a coach can and probably will change your life!

A number of our delegates have also gone on to write their own books as a result of training as a coach with Barefoot Coaching. Have a look at some of their books showcased at the end of this article. 

When designing and delivering our programmes we ensure that all learning happens at cognitive, behavioural and affective levels. However, we don’t tend to advertise sufficiently the fact that our courses often lead to as much personal development as professional development.

A few years ago I undertook some research on Barefoot Coaching alumni from the previous ten years and asked the question “What has been the personal impact of doing the coaching course to you?” The responses were evidence of the impact on the affective domain of learning. 

Neumann Allen (2010) writes:

The affective domain, arguable the most complex, is rooted in the emotional life of the student and reflects the students’ beliefs, attitudes, impressions, desires, feelings, values, preferences and interests.....the affective domain is poorly conceptualized, highly individualized and difficult to directly assess....Actual affective learning relates to feelings, attitudes and values that are identified, explored and modified in some way because of the learning experience.

My research indicated that most of the students had internalized the coaching principles and approaches they had learned and applied them not only to others but also to themselves.

Many mentioned increased confidence, self-belief and self-acceptance:

I gained a feeling of strength to move forward.

My confidence has increased, the way I’m viewed by others has changed for the positive, I’ve become more bold and authentic and probably more fun and less serious!

Most students referred to the lasting and generative impact of these changes:

All those things have stayed with me since the course.

It’s still happening to be honest...I changed the way I thought in subtle but profound ways and believed much more in my capacity to shape my life the way I wanted it to be.

Not only has it stayed, it’s grown, it’s like a snowball effect.

These positive changes appear to have impacted on the lives of those around the participants too:

My relationship with my husband has massively improved.

It has without a doubt changed my entire way of parenting children have been huge recipients of the programme.

There were some even more life-changing statements:

I finally identified my underlying beliefs and values.

I now see incredible beauty and grace in life, events and above all, people, in ways that I didn’t before the course.

We are proud to highlight some of the books which have been written by some of our talented alumni:


The Book of Job: The Business of People for People in Business - The Book of Job: Dale Stafford

(Barefoot Delegate – 2008)

The Book of Job: the business of people for people in business by Dale Stafford, The Principal & Founder with a refreshing, wry and thought-provoking look at the founding principles for success. Because the truth is, in business people are your biggest liability or your greatest asset, simply because success or failure rests on how your people perform ... including you. And behold within the pages of this tiny tome lie tried and trusted testaments packed with priceless perspicuity about the business of people for people in business. Open we invite you, The Book of Job. Hasten thy quest for success. Open thy mind and may thy kingdom come. Dedicated to business men and women everywhere, The Book of Job is a Limited First Edition with gold embossing, gilt-edged pages, and exquisite illustrations and comes signed and sealed by the author herself, beautifully hand wrapped and prepared by The Department.


Make your Creativity Pay – Pete Mosley

(Barefoot Delegate 2008)

Make Your Creativity Pay is the outcome of hundreds of hours spent in conversation with artists, artisans, makers and designers from a very wide range of disciplines, exploring the universal themes that underpin successful creative businesses.

This creative business book is aimed at anyone wanting to start or develop their own small business based on the things they make and do.

Insights and suggestions

'Even after 6 years running a creative business, the insights and suggestions in this book have given us invaluable advice and things to explore.'   Electric Egg – Film and Animation

Big Value!

'This little book packs a real punch with its practical tips and advice, searching questions and brilliant ideas. I read all its 22 short chapters in a day and am now using it like a reference book to keep me on track. Pete knows just what it is to be a creative, starting up your own business. We all need a guiding hand, a heap of encouragement and most of all, a sense of humour and this book gives them all in abundance!'  Lucelastic  - 5 Stars! Amazon Review.


(Barefoot Delegate 2012)

The basics of being a ScrumMaster are fairly straightforward: Facilitate the Scrum process and remove impediments. But being a great ScrumMaster, one who truly embodies the principles of servant-leadership and helps move a team to the high performance levels possible with Scrum, is much harder and much more elusive. In his over ten years of coaching numerous Scrum teams, the highly-respected and experienced Scrum coach Geoff Watts has identified patterns that separate a good ScrumMaster from a great one. In this book, he not only illustrates these patterns through stories of his own experiences and those of the many Scrum teams he has encountered but offers practical guidance for you on your own path to greatness.

