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Aspiration to Reality Blog

Aspiration to Reality Blog2023-07-28T14:56:20+01:00

Crossing the Edges

For the purpose of this article, I would like to invite you to think about the coaching process from a different perspective. When we coach clients towards the goal they want to achieve, most of the time we can observe the phenomenon of increasing resistance, a sense of being challenged, an uncomfortable feeling of moving towards the unknown. All of the above is showing up while the clients are ...

May 31, 2024|Categories: Uncategorized|

Managing Workplace Stress and Overwhelm

In a fast-paced digital world at different times in our lives, we may experience workplace stress or overwhelm. It can last for a few minutes, or for a longer period of time. In my coaching sessions, I am pleased to see that in a post-COVID world, people have become even more equipped to identify the sources of overwhelm and take steps to manage it. In this article, we explore ...

May 6, 2024|Categories: Uncategorized|

Do you have a Clear Agreement?

The current ICF Core Competency model was produced as a result of a two year long job analysis exploring the knowledge, skills, tasks and activities needed for any practitioner to operate skilfully as a professional coach. Amongst many other things, this extensive research gave rise to the identification of five key themes which were considered of significant importance for inclusion in the final body of work. One of those ...

April 1, 2024|Categories: Coach Development|
  • Shwezin Win and her Children

From Scepticism to Advocacy

How Coaching Education Transformed Me as a Professional and a Parent As a sceptic of coaching, I never imagined it would play a significant role in my life, let alone enhance my skills as a parent. In my last corporate environment, my only experience of coaching, was fruitless and unhelpful. Why? Firstly, I was given Executive Coaching when I was at my lowest point. Even though I was in ...

March 1, 2024|Categories: Coach Development, Testimonial|
  • Linda Stephens, PCC, Art and Alchemy of Coaching participant

Linda’s Story: The Importance of Credibility

Linda Stephens, PCC (United Kingdom) is founder and Managing Director at Cobalt Red, an international executive coaching business geared toward senior C-suite professionals and those aspiring to become C-Suite. Alongside her paid business, Linda offers pro bono coaching to alumni of the African Leadership Academy (ALA). “These are the creme de la creme from all over the African continent. They go to Jo'burg, to go to university, ...

February 23, 2024|Categories: Coach Development, Testimonial|
  • Kate Jennings, PCC, Art and Alchemy of Coaching participant

Kate’s Story: Learning the Alchemy of Coaching

Kate Jennings, PCC (United Kingdom) is an executive coach for Kate Jennings Coaching based in Stamford, just north of Cambridge. Kate works with a range of organisations in the UK and throughout Europe helping their leaders excel through developing leadership skills and behaviours. Kate come into coaching through counseling. Through her post-grad therapy qualification about 25 years ago, she decided she didn’t actually want to work as ...

February 20, 2024|Categories: Coach Development, Testimonial|
  • Coaching Maturity

Pathways to Coaching Maturity

Within the coaching community, we often hear the term ‘lifelong learner’ as being something that we, as practitioners of coaching, are encouraged, and even expected, to embrace. From an International Coaching Federation (ICF) perspective, this idea of lifelong learning is marked and highlighted in several ways: We have the credentials of Associate Certified Coach (ACC), Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and Master Certified Coach (MCC) as a way of noting ...

February 9, 2024|Categories: Coach Development|
  • New Year, New...

New Year, New …?

We all know that a New Year typically means new goals, new resolutions, new habits, new… We also know that much of this ‘new’ stuff stops after about 3-5 weeks and then it’s either forgotten about or we feel bad because we failed, yet again. As an alternative approach, here are a few thoughts and ideas that you could be useful for both you and your clients in thinking ...

January 7, 2024|Categories: Coach Development|
  • Celebrating new beginnings

Endings, Celebrations and New Beginnings

In the past three years, I have written three articles which are related to beginnings, endings, celebrations and acknowledgements. New Starts — New Beginnings (December 2019) Celebrate What is Right with Your World (December 2020) Acknowledge and Celebrate (September 2022) I would encourage you to review these articles if this is a topic that intrigues you, especially with the New Year on the horizon! This year, I want to ...

December 4, 2023|Categories: Coach Development|
  • Coaching for Social Impact

Coaching for Social Impact

One of the things that I love about being in the profession of coaching, is generally how very kind, generous and compassionate coaches usually are. My overriding experience is that coaches are simply really good people! One of the ways some of these characteristics show up is in the many different projects and initiatives that coaches participate in on a pro bono or reduced fee basis. I can honestly ...

November 6, 2023|Categories: Coach Development|
  • Kim Jooste, Coach Advancement Alumni

Kim’s Story: From Hobby to Coaching as a Career

Kim Jooste, ACC (Netherlands), a chemical engineer who once saw coaching as a hobby, has now taken up coaching as a career. Through her coaching, she supports female executives in male dominated industries, helping them exceed their career goals and gain more confidence along the way. She also supports entrepreneurs in the renewable energy and circular economy sectors to help ensure that the new technologies they're developing ...

October 23, 2023|Categories: Coach Development, Testimonial|
  • Kate Adams, Coach Advancement Alumni

Kate’s Story: Coaching for Sustainability

Kate Adams (London), is a Director at the Forward Institute, a Board member at ParalympicsGB and also offers coaching to sustainability professionals to support their important work for current and future generations. Familiar with sports coaching and mentoring, it wasn’t until the last 18 months that she really became familiar with coaching through her coach training and practice. A good friend recommended Coach Advancement’s Science and Art ...

October 9, 2023|Categories: Coach Development, Testimonial|

Ethical Decision Making – what’s that all about?

Back in February 2020, I wrote about the ‘new’ ICF Code of Ethics and the changes that were made to the code, which were quite substantial. Over the years I have delivered many classes on ethics, and they alway include how we make ethical decisions. Here, I'll offer thinking around: Where do our ethics typically come from? What influences how we make ethical decisions? What are the ways we ...

October 1, 2023|Categories: Coach Development|

What is Your Bias?

