Management coaching articles

Explore our insightful articles and discover their relevance to you

Hooked on ‘people pleasing’ at work? Here’s how to stop

Brene Brown isn’t the only one who used to struggle with saying ‘no’, something that can affect even the most successful of us. US chat show superstar Oprah Winfrey calls it the 'disease to please', and she didn’t manage to overcome the impulse to say ‘yes’ to everything until she hit forty. Others have defined it as an ‘unhealthy focus on others’ rather than yourself.

Stakeholder management – Get people on board, keep them there

It’s rare to embark on a work project that doesn’t depend on other people for investment, support, resources, or all three. Because working with multiple stakeholders could prove one of your biggest challenges, managers and leaders need to know about and handle stakeholder management well.

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

About Wigs and Pigs – And how to survive the Whirlwind – Part 1

So many great ideas, so little time... what do you do, as a leader, when there’s a multitude of inspiring ideas flying around but you simply don’t have the resources to make them all happen? When everything seems equally urgent in the whirlwind of everyday working life, where do you focus your energies? You need to be able to see the wood for the trees.

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.

Understanding the grief cycle

Grief. It’s part of the human condition, part of life. At some point in our lives we all have to deal with it, and we all do so in different ways. At the same time there has always been a need to deal with grief with grace, deconstruct it, handle it and understand it. That’s another part of the human condition. We can’t help ourselves.

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?

Cultivating Deliberate Creativity in Teams – Part 2

In this blog, I continue to explore how creativity is best understood as a collective effort. One that always involves other people. I describe how this understanding can help groups to think differently and become more deliberately creative. Describing what they need do to get the creativity juices flowing.

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.

The ups and downs of working with a narcissist – And how to survive it!

Narcissism is a trait that can be very difficult to live with as well as very tricky to work with. If you're struggling to cope with a narcissist in a business context, it is challenging and it isn't all bad. Here are the up-sides and downsides of working with a narcissist, and how to survive the experience.

Essential Insight for Managers – How to Challenge Well

As a manager, there's no avoiding it. You will, at one point or another, have to challenge someone's behaviour at work. So how do you successfully challenge somebody on what can sometimes feel like an intensely personal level, when the way they're performing or behaving is rocking the boat?

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).

About the Drama Triangle – And how to escape it

If you've ever found yourself trapped in a personal Drama Triangle, you will already know how detrimental it can be to relationships. But it also rears its ugly head in a business context, and it's something well worth watching out for.

Flattery isn’t feedback – it rarely encourages or inspires genuine confidence

How do you feel about being flattered? Most of us find it slightly uncomfortable, even though we're not always sure why it doesn't feel right. Praise and encouragement almost always feel real. Flattery and ingratiation tend to have a shallower edge, an undercurrent that isn't as positive as it might at first seem, a hidden agenda.

Placement years – a student’s real life experience at work

Placement years at Universities are becoming more and more popular, with plenty of reasons why! Placement and Sandwich years are offered to students like myself, whilst studying at University, however not all courses offer them. I’m currently doing an Event Management degree and have just completed my Placement year.

Always busy? Getting busier? Slowing down could change your life!

Everyone's busy. Plenty of us are really, really busy, all of the time. Some say busy-ness has reached epidemic proportions in the wealthy western economy. But is being so busy you can't easily turn around and can't always think well, really a wise approach to work?

About internships – Great for business, great for careers

In the USA internships kicked off in the late 1960s. Since then they've become commonplace over the Atlantic. Roll back time to the 1990s in the UK and internships were more or less unheard of. Now they're a fast-growing trend in Britain too. So what are the advantages of an internship? How do they help businesses, and how about the interns themselves?

How to stop your blind spots from tripping you up

Our blind spots often develop when we’re young. They help us survive, and they often start off being pretty useful. But as time goes by and your past successes become your only way to succeed in the present and future, things can get tricky. If our only approach to solving problems doesn’t work in certain environment, we’re lost.

Resistance to Change in the Workplace – And How to Handle it

Change in business is natural. It feeds progress and drives success. Organisations can change their tactics, strategies and plans, their management structure, the tech they use, their culture, goals, markets, priorities, all sorts of things. But at the same time research reveals around 70% of change fails thanks to resistant employees.

How great managers create positive feedback loops

Feedback matters in business, and great managers set up the conditions where feedback is welcomed. They lead through walking the talk, by building strong, resilient relationships, and by welcoming feedback about their own performance. Giving feedback well - both negative or positive, is a skill every manager needs in order to improve the situation, enhance the person's, team's or department's performance.

Stress Recipe managers need to avoid

Central to any management position is the thought that people matter. Organisations may say people are their number 1 asset but it is usually up to line managers to demonstrate this by how they relate to their staff. Yet providing recognition in ways that work for everyone can be challenging for any manager.

Mind the Gap – How to Manage Expectations

There’s often a gap between what you expect and what you get, and it can cause ructions. You can avoid the pitfalls by managing your own and others’ expectations, but that’s easier said than done. Your first step? You need a good level of awareness, plus the knowledge that while the gap is often invisible in work conversations, that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Here’s how to mind that gap.

A Practical Approach to Resilience at Work

Work demands things of us. The job itself, colleagues, bosses, clients and suppliers all create pressure. But demands that are difficult or impossible to meet create too much pressure, which in turn drives stress.

Delegating well and avoiding pitfalls

Delegation is a sanity-saver, a distinct management skill that can change the way you work for the better and enable you to achieve more. Here's how.

How to Run Great Business Meetings

There's a way to run face to face and virtual meetings. Get it right, and it will enhance your career as well as getting essential things done. Here's how.

Managing your perfectionism at work

Perfectionism at work can be a wonderful thing. It can also be a nightmare for you and everyone around you. Here's how to deal with it and dial it down.

Choosing a facilitator

There are times in the life of every group when the team has a really difficult matter to resolve, or would benefit from fresh thinking and a different perspective. There may also be meetings when you as team leader would...