Articles for coaches

Explore our insightful articles and discover their relevance to you

Check your thinking with the Ladder of Inference

We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t jump to conclusions. But when we test our assumptions beforehand, we can make better decisions, avoid unconscious biases, and adjust our initial reactions. Chris Argyris’ Ladder of Inference provides a structure to do this, making it a useful resource for anyone, especially mentors, managers and coaches.

The risks of confirmation bias – and how to avoid it

Which coaches, managers and leaders are at risk of confirmation bias? Basically, all of us. Confirmation bias is horribly easy to fall into. It can cloud anyone’s judgement. And it’s wise to know about it so you can keep your thinking clear. Here’s what you need to know

Discover the power of single, double and triple loop learning

We are creatures of habit, so learning and change can be a tricky thing to drive. Some kinds of change are harder to implement than others. Single, double and triple loop learning, as defined by Argyris & Schön in 1974 can be a helpful way of understanding how we become stuck, and why, when, and how transformational learning is more likely to occur.

Live more freely with Virginia Satir’s Five Freedoms

Virginia Satir was an influential American author and psychotherapist, respected for her innovative approach to family therapy during from the 1950s onwards. Her pioneering work led to her nickname, the Mother of Family Therapy.

Harness Virginia Satir’s Change Curve to lead change better

Change can make a lot of us feel very uncomfortable. We can find ourselves lost in the midst of change, unsure how to move forwards, worried about the results and implications of doing things differently. Some people are so reluctant to change that it can cause real problems. As a coach, manager or mentor, change is something you’ll to support people with.

The importance of presence in coaching

What is ‘presence’ in coaching? It can be hard to define, although when you are with a coach with real presence, you sense it immediately. A coach with genuine presence is highly self-aware and they are mentally, and emotionally present. They have an open, flexible, grounded and confident style. There are interested and focused upon their client.

Self-Determination Theory – The Energy of Action

Self-Determination Theory (SDT) has made a significant impact to field of study of human motivation. SDT added a more multi-faceted understanding of motivation. This approach can be used to better understand yourself and others.

Covey’s Circle of Concern and Influence

Have you heard of Stephen Covey’s Circle of Concern and Influence? It’s extremely useful for coaches and managers, a powerful model to apply to both individuals and teams. So, what’s it all about, and how might it help you survive those downward mood spirals that sometimes hit a group of people, then spread out more widely to others?

Sparking Creativity by Joining the Dots – Part 3

In this blog, I take a closer look at the idea of creativity being seen as a process of ‘joining-the-dots’ and how this idea links to what we know about both individual and group creativity. And how you can use this understanding to bring creativity into your world.

Minimalism – when less can equal more

What exactly is minimalism and the benefits it has to offer? Essentially, it is all about how less can really be more. The original minimalist movement is recognised as first beginning in the art world. Emerging out of New York City, in the late 1960s.

Charting our way through the storm – Part 1

You will probably be familiar with the following famous quote, shared at the beginning on the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are not all in the same boat. We are all in the same storm. Some are on super-yachts. Some have just one oar.”

Post-traumatic growth (PTG) on the horizon – Part 2

I described the experience as a ‘collective trauma’, no matter which boat you journeyed in. Here, I explore what it means to describe the COVID-19 pandemic in these terms, exploring the lesser talked about side of trauma: Post-Traumatic Growth (PTG).

The Paradox of Luck – Part 1

What are the chances of you existing at all? This was the question that Ali Binazir, the critically acclaimed author and self-described ‘Happiness Engineer’ asked himself. The answer he arrived at: 1 in 102,685,000. Or 10 followed by 2,685,000 zeroes.

Maximising return on luck – Part 2

In this blog, I take a closer look at what Jim Collins and Morten Hansen, the American researchers, authors, and consultants have contributed towards our understanding of luck. Then in turn, how we can apply this understanding to recent events related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adopting A Lucky Perspective – Part 3

In this blog, I will take a closer look at examples I have already touched upon in the last two blogs, to help us understand and shape events before they happen in the future.

Solution Circles – Harnessing Group Creativity

Solution-focused approaches to coaching advocate that people are inherently resourceful and creative. It therefore stands to reason that, under the right conditions if we can facilitate groups effectively and in a collaborative way, the potential for even better ideas and outcomes will follow.

The power of visual storytelling in a digital age

Michael and Jack Whitehall are an unlikely double-act - a father and son duo. In their talk-show, Backchat, and with their recent travel shows, Travels with my Father, they constantly, repeatedly miss each others’ point. Their humour is based on the fact that Michael aged 79 and Jack aged 29 live in the same world but also inhabit totally different worlds. Their assumptions, their beliefs, the things they value are at total variance with each other.

Affirming our differences – What’s your label?

In today’s complex, fluid world, many of us define ourselves by just one or two aspects of our identity. These identity-defining aspects are very important to us, and when we become invested in them that investment often takes the form of very strong emotions.

Gestalt Coaching – greater awareness, greater choices

Awareness is a vital part of the foundation on which Gestalt coaching sits, a core principle underpinning it. As a coach, awareness is the backbone of your practice - awareness of yourself, others and the contexts or systems you and they are operating in.

Coaching and mentoring intergenerationally – when you were born matters!

In business it’s our USP, our Unique Selling Point, how we distinguish ourselves from everyone else, that makes us different, that makes us special. That’s why people want to buy from us. Our brand is what makes us distinctive. Our USP is the very thing that makes us what we are, our ‘thisness’.

Team Building Chatbots – The Future of Executive Coaching?

As recently reported in New Scientist magazine, innovative chatbot software created by London HR company Saberr is helping team members communicate better. Called CoachBot, it assesses workplace dynamics, 'listens' to people's complaints and puts forward ways to help make teams more productive.

The different dimensions of listening

People frequently talk about levels of listening as if listening is a set of logical steps that you can access one after the other. Sometimes listening is compared to driving from first to fifth gear then back down again, occasionally back tracking and moving into reverse!

Golden threads in coaching

There is power in simplicity. If you can articulate the core principles in a way that others can quickly grasp, it makes running a coaching practice so much easier.

Taking humour seriously in business coaching

Humour can be a surprisingly powerful intervention and source of learning within a strong business coaching relationship. It rarely, however, seems to be given much air time on coaching courses.

Coaching and organisations – the metaphorical dimension

As executive coaches, listening out for the ways in which clients use metaphors in their business systems, can provide valuable insight. It gives information, data that can be drawn up to the surface of their thinking and evaluated, kept or changed.

Signature presence

Executive coaching as a profession is growing rapidly. How coaches position themselves is becoming increasingly important. Coaches need to be able to communicate their distinctiveness and what they offer confidently and succinctly.

Coaching is all Greek to me

Many people think coaching is easy. After all, doesn’t it just involve waiting for the person you’re coaching to arrive at their own answers? However to be the kind of coach that makes it look effortless, you first need...