At a recent conference, the keynote speaker was discussing innovation and commented on how “additive bias” can impeded our creativity and innovation when we are constantly tempted to add something, as opposed to consider what to take away… Given that bias, awareness of bias (both our own and that of our clients) and how this informs coaching conversations is of significant relevance to coaching, this sparked my interest and ...

September 3, 2023|Categories: Coach Development|

Integration or Transition… and is there a difference?

During a recent cohort of our Business Development for Coaches Programme, a question arose about whether, as you consider your Coaching Practice, coaching is something that you are going to Integrate into what you are currently doing or are you Transitioning into doing something different from what you have been doing? Further, does it matter and is there a difference? Let's look at those different aspects of a coach’s ...

July 27, 2023|Categories: Coach Development|

Avoid or Lean in?

I never cease to be amazed how many lessons I can draw from my yoga practice that inform my coaching practice... Last week I was in a class and found myself in a particularly challenging pose and felt a really big stretch on some tight ligaments in my right hip. It was uncomfortable and my mind immediately started complaining and thinking about ways to avoid the discomfort. What if ...

June 29, 2023|Categories: Coach Development|

Checking in with our Clients

Let's explore the importance of ‘checking in’ with our clients during a coaching conversation. What I notice is that most often it happens towards the end of the conversation only and yet, if done more frequently, can often lead to more and deeper learning and awareness for clients. It can also support us as coaches to remain curious and present with our clients and keep out of their way ...

June 3, 2023|Categories: Coach Development|

Through helping others explore their potential, Anna Hiett discovered her own

As an executive coach, I’ve had the privilege to work with clients from a variety of industries and backgrounds. Each of my clients has their own unique challenges and expectations of what coaching can do for them. However, one common theme I’ve observed and validated with client feedback is that coaching has helped them explore their potential in a deeper way than they could have done on their own. ...

May 15, 2023|Categories: Coach Development|

The Power of Silence

French composer Claude Debussy said, 'Music is the space between the notes.' I like to think that the transformation in coaching happens in the silence between the words. A few years ago, I was working with the academic leader of a large pharmaceutical company. Although the coachee was based in the USA, he was originally from the Asia Pacific region, and English was not his first language. Given that ...

May 14, 2023|Categories: Coach Development|

The Seasons, The Tree, The Client and The Coach

A Beginning to an Ending And then I remember, the tree is shedding her wondrous cloak of many colours So she can conserve her energy, go inwards for some quiet contemplation To then come back and say ‘hello’ later through tiny buds with much potential and growth And joy to come again - new leaves, new buds, pretty blossoms and juicy fruits Yes, indeed, as the leaves fall, it ...

May 13, 2023|Categories: Coach Development|

Magic happens! How changing limiting beliefs helps clients find their inner resources

I have had clients stuck in their limiting beliefs and assumptions that they and their situations are a certain way, impossible to change. Those beliefs have affected their potential to achieve what they want in life. But coaching has helped them to question whether their beliefs are valid and true. Through coaching sessions, the client often realises that these beliefs and assumptions aren’t true and don’t serve them. Helpful ...

May 12, 2023|Categories: Coach Development|

Coaching: A Journey

As coaches, we love our metaphors, so I’m going to take you on a journey. I’m based in London, so let’s make it a journey of several tube stops. Stop 1 – Getting Unstuck One grey morning about a decade ago, I was walking to work and saw some waste collectors load bins into their rubbish truck. I was surprised by the wave of jealousy that washed over me. ...

May 11, 2023|Categories: Coach Development, Coaching in Conversation|

A workplace transformed: Coaching brings out the best in every organisation

We are relatively new to the exciting world of coaching. That is, we are relatively new to why and how it should be done. Most businesses these days will talk about having a positive, people-first culture and probably think they are already providing coaching for their employees. But the reality is that to be a proper coach, training is needed. Coaching is becoming a required skill among managers and ...

May 10, 2023|Categories: Coach Development|

Curiouser and curiouser: The adventures of a new coach into the wonderland of transformational coaching

Just like Lewis Carroll’s Alice, curiosity has been my constant companion as I move deeper into the ‘wonderland’ of transformational coaching. Curiosity is a fundamental cornerstone of coaching others. More than a state of mind, it manifests as a behaviour demonstrated in our use of powerful questions — how we listen, respond, reframe and then listen again — all core elements of the ICF competency framework. It keeps us ...

May 9, 2023|Categories: Coach Development|

When ‘I don’t know’ becomes the most empowering statement imaginable

One of the great premises in professional coaching lies in trusting in the client's potential of achieving new and greater results for themselves. Whether that potential is known or unknown to the client, the coach stands as a true partner in helping that potential come to life. To that end, professional coaches have several tools at their disposal. One of the most important ones is the ability to ask ...

May 8, 2023|Categories: Coach Development|

From individuals and organisations to coaches themselves, coaching unlocks the potential of everyone involved

Coaching is a rapidly growing profession that helps individuals and organisations unlock their potential, overcome limiting beliefs, and achieve their goals. The power of coaching lies in its ability to empower individuals to identify their unique strengths, values, and aspirations and develop strategies to reach their full potential. As a coach with many years of experience, I have witnessed firsthand the positive impact coaching can have on individuals' personal ...

May 7, 2023|Categories: Coach Development|

Potential and Embodiment – What light lies within us?

When ‘exploring potential’ was proposed as the theme for articles to celebrate International Coaching Week, I jumped at the chance to put my experience down on paper. I’ve been driven to support people in reaching their potential for much of my working life. It led me into leadership development as a career in the early 1990s and into coaching more than 15 years ago. It’s the reason I do ...

May 6, 2023|Categories: Coach Development|

Join Coach Advancement for International Coaching Week

It’s International Coaching Week! This week we will be sharing inspiring stories around the power of professional coaching. In addition, we’ll be celebrating with a series of special offers for our community. Continue reading to learn more! Sharing Stories of Exploring Potential This year’s theme from the International Coaching Federation is ‘Explore Your Potential,’ and we have asked our valued alumni community to share stories pertaining to that theme. We ...

