APRIL 2018 | ISSUE 17
T H E A S S O C I AT I O N F O R CO A C H I N G G LO B A L M A G A Z I N E
Nick Bolton on the evolution of a coaching business The place of supervision in the business of coaching The emergence of flash mentoring in China Deep Dive on challenges and opportunities for the coaching industry
“P ROMOTI NG EXCEL L EN C E & ETH IC S IN C O AC H IN G ”
CON TEN TS
APRIL 2018 | ISSUE 17
Editorial 5 Sue Stockdale News Story
Coaching Leadership Business as evolution: A journey of growth and vision Nick Bolton
From performance to personal growth: My journey as a coach Alex Newton
Emerging Trends How technology can drive employee engagement, retention and performance Duncan Cheatle
Coaching in Context A coaching business that goes from strength to strength Mike Roarty and Kathy Toogood
Coaching Impact The positive impact of coaching on family business transitions Elizabeth Ledoux and Jimmy Taylor
Coaching Passions The business of coaching is emotional David Smith
Getting into the business of coaching Neeraj Tyagi
Interview Who helps administer the Association for Coaching business? Clive Steeper interviews some of the faces behind the AC
Excellence in Coaching Who supports you, the coach? Sue Hawkes
The place of supervision in the business of coaching 29 Benita Treanor and Michelle Lucas Coaching the coach: Supervisory peer groups Lesley Mallow Wendell Global Research A â€˜one-stopâ€™ approach for coaches? Development of an integrated psychological model Phil Bardzil
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Coaching by Country Emergence of flash mentoring in China Olga Yanovskaya
We’re all life coaches - and we could all do with one Banu Uzkut Onuk Reviews The Art of Coaching by Jenny Bird and Sarah Gornall Reviewed by Pauline McCracken
Coaching for Performance (Fifth Edition) by Sir John Whitmore Reviewed by Dr Alison Whybrow
The Inspired Leader by Andy Bird Reviewed by Peter Soer
The Social Organization by Jon Ingham Reviewed by Alf Hatton
Deep Dive Challenges and opportunities for the coaching industry Mandy Irons
Editorial Team Editor: Hetty Einzig firstname.lastname@example.org Deputy Editor: Sue Stockdale email@example.com Sub-Editor: Sally Phillips firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Assistant: Cameron Harvey-Piper email@example.com Design Designer: www.martinwilliamsondesign.com
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Editorial Board Hetty Einzig - Editor, Coaching Perspectives. Coaching, Leadership and Training Consultant, Author Katherine Tulpa - CEO, AC. Co-founder and CEO, Wisdom8 Philippe Rosinski - MD Rosinski & Company Stanley Arumugam - Independent Consultant & Coaching Psychologist, Johannesburg, South Africa Geoffrey Abbott - Director, Executive Coaching Programs, Graduate School of Business, Queensland University of Technology Taaka Awori - Managing Director, Busara Africa Sherry Harsch - Porter, Porter Bay Insight Martha Miser - Aduro Consulting LLC
Association for Coaching Golden Cross House 8 Duncannon Street London WC2N 4JF UK firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +44 (0) 845 653 1050 www.associationforcoaching.com
The AC is an inclusive body for the coaching profession, not just coaches. This includes a full array of membership types - from coaches through to providers of coaching and coach training, academic institutions, not-for-profits and large global organisations or corporates that are building coaching cultures. Each type of membership offers its own type of benefits and services. Further details are available here: http://www.associationforcoaching.com/pages/membership/membership-new For membership enquiries: email@example.com AC membership includes discounts for: Coaching at Work AC members receive 20% discount on the Coaching at Work printed magazine subscription or 10% on a digital subscription. Criticaleye Complimentary exclusive access to leading edge online interviews and TV content. People Alchemy An easy-to-use online resource providing practical
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I spend a lot of time working with entrepreneurs and encouraging them to take time to work on their business, not just in their business. Any individual with ambition needs to be able to take an objective perspective to get a sense of whether their enterprise is scalable, or even profitable. However, many people find this difficult to do, because they get too emotionally close to the product or service that they offer, and then often make poor decisions, without sufficient critical thinking or feedback. It was with this idea in mind that we developed the theme of ‘the business of coaching’ for this issue of Coaching Perspectives. Just as our coaching clients can often not find a way forward without some coaching intervention, it can be a similar challenge for the individual who is running or delivering the coaching service. Where do you go to get feedback, learn, look at your business dispassionately and then in some cases, make bold decisions? You may find some of the answers to these questions within the articles here. Nick Bolton outlines how he decided to take the ultimate disruptive action, and rather than adapt the coaching business he was running, opened up an entirely new operation to meet the evolving needs of his clients. Duncan Cheatle describes how through observation, he also realised that existing forms of workplace learning were not working and so created a technology solution enabling employees to access learning by utilising all the best bits from familiar ‘hero brands.’ Part of the challenge for any business is to be clear about how it differs from the competition, often known as its unique selling point (USP). It’s the same in the coaching industry where it can be powerful for a coach to be clear on their niche area. Mike Roarty and Kathy Toogood describe how identifying strengths can assist in helping a coach to clarify what their niche is rather than try to be all things to all people.
The power of peer support in assisting coaches to get feedback and reflect gets a mention in several articles. David Smith, Sue Hawkes, and Lesley Mallow Wendell all outline how valuable it has been to help them develop their coaching practices. Also, in our Deep Dive feature, Mandy Irons provides a broad snapshot of the coaching industry, addressing some of the developments, challenges and trends facing coaches, clients and organisations. Finally, we go behind the scenes within the AC ‘business’ to share the latest exciting developments on our partnership with Henley Business School Centre for Coaching, as well as profiling a selection of staff and volunteers who run some of the operations and services that members benefit from. We will continue sharing other profiles in future editions. We hope that the wide range of viewpoints and experiences within the articles will cause you to step back, review your coaching practice from a different perspective and take some new actions as a result. Let us know how you get on!
Sue Stockdale Deputy Editor
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The Association for Coaching has just announced an exciting new partnership with the Henley Business School Centre for Coaching in the UK. The partnership will provide special access for Association for Coaching members to the Centre. Henley’s centre has established itself as a global leader in research and teaching for coaching over the past ten years.
The new partnership means that AC members can pay an annual fee to access a host of Henley benefits which were previously only available to students. This includes free monthly coaching webinars, discounts on coaching conferences and other events and access to coaching research publications, plus free online access to coaching journals, coaching magazines and hundreds of other leadership and HR journals. Members can also book meeting rooms at the Centre’s beautiful riverside location. Jonathan Passmore, director of the Henley Centre for Coaching, said: ‘This unique partnership offers AC members
access to a university environment and ensures AC members can access and undertake continued profession development and build their evidence-based practice.’ We will be exploring more about the partnership in a future issue, but if you want to act now and be one of the first to join the Henley Centre, you can find out more at: https:// www.henley.ac.uk/executive-education/coaching-andbehavioural-change/ee-coaching-centre-members To get the special AC rate of £45, members can email Viki Rice at: firstname.lastname@example.org
COACHIN G L E AD ERSHIP
BUSINESS AS EVOLUTION: A JOURNEY OF GROWTH AND VISION Nick Bolton, founder of Animas Centre for Coaching, outlines how he wants the business to be at the cutting edge of a movement that shapes and redefines coaching.
To succeed in business is to be in movement, continually changing, growing and responding to the world. A truly great business can be a slow, unstoppable glacier, relentlessly reshaping its environment, one irreversible inch at a time. Or it can be a flash flood that tears through and washes away the way things were. A great business changes itself and, in turn, changes things. Ironically, I have often felt that, for a change-focused profession, coach-training organisations and professional coaching bodies are somewhat averse to transformation. In many ways, they demonstrate a desire to cling on to old definitions, dicta and directives that rigidify an otherwise vibrant, creative and intensely human practice. Sadly, failure to evolve and respond to a changing world is putting many at risk, with a report by market researchers Plimsoll Research claiming that coachtraining is ‘a difficult marketplace where seven [coaching schools] are in financial danger and a record number are making a loss.’ As I see it, the role of coaching is changing, but most coaching schools have not woken up to that reality. To read recent literature on coaching is to see a profession emerging into maturity and shaking itself free of the shackles of early attempts to define it. I believe that, if the professional bodies and training schools involved in coaching don’t evolve to reflect
the wider and more profound uses to which coaching is being put by clients and coaches, they risk becoming an irrelevant anachronism born of an age focused on performance and hardedged outcomes. If business is always evolving, then coaching schools must evolve too or die. As the founder of Animas Centre for Coaching, I have experienced my school through its own evolutionary journey that reflects the deeper and wider changes happening throughout coaching. Originally established in 2008, The Smart School (a not-sosubtle reference to the performance culture of the day) taught traditional coaching models and repeated the well-worn phrases that so readily explained what coaching is, what its boundaries are, the role of a coach, the differences between coaching and therapy and so on. However, in creating my own school, I began to doubt these well-established truths. They simply didn’t resonate with my experience of what coaches were actually doing or experiencing in the real world. I myself had been a coach for many years, most typically working independently within the public sector. As my new coaching school attracted a different kind of person – those looking to become life coaches – I was struck by the capacity for coaching to offer a truly collaborative, philosophically
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minded and compassionately honest space for individuals to explore questions that have echoed throughout the millennia: ‘What does it mean to have a good life?’ ‘How can I feel my life is meaningful?’ ‘How can I be happy?’ ‘Who am I?’ As a former student of philosophy and a constant explorer of ideas, I began to think that coaching was actually the current state-of-the-art medium for individuals to explore the biggest questions in life. I could no longer treat coaching as a tool primarily for goal achievement. I had to face the fact that, in its current state, my business no longer reflected my beliefs, aspirations or values as a coach, entrepreneur or human being! This is a point many entrepreneurs reach at some point. As creative individuals, they often outgrow – mentally, spiritually and emotionally – the business they first start. They find themselves with a choice: do they stick with what they have for fear of losing what works, or do they go where their truth lies? For me, it had to be the latter. I had no interest in perpetuating a business that didn’t wholly reflect my beliefs or purpose. I took a decision that was to be momentous. I started the business from scratch. Not just a rebrand, but a totally new legal entity that would allow me to build the school from ground up. I knew this had the potential to be disastrous in the short term. Any brand equity would be lost, as would a well-established presence on Google due to several years of search-engine optimisation. My business could dry up overnight! But evolution is not a sprint. It is not lost or won in the short term, but rather over years. Business as evolution is respecting the long game, acting with what I term ‘patient urgency’ and a complete all-in commitment to building the thing you really want, not the thing that is expedient. I knew that to create the business I really wanted I had to start with what I believed coaching was about, and that would define my school for good. I consulted my community. They weren’t happy that I was changing the name – they enjoyed calling themselves, albeit tongue-in-cheek, The Smarties. I dug deep with them to ask what we really stood for and we recognised that, in classic existential style, our belief was that coaching is fundamentally concerned with facing what is real with courage, and recognising our responsibility to live courageously by facing the truth and dealing with it for a better, more honest and selfaware life. That was what my school had to stand for. The name emerged. From anima and animus – Latin for ‘breath of life’ and ‘seat of courage’ – Animas become my linguistic alloy for living courageously. Animas was born in 2013, a full five years after the Smart School had launched and, looking back, this was absolutely the most important decision I have ever made in business. It was an act of transformation that allowed me to be fully congruent and impassioned. The change allowed me to embrace, and communicate, a more fully developed approach to transformational coaching, and the energies of the business shifted to training coaches who wanted to work at this paradigm-exploration level. We reshaped our values, curriculum, concepts and marketing around this. We reached out to thought leaders, industryshapers and authors to bring a wide range of ideas to our
students. This was not about some spurious ‘unique sales proposition’ or a strategic demonstration of ‘value-add’. This was a true reflection of what was important to us and how we would build and support our community for years to come. From a business perspective, the decision paid off. The Smart School had scratched around, just about surviving, for five years, – but it was really just another coaching school. Since its launch in 2013, in contrast, Animas has grown by over 100% each year and in 2017 alone trained nearly 400 coaches in London and Edinburgh. This year, Animas launches in Manchester, Dublin and Berlin, and by 2025 Animas will have a presence in every major country where coaching can play a role in people’s lives and in organisations. Our team has grown from just myself in 2013 to fourteen people in the UK and five in the Philippines. I truly believe that this is a reflection of building a business from a place of authentic passion and allowing it to evolve genuinely and in response to the world around us. Oh as well as a lot of hard work! And, of course, the evolution hasn’t stopped. Animas itself continues to change and adapt. Where once we focused on transformational coaching, I have become increasingly sceptical of false boundaries created between different professions. The more I’ve worked as a coach, both on life and business issues, the more I believe that coaching, at its best, is simply courageous and honest transformational dialogue. No doubt Animas will evolve again to reflect this further broadening notion of coaching. My vision is that Animas exists at the cutting edge of a movement that shapes and redefines coaching as a response to being human in the 21st century, with all the complexity, uncertainty and choice this entails. Coaching itself is a transient cultural and intellectual artefact which will evolve. Change is inevitable and, although right now we focus on transformational coaching, we must be prepared to evolve too if we’re to thrive as a business and live out our real purpose every day.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Nick Bolton is an educational entrepreneur, transformational coach, trekker, long-distance cyclist and Netflix lover! Nick is passionate about helping people lead courageous and authentic lives, and as the founder and CEO of Animas Centre for Coaching, his vision is to help redefine coaching as a response to what it means to be human in the 21st century. Nick’s long-term project to create one of the world’s largest transformational education companies of which Animas is but the first. www.animascoaching.com
COACHIN G L E AD ERSHIP
FROM PERFORMANCE TO PERSONAL GROWTH: MY JOURNEY AS A COACH Alex Newton, who has worked in elite sport in the UK for over 20 years, reflects on how being exposed to new and different ways of coaching has influenced the kind of coach she is – and wants to be in the future.
Throughout my career I have gained immense satisfaction from supporting and helping the development of others. I love to support and watch people grow to reach their full potential, whether this be a member of staff succeeding in the workplace or an athlete achieving an Olympic gold medal. I first experienced executive coaching having been a performance director in elite sport. Today, my career continues as a senior leader in the UK high-performance sports system. I have always been employed in some capacity in sport and have always been surrounded by sports coaches – both good and bad! My career began as a sports development officer before moving into the elite side of sport where I have been employed for the last 20 years. All my roles have had the responsibility for leading and managing teams of people, whether that be in an office environment or out in the field of play. Recently it has included leading and managing national coaches in their respective sports (boxing and fencing), which has added valuable insights to the way in which I approach my own coaching of others.
