Pragmatic advice for coaches, managers & leaders

Category Archives: Coaching skills

A time and a place

Time and placeIf you hold meetings with people that you lead and manage, peers, stakeholders or key clients, this post holds a piece of really helpful information that could help you save yourself and the other party loads of hassle. I could also help you protect your business.

I’ve written before about why I find it incredible that so many coaches and managers do their coaching sessions in coffee shops or hotel lobbies. I get that these spaces help keep costs down. It is also clear that the atmosphere can be more relaxed in such venues and this might help the flow of conversations. However, without the need for me to put on a 1960’s trench coat, dark glasses and have a button-hole microphone at my disposal, it is way too easy to overhear the content of these conversations. Too often managers and/or coaches seem oblivious to the fact that their discussions can be heard by anyone sitting within earshot.

This isn’t new advice from me but for new readers and those of you that have forgotten about it, it is worth reiterating from the perspective of ‘good practice’. I’m not saying that you should immediately stop all meetings you hold in these venues but just raise your awareness about the content and whether it is still appropriate to continue. At least, that was my rather pragmatic view of what you should do, until very recently …

Insider’s Insight

Last week I had the great pleasure of working with a very senior Comms team in one of the UKs most successful high street retailers. A great group of people, passionate about their work and keen to learn about coaching. When I mentioned this point about not holding coaching-type conversations in their local coffee-shop, there was the usual pause to make sense of the advice and then it was followed by the following disturbing insight…

Due to their very close work with national newspaper journalists, this group were only too well aware that journalists and ‘freelance hacks’ (their term not mine!) very often hang around such coffee shops. Why? In order to overhear such conversations to get juicy gossip that might make tomorrow’s headlines.


If that doesn’t make you think twice about holding conversations with sensitive details in your local coffee shop/ restaurant/ hotel lobby/ train journey etc etc I don’t know what will.

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

Stop doing 1 to 1s

I’m all for you meeting regularly with the people that you lead. Indeed, one of the most common changes I see leaders and managers make as they assume more of a strategic role than a operational one, is they increase the numbers of these meetings, often quite considerably. However, please stop doing ‘1 to 1s’ orContinue Reading

A matter of scope

Often when I am working with senior execs they raise an issue of losing sight of the things that are important. They have taken their eye off the ball. It got me to thinking about whether there is a good metaphor that might help keep your ‘eyes on the prize’. Telescope According to some sourcesContinue Reading

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

3 Questions Leaders Ask About Coaching

I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with hundreds of senior leaders in organisations of all sizes, complexity and sectors. During the early days of meeting with clients they can seek extra information to help establish what and how I do what I do. Here are three that get asked of me frequently.  I’veContinue Reading

A little less conversation a little more action please

If you spend a good proportion of your leadership time in conversation with your team then that’s great. If you have those conversations in a coaching style then even better still. More conversation less action? However, if you spend your time in coaching conversations with members of your team and as a result nothing happens,Continue Reading

Are you the footfall driver?

As I found out this week from a senior manager in one of the UK’s leading high street retailers, some lines that stores sell make very little profit but are there to attract customers into the store. These items – think Apple products as an example – are known as ‘footfall drivers’. As they drawContinue Reading

A point in time

Coaching for improved business performance is about helping people achieve results. Through encouraging creation of goals and targets, removing barriers to success and building robust plans, the coach helps the ‘client’ (person you are coaching) progress. Note that the emphasis is on progress. It should move things forwards. Indeed coaching conversations should have the majorityContinue Reading

Don’t use a checklist

I want to alert you to a common trap that those new – and not so new – to using a coaching approach can fall into. It is an approach I refer to as ‘The Checklist’. Avoid it at all costs. In this post I’ll explain what it is and the reasons for not employingContinue Reading

Look in order to hear

A short post as a reminder: you will pick up a good deal of useful information from someone that you are coaching by looking intently at their posture changes in their posture skin colour changes eye movement and many other factors. All of this data that you can collect becomes more information to add toContinue Reading