The vulnerable coach

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 >>

Exposing the impostor

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 >>


I watched the recent film featuring the astounding Dr Gabor Maté. It’s called The Wisdom of Trauma ( 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 >>

Connect: Building Exceptional Relationships with Family, Friends and Colleagues

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 ( 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 >>

More honesty about coaching, please!

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 >>

Six ways a ‘chemistry’ coaching conversation can go wrong

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 >>

That tricky question of ‘polish’ in career coaching

The BBC programme 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 >>