My initial coaching practice started in an informal capacity, coaching those with whom I worked and was responsible for, alongside other performance staff within the wider system. My coaching was very much based on the wider holistic principles of sport and performance-based coaching, which was coupled with utilising my own experiences of having received executive coaching. I have had three different executive coaches over the course of the last ten years. Having had an initial positive experience, this was followed by a truly dreadful experience. My second coach and I, whilst hitting it off initially, did not work well together. It was a very formal relationship which felt much more like an adult/child dynamic than it did a more mutual coaching relationship. After the end of the first course of sessions we ended the relationship. I worked with my third coach for over two and a half years. Our coaching relationship ended when the work I was doing with her had been completed, and I was also moving on from my role. This was a wholly positive experience and I made huge progress in my own development. I liked the mix of check and challenge she brought to the sessions, alongside a pragmatic approach without too much ‘forced’ theory.
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As a result of my own experiences, I became fascinated as to what was the best environment in which executive coaching practice could flourish and how this was cultivated. My curiosity was further ignited by the environment in which I worked, being able to witness how the best sports coaches in the world got the best out of their athletes. Equally, I saw how poor coaching hinders and limits an individual’s ability to grow, develop, reflect and ultimately perform when it matters most – in the heat of competition. As I began to undertake my initial practical coaching experiences, I was fascinated to learn more and expand my experience of ‘on the job’ learning and development to gain greater insight into who I am and how I can best help and support others through a coaching relationship. At this stage, I embarked on the Advanced Practitioner Diploma in Executive Coaching. Over the duration of the programme, I have seen a very definite shift in my coaching style from one which was very much performance-based and focused on a desire for the achievement of targets, to an approach focused on personal growth and development. I now adopt a coaching role as a partner in the learning process, working with the client to find their own solutions, broadly based on theoretical models derived from humanistic psychology, specifically person-centred counselling and experiential learning. Alongside the programme, one of the things that opened up my mind most to different coaching was attending a Women in Leadership course called ‘Purpose, Power and Presence.’ We looked at the role of women leaders and at our own reflective self and our own centred self. The course was run by two female executive coaches, and their knowledge and insights prompted me to consider who I am and what I believe in – and how this might influence me as both a leader and as an executive coach. The Advanced Diploma has also been instrumental in furthering my learning, development and growth as a coach. Researching the different approaches and theories behind executive coaching, opening my eyes to new things and extensive practical training and assessment, has been critical in defining who I am as a coach and the principles on which my current coaching practice is founded. The core principles listed below underpin my current coaching philosophy, relate to and are synthesised with my own personal values, lie at the heart of me as a person and a coach, and support my practice as I learn, grow and develop.
1. To create an environment that promotes trust and confidence between myself and the client to enhance learning, reflection and development. 2. To be non-judgemental of my client and to offer a high level of support along with a suitable level of challenge to facilitate transformational learning and development to support change and performance. 3. To adopt a partnership approach and co-create the
coaching relationship with my client to maximise their potential. (To coach, not teach). 4. To be fully authentic as a coach and bring myself fully into the coaching relationship including listening, disclosure, flexibility, rapport and humour. I have been curious to see how being exposed to new and different ways of doing things has made me reflect on past experiences and is now influencing how I go forward as a coach. However, I do not believe that how I coach now will stay static and fixed; it has already changed as a result of the learning discussed and my own personal development and growth. I know and embrace the fact that it is constantly evolving and changing with greater experience as a coach, exposure to alternative views and theories, and my wider learning.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Alex Newton has spent 20 years working in elite sport. She has worked across a range of organisations and roles working with and supporting elite athletes – including being performance director in two sports, boxing and fencing. In July 2017, Alex set up her own company to provide leadership and people development support alongside executive coaching to organisations in both sport and business.
EMERGIN G TREN D S
HOW TECHNOLOGY CAN DRIVE EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT, RETENTION AND PERFORMANCE Entrepreneur Duncan Cheatle outlines how companies need to pay as much attention to the employee experience as the customer journey when it comes to using technology for learning platforms.
Over the last fifteen years as founder of The Supper Club, I’ve had the very good fortune to chair over 600 round table, peerto-peer learning events for our members – all founders and CEOs of fast growing ‘scale-up’ businesses (typically £3m to £200m revenues, averaging 32% year on year growth). Over that time, I’ve observed two things common to successful leaders: their early and effective adoption of technology, and their ability to attract, retain and develop great talent. It’s this observation, as well as recognising that traditional forms of education and workplace learning are broken, that led me to set up Learn Amp. We describe ourselves as a learning and engagement platform (others describe our emerging niche as either learning engagement platforms1 or learning experience platforms2).
WHERE TECHNOLOGY FAILS LEARNING Most businesses moved away from the ‘transactional sale’3 some time ago, recognising that if you want to win and retain customers you now need to engage them before the point of sale. Good businesses invest in technology that helps save time in managing each stage of the customer journey. Really
great software products proliferate in this area. We use around eight different applications to manage our content and email marketing, our social media channels and our customer relationship management. Businesses have historically invested in learning technology to facilitate the delivery of blended learning (the combination of instructor-led training and self-directed e-learning). The problem is that these learning management systems (LMS) are now well past their ‘sell by’ date. They tend to be difficult to use and engineered for the L&D department more than for the individual learner.
HOW TECHNOLOGY IS ADAPTING TO LEARNER NEEDS Great businesses recognise that to attract and retain the best talent they need to manage the employee experience with the same rigour as we do the customer experience – and the best way to do that is to obsess about each stage of the employee journey, in the same way we’ve learned to with the customer journey. Today, that means that as well as ensuring a great physical environment for employees – for example providing
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office space with different types of workspace suited to different types of work – we need to offer an equally attractive and engaging digital environment. Employees expect the applications they use at work to be as intuitive and engaging as the ones they use at home. In our case, we built Learn Amp with ‘hero brands’ in mind, like Netflix for the look and feel (user interface) and Spotify for how it works (user experience). We also borrowed the philosophy of flexibility from Trello. Employees also want to be able to access learning at the time of their choosing, from anywhere, and on a range of devices. Traditional learning systems struggle to offer this. We also built Learn Amp in a way that helps businesses manage the employee journey through induction and onboarding to personalised learning pathways, because that provides a better context for learners and makes it easier to align personal development with business needs. The end game is greater engagement and more effective employees who stay in the business longer – and with that a better-performing business.
TRENDS IN LEARNING (ALSO DRIVING TECHNOLOGY) There are a number of trends in the way learning is delivered that are bringing about far greater learner engagement and skills development. The best technologies facilitate each. Here are a few to watch out for: 1. Micro-learning Micro-learning – small learning tasks, focused on very specific areas or ideas – is becoming ever more popular. That’s because micro-learning matches the natural rhythm of work-related tasks. It also better reflects the way Generations Y and Z* consume content. 2. Self-directed learning Self-directed learning enables employees to respond to their own learning needs fast, matching the rapid change so characteristic of economies today. How can it ever be effective to wait four weeks to do a whole-day Excel training course when you want to know, right now, how to do pivot tables and can find that out in ten minutes elsewhere? The active nature of self-directed learning also helps to retain information and skills over time too. 3. Continuous progression The key to making learning addictive is incorporating ‘instant gratification.’ Ideally, workplace learning should show users how they’re progressing by highlighting small achievements frequently. This ‘gamifies’ the learning experience and incentivises learners to keep progressing. 4. Content curation Part of the challenge has been the poor usability of learning management system platforms and internally collated content and courses, leading employees to turn to Google for solutions. The problem here is that it’s easy to get lost in the mass of options. Curation is becoming key in ensuring
‘Generation Y’ a.k.a. ‘millennials’ – those born between roughly 1980 and 1995; ‘Generation Z’ – those born 1995 onwards.
easy and fast access to great content. For example, at Learn Amp we have a curated library of content and courses which have TripAdvisor-style ratings. This means that it’s easy to see who else within the company (or the wider Learn Amp community) rates items or Learn Lists (our equivalent of playlists). It also makes it easy for people to feed back on content and even face-to-face activities tracked on the platform at the point of completion (rather like Uber). 5. Collaborative (social) learning Collaborative learning is made easier when people can share easily what they have found or learned with their colleagues. It could be argued that the more that content creation and curation is pushed away from HR or L&D teams, the more effective it becomes. Those at the ‘coal face’ are generally better experts in their area than HR or internal L&D, who learn second-hand. Learning from respected peers is often more credible and can often be delivered faster – and, significantly, more immediately after new insights are developed. Of course, external experts can be highly effective, but they have to be scheduled in and so inevitably these sessions aren’t delivered at the immediate time of need. Learning is experiencing rapid change as a number of really exciting technologies come to market. The one final observation to note is that the days of one software vendor providing a ‘one stop shop’ solution are over. The future now is to integrate the best solutions. And the best providers make integration easy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Duncan Cheatle is the founder of Learn Amp, learning and engagement platform. Described as the ‘Netflix meets Spotify of Learning’, it’s recently been cited as the best learning engagement platform globally. Duncan has also spent over fifteen years championing UK enterprise and has worked with over 1000 entrepreneurs, largely through The Supper Club which he set up in 2003. He co-founded StartUp Britain, launched by then Prime Minister David Cameron in March 2011, and sits on the Advisory Board of the Sheffield University Management School.
1. https://elearninfo247.com/2018/01/16/early-look-top-50-learningsystems-4-2018/ 2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/joshbersin/2017/03/28/watch-outcorporate-learning-here-comes-disruption/#5cd5b977dc59 3. A term used to describe a sales strategy that involves focusing on achieving quick sales without a significant attempt to form a long-term customer relationship. A transactional selling strategy tends to be more common for a business that offers a fairly generic product or service with the objective of profiting by making a high volume of sales. Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/transactional-selling.html
COACHIN G IN CON TEX T
A COACHING BUSINESS THAT GOES FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH Strengths experts Mike Roarty and Kathy Toogood explain how you can shape a successful coaching business around your strengths rather than trying to be all things to all potential customers.
YOUR THREE CIRCLES
‘A HIGHLY EFFECTIVE COACH WHO CAN WORK WITH A WIDE VARIETY OF CLIENTS’
We suggest that your ideal business should be at the intersection of these three factors: doing what you are good at, doing what you love to do, and doing what brings you the results you want, including the financial ones.
What you Love doing
If you are relatively new to coaching it might seem like a good idea to include this kind of ‘I can coach anyone’ statement on your website or in your marketing material. It will give you wider appeal, won’t it? We suggest not – for two reasons. Firstly, as a potential customer of yours, it doesn’t tell me what you are really good at, so I may not bother reading any further. Secondly, in the long run it won’t give you the kind of coaching business you really want.
What you are Good at
What gets you great Results
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This model is based on one originally derived from research on what makes successful companies1 – they stay within their three circles. We suggest that it works equally well as a model for successful professional coaches. In short, develop a successful coaching business that plays to your strengths.
WHAT ARE YOUR STRENGTHS? So, how well do you know what your strengths are? Before we think about that, it is important to know what we mean by strengths. Some coaches might say, ‘A strength of mine is that I have board level experience.’ Or, ‘I have worked a lot in the IT sector.’ That’s great experience, but it’s not a strength. A strength can be defined as something that you are good at, that energises and motivates you, and that gets you great results. So, whilst you might love working with IT professionals, what are the strengths that you bring to that?
HOW CAN YOU IDENTIFY YOUR STRENGTHS? To begin to identify your strengths, bring to mind some recent coaching situations, or any other non-coaching situations, which you found deeply satisfying and which met the three criteria: 1. You were good at it 2. It energised and motivated you; and 3. You got good results As you recall these events or situations, ask yourself, ‘What was it that I enjoyed so much? What was I doing that energised me so much?’ By reflecting on this you can begin to identify some of your strengths. Perhaps you love enabling others to develop (developer), or you get into the flow when you find yourself getting really fascinated about a situation (curiosity). Maybe you have the most fun having a completely blank page to design an assignment (creativity), or you love building relationships (relationship builder), or you find it really motivates you to take on difficult challenges (courage). Which would you pick out as your top strengths that energise you most? There are other ways you can identify your strengths by using online tools such as Strengthscope®2, StrengthsProfile3, CliftonStrengths4 or VIA5. Getting absolutely clear about your strengths will not only help you articulate your USP to clients, but it will also ensure that you get maximum enjoyment from what you do, and arguably better results too.
favourite context for your creativity strength. It’s possibly when you coach someone faced with a challenging change management situation. Or perhaps you’re happy to use the strength in any situation. If you get clear about your top four or five strengths and the contexts you most like to use them in, this will tell you where you are likely to get most satisfaction from your work. It will also help you create a clearer USP.
HOW WELL ARE YOU PLAYING TO YOUR STRENGTHS? If you’ve begun to identify some of your strengths, a natural next step is to think about how well you are able to play to these in the work that you are currently doing. Ask yourself these three questions: 1. How well am I able to play to my strengths in my coaching relationships? 2. Am I playing to these strengths in the context that suits me best and that gives me most satisfaction? 3. Does it give me the outcomes that I want, financial or otherwise? You may be very confident that you have been able to play to your strengths in the majority of your coaching assignments, and that you have also achieved some very good outcomes. That’s great. Or you may have realised that you are not getting the chance to do what you do best with those clients with whom you would most like to work.
DESIGN YOUR FUTURE So, it’s time to focus on the future you want. We’re sure that as a coach you’re good at that! Imagine that you are more strongly connected to the centre of your three circles – doing what you are good at (and in the context you want, with the customers you want), doing what you love to do, and doing what brings you the business results you want to see. What coaching work will give you this? Be really clear about this.
THE TWO TASKS OF SUCCESSFUL COACHES
THE CONTEXT FOR STRENGTHS
To have a successful future with the kind of work you’ve identified, you need to do the two things that successful coaches do. They deliver high quality coaching and they are good at bringing in regular work. How would you rate yourself at each of these? If you feel you need to develop in one or both of these, then don’t do this by focusing on your weaknesses. Once again, play to your strengths because research tells us you will develop faster if you do that.
Strengths can be context dependent and we often find ourselves asking people questions like this: ‘So you’ve identified that creativity is a strength of yours. Is that in any situation or are there specific situations where you enjoy using your creativity strength?’ This can help you become clearer about where and when you most feel in your element by applying your strengths. It may be that you do have a
If you need to improve your coaching effectiveness, construct a development plan to apply your strengths more in your coaching work in a way that will deliver for your customers. You may, for example, decide that’s about taking more time to use your strength in relationship-building. After all, it’s well known that the quality of the coaching relationship correlates strongly with positive outcomes.
