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 >>
No wonder coaching is notoriously a revolving door profession. So many people are lured into it because it looks easy, especially if you have been the client of a very good coach yourself. The barriers to entry are low. The training may have promised, falsely, that after a few short days you are fully equipped … Read the rest >>
In training and supervising hundreds of new coaches I notice how many are preoccupied by what we might call Toolbox Syndrome. At coaching conferences, where as a rule beginners predominate, I guarantee that you will find that the workshops which offer new wonder-techniques are the ones that fill up first. I’m quite sure that when … Read the rest >>
I suppose that when you think about it, it’s a good thing that we now have so many rival theories about coaching.
But I have to confess to a visceral response which is somewhere between incredulity and intense dislike of the Gobbledygook School. There is a Ms, Mr or Dr Gobbledygook performing at most coaching … Read the rest >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
The recent study by Relate reveals that one in ten people in the UK do not have a close friend and 19% have not felt loved or cared for in the previous two weeks. This was not news to me. Over the years, many of my coaching clients have described exactly the same thing. The … Read the rest >>
When, as I do, you coach doctors, accountants, architects, lawyers and the like, you can’t help noticing the striking differences between the way their brains work and the typical thinking style of people who opt for a managerial career. No wonder there are so many problems – for instance in health services where each side … Read the rest >>
Probably many people would recognize that writing a good novel is challenging. There are ‘creative writing’ courses everywhere, from universities to your local community college. Yet somehow writing non-fiction does not get the same close attention. Perhaps this is because there are so many unhelpful myths and half truths about it. In a career spanning … Read the rest >>
One of the buzz phrases of the early years of this century was flat hierarchy. Hierarchies were to be abolished! They stank! Layers were to be removed! And all organizational problems would be solved at a stroke.
How strange then to find that hierarchy is alive and well. The layers have crept back in.
A … Read the rest >>