Pragmatic advice for coaches, managers & leaders

‘Getting’ isn’t ‘doing’ coaching

If I’ve heard it once I’ve heard it at least …twice. Actually it is much more frequent than that. I hear it from leaders of business who commission a leadership/coaching skills programme who then try to keep it at arms length. I hear that they ‘get’ coaching. They understand the rationale of using a coachingContinue Reading

Ask the obvious

Many leaders and managers that I have worked with over the years find it difficult to ask the obvious question. They struggle to ask something that will move somebody from stuck to unstuck because the question is either a little too direct, challenging or personal. Reserved Some of this holding back is a good thing.Continue Reading

A Coaching Experiment

I have recently read a very interesting book written by Eric Ries, titled, “The Lean Startup”. It provoked a lot of thought and reflection on how I tend to go about business development. Whilst much of it was quite oriented towards tech-start-ups, some of the advice probably holds true for all businesses. One of theContinue Reading

Must do better

It’s not the time of year when schools traditionally give out reports to pupils but the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has just published our final report - the UK’s that is – on productivity, for the year 2012. How are we doing? Well, I’m certainly no economist but I do love a bit of statistics andContinue Reading


Have you noticed from where so many people orientate their worlds? Have you observed that people will so frequently engage in a conversation but before you know it, they have managed to turn the topic around to themselves and their agenda? They do it repeatedly. They do it more or less knowingly. As coaches, weContinue Reading

Speed of light coaching

The most frequent obstacle leaders raise to learning and then using a coaching style as part of their approach to getting great results from the members of their team, is that it takes too long. It doesn’t, but that is the impression that many people hold. So, here are several questions you can ask, thatContinue Reading

One powerful question

When you head up a team within an organisation, there is one very simple question you can ask yourself to transform the impacts you have. My work with business leaders over the last twelve years suggests that many of them are simply not aware of this question and its transformative effects. Much of the time,Continue Reading

Not OK

Sitting in a coffee shop last week where the tables were set very close together, I couldn’t help but overhear the conversation at the table next to me. One lady was explaining how she was helping her son learn how to manage money. The second lady that she was talking with did a good jobContinue Reading

Red pen? Green pen?

I was reminded recently of a change that some teachers have made following the publication of research in the Journal of Social Science. The article suggested that marking students’ work in red negatively affected their view of their work and their view of the teacher. The impact on these two areas was improved when work wasContinue Reading

The Big Easy

Independence is important to me. I love collaborating and working in teams but I particularly like the control or sense of owning your own destiny that comes with being independent. This self-reliance has its upsides but also comes with some downsides too, one of which is that it can be a challenge for me, andContinue Reading