The Queen arrived at my door. She stood there, a sturdy figure, wearing an elegant pale blue coat, a jaunty hat in matching blue with one of her Launer handbags looped over her left wrist. I didn’t invite her in, but I knew what I had to ask. It was this: could she please, please … 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 Lord Rennard issue grinds on. The man is now telling us of his ‘distress’ at the accusations of harassment but refusing to do more than a generalised and meaningless apology, and the women are still talking determinedly of their own upset, anger and sense of betrayal, so how are we to respond?
My guess … Read the rest >>
Michael Bay, the movie director, has just proved that even the most apparently sophisticated of us can fall prey to stage fright. When the autocue broke down at the Consumer Electronics Show at Las Vegas, he panicked and walked off the stage. YouTube instantly made his scrambled exit as public as it was possible for … Read the rest >>
One of my coaching clients is newly single after an unexpected and bitter divorce. Wisely, she has discharged most of the anger but now she has a new problem: her social circle has revealed its weaknesses since it turns out to have consisted almost entirely of superficial relationships with colleagues or else deeper ones with … Read the rest >>
No topic is more neglected in the vast management literature than this: how to manage upwards. Yet it is essential for any employed person to know how to do it. Mostly we will tend to go to two undesirable extremes: assuming the boss is an idiot and avoiding him or her as far as possible … Read the rest >>
When we want to justify decisions that later prove to be immoral, unpopular or unwise, we almost always rely on the rules-is-rules approach. ‘I was only doing what the contract said’; ‘Everyone else was doing it’, or ‘My boss told me it was OK’. Some famous 20thc experiments show how far this can go. In … Read the rest >>
I am in that hallowed temple of white goods, John Lewis. My quest is to replace a leaking, hopelessly inefficient American-style fridge-freezer that has clearly had its day. I have no idea why one model is more than double the price of another or what features I should be looking for, since the world of … Read the rest >>
Some of the response to Ruby Tandoh, Great British Bake Off finalist, is instructive for any woman in a public role – and that means any woman in a position of responsibility. Ruby’s tears and constant apologising provoked accusations of being self centred, flirtatious, manipulative. Fortunately Ruby herself made a magnificent response to the moaners … Read the rest >>
It’s a tough old competitive world out there for coaches. When I run workshops on how to develop a coaching business, the #1 question for everyone in the room is ‘How do I get new clients?’
A neglected question is when to turn a prospective client away.
Here are 7 common situations when it would … Read the rest >>
Nodding off recently in a hot, stuffy room while the presenter droned through 70 slides has got me thinking yet again about what makes a workshop work. So many times something billed as a ‘workshop’ is actually just a series of lectures with a few feeble activities sprinkled in as a nod to interaction. … Read the rest >>