So you got the job and you’re now Director, or VP, or Chief Officer for – whatever. Congratulations!
I’m delighted when coaching clients get that promotion. But it’s no surprise when about six months later they reappear in my coaching room.
‘This is harder than I thought.’
‘There’s something I’m not getting right but what … Read the rest >>
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 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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
When I opened the email – and I had certainly never heard of the sender – I saw that it promised me something amazing. If I signed up to a particular training course, I could learn ten questions which would guarantee that my clients would change! Really, truly, they would not be able to help … Read the rest >>
At this time of year, the windows of my local bookshop are crowded with the latest books guaranteeing magical ways to lose weight. These books will have been written by an alleged ‘celebrity’ who is young, toned, slim and pretty, male or female. They will all claim that what they offer is not a ‘diet’ … Read the rest >>