Theresa May and the Perils of Introversion

When you ask people how they define introversion, the most probable reply is that an introvert is a neurotically shy person terrified of other people and at an enormous disadvantage compared with the audacious swagger of the natural extrovert. If you are familiar with the Jungian approach to personality, as exemplified for instance in the … Read the rest >>

Coach panic: ‘Don’t Know What To Say!’

My good friend and colleague Jane Cook of Linden Learning (www.lindenlearning.org) raises the question of how to prepare inexperienced and trainee coaches for life after our courses. She reminds me that on the courses we run together, one of the most frequent dreads expressed by our participants is of being struck dumb with their real … Read the rest >>

The Two Rules of Persuasion Every Coach knows but Remain didn’t

Sometimes we humans are remarkably simple-minded. It should be the easiest-peasiest thing in the world for politicians and media and evil-minded individuals to influence us, as well as the virtuous and high-minded who want us to change behaviour for our own good. When you work as a coach you draw on these principles every day.… Read the rest >>

Sometimes the simplest coaching techniques are the best

The client is sitting in front of me looking hunched and miserable. She and I are at Smart Works (www.smartworks.org.uk) the wonderful charity where I do occasional volunteer shifts. Women who have been unemployed for some time and who now at last have a job interview come for two things that are normally only affordable … Read the rest >>

8 Myths and Half Truths about Creating a Coaching Business

We go into coaching because we love it. We have experienced the power it has and are eager to work with our clients so that they can experience it too. One guesstimate is that there could be as many as 15,000 independent coaches in the UK. How many of those are making a decent living … Read the rest >>

The 8 common delusions of coaches

Coaching is a young profession – if indeed it is a profession – see later.  I have been a coach for nearly 25 years and a coaching supervisor and trainer for 18, and have met, mixed with and trained many hundreds of coaches, often following their progress over a number of years. I notice that … Read the rest >>

Resisting the charm of finding a scapegoat

As a coach I have worked with many clients who have been caught in blame games. For instance there was the clinician given responsibility for reforming services that had been appallingly neglected for more than a decade. When she failed to produce the ‘proof’ that these services had magically improved after only a year in … Read the rest >>

Job seekers be aware: nothing so quaint as the recent past

In my local Oxfam shop I picked up a copy of David Lodge’s entertaining novel Therapy. It was published in 1995 so probably written in 1994, not so long ago, surely? But actually it feels as bizarrely other-worldly and strangely unfamiliar as any novel from much earlier eras. In the novel people write letters, they … Read the rest >>