Pragmatic advice for coaches, managers & leaders

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

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


When you are holding a coaching-style conversation with members of your team, there will be certain phrases you hear, or particular elements of body language that you see which may be more significant than others. These are potentially critical times in such conversations. It is therefore important that you can notice them effectively. Words andContinue Reading

Be clear on what you need to be

There is a lot of advice about starting your own business that makes it clear that you have to take on a number of roles, often within the same day, just to keep your business up and running. You need to be principal marketer, accountant, chief IT engineer and many others, not to mention doingContinue Reading

The afterlife

When you finish a conversation you can’t possibly know what the impacts of it will be on you or the other person you were talking with. The conversation will have more or less of an impact on how you both feel what you are thinking about what actions you take your mutual senses of confidence,Continue Reading

“Hey Boss, Nice Tat”

Looked in the mirror recently? Have you noticed that ever since you started your career as leader in your business that you gained something that everyone of your direct reports can see but that you occasionally forget is there? I am of course talking about the almost-invisible tattoo that you have on your forehead thatContinue Reading

Coaching: It’s Not Master Mind

Do you remember the game called Master Mind? It went something like this: Player one selects four coloured pegs and conceals them from the other player, either by putting them below the surface of the playing board (see photo ->) or pegging them behind a small shield on the board. Player two, through a processContinue Reading

Inverse proportion

Want to save loads of your own precious time? Need to get more engagement from your team? Desperate to develop skills in others in order to achieve a particular goal? Then this post should help. If you are supporting your team members equally that is highly laudable but not very efficient. Some of them willContinue Reading


Both a large UK insurance company and a London-based bank that I recently worked with talked about promoting the idea of 70:20:10 as an approach to developing their workforce. It is a well-established way of focusing on improving performance through a range of approaches based on the data from a Center for Creative Leadership study thatContinue Reading