COACHIN G IN CON TEX T
If you need to increase your effectiveness in bringing in regular work, read Kim Arnold’s article about marketing overwhelm in Issue 16 of Coaching Perspectives. Ask yourself, ‘How can I apply my strengths to marketing my business more successfully?’ Would your strengths suit an approach that is about digital marketing, perhaps developing a MailChimp newsletter to all your existing and potential customers, using a strength of creativity? Or would you make the most difference if you played to your strength of relationship-building, and did more face-to-face networking?
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Of course, you can take on any work that pays you in the short term. But, alongside that, have a long-term focus on the coaching business you really want – a business that you love and do well, and that delivers the financial and other outcomes that you want. What can be better than being paid well for doing what you love?
Mike Roarty works with leaders and leadership teams. He enjoys seeing the positive impact in terms of results and engagement that a focus on strengths brings. Mike has a Masters in Coaching & NLP and has researched strengths awareness in management teams. His top strengths are results focus, creativity and strategic mindedness, which he gets to use regularly in his coaching, training and team development work.
Kathy Toogood is an executive coach, trainer and facilitator. Much of her work with senior executives focuses on helping leaders build strengths that will enable them to achieve high performance for themselves and throughout their teams. She has an MA in Coaching and Mentoring Practice, for which she carried out research exploring strengths-based coaching. Kathy’s strengths of developer, enthusiasm and self-confidence underpin her motivational approach to her work with individuals and teams. Kathy & Mike are the co-authors of The Strengths Focused Guide to Leadership (FT Publishing, 2014) http://strengthsfocusedleadership.co.uk
1. Collins, J. (2001). Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don’t. London, Random House. 2. www.strengthscope.com 3. www.strengthsprofile.com 4. www.CliftonStrengths.com 5. www.viacharacter.org 6. Zenger, J. H., et al. (2012). How to be exceptional : drive leadership success by magnifying your strengths. New York, McGraw-Hill.
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THE POSITIVE IMPACT OF COACHING ON FAMILY BUSINESS TRANSITIONS Coaches can have a positive impact on family businesses, particularly in times of transition, according to Elizabeth Ledoux and Jimmy Taylor.
The global economy is on the leading edge of what will be a tsunami of family business ownership transitions. This change in ownership represents a large and unique niche opportunity for coaches to consider. With most regions of the world experiencing an improving economy, ageing entrepreneurs are finally preparing to leave their enterprises and bring in the next generation of owners and company leaders, many of whom are family members. Even more important than the size of this niche is the degree of importance it represents to local communities. In our business, we have seen first hand how ownership transition coaching vastly improves the statistically low odds of successful business ownership transition – and thereby helps to protect the jobs that are the backbone of many local communities. Let’s look at the numbers for a moment to establish the magnitude of the opportunity. According to the Harvard Business Review, ‘family owned businesses account for more than 80% of businesses worldwide, and are the largest source of stable, long-term employment in most countries’. In the U.S. alone, family businesses employ 60% of the workforce and create 78% of all new jobs1.
Conventional wisdom says that the family business is a small enterprise. That view is often inaccurate. In France and Germany, 100 of the largest 250 companies are familyowned. One-third of the U.S. S&P 5002 are family businesses. In east Asia and Latin America more than 60% of large corporations have families who own a significant portion of the equity, and influence the company in areas such as strategic direction and CEO selection.3 A recent study by the Center for Family Business at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, looked at the largest 500 family-owned businesses worldwide (based on revenue) and found that collectively they represent $6.5 trillion in annual sales and employ almost 21 million people4. When you understand the size of the family-owned business market, and then factor in traditional failure rates of family business ownership transitions, the risk is clear. Statistics vary about survival rates of companies moving from generation one to generation two and beyond – based on region and study – but in any study the survival rates are not good. Even those who do survive often struggle when leadership changes. Joseph Fan, a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, looked at the market performance of 214 family-run companies in Taiwan, Hong Kong and
COACHIN G IMPAC T
Singapore, and found that on average their shares dropped by almost 60% in the eight years surrounding a CEO change.5 Given the size of the family business economy worldwide, and the bleak ownership transition success, the potential impact that coaching can play is both broad and clear. For coaches interested in expanding their practice into this ownership transition space, some of our learning experiences over the last 29 years may help accelerate your progress. After coaching a few hundred entrepreneurs as they transitioned their business to new ownership, with a 100% success rate to date, we know the survival success rate can be improved. Good coaching is an important part of changing those metrics. Like many areas of coaching, it starts with clearly understanding the dilemmas and struggles of the entrepreneur as they face transition. It seems simple, but learning what makes ownership transitions fail helps the coach walk their clients through developing a roadmap to avoid the predictable obstacles that come up in ownership transitions. Coaches help business owners understand: A business ownership transition is a journey, not an event. Too often entrepreneurs focus on the specific event of bringing the next generation in, selling or gifting shares, and naming a long-term employee or another family member as CEO. Those are simply the tactics of a transition. Done well, these tactics flow from an effectively thought out strategy developed over time and acted upon over even
more time. Coaches understand and help business owners think through this journey at every step. We see transition journeys that happen as quickly as a year or two, and others that will take ten years or more to complete. For coaches who enjoy strong and extended relationships with clients, transition coaching is fulfilling! It pays to start early. Owners need to understand that the sooner they start, the more options they have. Coaching begins as we talk with owners who aren’t ready to transition, reminding them that there will be a day that they will be ready, or that they may be forced to transition by health or other life events. Helping them think through the inevitable transition every owner faces is sobering, but also a crucial element of transition coaching. We hold up a mirror that accurately shows the present, along with the reminder that the future arrives whether we are ready or not – as a way of helping owners move away from today’s urgent business issues and into the important decisions about the future. It’s important to put people first. Inside the business and regarding the family, most entrepreneurs are aware of and sensitive to the impact any transition will have on their people. However, most transition strategies have traditionally focused first on the tax, legal or other implications of the ownership transition. Starting first with the structure often leaves an owner in emotional conflict over their path, especially concerning its impact on people they care about. Coaching owners to define and understand their objectives with the important people in their lives (inside and outside the business) helps them start to define the ultimate strategy their roadmap needs to achieve.
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To get to the destination you want you must understand your objectives – in every area of life! Defining ultimate objectives for the owner(s) is an important part of the transition process we have developed over the years. As coaches, we should help owners identify their objectives not just in business, but also with their health, their finances, with their spouse or significant other, and so on. Identifying their objectives in every area helps them understand what they want next in their life as they ‘move on’ to their next adventure! They will need to learn new skills. Entrepreneurs need a coach to help them learn to develop people, and then let go and trust them. That may mean working with their mid-managers to teach them what they need to know to take more responsibility. It may require helping the owner practise letting go and stepping away for periods of time, so that the team can learn to fly. Taking an owner who ‘does it best’ and teaching them how to ‘do it better with others’, or taking an owner who already ‘does it better with others’ and teaching them to get their team to the point ‘they do it better without me,’ is an important coaching responsibility within this transition journey. One person doesn’t do it on their own. Few entrepreneurs have the experience to walk down the transition journey without help. A business of any significant size will need advisors, especially as the transition roadmap starts to gain clarity in the owner’s mind. A transition coach often becomes such an invaluable, trusted advisor who can help the owner objectively evaluate what other resources they need and when they need them. At vNacelle our mission is to ‘ignite the entrepreneurial spirit around the world.’ Coaching is an integral part of the Transition Roadmap Development Process we walk business owners down every day. We know how rewarding this transition work can be for coaches who decide to include it as part of their coaching focus. For scores of business owners worldwide, having a coach alongside them to help them develop their transition plan, and execute it well, will provide better outcomes than ‘going it alone.’ The results will include healthy businesses with jobs that stay in the local community, and happy families who still enjoy holidays together!
ABOUT THE AUTHORS Elizabeth Ledoux is CEO and founder of vNacelle. She was born into a long line of entrepreneurs and grew up appreciating the importance of educating and developing the next generations of business leaders, owners and entrepreneurs. With 29 years of leadership and coaching work across the U.S. and Canada, she has helped business leaders develop better results by growing entrepreneurial management teams, improving organisational focus and developing transition strategies.
Jimmy Taylor is an entrepreneur and coach of more than 25 years who understands the importance of talent management, succession planning and actionable transition strategies. His focus is on helping company leaders understand, change and grow themselves and their companies. His passion is helping leaders and the teams they serve reach their potential!
1. Fernandez-Araoz, C., Iqbal, S., Ritter, J. ‘Leadership Lessons from Great Family Businesses’. Harvard Business Review, April, 2015, https://hbr. org/2015/04/leadership-lessons-from-great-family-businesses 2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%26P_500_Index 3. See reference 1 above. 4. Peterson-Withorn, C. ‘New Report Reveals the 500 Largest Family-Owned Companies in the World’. Forbes, April, 2015, https://www.forbes.com/ sites/chasewithorn/2015/04/20/new-report-reveals-the-500-largestfamily-owned-companies-in-the-world/#374e7d43602b 5. Bennedsen, M.,Fan, J. 2014. The Family Business Map: Assets and Roadblocks in Long Term Planning. Palgrave Macmillan Publishing.
COACHIN G PA SSION S
DIRECTIVE THE BUSINESS OR NON-DIRECTIVE? OF COACHING IS THAT AN EMOTIONAL IS THE QUESTION ONE Australian Drawing on coach a wealth DavidofSmith personal reflects experience, on how emotions Clare Beckett-McInroy have played a discusses key role how in the his journey use of non-directive from failure to coaching runningcoupled a successful with selfreflection can be a powerful coaching tool tobusiness. help implement a coaching culture and an effective leadership style within organisations.
Let me open with a confession – my first coaching business, started six years ago, was a failure. I suspect that I am not the only coach to have experienced this, nor the only coach who has found it difficult to learn business skills. There are realities to running a coaching business. I hope that by taking this opportunity to share my experience I may provide some lessons in that reality, and an encouragement that will contribute to your success. When I began my initial business, I was living my professional dream! I did not seek a lot of advice, and in my mind at the time the advice I was given I perceived as being unachievable. Besides, I ‘just knew’ that clients were simply going to flow through my door because I was a great coach! How wrong I was! So wrong, in fact, that I had to go back to a salaried job in order to get financially stable again. While this time was emotionally difficult, being back in the corporate world provided the wonderful opportunity to observe people while learning more about coaching and leadership. The impetus to get back to developing my business increased as I became more confident that my own work could make a difference. This passion is now the foundation of my desire to run a successful business.
INVESTING IN YOURSELF IN ORDER TO MOVE FORWARDS I had to learn some important lessons. Creating a regular stream of leads was, and is, an ongoing strategic process. I came to understand that, to develop the business, I would have to spend money to learn and create what I needed. I’m not suggesting throwing vast wads of cash at every course or person that comes your way. I certainly am not able to spend considerable sums of money. But I have learned to be discerning and invest wisely in getting the core knowledge and business tools I need to keep moving forwards. In order to be smarter about my income streams, I diversified how I earned an income. My first business was strictly coaching. When the coaching clients dried up, the money dried up. By engaging in multiple income streams through associations with other businesses, I can continue to earn a regular income, even if one or two of them are not engaging me. Other advantages of this strategy are the creation of a broader network, more possibilities and a greater opportunity to continue to learn.
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A reality check for my place in the world of coaching came during a conversation with a potential associate. He stated that I was one of many hundreds of businesses in this industry. ‘What’, he said, ‘have you to offer that will make you stand out from all these others?’ In that moment, I had no wise nor genuine answer. His frankness stunned me. It also gave me the desire to create an offering that was seen to be different. I had to go inwards to find what I really believed in, and why this work was important to me. I am now clear in my philosophy and intentions in my business.
Every one of us is playing in our own symphony of life, some of it already played and some yet to play. Your experience and my experience will never be the same, but by engaging your mind, heart and body in your commitment to yourself, your business and your world, you are well placed for your coaching business to be a wonderfully rewarding experience in so many ways.
HOW YOU MEASURE SUCCESS Believing in my own path has been so important. I had always compared my coaching business success with other people’s. I perceived almost every coach in business that I spoke to as doing so much better than I was. Over time, as my passion for my work deepens, I now perceive this very differently. My work and life will never be the same as anyone else’s. My business will never be the same as anyone else’s. Now it is far easier to celebrate their success than covet it. It was also important to understand the types of networking opportunities that I felt I could bring my passion and genuine self into. I identified that I liked to network through informal meetings with people, and attending small group functions. I also like public speaking and making connections online that lead to further conversations. This works for me right now. For you it might be different, but finding my comfort zone to network was an important shift for me. Specific conversations have been profound moments of learning. Recently I was having a conversation with a friend who was experienced in sales and coaching. I made a statement about how I thought of myself as a coach and not a businessman. He said that what we fail to remember is that every coaching conversation we have is selling our business. We are experts in our product, we know how to communicate and we know people. How do salespeople sell? Refer to the above. This has facilitated a major shift in my thinking towards how I experience and think about my business.
BUSINESS IS EMOTIONAL When we start a business to practise our passion for coaching, what we often forget is that it is much more than a cognitive experience: it is emotional. And, at times, intensely emotional. Often it is our emotions and thinking that can be our greatest barriers. It is just as necessary to develop our emotional resilience as it is our business skills. Finally, a very personal success factor for me is to have the support of people close to me. In my case, my wife is my greatest advocate and supporter. Surrounding myself with this energy is so important for support, encouragement and at times to hold me to account.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR David Smith runs a coaching and leadership development business called Smidj. He is based in Australia, and lives on the Mornington Peninsula, south of Melbourne. His mission is to bring a deeper awareness to leaders of their impact on the people they lead, in the process creating meaningful organisations. He holds a graduate diploma in Ontological Coaching, a Bachelor of Education and is currently completing a diploma in Buddhist Psychotherapy.
COACHIN G PA SSION S
DIRECTIVE GETTING INTO OR NON-DIRECTIVE? THE BUSINESS THATOF IS COACHING THE QUESTION Indian Drawing coach on aNeeraj wealthTyagi of personal describes experience, how she was Clare inspired Beckett-McInroy to get into discusses how the use the ofbusiness non-directive of coaching. coaching coupled with selfreflection can be a powerful tool to help implement a coaching culture and an effective leadership style within organisations. My first coach helped me to view myself and experience the world differently. After just a couple of interactions with the coach in 2013, I realised that there was much in life that I needed to learn and experience. This sense of curiosity gave me the courage to start my own journey of learning the art of coaching. I subsequently got accredited and have been practising as a coach ever since. I also saw an opportunity in building my own global coaching business. To many people, coaching may seem to be an appealing business to build or transition into. This is primarily due to the lifestyle changes associated with becoming a coach, starting a coaching business, or doing both – as I did. Building a coaching business brings exponential learning, immense satisfaction in making a positive contribution to people’s and organisations’ lives, and a plethora of challenges and opportunities in between.
given that people now interact and collaborate in a global, fast-paced, technically advanced and culturally diverse environment. My decision to become a certified coach and eventually start my own business helped me stay relevant to the times. 2. Becoming better first – Becoming a coach transformed my life. It helped me become a much better and bolder version of myself, supplying me with immense courage to speak up for myself. I also developed a reverence towards humanity and its potential while working and interacting with people across geographies, cultures and social statuses.
