How I became the Coaching Bloke

Written by Matt Somers on . Posted in Thoughts from that Coaching Bloke

My life changed forever in 1994. I was a newly promoted Training Manager with a high-street bank and had a range of courses I needed to attend as part of my own induction.

By far the most intriguing was a 2-day Coaching for Performance event hosted by Sir John Whitmore. I knew John had something to do with Motor Racing but was more curious about how coaching in sport could transfer to the world of work. How could it help me to help the managers my role was there to support?

The course took place over 2-days and was held at the Bisham Abbey sports facility in the South of England. This was also the base at the time of the England Football team, but sadly – perhaps – they were not there at the same time as I was.

The course was very enjoyable and we all had a lot of fun, but best of all it gave me answers. How to motivate people in ways other than just paying them more. How to get people to step forward and willingly accept responsibility to see a job through. How to operate in an environment of openness and trust. Best course I ever did.

When the bank wanted to make the course an internal one to be delivered in-house, I was first in the queue to volunteer to become a licensed trainer.

The first time I delivered the course, a participant arrived early. I was puzzled by his disappointed expression but heartily introduced myself. “Hi, I’m Matt Somers and I work in the Training Department.” I said while shaking his hand.

“Oh,” he said, “my wife thought you were a downhill skier!”

I realised then that I needed to drop the sporting analogies and concentrate of the world of work which I understood much better.

Fast forward a few years and I’ve left the bank and set up on my own. I took a redundancy package and joined the ‘best thing that ever happened’ club. I now run my own 2-day programme using models, exercises and concepts based on the world of work. I love going back to organisations I’ve worked with for someone to say “I remember you, you’re that coaching bloke!”

I do my best to pass on that initial enthusiasm for coaching in my training seminars, books and articles. I know that coaching makes the big difference and I see my challenge as spreading that message as far as I can.

Most recently I decided to join the web 2.0 revolution and have set up a blog called (appropriately I hope you’ll agree) “Thoughts from that Coaching Bloke” you’re reading it now!

Perhaps you’d like to join me on one of our programmes and become a coaching bloke (or coaching lady?) too.

Call us on 01429 839 266 or visit www.mattsomers.com

About 

Matt Somers is the UK’s leading trainer of managers as coaches. His coaching skills training programmes, books, articles and seminars have helped thousands of managers achieve outstanding results through their people.

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