May 5, 2023|Categories: Coach Development|

Let’s Get Out of the Comfort Zone!

We’ve probably all heard the term “growing pains” before, often used to describe the aching that children and young people have in their legs as their muscles accelerate rapidly is size and strength as part of their natural development process. As adults we might also feel muscular discomfort after a workout, as our muscles repair and get bigger and stronger. There’s “no gain without pain” is another commonly used ...

May 2, 2023|Categories: Coach Development|

Developing Your Coaching Business

Question: When should you start developing your coaching business? Answer: All the time! As business owners, we need to be looking at our business regularly. It doesn’t matter if we have just started out in our business, if we are long-time solopreneurs, if we run a limited company and have done so for a while, or it’s a part time business (or side hustle). However, the depth that we ...

March 30, 2023|Categories: Coach Development|

The Importance of Self-Care

Put Your Oxygen Mask on First Having just returned to work after the luxury of about six weeks off, I have been reminding myself, that in fact it was not a ‘luxury’ to take six weeks off, it was something I wanted to do and is and was part of my overall plan of looking after myself – what I call self-care. I want to remind us that, in ...

March 3, 2023|Categories: Coach Development|

Developing and Harnessing Your Intuition

In a previous article called Science and Art of Coaching, I shared a model by Michael Grinder that inspired the name of our ICF accredited coaching education programme. In his model, Michael shares how, as we develop, we initially focus on the “science” or technique of what we are learning. In this phase, we are seeking to become knowledgeable, confident, and proficient at knowing “what” to do and “how”. ...

February 4, 2023|Categories: Coach Development|

Working with a Stream of Consciousness

The question: “What do I do with clients who talk a lot?” is quite common in both Mentor Coaching and Coaching Supervision conversations. In this blog, I will take a look at various aspects of this question and how we can most effectively engage with a verbose client. First be Curious and seek to Understand The first thing to do, is not a ‘do’ at all, it’s a ‘be’! ...

January 29, 2023|Categories: Coach Development|

Practise, Practise, Practise

Here are a couple of big questions: Do you have a ‘live’ Coaching Practice and are you practising coaching regularly? If you are not practising your coaching regularly, how are you keeping fit for purpose? If you are practising regularly, are you getting feedback on your coaching to ensure you haven’t slipped into any poor habits. Either way it’s so important that we use our skills. The adage ‘use ...

December 2, 2022|Categories: Coach Development|

Working in the “Grey Space”

What is the Grey Space? There has always been a boundary that coaches navigate between coaching and counselling or therapy, or indeed other professional services such as consultancy or mentoring. Knowing how to effectively manage that boundary is important for ensuring that a client is in fact receiving the most suitable, appropriate, and helpful professional service given their wants, needs and circumstances etc. However, whilst this boundary has always ...

November 9, 2022|Categories: Coach Development|

Acknowledge and Celebrate

Often one of the things that people say coaching is about, is that its  providing ‘feedback’ to our clients. How I like to characterise that is that feedback is like holding a mirror up to our client, in support of them, to see what perhaps we and others see in them that they may not see themselves… Sometimes, and perhaps many times, we don’t always see our strengths and ...

September 29, 2022|Categories: Coach Development|

Carl’s Story

Carl Huelin is a men's coach from Jersey, Channel Islands. His company, The Rebooted Man, is a play on his journey—starting in the corporate world and over the past few years transforming his own life and seeing the need to help other men live their lives more powerfully. Carl is passionate about helping men prioritize themselves. He says, "I feel like if they can show up for ...

September 6, 2022|Categories: Coach Development, Testimonial|

Reflective Practice

The term ‘Reflective Practice” is being increasingly used in the context of coaching and is explicitly referenced in ICF Core Competency 2: Embodies a Coaching Mindset: “Develops an ongoing reflective practice to enhance one’s coaching”. Learning to reflect in order to improve one’s own practice is perceived as important across a range of professions, from teaching to counselling, and from management to clinical work. Knowing the self and managing ...

September 3, 2022|Categories: Coach Development|

Cultivating Creativity

Just recently I noticed, in different conversations, people talking about the need to be creative and how difficult it was to find the time and space to be creative. The conversations were around various topics such as creating new products, creating a website, business development etc. I became curious to explore what it takes to find the time and space to be creative. I also wondered how that might ...

July 26, 2022|Categories: Coach Development|

Pain is Inevitable, Suffering is Optional

“In life, we can’t always control the first arrow. However, the second arrow is our reaction to the first. The second arrow is optional” The Buddha This Buddhist parable explains that life sometimes presents us with situations, events, and circumstances that create pain for us. They are some of life’s inevitable arrows that come our way… misfortune, accidents, loss, separation, illness, bereavement, etc. However anytime this happens, there is ...

July 1, 2022|Categories: Coach Development|

Creating Motivation from the Inside Out

This month we have a guest blogger which is all about how to create and build motivation. He uses the analogy of building a fire, something he was taught by his father as a child.  As coaches, we can often come across clients who want to achieve big goals and sometimes struggle with ‘just’ getting started, ‘just’ doing it, and often it can come down to beliefs, confidence, and ...

June 6, 2022|Categories: Coach Development|

Coaching for Students and Young People

Empowering Students through Coaching The end of the Spring term at our school is marked clearly by one notorious event. Staff and students gather at a theatre in Prague and take their seats with high anticipation, for neither the audience nor the performers themselves can be certain of what is about to occur. The Cultural Olympiad is a smorgasbord of drama, music, art, film, comedy and dance in which ...

May 22, 2022|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|

Coaching for Mental Health

The Power of a Coached Mind “We become what we spend our time thinking about…” Proverbs 23:7 We all have a mind. If the brain is the hardware, the mind is the software. Our minds have the power to choose what we think about. It starts with “choice”. We can choose life-giving thoughts or toxic thoughts. What we decide to think about consciously or unconsciously will impact the outcome ...