Drawing from my journey, I walk you through three defining aspects that have shaped my life up to this point.
3. Believing in others – Coaching taught me to believe in others as I witnessed human and business transformations through truthful, self-reflective and powerful conversations. I also saw how people revealed themselves in various situations and protected themselves when needed.
BECOMING A COACH
BUILDING A COACHING BUSINESS
1. Best skill to invest in – The ability to coach people is one of the most sought-after skills by businesses today,
1. Upside down vs. up again – Building a coaching business has turned my life upside down multiple times,
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and in multiple ways. Entrepreneurship has introduced me to unimaginable challenges on all fronts of life. On the other hand, it has also helped me develop invaluable skills like reading profit and loss statements, scaling business and creating strategies amongst other things. 2. Dreams vs. reality – While I fulfil my dream of enabling people to use coaching as a tool for growth, I must also make responsible choices for my business, myself, my loved ones and people I meet through business. The truth is, I often found myself facing severe self-doubt when my reality is nothing like what I had imagined it to be. 3. Celebrity vs. commoner – Building a coaching business can often mean glamour in terms of earning respect, money, awards, getting coverage in national and international publications, and being invited to speak at high-profile events. But there is an equal, if not greater, number of days that are devoid of the glitz, especially when things get tough and difficult to deal with, which is a given in business.
HONEST LEARNING 1. With self – Time and again, I have realised that coaching others and building a coaching business is something I absolutely love. It enables me to truly serve individuals and organisations. I see immense potential in building this business for living a life of fulfilment. 2. With others – Building a coaching business provides opportunities to work with people across the globe, especially since an increasing number of people are opening up to the idea of working in a virtual setup. My experience has been one of highs and lows. Many people have proved their worth on the time and money being spent, but there are also those that I have failed to work well with. 3. With the coach – This business would not have been possible without the support of several coaches I have had the privilege to work with. I have experienced various shifts in perception during coaching sessions, thanks to which I have been able to bring clarity back to things that matter the most in business and in life. My most important learning from being in the business of coaching is that it is for people who want to live their life to its utmost potential. And this requires courage. Thus, it is the people who take time out and invest in this goal who create a life that they are proud of. Ultimately, the business of coaching is for people who want to harness the power to make this world a better place.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Neeraj Tyagi is an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) and co-founder of Greenlatte, a professional and personal coaching firm based in India. She has 19 years of experience working with corporates across banking, technology, retail, entertainment, financial & industrial sectors. Neeraj works with several organisations to help them improve business performance through coaching and consulting in a scalable and measurable manner. Key strengths include focus, being a team player, communication, courage and adaptability. She is a self-published author of five books and five journal articles.
IN TERV IEW
DIRECTIVE OR NON-DIRECTIVE? THAT IS THE QUESTIONTHE WHO HELPS ADMINISTER AC COACHING BUSINESS? Drawing on a wealth of personal experience, Clare Beckett-McInroy discusses how the use of non-directive coaching coupled with selfIfreflection you are a can member of the Association forimplement Coaching, you may be culture familiar be a powerful tool to help a coaching with theand names of variousleadership people who perform roles such as an effective style within different organisations. managing coach accreditation or digital learning. Clive Steeper provides more background about some of the staff and volunteers who perform vital support roles to ensure that the services run smoothly.
Roughly how many hours a month do you dedicate to the AC?
Name: Smaranda Dochia
At the moment, I am working between 60-70 hours per month for the AC. There are lots of projects ahead, including a Digital Learning Conference. What gives you the most pleasure in your role?
What is your role at the Association for Coaching? In my role as Director of Digital Learning & Events, I run the AC Digital Learning Programmes, offering coaches across the world access to thought leadership and industry experts while providing opportunities for continuing professional development. I am grateful to work with and be part of an amazing team of coaches committed to supporting the profession’s sustainable growth, make a contribution and affect individuals, businesses and our society. What is your business background? With over twelve years of international experience, I have a professional background in both not-for-profit and corporate environments, covering human resources, event management and project management with a focus on restructuring, organisation design and strategy building. While my corporate and HR work is a foundation offering great insight ‘behind the scenes,’ coaching is where the magic happens for me. I myself transitioned from a fulltime corporate job four years ago to living the ‘dream life’: doing work I love from the comfort of my home, having the flexibility to travel and spend the time with my family and our one-year old son who brings us enormous joy.
I love the brainstorming conversations that I have with speakers while preparing our programmes. I am excited each time we run the live webinars and it’s always a pleasure to read the participant feedback and get motivated to do more. What causes you the biggest headache or challenge in your role? Time is a challenge – if only there could be more. We have so many exciting projects and ideas and we could use more time to implement all and bring more value to our members. How could the members make your job easier? Give us feedback. Tell us what programmes you’d be interested in – what topics, which speakers. And join our Digital Learning events!
Name: Karen Pepper
Do you coach, and how many years have you been coaching? Yes; I’ve been coaching for about five years and am enjoying it. As a career transition coach, I am committed to helping ambitious professionals accelerate their career development and sharpen their skills so that they can realise their full potential and make every day matter. How long have you been working or volunteering for the AC? I’ve been involved with the AC for almost four years now. It’s been a great journey.
What is your role at the Association for Coaching? I am the Accreditation Coordinator, which means I look after the following schemes from initial enquiry to completion together with processing renewals: l l l l
Coach Accreditation Coaching Supervisor Accreditation Coach Training Accreditation Recognized Leader as Coach
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What is your business background? I grew up in south London and spent my early career working for the Bank of England. I left to travel in my late twenties and then lived in Cape Town for two years. After returning I moved to the Cotswolds where I have lived for 25 years with my family. I set up my virtual assistant business nine years ago and only work for clients in the coaching industry. My hobbies include playing the saxophone, netball, tap dancing and yoga. Do you coach and how many years have you been coaching? No, I don’t coach. How long have you been working or volunteering for the AC? Since January 2011. Roughly how many hours a month do you dedicate to the AC? It is between 80 and 120 hours a month depending on number of applications being processed. What gives you the most pleasure in your role? Seeing how delighted applicants are when they pass the accreditation. What causes you the biggest headache or challenge in your role? Keeping tabs on where in the process each application is in each scheme! How could the members make your job easier? The Applicant Guides are very comprehensive. It would be helpful if prospective applicants could read them thoroughly before ringing me with questions!
into my life, I love to spend time with family, especially my wonderful grandson who always makes me laugh. Do you coach and how many years have you been coaching? Yes; I coach head teachers and other education leaders in the UK and globally. Six years, counting the practical work while qualifying. How long have you been working or volunteering for the AC? Since November 2014. Roughly how many hours a month do you dedicate to the AC as a volunteer? Prefer not to say! The role requirement is for a minimum of 10 hours per month and, in reality, it is a lot more than that, especially as the role has expanded. What gives you the most pleasure in your role? It’s a huge privilege to work with such knowledgeable and inspiring coaching supervisors. They are lovely people, and very approachable; I have learned so much by working with them. What causes you the biggest headache or challenge in your role? Not so much a headache, but diary availability is often a challenge. Thank goodness for Doodle! How could the members make your job easier? Two things… If you haven’t already taken advantage of the Group Supervision Experience calls (third Thursday of every month – see the advert on page 28), then do give it a try. This service is a free member benefit, and calls are hosted by experienced volunteer supervisors. Second, if you book a place on a call but can’t attend please do let us know as soon as possible, so that another member can be offered your place.
Name: Margaret Barr What is your role at the Association for Coaching? Officially my role is to provide an administration service to support the Supervision Team to deliver a professional service to AC members. In reality, it is doing whatever is needed make things run smoothly for the Team. I work with the virtual assistants to support the monthly Group Supervision Experience calls and the Coaching Supervision Special Interest Group. What is your business background? After a career in education I studied coaching psychology, and now work alongside education leaders as their coach and as a facilitator of coaching training programmes for teachers. I’m a book review editor with Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, and also write about coaching in education. I’m fascinated with the thinking environment. When trying to put some balance
Name: Sarah Holgate What is your role at the Association for Coaching? I am Director of Marketing and Community Engagement. My primary focus is to continually drive community engagement amongst the AC’s members as well as increasing brand awareness internationally, bringing the benefits of the AC to all those involved in the coaching industry. What is your business background? As a chartered marketer I have more than fifteen years of experience in marketing, branding and communications, which sees me driving engagement amongst the AC’s members as well as increasing brand awareness internationally to increase our membership base. My time
IN TERV IEW
outside work is mostly taken up by my three daughters, but when I do have a spare moment I like to read, train for the odd triathlon, and spend time with friends and family. Do you coach and how many years have you been coaching? I do not come from a coaching background and don’t coach, although I am continually inspired by the coaches that I work with.
Do you coach and how many years have you been coaching? No; I’m not a coach. How long have you been working or volunteering for the AC? I have been working for the AC for nine years. Roughly how many hours a month do you dedicate to the AC? I dedicate approximately 60 hours a month to the AC.
How long have you been working or volunteering for the AC?
What gives you the most pleasure in your role?
I have been working for the AC as part of the Shared Services and Leadership Team since January 2017.
Working with a vibrant, talented and enthusiastic team, and seeing how much the AC has grown in the last nine years – and continues to grow not just in numbers, but in its diversity and breadth of service offerings – and being a part of that. I enjoy supporting our members. In short, I love working for the AC!
Roughly how many hours a month do you dedicate to the AC? I work approximately three days per week for the AC. What gives you the most pleasure in your role? That’s simple: the people! Every day I get to speak to one of the team who are passionate about the AC and the effect that coaching has on so many different communities. What causes you the biggest headache or challenge in your role? The ebb and flow nature of a predominantly volunteer-led organisation. Sometimes it’s really busy and other times it’s quieter. I am a foot-to-the-pedal kind of person! How could the members make your job easier? Hearing member feedback – positive and the not so positive – is key to my role. We like it when you tell us what you want, or what you want to change. It means we can make a difference.
What causes you the biggest headache or challenge in your role? I don’t think I can really answer this question – there are niggles, as with any role. No big headache though! How could the members make your job easier? Our website is full of rich information and, with the new platform and Social Link, answers to questions can be found directly through looking at the site. In addition, we always welcome feedback from our members and would encourage feedback and ideas to be sent to email@example.com.
Name: Sally Johansson What is your role at the Association for Coaching? I am AC Global Team Coordinator. I support the AC Board, Leadership and Regional Leadership teams, oversee and manage website content and design and manage recruitment, and I’m part of the Business Support Services team, providing support to all the AC teams, AC services and members. What is your business background?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Clive Steeper is a highly experienced executive coach and coaching supervisor. In his coaching sessions, he provides clients with a space to think, reflect and explore new approaches. He also enjoys hosting the Coaching Conversations slot for Coaching Perspectives magazine and engaging coaches in discussion around relevant topics. Clive is one of the supervisors who host regular Coaching Supervision calls for the Association for Coaching and in 2014 received a Global Coaching Leadership Award at the World Coaching Congress in Mumbai.
My business background has been in marketing and customer services. I spent eleven years in the airline business in diverse roles, from product assistant through to customer services director for a low-cost airline, during which time I obtained my postgraduate marketing diploma. Seeking a career change, I decided to go back to my roots – my original training was as an executive assistant, a role I had for several years, working at board level. I now work as a virtual assistant, running my own business, Oniva Ltd.
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WHO SUPPORTS YOU, THE COACH? YESS! CEO Sue Hawkes shares some practices she believes are helpful to all coaches to ensure they remain effective.
As a coach, you offer support to your clients every day. But who supports you? Coaches are entrusted with many things, such as their clients’ careers, opportunities for growth, or family issues. When you don’t maintain your own healthy practices as a coach you can erode your own confidence and wellbeing. Coaches need support, and can find it by being vulnerable and asking for it, establishing a network of resources and being diligent with their practices – specifically self-care. In order to best serve your clients, you must first claim support for yourself, the coach. I believe this so strongly that I titled a chapter of my book, Chasing Perfection,* ‘Put On Your Oxygen Mask First.’ We must first take care of ourselves before assisting others.
to help you stay neutral. Your wellbeing as the coach affects your client and it’s your job to stay in a healthy mindset. This requires support. Coaches are often more comfortable supporting others, but they need support just like anyone else. Coaches must first be vulnerable and admit they need help, and then be willing to receive it. This can be difficult for individuals who are usually the ones on the receiving end of the ask. They may feel that asking for help is selfish or putting others out, when instead it offers the other person an opportunity to give back. This is actually a gift! Everything you need is available; you simply need to ask for it. In doing so, your vulnerability opens the door for others to be vulnerable with you as well. This creates trust and deepens your relationships.
EMBRACE VULNERABILITY The art of coaching involves dealing with complex client situations and asking questions instead of providing answers, which can make it easy for a coach to cross the line and internalise those situations. You need good practices, empty space to reflect and supportive people around you * See author bio
CREATE A NETWORK OF SUPPORT OUTSIDE COACHING Coaches often have great networks in the learning and coaching world. It is also important, however, that coaches establish a network of business people who can help them run a better coaching practice. A coaching practice
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is a business, and coaches often do not have the skills or desire to run their business as effectively as they could. Guidance and mentoring from others can go a long way. All coaches should hire their own coach to challenge their thinking, language and behaviour, and also provide similar experiences to those they ask of their clients. Without this experience, coaches often become stale and routine in their own work. Most coaches spend their days working through challenging, emotional situations. Creating space (as opposed to always learning) is also required to deal effectively with these issues. By creating quiet mental space, you will be able to ponder what you or your clients need, gain perspective, innovate, and discover how to run a better coaching business and life.
you need help, creating a network outside your coaching community and practising self-care allow you to produce the best results with your clients while maximising your life as well.
It can also be useful to have a network of contacts that you can refer your clients to. Coaches create deep trust with their clients and are viewed as partners. Having a good relationship with a therapist, personal trainer, lawyer, accountant, banker or other specialist is important in order to refer your clients to someone you are comfortable with and know will provide great services. Ideally, these individuals will also reciprocate and send coaching referrals to you in time. You must have a network both for yourself and your clients in order to run an effective practice, enjoy your life and be the best coach possible.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Sue Hawkes is a bestselling author, keynote speaker, Certified EOS Implementer, WPO Chapter Chair and globally recognised awardwinning seminar leader, bringing over 25 years of experience to her clients. She has designed and delivered dynamic, transformational programs for thousands of people and has received numerous awards including the Regional U.S. Small Business Administration Women in Business Champion of the Year award. Her latest book is Chasing Perfection- Shatter the Illusion; Minimize Self-Doubt & Maximize Success published by Advantage Media Group.
