It’s a first supervision session for this coach and I’m exploring how her early life shaped her adult beliefs and behaviour. She looks dubious. ‘I had a perfectly happy childhood’, she says, hesitating a little. ‘Except we did have to tiptoe around my Dad sometimes’
‘Tell me about that.’
‘He was in a senior role … Read the rest >>
My coaching client, B, is looking at the floor. He is six months into a promotion, struggling to grip the astonishing slipperiness of the new skills the job needs.
‘I suppose’, he says slowly, ‘I’m a bit of a fraud. I think I must suffer from Impostor Syndrome’.
Ah, Impostor Syndrome, an increasingly familiar presence … Read the rest >>
My questioner had had more than a few glasses of Christmas cheer and maybe that was why he was eyeing me so beadily. ‘Coaching is just the new snake oil isn’t it? What’s the proof that it works?’
A party was not the occasion for a serious discussion but his question was perfectly legitimate. As … Read the rest >>
I watched the recent film featuring the astounding Dr Gabor Maté. It’s called The Wisdom of Trauma (www.thewisdomoftrauma.com). It shows vividly how much dysfunctional human behaviour is explained by early childhood trauma. You don’t have to look very far, for instance, into any prison population to see how clearly this is true or to see … Read the rest >>
David Bradford and Carole Robin, Penguin Life, 2021
It’s amazing how often the trail of what is good and lasting in social psychology leads back to the great Kurt Lewin (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_Lewin.) If you want proof of why leadership style influences performance, look to his classic action research with boys’ groups in the 1940s, … Read the rest >>
When the first lockdown was really biting in 2020, I was part of a coaches’ Zoom get-together. The overarching question was how the pandemic was affecting our income. Some coaches spoke despairingly about the way their training and facilitation work had vanished overnight. Many described the disappearance of most of their clients. Yet there were … Read the rest >>
A thoughtful participant on our recent coach training course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama raised this issue.
‘It feels as if sometimes it might be useful to say to a client that something similar has happened to me. But is it?’ In ordinary life we do create rapport with friends and … Read the rest >>
I have just ended a call with a friend who cannot stop talking about how frightened she is. She calls me seemingly just to tell me the same thing over and over again about her fear. After doing my best coaching summary of what she’s said, I politely ask her not to keep talking about … Read the rest >>
In a world where the supply of coaches exceeds the demand, the so-called ‘chemistry’ conversation is ever more important. Some organizations may even insist that their potential coachees meet or interview at least two coaches. But it’s so easy for this conversation to take a wrong turn. In my work as a supervisor I hear … Read the rest >>
Every now and then clients ask me for help on how to deal with intrusive comments about their health, or the health of a close family member. Typically the scenario is a very recent diagnosis of cancer. This is what works for people with cancer or other unpleasant conditions which invite unwanted sympathy and advice:… Read the rest >>
The BBC programme How to break into the elite https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000772n/how-to-break-into-the-elite asks good questions about why it is that so many of the most senior jobs still go to people from fee-paying schools. In one of the most telling interviews, Dr Louise Ashley, an expert in how social exclusion happens, explains that many employers prefer candidates … Read the rest >>
So, it’s Boris as Prime Minister.
This is despite sustained campaigns of vilification by so many people, including the Guardian, which ran piece after piece about his alleged sins and Channel 4 which did a whole programme on the same themes. I cannot remember any other prime ministerial candidate who has been subjected to this … Read the rest >>