Coaching for Agility

From SCRUM Master to Professional Coach Femi Odelusi, a SCRUM Master and Agile coach, found the world of professional coaching and hasn't looked back since. "I’m a people’s person and love making a difference in other people’s lives. Through interactions and the encounters of people, I have one motive, and that’s to leave people better off than when I met them." He credits the Science and Art of Coaching ...

May 20, 2022|Categories: Coach Development, Testimonial|

Coaching for Momentum

Last year I took a break from my 20-year journalism career to start the book I'd always dreamed of writing. I had a premise that I loved and had been given great feedback about it from an already-successful author, so thought I was good to go. However, every time I sat down to write, nothing was happening and my motivation took a nosedive. It was then I had my first ...

May 19, 2022|Categories: Testimonial|

Coaching for Health

Embracing New Horizons I have been a medical doctor for 36 years and NHS General Practitioner for 30 years. Through being a GP Appraiser and mentor, and having personal coaching from the NHS, I became interested in training to be a coach and was fortunate to be supported to undertake coach training with Coach Advancement by Tracy Sinclair in 2019. Having always been curious and interested in people's stories, ...

May 18, 2022|Categories: Coach Development, Coaching in Conversation|

Coaching for Organisations

Making a difference to individuals, teams, and the whole organisation! One of the areas that coaching has seen enormous growth and implementation is in organisations. The benefit that individuals have seen from coaching has been extended to team coaching for amplified reach. Moreover, the fastest growing modality of coaching in recent years has been the use of good coaching skills by managers and leaders, thereby expanding the ripple of ...

May 17, 2022|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|

A Celebration of Coaching

It’s International Coaching Week! This week we will be sharing inspiring stories around the power and impact of professional coaching and we hope you’ll follow along.  This year’s theme from the International Coaching Federation is “Reimagine the Future” and we have found that quite fitting given the events of the past few years. No one has gone untouched by the events of the pandemic and the rapid changes happening ...

May 16, 2022|Categories: Coach Development|

Maximising Client Awareness, Insight, Learning and Growth

What is the ultimate purpose of Coaching? The International Coaching Federation’s (ICF) definition of coaching describes the purpose as maximising the client’s personal and professional potential. Maximising our potential implies growth, and to leverage our growth we need to effectively apply our awareness, insight, and learning. Therefore, a key part of a coach’s role is to partner with clients in support of them becoming more aware, to have insights ...

May 2, 2022|Categories: Coach Development|

Empowerment

A Key Strength and Skill for Any Coach Recently, a mentee shared a poem that really resonated with me. It came from Chris Guillebeau’s blog which included the author’s thinking on the meaning of the poem. The poem is from a 14th Century Sufi Poet called Hafiz and, as Chris states, it really illustrates the concept of empowerment. The Small Man Builds Cages For Everyone  The small man Builds ...

April 4, 2022|Categories: Coach Development|

Enabling and Empowering High Performance

Andra Tocaciu is a Romanian living and working in Luxembourg. She is an accredited organisational psychologist and L&D Manager and has been fortunate to be with an organisation that supports learning and development. In fact, it was Andra's manager who recommended Coach Advancement by Tracy Sinclair's coach training programmes. "I had a knowledge of coaching from my psychology degrees and had been using it as part of my work ...

March 21, 2022|Categories: Testimonial|

Trust the Process

The term “trust the process” is one that is often heard within the sphere of coaching, in fact I have used it myself when teaching coaching skills, along with other related terms such as “trust yourself, trust your client…trust the process”. In all honesty, when it was first said to me as a student of coaching, I didn’t quite understand it as I was still so fixed on trying ...

March 14, 2022|Categories: Coach Development|

Mirror, Mirror…

The art of reflective practice – for our work and for ourselves. When a new year begins, we often reflect on our last year and ponder on our future and coming year. At the start of 2020, my article New Starts-New Beginnings was on intentions for the coming year that also had the element of reflection in it. Interestingly, when you look at the definition of ‘to reflect’ or ...

February 7, 2022|Categories: Coach Development|

Cultivating Learning and Growth

Coaching is a dialogue that is intended to facilitate forward movement in service of the client maximising their potential. Whilst taking next steps and actions after coaching sessions is important, so often a coaching conversation can become limited to a single focus on eliciting actions, which significantly limits the potential of coaching and I think also somewhat misses the point. As a Mentor Coach, when listening to coach recordings, ...

December 31, 2021|Categories: Coach Development|

Silence is Golden

An often less used tool in a coach’s toolbox is the use of Silence. Let's take a moment to review the purpose and power of silence in coaching and indicate where it is embedded within the ICF Core Competencies. Maintains Presence (CC5) - one of the sub-competencies states: “Creates or allows space for silence, pause or reflection”. This is a more general ability, demonstrated across a coaching conversation as ...

November 28, 2021|Categories: Coach Development|

Coaching On and Off the Water

"Don't underestimate the power coaching has to help your own personal development as well as those around you. Coaching has a huge amount of power and you can apply it in ways that you never would have even imagined." Lisa Dickinson, ACC, a Human Resources manager, not only uses coaching in her professional life, but has found the skills she learned through Coach Advancement's coaching education incredibly valuable in ...

November 12, 2021|Categories: Coaching in Conversation, Testimonial|

Let Go

When we first start training and learning to become a coach, our focus, perhaps quite understandably, is on the learning, understanding and application of some of the relevant skills and competencies. We might call this the “doing of coaching”. Like when we learn any other new skill, getting to grips with the basics and the technical skills are an important part of the foundational process of our professional development. In ...

November 2, 2021|Categories: Coach Development|

To Know or Not to Know? That is the Question.

When and how can a coach offer insights or thinking without it turning into advice giving? Or without using their expertise? Here we will explore the concept of the coach demonstrating vulnerability—which often comes from being able to be comfortable with the idea of ‘not knowing’, especially, when offering insights and comments, not assuming them to be ‘the truth’. First, let's look at some of the sub-competencies that I ...

