Pragmatic advice for coaches, managers & leaders

Category Archives: Coaching Psychology

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 of our coaching. Why? Because the people you are coaching are likely to over-estimate what or when they can complete their commitments and that’s bad for business – theirs and possibly yours too.

Success breeds success whilst conversely, failure to deliver can also lead to decreasing engagement. Knowing that this is a possibility should lead you to be more challenging and spend more time at the points in your coaching sessions when the coachee is planning their action steps. It won’t eradicate the tendency to be too optimistic but we can help our clients limit the negative impacts of this on their ability to produce great results. In turn we are being more effective in our role too.

Plus …

There is a way that is more certain to produce better quality planning and thus limit the damage that might be caused by planning fallacy and that is by requiring your coachee to relate past experiences to the future and the plans they are proposing to put in place in order that they can achieve their goals. The plans for the future need to be grounded in past experience (good and bad) in order to minimise (note: not eliminate) optimism bias.

As a technical sidebar this approach is called recall-relevance manipulation!! Just sayin’

Glenn Wallis is an experienced Executive Coach and Coach Developer who will help you improve your own results and those of your organisation. When you are ready to  raise your performance to the next level, find out more here

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

A second step backwards

Someone on your team arrives to work late … again. They sit down without explanation and get on with their work. You talk to them about being late. Next week, they’re back to being late again. And so the pattern goes on. Same approach, same results. So, what do can you do to break theContinue Reading