Blog

Self-fulfilling prophecies and why they matter when coaching

Self-fulfilling prophecies and why they matter when coaching

Researchers refer to three kinds of self-fulfilling prophecy, one of which creates a negative result. The Galatea effect The Galatea effect refers to self-belief, the idea that if you believe you can succeed you will. High-performers in any field and blessed with strong self-belief. They trust themselves to succeed, take an optimistic view of most situations and see ‘failures’ as learning opportunities. When coaching someone over the long term you’ll almost certainly want to help people access this state of mind, but it may take some time and patience if they’re carrying a lot of negative baggage. In which case

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A little bit more X and Y

A little bit more X and Y

I have written before about Douglas McGregor and his Theory X and Theory Y suppositions about management behaviour. (See My Coaching Philosophy) According to McGregor, Theory X Managers take the view that people: essentially dislike work and will avoid it all together if possible are motivated only by money or fear need discipline and constant supervision can’t be trusted avoid responsibility lack loyalty and commitment lack creativity – accept in finding ways to avoid work! Let’s just stop for a moment and consider how a manager would treat people if she held this view. I think it’s likely she would:

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What percentage of people's potential do you see at work?

What percentage of people’s potential do you see at work?

I have asked this question dozens of times at seminars and training courses and have yet to get an answer of 100% or even close.  Most responses come in the 30% – 60% range suggesting that there’s a lot of ability out there that remains untapped. That’s a pretty strong business case for having effective coaching at work I would suggest. After all, you pay for 100% potential, but how much do you actually get? But how do people even form a view? On what do we base our estimates? Asked to justify their answer people will point to a

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Coaching is an idea whose time has come

Coaching is an idea whose time has come

The challenges have never been greater for anyone who must achieve results through people. Ferocious change, flatter structures and new technologies have all conspired to render old style leadership by command totally irrelevant. If we continue to attempt to solve 21st Century problems with 19th century solutions, the chances of failure are high. Organisations are finding that the tired old rhetoric of ‘people are our greatest asset’ really is true. Install a new piece of equipment or IT system and your rivals can have the same in place by the following month. Secure some capital and you’ll likely find that

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How I discovered the joy of coachin

How I discovered the joy of coaching

I am obsessed with work. I realise in making this claim that I risk alienating those followers who have worked long and hard to bring a little balance into their own working lives and those of their colleagues, so let me qualify the statement. I am not obsessed with working. I believe that for the most part people spend too many of their waking hours in factories, shops and offices and that many of these hours are not really productive. There is a difference between business and busyness. Throughout Europe and perhaps the UK in particular, this is further exacerbated

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Successful Coaching

Was your coaching a success?

Warning! Coaching is about people not numbers. You will never be able to prove beyond all doubt that coaching is the sole cause of any performance improvement. To try to do so will prove exhausting and you are better off spending your energy on coaching more people. Notwithstanding the above you may want – or be asked – to show that your coaching has been successful. This short section will provide some basic pointers and you can then do further research if you wish. The ultimate type of evaluation is known as ‘Return on Investment’. Here we are trying to

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Cultural considerations in coaching

Cultural considerations in coaching

I was once running some training in Kenya for Kenyans. I became exasperated that getting the delegates to come back to the training room after coffee breaks and lunch was like an exercise in herding cats! Some would wander back into the room and then wander out again to speak to someone else, others would be on their mobiles and seemingly quite reluctant to finish those conversations. When I stopped to think about it I realized that I was experiencing a cultural difference. My Anglo Saxon culture had taught me to operate through time. In other words to be always

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Overcoming the barriers to coaching

Overcoming the barriers to coaching

I am sad to say that I had no trouble in finding barriers to coaching when I researched this topic. Here’s my top 10: The organisation’s culture is in conflict with coaching principles There are always other priorities Managers are uncomfortable in the coaching role Management resist being coached themselves There are too few role models Increased workloads make finding time for coaching difficult Short term focus Performance related rewards promote performance but not learning or enjoyment People selected as coaches are unsuitable perception that coaching was being used to rectify poor performance (in a punitive way) Rather than tackle these

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Coaching at Work : Open programme

It has been a few year’s since we’ve run our coaching programme on an open basis, but we have a client with three people who need the training. This is too few for an in-house course and so I’m contacting other clients to see if they have one or two people with a training need in coaching skills. I am looking at late October, probably in the Darlington (North East England) area. I am happy to charge our old price of £750 + VAT per person which covers the 2 days of training and 1 night’s dinner, bed and breakfast

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Using Internal v external coaches

Our working assumption so far has been that coaching is something that ‘managers’ do to ‘staff’. But which managers and what if they are not willing or able to provide coaching? Are there times when it might be better to hire an external coach? Our first decision then is whether to look for coaches internally or externally. Each has its pros and cons as we’ll see and much will depend on the overall climate into which you are trying to introduce coaching. For example, uncertainty about trust and confidentiality and an unwillingness to tackle issues that may concern performance or

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How to coach your boss

I am often asked, can I coach my boss? The simple answer is yes you can and the coaching principles are exactly the same. You do however need to be subtle, making sure you don’t usurp their authority and doing everything you can to work in a relationship of trust. The relationship you have with your boss is very important on both a professional and a personal level. It can have a significant influence on your day-to-day job satisfaction as well as your long-term career success. The relationship is also important to your boss who is counting on you, and

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On being coached

This post is based on the assumption that you’ll value being coached as much as you value providing coaching. I have yet to come across a coaching manager who doesn’t appreciate the benefits of the learning partnerships that coaches and coachees form. You will find as many opportunities to be coached as you will to provide coaching and we need to consider what it’s like to be on the receiving end. This will help you get the most from a coaching relationship from a coachee perspective and also build your appreciation of the thoughts and feelings that the prospect of

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How about some instant coaching skills?

Part of Hodder Education’s Instant Manager series, my book on coaching was first published in 2012 and covers everything from coaching definitions to how to set up and run a coaching session.

For a limited time the publishers and I are making this digital version available FREE to my new and existing subscribers.