Pragmatic advice for coaches, managers & leaders

Category Archives: Coaching Psychology

Pareto Principle 2.0

Pareto 2.0The Pareto Principle, or the 80:20 rule, has become a generally accepted short-hand for the fact that 80% of results are produced by 20% of cause or input.

In terms of great business performance it would be easy to suggest that the ideal is 100:0; namely, that people should be giving 100% effort, 100% of the time. From conversations with thousands of leaders however it seems this is neither realistic, nor even desirable in anything other than the short-term. People get burnt-out by such total commitment when they get this balance wrong in the long-term.

However, if you want to stand-out as a higher performer at work than the vast majority of the crowd, all you need to do is raise your game by 5%. Drive for 85% effort 85% of the time and you will notice that your results improve dramatically and you begin to move ahead of your peers. The great thing about such a strategy is it not a zero-sum game: you gain and so does your business/boss. Plus, your peers are not negatively affected by your improved performance – whether they choose to follow your example or not of course is another matter altogether … perhaps you should show them this blog and let them decide for themselves?

If your organisation want high quality performance coaching, contact me via the contact page. 

The Devil’s in the Detail

You’ve heard of Planning Fallacy, right? This phenomenon suggests that we all have a tendency to predict that we can complete tasks and projects more quickly than we ultimately do or that we can achieve more than we eventually produce. We are optimistically biased. Coaching Commitments This has a significant impact on the effectiveness ofContinue Reading

A clearer view of focus

Daniel Goleman, the author that made EQ available to most of us through his written work such as Emotional Intelligence, Why it can matter more than IQ, speaks in the video below on the importance of focus. He discusses what elements help maintain and build concentration and what can detract from our ability to focusContinue Reading

The Element of Surprise

The end of the year is usually a great time to stop, relax a little, only then for thoughts to inevitably turn to resolutions and goal setting for the new year. I love all that. Yet it begs the question, what did you do with all the achievement and learning that you amassed throughout theContinue Reading

Diversity of Thinking

This week we heard that the Football Association of England have introduced two new members to an all-white, all-male Commission looking into the England football team. The fact that those new members were both male didn’t do much to alter the gender diversity. The introduction of Rio Ferdinand did, to some extent, broaden the ethnicContinue Reading

Calm your inner expert

When you are leading and managing a team who are doing a job that you have a lot of experience in, it is so easy for your inner expert to prick up its ears when help is required or a sticky challenge presents itself. That little demon, technical super-being, is just waiting for a juicyContinue Reading

100% or nothing

I have long thought that there are only two states that we can adopt that allow us to accurately judge our own performance: 100% effort and 0%. I’m no positivist but it seems that if you adopt either of these positions you can review your efforts with a degree of confidence. Anything else is justContinue Reading

So, the cat ate your homework, did it?

One of the elements that distinguishes certain styles of coaching from others is the fact that that the person receiving coaching (the client) will have created some action steps to take away to work on between sessions. Unhelpfully, in my view, this is often referred to as “homework”. I think it is an unhelpful labelContinue Reading

Relatively speaking

I’ve written in previous posts about how we should, as great coaches, aspire to empathise with people that we are working with but also about how difficult – nay, impossible? – it actually is to achieve in reality. You can’t put yourself in someone else’s shoes. You haven’t lived their lives, you haven’t been throughContinue Reading

Mindfulness, coaching and purpose

As a coach, I can spend two hours with a client and feel that for a high percentage of the time I am able to be fully ‘present’. I’m able to be fully with with them and also be aware of my own state. I’ve practised this mental endurance over the last twelve years toContinue Reading