PRACTISE SELF-CARE You cannot give to others unless you are taking care of yourself. If you do not practise self-care, you will crash and burn. Practices for a healthy mind, body and spirit are necessary in order to move through things mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally with your clients. Without this, you will not be able to sustain yourself, let alone your practice. As a coach, you need to be hypervigilant about your own wellbeing as an example to your clients. If you don’t do this, you appear to be a hypocrite and you may miss opportunities with clients. Great coaches know they must be willing to do what they are asking others to do (or more) and be vulnerable with them. When you change your practices, you change your life; coaches know this better than anyone. Consistent practices create a shift in your world view and reinforce the message that you’re succeeding. They also help you be more focused and productive. Practices are also the best way to overcome negative thinking because, while you can’t think your way to better acting, you can act your way to better thinking. Having practices to help ground your thinking allows you to check yourself and create freedom; you are no longer trapped between your ears and can move forward. This is especially important for coaches because you work with many challenging client situations. Coaches must maintain practices to release and recharge from their emotionally demanding work. Basic practices include meditation, journalling, exercise and learning something new. You need support in order to be effective with clients and maintain healthy neutrality. Being vulnerable and admitting
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Start your Accreditation Journey The AC is passionate about all aspects of coaching and has a firm belief in establishing and upholding the highest standards of best practice within the industry. Our accreditation schemes have been developed so that buyers of coaching or related services can be assured that an individual or organisation has been assessed to rigorous standards using the AC Coaching Competency Framework.
Our Coach Accreditation Scheme has been established to allow coaches to benchmark themselves against high professional standards, and to provide reassurance to buyers of coaching regarding the level of experience and capability of coaches.
COACHING SUPERVISOR ACCREDITATION
As a supervisor, stand out in a competitive market place. Support from an AC Accredited Coaching Supervisor ensures coaches receive a good quality service and flags to users of their coaching service that their coach is receiving excellent professional support. Designed to accredit fitness to practise, it indicates that the Supervisor operates to core principles and demonstrates appropriate competencies within the functions of supervision.
COACH TRAINING ACCREDITATION
Our Coach Training Accreditation offers reassurance to buyers of coaching programmes that the courses have a blended learning approach with a balance of practical and theoretical content together with the application of coaching competencies. We offer four different levels of coach training accreditation to reflect the development of a coach from novice to mastery.
firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0) 845 653 1050 www.associationforcoaching.com
Join fellow members from around the globe in sharing and celebrating best practice through our complimentary Group Supervision Experience Calls. The one-hour calls are hosted by our highly committed group of volunteer coaches and coach supervisors who give their time freely. The hosts bring their experience, skill, enthusiasm and passion so that members have the opportunity to collaborate with fellow peers, sharing their practice, questions and tips with each other. There is no fee as it is one of your membership benefits. The calls are available throughout the year, on the 3rd Thursday of every month â€“ we hope to accommodate different time zones across the world by offering calls at 08:00 and 12:00 and 18:00 UK time. If you have yet to experience a call then please check out our website www.associationforcoaching.com/page/EventsGroupSupervi or contact email@example.com l We are also looking to increase our pool of ACGS hosts so if you would like to help us do get in touch, we are particularly interested in growing the pool with members who have supervision experience and who live outside of the UK. l The week of 7th â€“13th May 2018 celebrates International Coaching Week 2018. In partnership with the AOCS we will be celebrating International Coaching Supervision Day on Friday 11th May with access to calls throughout the day. In honour of this we are extending our exclusive member benefit of complimentary Group Supervision Experience calls to non-members. To book contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about our ACGSE calls take a look at our webpage www.associationforcoaching.com/page/EventsGroupSupervi
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DIRECTIVE THE PLACEOR OF NON-DIRECTIVE? SUPERVISION IN THE THAT BUSINESS IS THEOF QUESTION COACHING Benita Drawing Treanor on a wealth and Michelle of personal Lucas, experience, part of theClare AC Group Beckett-McInroy Supervision discusses Experience how volunteers the use ofteam, non-directive outline how coaching there coupled may be parallels with selfreflection between can what be ahappens powerful in tool a coaching to helpsupervision implement relationship a coaching culture and and what’s an effective happening leadership betweenstyle a coach within andorganisations. their clients.
We probably all recognise that impactful coaching begins with establishing a good coaching relationship. It’s similar in supervision. Many of us are drawn to coaching because we love the work, but we may pay less attention to our coaching business itself. In this story of supervisor and supervisee we see some of these tensions explored in the parallels between the supervision relationship and what’s happening between the coach and their clients.
THE SUPERVISOR A coach approached me to explore supervision arrangements. At the initial meeting, I could feel their conflict between wanting to engage in professional development and the time and financial concerns that were high on their agenda. They were just starting out as an independent coach. The coach had not had supervision before and was unsure how supervision would add value. I recognised this ambiguity; indeed, I remembered this ambiguity from my own experience. I shared that memory. It was helpful and prompted a deepening connection. We continued to explore
their reservations. Despite a level of uncertainty about the investment of time and money there was a willingness to enter into this learning partnership. We moved to agreeing the contract. I felt confident that we had covered fees, cancellations, frequency of sessions and other basics, yet at our first session the coachee paid less than I expected. They thought the rate was for a ‘session’ of flexible length, whereas I had agreed to an hourly rate. I noticed my discomfort; the tension between being assertive in my business arrangements and my desire to maintain rapport. Our agreement was in writing, so I referred to this and offered to take the lower payment on this occasion as a show of goodwill and commitment, after which the hourly rate would apply. Further, I suggested that we both reflect on what had happened and bring that to our next session. I recognised I had put my business aside for fear of denting the relationship, so I shared this when we next met. This prompted my supervisee to bring what they were noticing in their own practice.
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THE SUPERVISEE The misunderstanding around payment was both a surprise and a bit awkward. I shared that I had been distracted by how the supervision would benefit me as a coach, and I hadn’t paid due attention to the detail of the supervisor’s commercial arrangements. Perhaps unconsciously, had I even wanted to pay less than agreed? My supervisor enquired how much attention I gave to the commercial arrangements with my own clients. I recalled a client who had missed two sessions, without agreed notice. They failed to pay the invoice and did not respond to my suggestion to reschedule. We explored my reactions. We uncovered my assumption that I wasn’t adding value. My supervisor questioned my decision to write off the outstanding money owed and to accept that the assignment would end prematurely. I shared that this was not the first time this had happened. We started to explore what else I might do. As a result, I reached out to my client. I affirmed the progress previously made and invited them to continue. I also re-sent the invoice. It worked, the coachee paid their bill and we reconvened. Before leaving, they commented on how useful my email had been. It had held them to account for why they started the coaching. Their life was ridiculously busy and money was quite tight, and without the coaching that might have always be true! (I’m noticing familiar themes to my own story). We have also put the next session in the diary. I’m looking forward to my next supervision so that I can celebrate!
ABOUT THE AC GROUP SUPERVISION CALLS The Association for Coaching provides a Group Supervision Experience on the third Thursday of every month. The calls are held via video link or low-cost teleconference line and are facilitated by experienced AC coaches, who donate an hour of their time to support fellow AC members. The calls last up to one hour with a maximum of five participants. AC Group Supervision Experience calls are designed to offer members a taste of what supervision is like and what can be gained from participating in it. The calls are available for AC members regardless of location across the world. For more information, visit www.associationforcoaching.com/page/EventsGroupSupervi
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DIRECTIVE COACHING OR NON-DIRECTIVE? THE COACH: SUPERVISORY THAT IS THEPEER QUESTION GROUPS US-based Drawing on coach a wealth LesleyofMallow personal Wendell experience, explains Clare how Beckett-McInroy being part of a peer discusses supervision how the group usehas of been non-directive one of the coaching most valuable coupledprofessional with selfreflectiondevelopment can be a powerful activities toolthat to help she has implement ever undertaken. a coaching culture and an effective leadership style within organisations.
Unless they are part of a large coaching organisation, or even a multi-member private practice, executive coaches can become isolated and may struggle to continue their own professional development effectively. Attending conferences and workshops and staying current with the literature on best practice can only do so much. As coaches, we know how important ongoing feedback is. We provide it to our clients, and we encourage them to request it from their peers and colleagues. Many executive coaches find a number of avenues to garner feedback from clients. Organisations may survey the leaders we coach, and this may provide us with useful data; yet, how do we, as coaches, solicit feedback from those with the background, knowledge and experience to really serve as peers? Much has been written about the benefits of peer groups for business leaders, and there are numerous international organisations that provide a variety of frameworks and structures for such groups. Whether they are informal â€˜mastermindâ€™ groups, or structured and offered by one of the international providers, all function in an environment
that includes confidentiality, opportunities to learn, accountability, and opportunities to share leadership and business challenges plus honest yet caring feedback. I formed my executive coaching and consulting practice in 2001, after leaving the role of chief executive in a small boutique consulting firm where I had been promoted to take the reins from founders who remained in the organisation for the first few years of my tenure. It was not the easiest of transitions and a highly challenging leadership situation, not unlike those many of our clients face. On reflection, if I could have had access to a peer advisory group, it might well have transformed my competencies as a leader (and possibly the experience of those I was leading at the time). Several years into owning my own business, I began facilitating executive round tables, and saw what a powerful impact the collective support, wisdom, challenge and counsel of the group had on its individual members. At the same time, I began to feel somewhat isolated in my own executive coaching practice. No longer did I have other executive coaches working alongside me with whom I could
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talk about challenging coaching cases, difficult clients and what new approaches could be employed to achieve breakthrough results. I began to seek out colleagues to discuss these, but it wasn’t always easy finding someone who felt comfortable in such a robust discussion. And then, of course, there were issues of competition. During lunch one day with a colleague, a highly experienced executive coach who developed and led the coaching practice for a large career transition and talent management firm, I shared my dilemma about how to obtain peer feedback and advice. He possesses a PhD in Psychology, was on the board of the regional chapter of the Human Resource Planning Society (now called HR People + Strategy), and told me he had recently created a special interest group for experienced executive coaches for them. He invited me to be considered for membership. Once vetted, I was able to join the group, and have now been a member for close to a decade. Over time, the group has moved away from its formal affiliation with People + Strategy, and has created, and periodically revises, its own charter and membership criteria. The group has from the beginning included psychologists who are exclusively executive coaches. As a result, the group’s process is rooted in the peer supervision model. While it doesn’t adhere to the stricter guidelines of psychology or social work peer supervision, we have called it the Executive Coaches Peer Supervisory Group. We meet monthly for 90 minutes at a member’s home. It has been one of the most valuable professional development activities for me, and in ten years of participation I think I could count on one hand the number of times I have missed attending. The group provides individual members with an opportunity to talk candidly about a variety of topics that impact their effectiveness as coaches. These include ways to improve the initial contracting phase with clients, appropriate strategies to ensure accountability in the coaching process, how to create closure as the coaching engagement concludes or how to evolve it into a trusted advisory relationship, and which psychometric assessments are most suitable for different individuals and situations. In addition, the group also addresses the ‘business’ of coaching: marketing and branding, best vendors for insurance, how to engage in new business development and ways to better understand and target the ideal client.
The group provides a safe space to be vulnerable, share challenges and ask difficult, introspective questions. Over the years my participation has positively impacted my ability to adapt in my work with clients, use completely different methods to help a ‘stuck’ client achieve a breakthrough, helped me to determine which assessment certifications are good investments, and taught me how to locate new and cutting-edge resources. We have the opportunity to share cases, and the questions the group poses at the monthly meetings are insightful and usually produce new thinking on issues and approaches. We hold each another accountable in an atmosphere of challenge and support. For other executive coaches who are considering joining or forming a peer advisory group, it is important to identify goals, membership and participation criteria and learning methodologies. In this way, expectations are clear for current and prospective members. Together, our group established the following guidelines. These may not work for every group, but they provide some ideas for how you might create your own group and structure the peer supervision component, and also establish the goals you would like to achieve.
GOALS l Promote continuing development of members’ executive coaching skills l Enhance members’ knowledge of:
coaching best practice
assessment methods and tools
l Exchange ideas on practical issues inherent in maintaining an executive coaching practice Target members: Senior-level executive coaches with active coaching practices
CRITERIA FOR MEMBERSHIP AND PARTICIPATION l Executive coaches who:
maintain an active coaching practice with at least ten senior level leaders during the past two years
have been in the executive coaching field for ten years (or who have had a practice of less than ten years, yet more than 1,000 client hours)
THE GROUP PROVIDES A SAFE SPACE TO BE VULNERABLE, SHARE CHALLENGES AND ASK DIFFICULT, INTROSPECTIVE QUESTIONS THE GROUP PROVIDES A SAFE SPACE TO BE VULNERABLE, SHARE
l Members attend a minimum of 60% of meetings (identified annually) l Number of members is capped at 16 (unless an opportunity to accept an extraordinary nominee arises) l New members who meet criteria are invited for membership after group discussion and consensus l Group conducts periodic assessment regarding extent to which goals are being met
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MEETINGS l Monthly meetings on third Fridays; 90 minutes l Call for agenda topics and cases will be solicited by chair persons no later than one week prior to meeting l Meeting protocol sequence: brief announcements and updates from members; topics of relevance to the group; case presentations and discussion
LEARNING APPROACHES l Case presentations: peer supervision l Facilitated discussions (identified for the agenda in advance):
executive coaching research and literature
managing a coaching practice
topics of relevance
l Periodic presentations by experts in the field
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Lesley Mallow Wendell founded Rosewood Consulting Group in 2001 to help leaders and their teams create strategies for success. She provides executive coaching and organisational effectiveness consulting to clients in the private and nonprofit sectors. Her work has helped entrepreneurs motivate their teams and improve overall productivity. She chairs two chapters for the Women Presidents Organisation, where she facilitates a monthly roundtable for women entrepreneurs. Lesley authored a book on leadership transition and a chapter in Results! published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
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UPCOMING REGIONAL EVENTS LONDON
10th April 2018 Systemic Coaching & Constellations Patrizia Amanati
27th March 2018 Coaching Exchange: A journey towards a successful coaching Culture at Home Group Laura Matchett & Julie Roberts
6th June 2018 Motivational Coaching: An Added Dimension Lesley Matile
23rd May 2018 Skills Development Day: Creativity in Coaching Lorraine Steele & Peter Moolan-Feroze Register your interest by emailing email@example.com 19th June 2018 Coaching CBT: A Master Class Dr Rob Willson 17th September 2018 Skills Development Day: Ethics, Morality & The Law Declan Woods, Eve Turner & guest facilitators Register your interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
BUCKS, BERKS & OXON
DURHAM 12th September 2018 Skills Development Day: What is unique about Coaching? Rosemary Napper
SUSSEX 27th June 2018 A Unique Solution to Leadership & Management Problems Vanessa Williams
15th May 2018 Birth Order Rosemary Napper
HERTFORDSHIRE 10th July 2018 An Introduction to Gestalt Alison Whybrow Register your interest by emailing email@example.com
31st October 2018 Skills Development Day Tatiana Bachkirova Register your interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
WEST YORKSHIRE BUCKS, BERKS & OXON
email@example.com +44 (0) 845 653 1050 34
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A ‘ONE-STOP’ APPROACH FOR COACHES? DEVELOPMENT OF AN INTEGRATED PSYCHOLOGICAL MODEL With the number of psychological theories out there often overwhelming, Phil Bardzil presents an overview of research into a one-size-fits-all model that coaches can rely on time and again.