September 1, 2021|Categories: Coach Development|

Coaching is Integral to Society Thriving

The International Coaching Federation’s (ICF) vision is that coaching is an integral part of a thriving society and every ICF Member represents the highest quality of professional coaching. Given the global experiences of recent months, we could easily be forgiven for thinking that society is, in most cases, certainly not thriving. However, regardless of the many challenges people, organisations and communities have been facing, coaching as a profession is ...

August 15, 2021|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|

The Science and Art of Reflecting, Summarising and Paraphrasing

Reflecting, summarising and paraphrasing in a coaching conversation is an important skill that a coach needs to learn. It’s not just the skill itself that is important, it can often be more about when to do it, and indeed ‘if’ to do it (the art) than what and how to do ‘it’ (the science). What I notice in early day coaches is that this skill is often overused in ...

July 30, 2021|Categories: Coach Development|

Making a Difference is Easier than You Think

Before the pandemic, coaching was being very effectively and increasingly used as a powerful strategic resource for leaders and their development. Furthermore, a growing number of organisations started to explore how coaching skills and principles could be used to leverage a positive impact beyond individual leaders. Team Coaching is widely utilised to develop teams and a “coaching approach” is now being cited as an important ingredient to inform leadership ...

July 19, 2021|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|

How Present Are You? Part 2

In last month’s article, we looked at ‘Maintains Coaching Presence’, one of the eight ICF Core Competencies in the updated model that comes into effect later in 2021. We specifically explored the relationship between this and Competency 4 Cultivates Trust and Safety, the place, purpose and value of presence in coaching, and some of the psychological thinking that underpins this important element of coaching skill. In Part 2, we ...

July 5, 2021|Categories: Coach Development|

Post-Pandemic Leadership – you reap what you sow…

I am noticing a shift in the work being brought by my coaching clients recently. For over a year now, leaders have been focussing on how to navigate and effectively lead their teams or their organisations through the pandemic, whilst also facing many associated challenges such as virtual working, strained finances, and significantly increased stress as a result of the high levels of uncertainty, complexity and change. However, I ...

June 22, 2021|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|

How Present Are You?

Maintains Coaching Presence is one of the eight ICF Core Competencies in the updated model that comes into effect later in 2021. This is such a pivotal skill and quality that coaches bring to their practice with clients. I am sharing my thoughts on this topic in a 2-part series. In Part 1 below, I explore what presence is and its place, purpose and value in the coaching process. ...

June 7, 2021|Categories: Coach Development|

International Coaching Week – Is your Organisation on the Bus?

This week is International Coaching Week (ICW) and all over the world there are literally hundreds of events focussed on coaching. Some of them are professional development opportunities for professional coaches and managers and leaders using coaching skills; some are live demonstrations of coaching and others are presentations on the many beneficial aspects of coaching including its role as a strategic resource for organisations. The profession of coaching is ...

May 17, 2021|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|

Once Upon a Time: Storytelling in Coaching

I recently had a supervision session with someone on the value and purpose, or not, of storytelling in coaching. Is it really coaching? It led me to thinking I would offer a blog on my perspectives and thoughts on story telling in coaching. I will look at the types of storytelling that could happen in coaching, what the purpose and value might be when offered by the client, or ...

April 28, 2021|Categories: Coach Development|
  • Emotions in Coaching

Working with Feelings in Coaching

We are feeling creatures that think, not thinking creatures that feel. The Gry-LaViolette (1981) scientific research, which integrated psychology and neurophysiology, articulated that feelings organise thoughts and that thoughts are filed in our memory bank according to the various “shades” of feelings associated with them. The conclusion of this work is that the mind, with its thoughts, is driven by those feelings. Each feeling is the cumulative derivative of ...

April 5, 2021|Categories: Coach Development|
  • Coaching Leaders Through Uncertainty

Coaching Leaders through Uncertainty

The Agile Centre is a leading provider of Agile consultancy, assessments, training and business services and I recently had the great pleasure to speak at one of their regular Meetups to talk about Coaching Leaders through Uncertainty. You can watch the full webinar here:  Here is an overview of the presentation: The Growth of Coaching In 2020, the International Coaching Federation (ICF) published its fourth ...

March 17, 2021|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|

A Picture Paints a 1000 Words: The Power of Metaphor

Metaphor can be powerful in coaching. It is part of ICF Core Competency 7, Evoking Awareness, a competency that I often sense is least used and yet can bring powerful insight and new thinking more quickly. Let's explore what it is, why it is so useful in coaching and how coaches, and indeed anyone, might use metaphor to deepen awareness and facilitate insight. What is a metaphor? The word ...

February 25, 2021|Categories: Coach Development|

Are You Creating a Thinking Environment?

Drawing upon coaching psychology to help leaders navigate the “new normal” This article draws upon the book, Becoming a Coach, authored by Tracy Sinclair and Jonathan Passmore and seeks to highlight the benefits and application of a particular coach approach and how it can be applied to leadership. Integrating coach approaches to leadership can be very valuable, especially when it comes to more successfully navigating times of challenge and ...

February 15, 2021|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|

Coaching Maturity: Our Philosophy

As we have been planning programming for 2021, it's caused us to reflect upon our overarching philosophy and approach to coach development and maturity—which underpins and positions how and why these programmes have been created. Understanding our underlying philosophy will help you get to know us and how we work a little better and why we've structured our programmes the way we do. Our philosophy of Coach Maturity As ...

January 31, 2021|Categories: Coach Development|

Do We Have What it Takes?

Day after day, I see a plethora of articles, blogs and podcasts sharing ideas and suggestions for how to navigate the pandemic and its multiple consequences. In fact, I have also offered a few of my own. However, the question I am sitting with is: how could we possibly know what to do? We have never in living memory experienced anything of the scale, magnitude and impact of this ...

