Coaching

Get unstuck and create new choices

I help people see new choices and get unstuck from frustrating patterns and relationships.

  • Better communications/presentations
  • Managing “difficult” people
  • Enhancing creativity
  • Managing up as well as down

I’ve worked with many organisations, including:

  • CNN
  • The BBC
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • American Express
  • Bovis Lend Lease

If you’d like to discuss what you’d like to get from a coaching relationship, please call me on +44 7973 414263.

A two minute introduction to my approach

You can also see a series of videos I’ve made about Difficult Conversations, and a series I am making reflecting on working with people.

A human approach

A lot of business processes aim for standardisation, there’s a tendency to expect everyone to be the same, and to be efficient. For every kind of business situation, there are books and manuals offering standard solutions … you know: seven steps for this, the four secrets of that, the three best practices for the other…

Actually, I think this ignores the most significant thing about being human which is our humanity. We’re flesh and blood, with sometimes unpredictable feelings and repsonses. Which means many of us are left strugging to fit into standard models – and then either blaming others or blaming ourselves.

So if a coach arrives with a standard model (eg GROW) he is quite likely to increase that sense of disconnect, not make it better. I think we do better as human beings when time and space is taken to find the individual approach rather than the standard one.

Timothy Gallwey, author of the “Inner Game” points out that coaches who come in with solutions for clients actually tend to reinforce their client’s sense of incompetence. Richard Farson, a great writer on management, also suggests that standard training has the same effect – it actually disables the recipient’s confidence in their own talent and ability to work out solutions. Like Farson, I think it’s better to practice getting comfortable with ambiguity in work, rather than painting over the cracks with a standard process.

What actually works?

Research on what actually works in any kind of person-to-person relationship where there is some goal of personal change concludes that there is one key factor in success, and it isn’t the technique used. It’s that both participants have faith and trust in each other and share some optimism about the outcome. That creates the context in which the client can figure out for himself the best way forward. This gives him the joy of disovery and an inherent sense of ownership.

I think clients should shop around and find the coach they feel comfortable working with. The one who is best able to create a relationship with them.

What influences me?

Having knocked techniques, let me give a bit of information about some of the work that does influence me.

I trained in humanistic psychotherapy, broadly speaking an approach that argues that the relationship between practitioner and client is at the heart of change. So I’ve done a lot of experiential work, one-to-one and in groups where the empahsis is on attending to “what’s happening here”. I think that means I am more than averagely attentive to clients, pick up nuances faster and seem to create more trusting relationships. I’m also a believer in improvisation, a willingness to experiment and try new things out without getting overly attached to getting it right. I’m good at helping clients figure out new, more exciting choices open to them in what first seemed like impossible situations.

I’ve also done a lot of work facilitating groups which has been a constant re-education in the value of having faith in people to come up with ideas and to avoid the egotistical urge to “make things happen”. I think I know how to get out of people’s way whilst still letting them know that I’m interested in, and optimistic about their abilities to create something new.

Initial conversation

Please contact me if you’d like to discuss your requirements. You can call me on 07973 414263 - or email me.