There are numerous psychological theories applicable to coaching. When applying them to your coaching practice, it can be difficult to know which to choose, how they link and what value they can add. This article is an overview of research into an integrated model of psychological theories with proven return on investment, which can be used to help leaders manage the impact of their leadership style on staff and organisational climate and, subsequently, service quality outcomes for their customers.
STAGE 1: ESTABLISHING A LINK BETWEEN PERSONALITY AND PERCEPTION The original aim of the research project was to explore the role of personality factors as determinants of perception – i.e. how personal traits of a leader or seller might affect the opinions of their staff or buyers. Initial research was conducted within the context of service transactions, looking at how ‘individual differences’ affected client experiences over and above any tangible factors such as the cost of the service. The service experience involves emotions
and perceptions – in addition to tangibles – and a range of measures*, were used to help identify and quantify them as well as more ‘objective’ measures of quality. Two national surveys of service users1 identified stable associations between customers’ assessments of a number of services, regardless of their objective quality. These results indicated that approximately 8% of our ‘experience’ as service users is determined by internal characteristics alone – how we might react emotionally rather than rationally. Subsequent re-testing confirmed a similar finding and also suggested a need to improve the utility of the measures and extend the research to explore the make-up of the remaining 92%. Statistical analysis in subsequent controlled studies2 suggested a fundamental structure, or model, of what is really important for customer satisfaction:
‘OPQ’ (SHL. 1999. OPQ32 Manual and User’s Guide. Surrey, UK: SHL Group PLC) as a measure of personality, and SERVQUAL as an assessment of service quality (Parasuraman A, Zeithaml A, Berry LL. 1988. SERVQUAL: A Multiple-item Scale for Measuring Consumer Perceptions of Service Quality. Journal of Retailing 64:12-40)
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1. Service Delivery – related to staff/company knowledge and effectiveness of systems 2. Customer Service – staff orientation towards customer care and emotional needs 3. Tangible Content – the material quality of the service, its context and its outcomes
STAGE 2: DEVELOPING APPLICATIONS FOR ORGANISATIONS The next step was to shift the focus to how organisations could use this framework. This involved new aims: l To develop a ‘common framework’ for understanding service quality, which may apply across a range of services and organisational types l To identify causal associations between organisational beliefs, behaviours and practices and customers’ service experiences l To establish appropriate selection and development criteria addressing such associations within a generic framework Additional funding enabled further development of the framework, and further analysis of new data replicated original findings. It also allowed refinement of the structure, including secondary dimensions (i.e. areas of ‘overlap’). New measures resulting from these developments showed anticipated associations with existing theories and tools, such as personality trait, emotional intelligence, motivation and attributional style. These were incorporated where possible in an attempt to integrate useful psychological theory into a simple and holistic approach, which was accessible and meaningful to business leaders.3
STAGE 3: ESTABLISHING ECOVALIDITY Further sponsorship allowed establishment of bestpractice approaches, within approximately 50 UK service organisations, through funded consultancy services. This was to enable clear comparisons of alike organisations. Data analysis showed clear associations between leader characteristics and customer experiences3 which were mediated by the service climate. Put simply, where staff rated their leaders highly, customers experienced better service quality – and vice versa. This provided strong support for organisational development programmes, using this framework to address ‘links’ in the ‘customer service chain’4, focusing resources where quality was identified as lacking.
USING THE MODEL IN COACHING Since its inception, the model and associated tools have been used in various ways within a wide range of organisations and sectors – assessing perceptions and performance, culture change, appraisals and individual and team development, to name a few. Here, though, it is important to focus on its potential use in coaching: l The model is useful in the initial diagnosis of issues at the organisational level, which can create a strong case for leadership development – especially given the causeand-effect impact of leadership styles identified in the research. This can help consultants highlight potential return on investment and the utility of coaching to enable transformational change. l Clients often have a preference for one of the three main domains – or ‘zones’ – of operation (thinking, feeling or doing); this can lead to characteristic ways of working, but also certain ‘blind spots’. With the model, these blind spots can be explored quickly and easily, through coaching conversation, rather than engaging in full-scale personality typing.5 l Specific leadership styles can be identified and explored in relation to their impact on staff and personal effectiveness. For example, transactional leadership approaches often start with an objective or strategy in order to bring about a particular outcome, and leaders may impose this from the top down through rolling out a plan. This may be unsuccessful as peoples’ emotional responses have not been considered and there is little scope allowed for adaptation of the plan or proper two-way communication. Use of the model can quickly illustrate how all these elements need to work in combination in order to achieve aspirations successfully while bringing others along.
ACTIONS The ‘Psychologica Model’™ (Bardzil. 2002)
l Deeper exploration of specific areas of concern can allow greater focus on habitual behavioural dynamics which may be undermining, such as overly assertive or adaptive stances (e.g. people focus). The model can be used to identify over- or under-used skills and to provide
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a ‘roadmap’ for creating balance, establishing a clear goal for personal (and organisational) development. l The model can also be used in supporting psychometrics, such as 360° analysis or self-assessment, can provide a useful ‘reality check’ (i.e. as part of the GROW coaching approach) and help identify the gaps to be addressed in fulfilling coaching objectives – or modifying them as appropriate.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
CONCLUSION There are numerous advantages for practitioners in using this one-stop approach. Coaches can use it to link service outcomes with organisational inputs, to relate leadership behaviours to both climate and bottom line consequences, to ensure balance of skills within individuals and teams, and to support meaningful coaching and development of coaching cultures. However, perhaps the most significant advantage lies in the way in which it allows one to align alternative psychological concepts, models and approaches in a meaningful way – to build on learning and freshen up development agendas through a single unified approach to continuous improvement.
A chartered psychologist experienced in executive coaching, staff selection and organisational development, Phil has worked extensively in both public and private sectors. Formerly a managing director of a subsidiary of a multi-national PLC, he has been Co-Director of the Research Centre in Organisational Psychology (University of Manchester) and is now MD of Psychologica Ltd. Phil is currently partnering with Lancaster University and AQuA, researching psychological safety amongst front-line NHS staff. firstname.lastname@example.org www.psychologica.co.uk
Robertson. I, Lewis. B, Bardzil. P, & Nikolai. I. 1999. ‘The Influence of Personality Factors in Customers’ Perceptions of Service Quality. Working Paper No. 9910. UMIST, Manchester. IBSN: 1 86995 0598
Bardzil. P.J, Lewis. B, Robertson. I.T. 2000. Understanding Service Quality: Modelling the Service Experience. Service Quality in the New Economy: Interdisciplinary and International Dimensions. New York. International Service Quality Association
Bardzil, P.J, Lewis, B., Robertson, I.T. 2002. Modelling and Measuring Key Determinants of the Service. Experience. Quality in Service: Crossing Borders. Victoria BC. University of Victoria Faculty of Business.
Heskett, J., Sasser, W., Schlesinger, L. 1997. The Service Profit Chain: How leading companies link profit and growth to loyalty, satisfaction and value. New York: The Free Press
Myers, I.B., McCaulley, M.H. 1985. Manual: A Guide to the Development and use of the Myers-Briggs Type. Indicator. Paulo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press
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EMERGENCE OF FLASH MENTORING IN CHINA Recent economic transformation has given rise to a new class of urban, educated and ambitious women in China. Olga Yanovskaya reports on how mentoring and coaching are being used to help their aspirations become reality.
It is always a challenge to generalise about China; trying to understand the needs and aspirations of its women is an even more arduous task. Having formed a significant part of the workforce for many decades, women in China also continue to hold a traditional role in keeping family and social networks healthy and harmonious. Recent economic transformation has given rise to a new class of urban, educated and ambitious women. Optimistic, energised and purpose-driven, these women look to establish and lead meaningful and fulfilling lives. Although in 2013 only 3.2% of CEOs of Chinese companies were women1, Chinese female talents already outnumber their male peers in several domains. Millions of Chinese are enrolled in undergraduate and graduate educational programmes and, with the exception of doctoral programmes, female students account for more than half2. When it comes to studying abroad, more than four million Chinese students graduated outside China and have returned since 1978, of which women accounted for 59.16%3. Furthermore, women represented 67% of all those taking the GMAT* in China4. With the recent technological advances all over China, women have set up 55% of new internet companies in the country5.
Today, 72% of Chinese mothers with children under the age of six work full-time6, while also taking care of their childrenâ€™s education, their elderly parents and various other social arrangements. Thus, it may not be a great surprise to see educated urban females delaying marriage, questioning traditional female roles and exploring opportunities for alternative lifestyles and careers. The economic boom has created an abundance of paths for professional and personal development. Different platforms within commercial and not-for-profit organisations provide women with opportunities to learn, network and even get funded. Mentoring and coaching programmes continue to be traditionally sponsored by employers or educational organisations. Recently, however, there has been a trend for independent organisations to provide personal and professional development services to women directly. HerCentury, an international mentoring network, was founded in Shanghai when a group of international and Chinese women decided independently to support emerging females looking for career advice and start-up support. The *
The Graduate Management Admissions Test - the tough exam needed to enter international master and MBA programmes
COACHIN G BY COUN TRY
network connects corporate or start-up experts with aspiring mentees, and incorporates a mix of flash mentoring, longterm mentoring and high-impact events.
Flash mentoring is a type of mentoring relationship that allows a person to find quickly the information they need to complete a specific task. It is less formal than traditional mentoring and is less about a relationship and more about knowledge-sharing within a network of individuals. Mentees are required to focus on a single goal and are provided with access to the most suitable mentor or group of mentors at the right time. Flash mentoring can complement a traditional mentoring programme or can be used as a standalone programme.
Flash mentoring sessions provide an opportunity to connect women with experts, entrepreneurs and key opinion leaders. Traditional mentoring emphasises the relationship between a senior mentor and a more junior mentee, in a more formal setting, most likely within the same company. Flash mentoring is becoming popular among millennials, young professional women and entrepreneurs because it focuses on networking and learning. Flash mentoring is also extremely beneficial in high-growth markets, where society is undergoing a lot of changes, and there is a need for fast decision-making – not to mention several career opportunities available for people to pursue. Mentoring sessions can be conducted individually or in a group setting. Mentees are encouraged to attend at least two to three sessions to discover, design and follow up goals. At HerCentury, a proprietary ‘Personal Growth Plan’ tool and SMART goal-setting are used. Women usually join a flash mentoring programme looking for answers to specific questions: how to balance business and personal life, how to respond to social pressure, how to make the right career choices, how to find the right network, and how to get started as an entrepreneur. Mentees especially value the opportunity to connect with a mentor outside their typical network and potentially identify a mentor for a long-term relationship. Mentees raise their self-awareness, gain the ability to clearly formulate personal purpose and objectives, set up goals and improve networking skills. Mentors play a crucial role in developing successful relationships. Mentor training and continuous feedback become essential; even seasoned executives may have very limited prior experience of mentoring engagements. Both female and male mentors are important. The samesex mentor’s lifestyle and values are highly relevant; more women mentors mean more role models. Male mentors can, however, provide an opportunity to overcome biases and to promote mutual accountability for equality. Independent mentoring programmes work best when
connected with an established ecosystem, for instance a local start-up ecosystem or an MBA alumni network. It is easier to manage the pool of mentors and mentees inside an ecosystem, and the impact of mentoring programmes is also more visible. HerCentury is expanding to Beijing, Hangzhou and Suzhou. We will continue to deploy our Shanghai model and leverage local partnerships. Internationally we are present in France, Spain and India. Each region has its unique needs and tailored programmes. We are strengthening and diversifying our mentoring programmes, expanding our mentor network and adapting programmes for organisations as an outsourced service. Due to an unprecedented rise of entrepreneurship and technological advances globally, we are also actively exploring opportunities in ‘reverse mentoring’, where young entrepreneurs mentor seasoned executives on millennial and technological advances. We strongly believe that over the coming decades women will generate an enormous contribution to the global economy, and we look forward to continuing to play our part in building a world where all female talents can succeed.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Olga Yanovskaya is a co-founder of HerCentury. Olga started her career in Russia and since then has lived and worked in Europe, Latin America and Asia. She speaks five languages and has travelled to 75 countries around the world. Olga has worn many hats in her career — auditor, finance manager, freelance consultant, entrepreneur, functional leader and ethics officer. Olga now resides in Shanghai with her family, while alternating her working time between holding an executive position in the medical device industry and being an active member of several educational organisations. www.hercentury.org
Credit Suisse Research Institute (2014) The CS Gender 3000: Women in Senior Management
Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China (2017) Number of Female Students of Schools by Type and Level http://en.moe. gov.cn/Resources/Statistics/edu_stat_2016/2016_en01/201708/ t20170822_311614.html
Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China (2015) China Study Abroad Employment Blue Book 2015 briefing http://www.moe.edu.cn/ jyb_xwfb/xw_fbh/moe_2069/xwfbh_2016n/xwfb_160325_01/160325_ sfcl01/201603/t20160325_235214.html
GMAC (2017) Profile of GMAT® Testing 2017 https://www.gmac.com/~/ media/Files/gmac/Research/GMAT-Test-Taker-Data/gmat-profilecitizenship-ty2017-final_web-release.pdf
The Information Office of the State Council (2015) Gender Equality and Women’s Development in China http://english.gov.cn/archive/white_ paper/2015/09/22/content_281475195668448.htm
All-China Women’s Federation and National Bureau of Statistics in China (2011), Report on Major Results of the Third Wave Survey on The Social Status of Women in China
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WE’RE ALL LIFE COACHES – AND WE COULD ALL DO WITH ONE Banu Uzkut Onuk, Vice President of the Association for Coaching in Turkey, discusses the benefits of life coaching and why she believes everyone is a life coach.