January 25, 2021|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|

Celebrate What Is Right With Your World

Welcome to 2021! What a year 2020 has been. Last year I wrote about ‘New Starts and New Beginnings’ and this year I would still encourage you to do that exercise again, however, I felt this year I would also invite you to celebrate ... Celebrate what is right with your world! I have taken the phrase from a wonderful National Geographic photographer, Dewitt Jones (www.dewittjones.com), who has an ...

January 3, 2021|Categories: Coach Development|

A New Kind of Leadership

Well, this has certainly been a year to remember... so many challenges, so many changes... and so fast. In many ways, our world is almost unrecognisable compared to this time last year. We have new norms around how we work, where we work and what work we do – or not do, as the case may be. Organisations and professions are dying, and others are being born, almost overnight. ...

December 20, 2020|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|
  • Coaching during Covid

Coaching During Covid: A Case Study

Supporting frontline key worker with coaching Coaching with Conscience exists to have a positive impact on society and our environment through coaching. We believe that every organisation should have access to high-quality coaching, and we specialise in offering coaching and coaching related services in support of positive social impact and social progress. By mid-March 2020, the strain of dealing with COVID-19 on frontline key workers was already very ...

December 6, 2020|Categories: Coaching in Organisations, Coaching with Conscience|

Agile and ICF Coaching – A Perfect Marriage?

Having noticed an increased in the number of Agile Coaches coming to my ICF-Accredited coach training programmes, I decided to do some exploration of these two professional paths to understand what appears to be an interesting and complementary relationship. What is Agile Coaching? The Agile Coaching Institute defines Agile Coaching as “a collaboration with people in a thought provoking and creative journey using coaching approaches with an agile mindset ...

November 17, 2020|Categories: Coach Development, Coaching in Organisations|

The Icing on the Coaching Cake

Imagine eating a lovely piece of carrot cake with no icing. It’s a good, well-made cake. There is a thin filling of icing in the middle. When we finish eating, we are full, but are we satisfied? There is something missing… It’s a bit like that when we don’t have a really well-established session agreement (sometimes known as ‘contracting’). So, how do you make sure your coaching session is ...

October 30, 2020|Categories: Coach Development|

Great Coaching Conversations in Your Organisation

6 Key Skills “Organizations have embraced the practice of coaching to grow their human capital and advance their goals and mission. Managers and leaders who use the coach approach to management and leadership are better equipped to develop their team members’ value to their organizations, as well as influence their career paths” This quote from recent research conducted by the International Coaching Federation (ICF)* confirms the ongoing development and ...

October 21, 2020|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|

A Pathway for Growth

One of my favourite aspects of coaching psychology is the area of beliefs. I am fascinated by the concept of how several beliefs can cluster together around a core belief that seems to sit at the top of a hierarchy and yet is often hidden, nestled amongst those other supporting beliefs that seem almost to be seeking to hide and protect the central stem of that particular belief system. ...

October 4, 2020|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|

It’s a Marathon, not a Sprint

Back at the beginning of 2020, one could have been forgiven for thinking that COVID-19 was a worrying and yet soon-to-pass experience. With multiple efforts, adjustments and changes to more or less every aspect of our lives, it started to appear as though we were turning a corner and getting control of the pandemic… As of today, various parts of the world are now preparing for or engaging with ...

September 21, 2020|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|

We speak the same language… don’t we?

As a coach, have you ever had a client look at you strangely or ask you to repeat a question? As a mentor, I listen to many coaching session recordings. Often in these situations, I notice that the ‘language’ the two people are using is not necessarily in synch. Let's take a look at the way we use language as coaches and where the ‘language of coaching’ may trip ...

September 6, 2020|Categories: Coach Development|

The Coach Approach

Many organisations have adopted the practice of coaching to support the engagement, development and performance of their employees. According to research by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), 83% of organisations surveyed plan to extend the scope of their managers and leaders using coaching skills during the next five years (see references). With the use of coaching skills by managers and leaders now forming a significant sector of the field ...

August 23, 2020|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|

An Introduction to the Updated ICF Core Competency Model

Background The International Coaching Federation (ICF) is the world’s largest organisation of professionally trained coaches, with members in more than 140 countries worldwide and over 30,000 credential holders across more than 125 countries. The organisation was first established in 1995 to provide a space for all coaches to support each other’s development and help expand the profession of coaching. The ICF has grown rapidly during the past two decades, ...

August 3, 2020|Categories: Coach Development|
  • Becoming a Coach Book

A New Book for Your Coach Development

As you know, Hilary and I are both passionate about continuous growth and learning as coaches. Well, I will share more of my insights to help you mature as a coach in a forthcoming book co-written with psychologist and coach Jonathan Passmore. Becoming a Coach: The Essential ICF Guide is for a coach of any experience level. Not only does it provide a strong foundation for coaching basics and ...

July 23, 2020|Categories: Coach Development|
  • Choosing Between Two Directions

The Power and Importance of Choice

Choice: An act or the possibility of choosing between two or more options. Over the last few weeks, the word choice has been coming up for me and I wondered what it was saying to me. The reason it became so important during the last six weeks was that at the beginning of May, one day before my big birthday, I tripped on the Thames tow path and ended ...

July 6, 2020|Categories: Coach Development|
  • Build Back Better

Build Back Better

For the last few months, I've offered an invitation for individuals and organisations to carefully consider how they engage with and respond to the effects and implications of COVID-19 on their own lives and their organisations. Much of what I have read on this topic references terms such as: “post trauma” and “disaster recovery” and it doesn’t take much to see that this is a monumental experience for the ...

June 15, 2020|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|

Embodying a Coaching Mindset

The International Coaching Federation (ICF) has introduced an updated Core Competency Model that comes into force in January 2021. The model sees the introduction of a brand-new competency: Embodies a Coaching Mindset. This addition underlines the need for coaches to consider how they are ‘being’ as well as what they are ‘doing’ when coaching. This blog will provide you with the details of this competency and will also give ...

June 2, 2020|Categories: Coach Development|

Will you create your new normal…or have it thrust upon you?

