blog: news and opinion

 

Under the Influence: my latest article in Coaching at Work

30th November 2017

My article 'Under the Influence' has been published in the Nov/Dec 2017 issue of 'Coaching at Work'. When line managers attempt to use coaching as a tool for performance management this is an inappropriate use of both power and responsibility: Tops, Middles, Bottoms and Customers can feel ‘done to’ and impotent in the face of others’ power. I too, as executive coach, need to use my power and responsibility with care.

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A sense of belonging

31st October 2017

The deepest human need is to belong. A strong sense of belonging and connectedness is positively associated with wellbeing, happiness and mental health. Feelings of belonging are understood to influence an individual’s identity and the extent to which they feel accepted, respected, valued for who they are - and these feelings in turn, by strengthening relationships, impact on engagement, effectiveness and productivity

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Dancing with fear: my latest article in Coaching at Work

30th September 2017

Several of the senior leaders I work with are frightened. Not only is the fear corrosive at a personal level in terms of wellbeing, stress, confidence and shame, but it also inhibits performance and can have serious effects for organisations when individuals are afraid to innovate despite a business need to do things differently, or when they don't dare to say what's true. Coaching systemically and mindfully resources both the client and me - and the more I engage at a deep level with my own courage, resilience, capability, connectedness and resources, the less frightening life may be for the client.

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Confidence, effectiveness and systems

30th August 2017

Confidence that is depleted – which often results from an individual interpreting an external event or behaviour, and believing (albeit unconsciously) the message that they construct from it – leads very easily to effectiveness that is depleted. Looking outwards from the individual into their environment and the systems of relationships they are part of is often a more elegant and rapid process, offering more sustained and richer outcomes for rebuilding and re-resourcing, than cognitive approaches.

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In the swim of things: my latest article in Coaching at Work

12th July 2017

Some of my coaching clients have difficulty staying upright in the stream of their organisational cultures, especially when they aren't aligned with the values or behaviours in those cultures: their difficulty lies in being different, even though that may be exactly why they were recruited in the first place. This can cause significant stress.

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Stress, relationships and business results

30th June 2017

Line managers can unwittingly create damaging stress in the relationships they have with their reports. This can come from their modelling themselves against others whose values they don't share - and once they allow themselves to be their authentic selves their working relationships can be transformed. Systemic coaching blended with comfort working with mental health issues can resource the client in valuable ways.

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Leadership in professional service firms

31st May 2017

Leadership is particularly complex and demanding in professional service firms such as law and accountancy. In such firms not only is profit generated through each fee-earner's billable hours, but the distribution and clarity of power is less clear, more diffuse and less demarcated than in other organisations. Leadership is an ambiguous matter of high autonomy and yet often high consensus.

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Do you know when to stop? My latest article in Coaching at Work

4th May 2017

When is coaching actually performance management? My reflection column in the May issue of Coaching at Work explores my experience that there’s no clear, constant, easily-definable line between the two.

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A Bigger Conversation

28th April 2017

Relationships - between people, and between people and events, behaviours, beliefs, cultures and outputs - are the key to organisational health. Sometimes skilled, capable and experienced leaders don't seem fully able to occupy their authority, sometimes the same challenge seems to recur repeatedly. Such challenges may require a Bigger Conversation: a conversation that addresses not just individuals or individual issues, but which sees them as an ecosystem.

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Influence, impact and culture change: a systemic view

31st March 2017

When a new broom comes in to a senior role with high expectations, but is inexplicably unable to occupy their authority, the situation can benefit from a systemic constellations perspective. This means looking at what might have been ignored in the organisation’s remembering, what or who might have been excluded or unacknowledged - and especially what might not have been acknowledged about the contribution of a previous occupant of the role. Energy is then released and the leader is freed up to do what they do best.

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