It is sometimes said that everyone is a life coach, and I think it is true. In life, there are times when other people can lead us to find our own answers and get us to take the necessary action; this may take the form of making us ask the right questions, getting our focus back on ourselves or raising our energy. I myself experienced this and found my right answer in response to a question I had heard asked by my friend Nil Gün – the result of which lead me to change my career. That question? ‘What would you be proud of, looking back at your whole life, if this was the last day of your life?’ This question made me realise that there were things in life that are more important than success in school and work, and it encouraged me to take action. Many of us want to earn more money and to do or buy things with that money which we suppose will make us happy. To achieve this, we spend most of our time and energy working; this is the hard way to success. Another way is to decide first who we want to be and act according to the decision we make. I see this in my own practice. A mid-level manager coachee of mine had sought out coaching in order to achieve their
goal of becoming a regional manager. Together, we stepped into their journey of getting to know themselves. Throughout this journey, they realised that what would make them truly happy was not the act of becoming a manager, but doing something with music. So, instead of becoming a regional manager, they used their savings to open a music school. They now lead a happy and fulfilling life, and significantly they believe that they have achieved success.
COACHIN G BY COUN TRY
In the past, life coaching was something that was offered only to top-level managers, but nowadays anyone who wants to make their dreams come true can benefit from this service. You may be wondering if life coaching would work for you. I think everybody can benefit from a life coach, for all sort of reasons and in many different situations, and also that by developing the required characteristics of a life coach anybody can become one themselves. Having a life coach is about being in a professional relationship with someone who does not give direct instructions but guides you through your path of discovering your own potential, encouraging you to go beyond the borders you had initially set for yourself.
Successful life coaches devote a lot of time to the development of their coachees, but, whilst supporting them, they also focus on their own education. Successful life coaches are optimistic, positive, enjoy working with people, have lots to give and make people appreciate life by nature. They have powerful intuitions. The coaching process requires life coaches to be sensitive. It requires them to be able to feel their coachee’s energy and mood, to read between the lines and to be aware of the truth in what is told. Alongside my work as a coach, which I have been doing since 2008, I find that working on myself is one of the most fulfilling things in life. Thanks to this profession, tiny changes can create wonders. To allow these wondrous influences into our lives requires courage. But, as you know, life favours the brave.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A life coach points out the things that you can’t see yourself and shows you along the path of becoming the best version of yourself. They push you to go beyond that line that you would normally stop at. They help you realise your own wisdom – and enable you to share it with others too.
Banu Uzkut Onuk is Vice President of the Association for Coaching in Turkey. She has a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering and a Masters degree in International Business Administration. She worked for 14 years in Henkel International as manager of the Industrial Engineering Department. After realising that her purpose in life is to learn and to teach others how to improve their capacity for love, she changed career. She is a founding member of European Women’s Management Development, Turkey.
The most successful life coaches constantly keep on learning and they are always open-minded; for example, they will certainly look to take on a supervisor for their own development. As humble and easy-going people, they transfer every new piece of knowledge they gain not only to their current coachees but also to former coachees, keeping in touch with them at times. This way, they get to synthesize different teachings and perspectives. The curiosity at the heart of asking questions such as, ‘I wonder what I am going to learn today?’‘How will it enrich my life?’ and ‘How will it heal me?’ before starting a session can exhilarate a life coach. To provide a personal perspective, this exhilaration makes my life happier and enables me to love the job I do. Anybody who wants to can learn how to communicate with power, delicacy and the desired tone via life coach training. Simple techniques do not only teach you how to get people to listen to you, but also how to speak to them in a way that gets them to take action. Life coaching is a profession built not just on knowledge but also on simultaneous personal development.
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THE ART OF COACHING – A HANDBOOK OF TIPS AND TOOLS Pauline McCracken enjoys having her creative comfort zone challenged in this fun but comprehensive book.
The Art of Coaching is a jam-packed book which gallops through a wide range of ideas and practical tools. The aim of the book is to encourage the reader to stretch themselves and consider how they might work more creatively. The book is grouped around themes such as ‘leading,’ ‘influencing’ and ‘motivating’. Each section includes some background theory and, more importantly, the authors’ and others’ hand-drawn diagrams which illustrate how they work with these models and theories (such as Karpman’s Drama Triangle, for example). Through sharing their approach, they invite us to consider how we might be more playful or creative in how we work. As I explored the book, I experienced a sense of excitement as I thought about ways in which I could adapt or adopt the ideas and use them in my practice. The authors are strong proponents of ‘picking up the pen’ – and believe that the act of drawing on paper can be liberating. Whilst I agree with this, I was aware that, alongside the excitement, I also felt fear. I could hear a voice in my head (or more accurately my art teacher’s voice) telling me that I can’t draw – so why open myself to ridicule? I recognise I am unlikely to be alone in fearing judgement when it comes to drawing, so it feels good to carry this awareness into sessions where I might explore using more a creative approach. The book gave me some great ideas, encouraged me to examine my beliefs and inner stories around my creative capabilities, and challenged me to think about ways to be more adaptable and innovative in my coaching. If I had to levy any criticism, I would say that the book covers a lot of ground and is therefore quite light on theory. The authors acknowledge that this is intentional and, in fact, the book is well referenced for further reading if something piques your interest. This is a thought-provoking book which would be useful to business leaders and coaches alike. I know that I and my clients could benefit from a bit more creativity in our work and this book ‘de-risks’ it and makes it feel safer to try.
ABOUT THE REVIEWER Pauline McCracken started her career in the UK energy sector, an experience which fostered a fascination with how people experience organisational change. She works as a freelance executive coach and organisational consultant, primarily supporting people through complex change programmes. She also believes in the importance of diversity (in its broadest sense) and enjoys working with people to find their unique way of thriving in the workplace to allow them to leverage the power of difference and diversity.
TITLE: The Art of Coaching – a handbook of tips and tools AUTHOR: Jenny Bird & Sarah Gornall PUBLISHER: Routledge DATE: 2016 PAPERBACK PRICE: £24.99 ISBN: 978-1-138-89186-9
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COACHING FOR PERFORMANCE (5TH EDITION): THE PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE OF COACHING AND LEADERSHIP Dr Alison Whybrow reviews the newest edition of the late Sir John Whitmore’s seminal work – and finds it as relevant as ever.
With such a classic title, I wondered how much the book had developed since I read an earlier edition nearly 20 years ago. I was not disappointed. This book firmly places coaching practice at the heart of the future evolution of humanity – at work, in everyday life, and in our relationship with the earth.
cognitive development process itself, from doing to being, and reflects a growing confidence and conviction in the possibilities that coaching presents.
The book takes the reader on a seamless journey from philosophy to practical application and beyond. Whitmore has been generous throughout, peppering the chapters with vignettes, exercises and stories that add depth and colour to the ideas and frameworks presented. Written in very practical language, the ideas, tools and approach are all highly accessible.
ABOUT THE REVIEWER
In the first part of the book, ‘Coaching is bigger than coaching,’ Whitmore takes us smoothly through the evolution of coaching for performance, reaching out to incorporate a global, human - earth relationship perspective, before drawing back to the present time and place as he weaves in stories from his own practice and experience. Throughout, learning, growth and vertical development are at the heart of the journey. Part Two, ‘The Principles of Coaching,’ positions coaching as emotional intelligence in practice, and clarifies the purpose of coaching as a means to build awareness and responsibility through choice. The collaborative and co-creative nature of the container required for such dialogue is outlined. Here, we start to see some of the familiar material from earlier editions, before moving into the third part of the book: ‘The Practice of Coaching.’ This section is perhaps the most familiar, looking at core techniques and the GROW framework, yet new insights and client material continue to add to what we think we already know. Part Four focuses on ‘Specific Applications of Coaching’ and, together with Part Five (‘Realising the Potential of Coaching’), provides simple insights into how to reap the benefits of coaching across an organisational system. Whitmore includes a chapter on the role of coaching, the value of which many have struggled to quantify.
Alison Whybrow works across sectors with both large and small organisations. She specialises in leadership coaching, senior team development and system change. As a coach and facilitator, Alison integrates a range of psychological and philosophical underpinnings, leadership frameworks and an ecological worldview. She holds a degree and PhD in Psychology from the University of Liverpool, and a number of professional qualifications related to her work as a coach, consultant and supervisor.
TITLE: Coaching for Performance: The principles and practice of coaching and leadership. (Fifth edition) AUTHOR: Sir John Whitmore PUBLISHER: Nicholas Brealey Publishing DATE: 2017 PAPERBACK /HARDBACK PRICE: £18.99 ISBN: 978-1-473-65812-7
This book is by no means exhaustive or sufficient when it comes to building a coaching intervention or a coaching practice, but it is an incredibly useful starting point and a wise companion to those already on that journey. Readers will find this book stimulating, inspiring and incredibly practical. The depth of Whitmore’s philosophy and underpinning is clear, the systemic, transpersonal perspective defined. Grounded in optimism, he presents a hopeful picture of our evolution. The development of the book, from the first edition through to this last edition, follows a path aligned to the
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THE INSPIRED LEADER This holistic collection of stories and insights about empowered leadership is a valuable tool for coaches, business leaders and supervisors alike, says Peter Soer.
‘To inspire others, you must be inspired yourself.’ What a powerful thought! In The Inspired Leader, Andy Bird brings this idea to life, enabling us to better understand inspiration – how it happens, how to get it and how to maintain it. This book is distinctive in its value for both leaders and the coaches of leaders. As I read it, I found myself on the one hand reflecting on my own leadership – how I gain and give inspiration, how I can replenish my inspiration, and how I can be at my best as an inspirational leader more often. On the other hand, I realised that Bird had been coaching me as a coach too, offering me a powerful lens and framework with which to explore and develop inspired leadership with my clients. Moreover, I found the six key lessons in the closing chapter some of the best I have ever read in the area of leadership. They are wise and powerful. Each lesson is a springboard I can use to harness further insight. For example, Bird’s call to ‘embrace your personal influence’ leads us to remember that, as leaders, we are ‘always on,’ and we must continually ask ourselves how we can use our presence to influence the energy of those around us. A subsequent lesson – ‘Involve people in your purpose’ – explores how important it is for inspiring leaders to ‘share their values, passions, and talents openly and honestly with the people they lead.’ This enables a deeper relationship with greater mutual understanding, belief and respect. Bird brings alive the principles of inspiration through wonderful stories from a diverse range of leaders (from business, communications, military, police, sporting and academic backgrounds) in a personal and meaningful way. He organises the thinking in a simple framework with practical, reflective exercises. So, whether you find the power of stories or the discipline of structured theory a more natural medium for absorbing and passing on original thought, the tools are all here for you in this insightful book. One part leadership, one part coaching, one part humanity… an inspiring cocktail I commend to leaders, coaches and leadercoaches alike!
ABOUT THE REVIEWER Peter Soer spent 28 years delivering growth, leading marketingpowered businesses around the world, the last ten in senior leadership positions at Unilever and Kellogg’s. He ran national, regional and global businesses, devising strategy, building diverse teams, driving change and delivering performance. He is now an executive coach, practising behavioural change coaching and leadership development. He combines understanding of today’s leadership reality with a firm belief that people can change and improve their lives, and an optimistic energy that finds answers and sees things through.
TITLE: The Inspired Leader AUTHOR: Andy Bird PUBLISHER: Bloomsbury DATE: November 2017 PAPERBACK PRICE: £19.99 KINDLE PRICE: £14.99 ISBN: 1472947924
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THE SOCIAL ORGANIZATION Alf Hatton is enthused and frustrated in equal measure by Jon Ingham’s wide-ranging guide to improving business performance.
The Social Organization is easily at the same time one of the best and most frustrating books I have ever read. On the positive side, this book is packed with useful models, frameworks and recent research. It provides ‘how to’ advice and it incorporates current thinking on human/social capital via a very broad run-through of contemporary forms of things, from organisational structure and design (communities, networks, virtual, melds) to jobs and careers (gamification, roles, layers, spans, grades, groups, links, onboarding, performance management, recognition and reward, learning and development, alumni and talent management). Together, these all combine into what one might call the ‘New HR.’ There is also an excellent synopsis of current neuroscience findings that immediately impact on thinking about work and our place in it. Moreover, the book aims to humanise organisations and work, and not just to adapt them to a millennial perspective that has differing work and life outlooks from more traditional viewpoints. In short, it is a very useful book for the office shelves, and its aims are impossible to disagree with – plus it would be a great read if only for its enthusiasm and energy.
ABOUT THE REVIEWER Alf Hatton retired from organisational consultancy (strategy, communications and dynamic approaches to leading and managing – the ‘here and now’) in 2016. His ethnography training led to a successful career in museums, galleries, heritage and universities, and later business schools. He is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Personnel & Development, a member of the Association for Coaching and a fellow of the Museums Association. He is a Third Dan black belt in Shotokan Karate-do, and a nowretired international referee.
TITLE: The Social Organization AUTHOR: Jon Ingham PUBLISHER: Kogan Page DATE: 2017 PAPERBACK PRICE: £29.99 ISBN: 9780 0 7494 8011 0
But it is also far too wide in scope to do itself justice. The reader gets barely a paragraph or two per topic, only to be moved on quickly to the next. So, it is a dip-into book, not a cover-to-cover read. The case studies, whilst up-to-date and interesting, only illustrate, rather than underpin, the points being made. There are also a couple of more substantial issues. Firstly, jumping from Rational-Determinist neo-Taylorist frameworks, such as value chain models, to communities and networks, without pointing out the underlying philosophical tensions, is a concern. The very thing about the new, less classical and less structured theories of practice is that they are organic, and as such are far less susceptible to management than more traditional forms. Their growth can be said in part to reflect widespread dissatisfaction with the traditional. I have often wondered how many change programmes and interventions have faltered because these inherent tensions are overlooked. Secondly, early dismissal of ‘culture’ as a useful term is unfortunate when in several places the author describes phenomena normally located within organisational culture, such as office status symbols like corner offices and parking spaces, itself an incomplete recontextualization of definitions of wider culture. In avoiding culture, an important organisational phenomenon is also overlooked – power. Culture can be seen as an arena where different actors negotiate different views of past, present, future and permissible behaviour. Thus, who has power, who can get power, and who has little power will remain key questions, regardless of frameworks and models.
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CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE COACHING INDUSTRY Mandy Irons provides a broad snapshot of the coaching industry, addressing some of the developments, challenges and trends facing coaches, clients and organisations.