In last month’s post, I talked about leading towards the new normal and how the most effective leaders that I have been coaching all have one eye on dealing with getting through the current situation and the other eye firmly focused on the future. A key question they are contemplating is: How can I create the new normal and proactively design it rather than just wait for it to ...

May 18, 2020|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|
  • Setting good habits during times of crisis

Habits and Routines During Times of Crisis

Over the last four weeks, I have created and delivered several webinars for my clients’ employees and for small business managers and directors on "How to transition to working at home and stay sane!". I specifically used the phrase "working at home" rather than "working from home" as I see a significant difference between the two. When people normally work at an office, and have a "working from home" ...

May 4, 2020|Categories: Coach Development|

Business as Unusual

Leadership stories from navigating the COVID-19 crisis One of my coaching clients said to me recently: “There’s no guidebook for how to lead during something like this”. Well, whilst there are some materials and theories for crisis leadership when an organisation is in crisis, they don’t seem to quite cover the scope of the global crisis we find ourselves in with COVID-19. The theme of most of my coaching ...

April 19, 2020|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|

Coaching with Conscience – the New “Normal”

About a year ago, I wrote an article called “Could coaching save the world?” where I shared observations of what I might now call “societal strain” and how I felt that coaching was so well placed to meet an important need in the world. Fast track to today, the world is already unrecognisable in so many ways as a result of COVID-19. Thousands of people have lost jobs, we ...

April 6, 2020|Categories: Coaching in Organisations, Coaching with Conscience|

Needs, Triggers, Change and Coaching Culture

How we respond or react to something often indicates a need that is either being or not being met. This is sometimes called Stimulus-Response theory. We may get triggered by something someone is doing or saying (a stimulus) which reminds us consciously or unconsciously of something (pleasant or painful, positive or negative) leading to our response. These triggers will have their origins in the past and sometimes in growing ...

March 16, 2020|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|

ICF Code of Ethics Update

View the ICF Code of Ethics Every 3-5 years the International Coaching Federation (ICF) reviews the Code of Ethics to ensure that they continue to be fit for purpose, modern and take into account the changing landscape of the coaching world. In addition, any complaints that have been received globally during the intervening years are reviewed to ensure that any ethical issues arising also were taken into account. Starting ...

March 2, 2020|Categories: Coach Development|

The Science and the Art of Coaching

Whilst we have the expression to describe the “art and science” of something, Michael Grinder (2007) proposes that in fact it is the science that usually comes first when we are learning a new skill. We are often drawn to the pursuit of mastery, actively seeking out the magic of the artistic coaching conversation. However, in reality, our growth and development as coaches usually means that we go through ...

February 3, 2020|Categories: Coach Development|
  • Game Board

How to Win the Game of Developing Coaching Culture

Developing a coaching culture can sometimes feel like a game of Snakes and Ladders. You take steps to implement coaching within the organisation, you experience some quick wins and feel like you are making progress and then you face an obstacle and it feels like to you have just taken three steps backwards. If not addressed, these obstacles can very easily sabotage your efforts. Often the benefits of coaching ...

January 19, 2020|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|

New Starts – New Beginnings

In addition to being a new year, we're also beginning a new decade. 2020 begs the question, "What clarity and vision do you have for the year ahead?" Each year I look ahead at what the coming year may bring for both my business and my life as a whole. I like to ask myself the following questions: What adventures would I like to go on? What experiences would ...

January 6, 2020|Categories: Coach Development|

Professional Development?

The concept of professional development is one that is probably very familiar to us. We may apply this to ourselves, and also our work as coaches may be in direct relation to the professional development of our clients. In the context of today’s environment, terms like “digital revolution”, “4th industrial revolution” and “VUCA” (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) are now heard almost daily. Alongside this, we may find ourselves ...

December 2, 2019|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|

Models of Excellence: Case Studies

PART 8: COACHING CULTURE SERIES As we wrap up the Coaching Culture Series, I am going to share with you examples of what some organisations have implemented towards fully utilising coaching as a powerful resource within their organisations. One of these examples is a case study developed by the International Coach Federation (ICF) to highlight last year’s ICF’s International Prism Award winner. I’ll also share some examples from my ...

November 11, 2019|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|

Are You an ASS or an OWL?

Listening to audios of coaches, coaching and also teaching and mentoring around the ICF Core Competencies, I’ve noticed how often an assumption is made in terms of what is being said and what is being heard. How often do we hear what someone says and assume what they mean? Have you noticed yourself in a conversation, be it a coaching conversation or just with friends, when you feel you ...

November 3, 2019|Categories: Coach Development|
  • 5 Stars

A Model of Excellence

PART 7: COACHING CULTURE SERIES Up to this point, we’ve helped you better understand coaching culture, walked through key principles and first steps, looked at approaches and strategies, discussed the importance of measuring ROI and establishing sustainability for your programme. As we start to wrap up this series, I’ll be sharing examples of excellence. I hope these will provide practical ideas on how to create your own strategy for ...

October 28, 2019|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|

Building a Sustainable Coaching Culture Strategy

PART 6: COACHING CULTURE SERIES In this Coaching Culture series, we have now covered the main building blocks for establishing the foundations of a coaching culture in your organisation and how you can fully utilise coaching as a strategic resource. We now turn our attention to how you can not only sustain, but also enhance the impact that coaching can have over time. Here are some of the ways ...

October 21, 2019|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|

Coaching Culture: Measuring Progress and Success

PART 5: COACHING CULTURE SERIES Now that we’ve covered multiple approaches and strategies for how to introduce coaching skills and coaching related activities into your organisation, it’s time to consider measurement. How do you know that coaching is making a positive difference? Several years ago, while working as a continuous process improvement consultant, our mantra was to measure what’s important, not just what’s measurable. This principle most certainly applies ...

October 14, 2019|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|

Coaching Across The Career

Coaching has seen several changes over time in terms of how, by whom and for whom it is used. There was a time when coaching was for the few, and now it is much more for the many, becoming a widely accepted and utilised tool for the development of employees at all levels. However, coaching has not typically been viewed as requiring a different method or approach based on ...