In this book you will learn:
The skills and characteristics of great ScrumMasters
How to generate, maintain and increase engagement from the team
How to increase the effectiveness of the Scrum meetings, such as retrospectives and daily scrums.
How to foster a more creative and collaborative team
How to increase the performance of the team
How to know when you are a successful ScrumMaster

Scrum Mastery is for practicing ScrumMasters who want to develop themselves into a great servant-leader capable of taking their teams beyond simple process compliance.


Strategies For Being Brilliant: 21 Ways To Be Happy, Confident and Successful – Susan Ritchie

(Barefoot Delegate 2010)

Susan Ritchie's strategies will inspire you to take action and begin the process of making the changes you want to see, both personally and professionally. 

In 2002, Susan moved to Borneo with her young son. Now this might not be your cup of tea, but if self-doubt stops you from having what you want, this inspiring and engaging book will help you to 'get out of your own way'. Susan shares practical ideas and ways of thinking that will help you to be happier, more confident and successful, whatever the situation. 

"Susan Ritchie has written a fantastic book that's told through her own experiences. It gives you a true insider's view and a brilliant understanding as to how you can experience more success, both personally and professionally." 
Simon Jordan, founder of One Planet, One Place

"Swings and Roundabouts - a self-coaching workbook for parents and those wishing to become parents" 

– Agnes Bamford & Anna Golawski

(Barefoot Delegates 2007)

This is taken from Sir John Whitmore's foreword: "Anna, Agnes and Irvine have written this excellent and much needed book for parents and potential parents. In fact the book covers a very broad spectrum of issues that may emerge for all people entering, or well into, the child bearing age. It ranges from the choice to have a baby, pregnancy and birth, to caring for and, dare I say it, coping with child up to 4 years old. 

There are plenty of books available that give advice to such people but I suggest this is much more valuable than all of them because it is rooted in the principle of self-coaching. Our whole culture is evolving now from doing what we are told by an authority towards taking self-responsibility for our choices, actions, consequences, and circumstances. It works far better this way, and we ourselves build our pleasure, joy, success and self-belief by so doing." 


Love Being Me – Julie Leoni

(Barefoot Delegate 2010)

Love Being Me is a warm and personal book which shares one woman’s search for meaning and peace in her life after divorce. Julie draws on her knowledge and experience of psychotherapy and meditation and finds ways to put what she knows, into practice, whilst doing the dishes and taking the kids to school. She writes friend-to-friend, with anecdotes and admissions of failure, flaws, joy and love. She asks questions, offers exercises and invites every one of us to live our lives from the heart, so that we can say ‘I love being me’, no matter what life brings.

What people said about it… 

‘This book is a wonderfully contemporary restatement of ancient wisdom. It’s profound, funny and at times courageously self-revelatory. Anyone looking to further their life should read it’
Michael Sclater, Psychotherapist

‘Fresh and stimulating containing wisdom from the ancients to moderns in an authentically experiential journey’
Pat Morris, Yoga Teacher


Burnout to Brilliance: STRATEGIES FOR SUSTAINABLE SUCCESS – Jayne Morris

(Barefoot Delegate 2008)

Overwhelmed by the fast-paced and technologically demanding world in which we live, we routinely run on reserves and force ourselves to accept that constantly feeling tired is all part and parcel of living a busy and connected life.  When the warning signs of an impending burnout are ignored, the outcome can be fatal.

It’s time to take a journey of self-discovery and awaken to a brilliantly renewed life.

In Burnout to Brilliance, you will discover how to effectively: Identify the signs and symptoms of burnout. Recover your energy and enthusiasm, Regain your power, passion and purpose, Develop strategies for sustainable success.

A must read! This book is a valuable contribution, filled with vital information and tactics for a stress free working life. –DR CLARE GERADA, Immediate Past Chair, Royal College of General Practitioners and Chair of NHS London Clinical Board for Transforming Primary Care.