There is a growing recognition of the benefits of coaching to individuals, businesses and the community, and the identity of coaching as a profession. Peter Hawkins, Executive Professor of Leadership at Henley Business School, cites a ‘meteoric rise in coaching popularity’1, reporting that a survey in the UK of HR directors showed that 80% of respondents were working in organisations that were investing in some way in coaching. In a summary of findings from the 2016 Global Coaching Study2, the International Coaching Federation (ICF) took a broader snapshot of identifying a ‘coaching continuum’ – the range of modalities in which coaching is applied – from line managers and leaders applying coaching skills in their roles, to professional coach practitioners who derive a proportion of their annual income from coaching. More than 53,000 professional coach practitioners worldwide were identified in the study – an increase of more than 10,000 from a similar study conducted in 2009 by author and consultant Frank Bressler3, who together produced global annual revenue approaching 2,356 million USD. The ICF study – supported by six other professional coaching bodies – presents an interesting summary of global coaching trends. For example, there is a shift in the age profile of clients towards the older groups, with the exception of emerging coaching markets such as the Middle East and Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, where the trend is towards younger clients. There is a continued gender bias towards females, who make up the majority of coaches’ clients, and an increase in sponsorship: i.e. the proportion of clients who have coaching paid for by a third party. Increased awareness of the benefits of coaching and credible data in relation to the return on investment are seen as two key future opportunities by the coaches and coaching managers taking part in the survey. This is counterbalanced by concerns about untrained individuals practising as coaches, market place confusion and market saturation, which are perceived as key challenges to be addressed. The ICF also recognised a relationship between coaching and social change, and their survey also asked respondents to what extent they felt that coaching is able to influence this. There was substantial agreement between coach practitioners and managers/leaders that using coaching skills can indeed influence social change – a view more widely held by coaches in the Middle East and Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Non-governmental organisation coach Pauline Mkala4 gives a very positive account of how, when coaching principles are applied to community development, the potential of individual and community groups to ensure the achievement of their goals is strengthened. She provides two examples of transforming cultures, one in relation to taking girls to school and the second in developing health-seeking behaviours, and discusses how global development in coaching could see the application of coaching behaviours in social and community development.
Organisational context There is also an increasing use of coaching in all areas of life. A simple internet search will identify money coaches, life coaches, relationship coaches, parenting coaches, spiritual coaches, health coaches and sports coaches across the globe – with relationships built across continents using Skype and webinars as well as more traditional forms of communication. Predominantly, however, since its foundations in sports coaching during the 1970s, coaching in organisations has seen an exponential growth. The question is then: what are the challenges and opportunities surrounding coaching in organisations? Hawkins, quoting a 2004 survey by the UK’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, suggests that the main drive behind the investment in coaching in organisations is the desire to improve individual performance and develop employees’ capacity for ‘higher relationship skills and emotional intelligence.’ In the past, coaching may have been seen by some as punitive – a way to manage poor performers or to manage employees out of the organisation. Increasingly, however, business leaders are recognising the value of coaching in relation to building successful organisations, particularly in developing teams and leaders. Investment in coaching programmes represents a challenge to organisations, with the focus on accountability and measurable return on investment. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), profiled in the ICF journal Coaching World, has created a mixed-modality model which includes external and internal coach practitioners and manager/ leaders using coaching skills. In creating their Coaching Centre of Excellence, GSK report a globally consistent standard of coaching, with costs being passed on to service units rather than centrally funded. Senior managers believe that this model helps to evaluate cost against impact on the business:
‘We’re using it because it’s the right thing. You must believe that coaching is the way to develop better leaders.’ Of course, budgetary limitations can restrict investment in all but the most senior levels, with organisations increasingly looking to develop internal coaches and the use of coaching skills in their managers and leaders. While this can have benefits – for example, understanding business priorities, culture and decision-making – it does represent a set of challenges specific to the internal coach. Executive coach and consulting psychologist Michael Frish5 identifies balancing multiple roles, attunement to conflicts of interest, listening objectively and managing relationship boundaries, as some of these issues. The practitioner must manage the duality of the relationship – that of client and that of organisation.
The coaching system It is relevant to consider the broader system within which coaching operates, and how contracting is a key part of the process. Author and coach Julie Hay6 describes contracting as an essential part of creating effective coaching relationships, which should be considered on three levels: the professional, the procedural and the psychological. Hay describes a triangular and interrelated structure where the professional dimension pays attention to what the coaching is meant to achieve, the skills of the practitioner, and the boundaries of the coaching relationship. The procedural dimension considers the
administrative aspects of the coaching relationship, for example when and where coaching will be conducted and, if engaged in distance coaching, what rituals need to be thought through to ensure a good rapport is established and maintained between coach and coachee. Finally, the psychological dimension highlights the quality of and the relational depth between the coach and coachee. Myles Downey7, founder of the School of Coaching, adds another element in his discussion of effective coaching: context. This might include the ‘organisation’s strategy, policies, culture, stakeholders, economic climate and market conditions.’ A systems view would also add the importance of considering the wider social, economic and political dimensions in which organisations exist if one is to fully appreciate challenges, trends and developments, and Figure 1 attempts to bring all these elements together as a ‘coaching system’. So why is this important in understanding the coaching industry? The aim of illustrating the coaching system in this way is to highlight the fact that coaching relationships do not take place in a vacuum. Both the coach and coachee bring their own knowledge, experiences and influences to the relationship, which is affected by the professional context of the coaching – including training, coaching models and approach – and also the organisational and social contexts within which it takes place. The complexities of the system need to be acknowledged and can be managed through the contracting process to enable ‘clean’ coaching in a ‘messy’ world.
Figure 1: A coaching map for navigating the professional context of coaching Standards/Training/Practice/Approach
Figure 1 illustrates how both the coach and coachee are located within a wider relational system. This coaching system consists of the political, economic and strategic context of the organisation in which the coach and coachee operate, as described by Downey. The coaching space is further shaped and influenced by the ‘self’ of coach and coachee – their professional identity, experiences, training, standards, values and style. Every coaching system is unique, and the three dimensions of the coaching relationship offered by Julie Hay, of the professional, psychological and process, offer a lens through which to bring all these influences together and develop the foundations of the coaching relationship. Only then can we can we create the conditions for effective coaching.
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Exploring three levels of the coaching contract The professional dimension of the contracting triangle also pays attention to some of the ethical considerations in coaching relationships. For example, the importance of agreeing boundaries, paying attention to expectations and outcomes of coaching, and the skills of the practitioner. Boundaries and outcomes are particularly helpful to explore and agree on as a foundation for the coaching relationship and coaching programme; this is so that the coach, coachee and sponsor are clear about investing in the coaching relationship. How will coach and coachee work together, how will they manage any difficulties in their coaching relationship and what are the boundaries of confidentiality – and when and how might these need to be reviewed? Defining the goals of the coaching programme, including how realistic they are, is also an important element of the professional dimension for both coach and coachee. Goalsetting encourages greater internal exploration by the coach of their coachee’s hopes, difficulties and challenges, leading to a deeper understanding of current and future desirable states and levels of motivation – which may be different from those originally intended. Once agreed, goals provide direction and a measure of progress, including a platform for discussion should they become ‘undesirable’ or need to change. Given the increasing focus on demonstrating return on investment in coaching, goals are important in ensuring that coaching outcomes can be measured in a meaningful way. The professional domain of the coaching contract demands high levels of skill and knowledge within the coach. A wider ethical practice issue and a broader challenge facing the coaching industry is coaching competency, the many routes to coach training and industry regulation. The European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) and Association for Coaching (AC) have developed a Global Code of Conduct which is explicit in its expectation that members will ‘accurately and honestly represent their relevant professional qualifications, experience, training, certifications and accreditations to clients, sponsors, members, coaches and mentors’ and commit to their continuing professional development. One of the key challenges facing the coaching industry is combination of the plethora of training programmes – from short introductions to postgraduate and masters level study – and no agreed standard of training or single professional regulatory body. The existence, collaboration and increasingly high profile of professional associations offering accreditation, membership and professional development, such as the AC, EMCC and the ICF, together with special interest groups such as the British Psychological Society (BPS) and the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), provide a robust foundation for the professionalisation of coaching – giving guidance and assurance to clients of the standard and calibre of the coach. Interestingly, the Special Interest Coaching Group in the BPS started as an internet-based group in response to concerns about poorly trained or untrained coaches. Standards and codes of conduct are not only helpful to clients but also provide a framework from within which the coach can consider their own practice. The internal coach, who may be privy to
information which has an impact on the business for which they may feel a sense of responsibility or loyalty, can return to the explicit standards to which they have undertaken to practise – an example of an ethical dilemma which represents a potential tension between the individual and organisational outcomes. Coaches must be careful not to collude with the coachee nor be drawn into the traditional ‘drama triangle’ – with the coachee being identified as the victim, the organisation as persecutor and the coach as rescuer. Such a dilemma, often subtle, also highlights the importance of coaching supervision, which should underpin coaching practice, the coach’s ethical and practice standards, and whether they are indeed the right coach to continue working with the coachee. However, individuals who look for and practise by these standards are likely to be ethical individuals – aware of their own competencies, learning and limitations. My experience of being a practising therapist, where I have been asked only once in seven years about my training and qualifications, suggests to me that clients are less concerned with these issues, and the potential exists for more unethical individuals to practise with minimal training and supervision, ultimately devaluing the profession.
The procedural dimension Having considered some key issues which I view as challenges within the professional domain of contracting, I suggest that the procedural or administrative aspects of the coaching relationship also need attention. Hay identifies a number of procedural concerns, such as when and where coaching will be conducted if the relationship is based on distance coaching, and what rituals need to be thought through to ensure good rapport is established and maintained between coach and coachee. What notes will be kept? What information will be shared with others, and how? There is a clear standard in the AC Coaching Competency Framework, which makes explicit that issues such as the logistics of coaching sessions, monitoring and reporting on progress must be agreed at the outset, as should any commercial arrangements, for example contracting for a number of sessions with client-led reviews into how effective the coaching sessions are in achieving the goals. A growing trend in coaching is the move towards ‘digital coaching’ or ‘virtual coaching’. As a coaching approach which can reach across the globe and reduce the burdens of travel and finding suitable coaching space, it can create possibilities and value for money which traditional face-to-face coaching cannot. Multinational organisations investing in coaching programmes can reduce the number of coaches needed by introducing a variety of digital platforms which connect coach and coachee wherever they may be. But what are the challenges with a digital or virtual coaching relationship? The ICF has introduced the acronym VELVET to guide coaches entering into virtual coaching relationships – Virtual etiquette, Emotional connection, Listening with curiosity, Vocal presence, Engaging visually and the Technology itself – highlighting some of the key issues which coach and coachee must address in order to create and maintain an effective coaching relationship. These issues are apparent in face-to face relationships but present different challenges in a virtual relationship. There is also the coach’s and coachee’s
familiarity with technology-to consider – and what happens if the connection drops out? How do we maintain continuity and flow? For a coach in development, VELVET presents some thought-provoking ideas to consider – the opportunities for expanding practice, saving on travel time and overcome difficulties in locating appropriate space. My biggest concern would be establishing and maintaining emotional connection with the client and maintaining focus in the session. Strategist and leadership coach Bev Hancock shares some profound insights into her experience of virtual coaching. In answer to the question, ‘Is it possible to have a deep, meaningful coaching interaction using virtual technology?’, she concludes that it is. Her experience is that the potential and possibilities are not lost through changing the coaching space – an exciting and challenging proposition for our training and practice.
The psychological dimension Thinking through the emotional connection between coach and coachee leads us now to consider the psychological dimension between them. This is not to be confused with coaching psychology, which has seen significant growth over the last ten years and which the BPS defines as the application and benefits of applying psychological approaches in coaching. The psychological dimension is concerned with the coaching relationship – for example considering what might influence the coaching relationship, what experiences do coach and coachee have that may consciously or unconsciously influence how they work together, how they will establish and maintain trust between them, and what will they do if that trust in compromised in any way? I view this as perhaps one of the most challenging but essential issues in coaching. Downey is very clear in his discussion about the coaching relationship that ‘…if there is a poor relationship, no other meaningful conversations can take place… many of the skills of coaching concern building trust-based relationships.’ I am also curious about how to have these conversations at the beginning of the coaching relationship when expectations are high; trust still needs to be established and our way of relating needs to be explored. It is essential, however, that a sensitive and positive way of exploring this is introduced so that conversations can be had openly and transparently.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Mandy Irons has over 25 years’ experience working in the public and voluntary sectors. She is currently Head of Wellbeing Services for St Barnabas Hospice in Lincolnshire and a practising systemic and psychodynamic counsellor. She has recently graduated from the Association for Coaching’s Accredited Certificate in Coach Training (ACCT) – Coaching for High Performance Programme 2017 with OD Health Ltd, a programme designed to bring senior leaders together to coach across the health and social care system. email@example.com
Hawkins, P. The Coaching Profession. Bath: UK: Bath Consultancy Group, 2006
International Coaching Federaton. ‘2016 ICF Global Coaching Study.’
Bressler, F. 2009. ‘Global Coaching Survey.’
Mkala, P. Application of Coaching Principles in Community Development. Research Paper (2010)
Frish, M. et al, “Possibilities and Pitfalls of Internal Executive Coaching.” iCoach (2015:9)
Hay, J. 2011. Transactional Analysis for Coaches and Mentors. Sherwoood Publishing
Downey, M. 2014. Effective Modern Coaching. London: LID Publishing.
Hancock, B. ‘Virtual Coaching across Time and Space.’ The Listener (2015): 22 - 27
Summary I have attempted to discover and discuss the key challenges, trends and developments in the coaching industry, and to consider the organisational context and the wider professional context of coaching as part of the coaching ‘system’. Undoubtedly there will be more changes and developments in future that coaches will need to tackle and adapt to as the pace of change increases.
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Discover how CBT works and can transform your coaching skills.
Date: Tue 19th June 2018 09:00 – 16:30 Venue: Regents University London NW1 4NS Early Bird prices until 6th April [Ex VAT] AC Members: £115
Join our exclusive AC Master Class with Dr Rob Willson PhD, who will walk you through the latest CBT research and theory, giving you the tools to better understand the subject and the confidence to know when to apply CBT within the coaching context.
Non-Members: £155 Speaker:
Topics that will be covered: l Updating CBT theory, best practice and myth busting l Application of CBT in Coaching l Live coaching demonstration l Coaching CBT clinic and Q&A
Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is the most widely used evidence-based practice for improving mental health guided by empirical research. The applications of CBT have been widely promoted and its core principles have transcended therapeutic interventions and are now being practised across a broad range of talking treatments. In this Master Class Rob will focus on coaching brief interventions as well as current ‘hot topics’ such as imagery, compassion, and transdiagnostic processes.
Dr Rob Willson PhD is a leading Cognitive Behavioural Therapist based in London, with a special interest in OCD, BDD, Health Anxiety and Integrating Coaching and Therapy. He divides his time between working with clients, conducting research, writing and teaching. www.robwillson.com
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