October 6, 2019|Categories: Coach Development|
  • Coaching Culture Strategy

Building a Coaching Culture: Approaches and Strategies

PART 4: COACHING CULTURE SERIES In this series so far, we have looked at how to define a coaching culture, some of the key principles that underpin strong coaching cultures and three initial key steps to get started. Now, we will look at some practical approaches and strategies you can use to introduce, and begin benefiting from, coaching within your organisation. Before that, a brief word of advice on ...

September 30, 2019|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|

Starting to Build Coaching Culture: First Steps

PART 3: COACHING CULTURE SERIES Now that you have had time to consider the three key principles to coaching culture, let’s look at the first steps to put this into action. Step One: Be clear about your vision of success. What are your criteria, goals and aspirations for a high-performance coaching culture in your organisation? What does that mean for you? What might be some characteristics of such a ...

September 23, 2019|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|

Starting to Build Coaching Culture: Key Principles

PART 2: COACHING CULTURE SERIES The term “coaching culture” is being heard more and more within organisations, especially those that want to move from using coaching as a development resource for 1-1 and 1-team interventions to leverage coaching as a strategic resource at an organisational or systemic level. While this might be an appealing idea, some organisations don’t always know exactly what is meant by coaching culture or what ...

September 15, 2019|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|
  • Coach Community

The Importance of Building Community as a Coach

Community is defined as, “the condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common.” We all need some of that, don’t we? Coaching can be a very lonely business. Many coaches run their own solo coaching practice. For internal coaches, they cannot readily talk with others in their organization about their work. This leaves coaches feeling isolated and alone, but it doesn’t have to be that way! ...

September 2, 2019|Categories: Coach Development|
  • Save the World through Coaching

Could Coaching Save the World?

I listened to a radio programme the other day about “professional depression,” this caught my attention and I stayed tuned… The programme’s key message was that peoples’ professional lives are increasingly leading to depression. Several examples were shared where professionals are working in organisations and/or environments that lead to significant emotional and psychological disharmony. This can be described as cognitive dissonance, where a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs or ...

August 30, 2019|Categories: Coach Development|
  • Coaching Culture

Defining Coaching Culture

PART 1: COACHING CULTURE SERIES First of all, this is not the Ministry of Coaching, and I am not an evangelist. However, I do know that coaching as a resource is pivotal to the success of your organisation. It doesn’t matter how big or small, what sector or industry you are in or where you are located — coaching is something that will help advance the performance of your ...

August 18, 2019|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|

Don’t Be Afraid to Make Intelligent Change

Earlier, I shared these five important pitfalls to avoid when building a coaching culture in your organisation: Anti-role modelling Let’s take it all in-house Keep it clean One size fits all Not every conversation needs to be a coaching conversation Now that you’re aware of the pitfalls, here is some insight on how to avoid them. A few years ago, a very successful businessman said, “Don’t be afraid to ...

July 14, 2019|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|

Where Does Supervision Fit Into Coaching?

My philosophy of coach supervision can best be explained using the analogy of advanced driver training. Once we’ve obtained our driver’s license (we’ve taken lessons and passed the test), we can go many years without ever having our driving examined. That is, of course, unless we (knowingly or unknowingly) break the law. Advanced training allows drivers to improve, update and check in on how their driving is doing. It ...

June 29, 2019|Categories: Coach Development|

Five Pitfalls to Avoid When Building an Organisational Coaching Culture

Coaching has seen exponential growth in recent years and has transitioned from being a 1-1 intervention, to a 1-many intervention and then to a systemic intervention. Organisations are rapidly becoming aware of the benefits of coaching as a highly effective vehicle for development, engagement, change management and enhanced performance. Several organisations are also now at the stage where they are successfully using coaching: its competencies, principles and philosophies to ...

June 10, 2019|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|
  • Building Coaching Culture

Building Coaching Cultures with Millennials and Millennial Leaders

Organisations today who ignore the needs of Millennials and the next generation (known commonly as Gen Z) do so at their peril. Where does the Millennial generation fit in terms of age? Generation Z: Born 1997-99 Young Millennials: Born 1993-96 Core Millennials: Born 1987-92 Mature Millennials: Born 1982-86 Generation X: Born 1965-81 Baby Boomers: Born 1946-64 In 2011, PwC embarked on a two-year study looking at the future impact ...

May 4, 2019|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|

Is Your Organisation Missing Out?

Coaching is still a relatively young profession and is certainly still evolving and developing with regards to its definition and how it is being used and leveraged to give rise to significant benefits at many levels. What is also certain is the speed at which coaching is growing. Coaching has very quickly transitioned from being a 1-1 intervention to a 1-many intervention and is being extensively deployed now to ...

March 31, 2019|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|

9 Ways Coaching Can Benefit You

Even though coaching is becoming so much more widespread, acknowledged, accepted and used as a way of achieving goals, addressing challenges and developing ourselves personally and professionally, I still notice some people not truly understanding when it can help them. In some of the research I read, one of the reasons people say they would not engage in coaching is because it is not relevant for them at this ...

March 18, 2019|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|

Coaching is a soft skill … Is it?

How many times do we hear that coaching is a ‘soft’ skill? Indeed, many personal development training is often categorized as ‘soft’ skills. If you dig deeper into those ‘soft’ skills, many of them are about people. People’s interactions with others and people’s interactions with themselves. Yet ask managers or any leader what is the most challenging part of their role, and the answer is often—dealing with others! When ...

March 3, 2019|Categories: Coach Development|

Are you ready?

Would you like the good news or the bad news first? Well, let’s get the “bad” news out of the way first … The new world of work is being accelerated by technology at a phenomenal rate and the way we work is changing forever. We currently have four generations in the workforce and they all think and operate differently. Jobs are changing, new jobs are emerging (65% of ...

January 4, 2019|Categories: Coaching in Organisations|

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