Mentors' coaching articles

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.

When two heads are better than one – The power of reciprocal mentoring

As a leader in a company, your experiences at work will be very different from those of a junior employee. In fact, everyone’s experience of work and of life differs. To make good business decisions at every level, it’s important to understand each others’ worlds, and that’s where reciprocal mentoring comes in. So what is it, and why it is such a good idea?

True Grit – The importance of getting your story straight

Failure hurts. When you fail, make mistakes, relationships become strained or you disappointingly lose, it can shatter your equilibrium. Inevitably it always involves having to pick yourself up and dust ourselves off. It can take plenty of resolve and resilience to start again.

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.

About the process of transition – And how to handle it well

Everyone experiences transition at work. It can be as dramatic as a seismic shift in the outlook of the business or as basic as someone familiar leaving the firm, the loss of a loyal supporter. The key is to recognise a transition point when you reach one, and to handle it well.

Working with three horizons in mind – shaping new futures

We are living in such uncertain and volatile times. Everyone is searching for some ‘handle’ on the future? We are seeking to see what emerges and how to shape different futures - find a way forward through all the uncertainties and complexities.

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.

The benefits of Reverse Mentoring for more inclusive working

Mentoring usually involves older or more experienced people passing information down to younger, less experienced people. But what if we turned that on its head? Could there be advantages around younger, less experienced employees mentoring older, more experienced colleagues?

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.

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.

What makes a great mentor?

Have you ever enjoyed the support of a skilled mentor, someone whose qualities and attitudes have helped you become the best you can be? Maybe you've been lucky enough to have had more than one fantastic mentor helping you reach your goals?

Kintsugi, wabi-sabi, and why it’s fine to be imperfect

In Japanese ‘Kintsugi’ means to 'join with gold', an elegant and graceful way to mend broken pottery, leaving the mend fully visible and highlighting it with the precious metal. The pot shards are fused back together with gold, and the gilded cracks become part of the object's beauty.

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.

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?

Why your glass is actually half full – The value of positive psychology

Are you in the habit of being a 'glass half empty' person, a bit of a pessimist? If so you can learn to become more optimistic, learn how to fill that glass even if you're easily discouraged. You can steadily learn how to change your habitual reactions. Here's why it matters, and how Martin Seligman’s approach and techniques can help you.

How to slow down, calm down, and harness non-violent communication

At various times in your career you'll probably find yourself handling a variety of challenging situations. In fact anyone on an upward career path will encounter tricky circumstances at one time or another, involving unhappy, disappointed and frustrated people. So how do you manage yourself, and them, effectively?

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.

Are You Struggling to Overcome the Imposter Syndrome?

Do you ever feel like an imposter? It's a surprisingly common phenomenon amongst leaders like you. If you find you're constantly worried that someone will realise you're not up to the job and 'find you out', you're not alone.

Shine at your next interview – How to prepare for success

How are you at job interviews? Some people cope just fine, managing to stay calm and focused. Others feel terribly nervous, forget what they want to say, lose the plot, fall apart. Do you struggle to give concise answers at interviews?

What is Emotional Intelligence? EQ is vital ingredient for success

Emotions are essential to human survival. But it’s all too easy for them to run away with us, especially under pressure. If you’ve ever really lost your temper in a work context you’ll know how unproductive it is. It can be difficult to handle and manage your emotions unless you know how you’re feeling from one moment to the next.

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.

Optimise your business mind: Harness the Chimp Paradox

We have a lot in common with chimpanzees, our close genetic relatives. Like us they use tools, recognise themselves in mirrors, experience emotions. But if you've ever seen footage of chimps at war, chimps carrying out a brutal murder, chimps losing the plot completely, it's easy to see they're far from human. We tend to have more control over our emotions... most of the time!

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.

The 7 secrets to a great new role

We coach a lot of people in transition. Transition coaching, helping people move from one role to another, is a distinctive niche in the coaching market.

Your USP – define your unique selling point

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’.

Rustout– About Burnout’s Lesser-Known Relative

Search online and you might find a few articles about it, none of which are particularly comprehensive. 'Rustout' isn't anywhere near as well covered, explored and discussed as the better known 'burnout'.

How values – And being savvy about them – Will enhance your career

Focusing on your deeply-held values can be extremely beneficial at every stage in your career. Understanding your core professional values and how they directly influence you in a working context will help you to be yourself with far more skill. Values ground and anchor you. When life and work engage your values strongly, and you can express them congruently, you’ll be more fulfilled. But when there’s tension and conflict around them, the opposite happens.

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.

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’.

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.

Managing Virtual Teams to Achieve Powerful Results

You can be as brilliant as you like as an individual, or as a group of individuals, and once you form a fully-functioning team, whether it's virtual or physical, you almost always achieve more than the sum of the parts. Having said that, without careful management and constant nurturing a virtual team can easily fail to gel properly in the first place... and just as easily fall apart.

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!

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.

How to make your CV stand out

A great CV sits at the heart of every successful career move. How do you create a winning CV that gets you that new role? Here are our CV tips.