Coaching at Work e-newsletter: February 2015

Welcome An independent review is urging the UK’s National Health Service to change its culture to make it easier for staff to blow the whistle on low standards of care (See Online news) without being victimised. This is great news. And it got me thinking about the role we coaches play as potential whistleblowers, particularly where we’re involved in multiple assignments and it comes to our notice that there is bullying or potentially harmful actions. How seriously do we take our responsibility to speak out? And what about the role we sometimes encourage our clients to take, speaking out against […]

UK’s National Health Service urged to overhaul its work culture to protect whistleblowers

Culture in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) must change to ensure staff feel confident enough to blow the whistle on poor standards of care, urges the independent Francis review. The review, Freedom to Speak Up, led by Sir Robert Francis QC, recommends 20 principles that the NHS should follow to deal with staff complaints adequately. Six of these focus on changing the culture. Recommendations include adopting a culture of safety, where staff feel comfortable to raise concerns, a culture free from bullying, a workplace where leadership is visible and staff are clearly valued, and a shift to embed the process […]


Hello, I am Roach the Coach and I am your guide through the Coaching Chronicles. There are 4,500 species of us cockroaches so we are well placed, across the globe, and across time, to tell you about coaching…   Charles John Huffam Dickens was born in Portsmouth on 7 February 1812. He was destined to be a literary genius, not least because his mother had a huge interest in literature and the English language. It is rumoured that when she was giving birth to Charles, the midwife asked, “Do you have any contractions?” To which Mrs Dickens replied: “The ones […]


Being present is the magic ingredient in all coaching conversations, and mindfulness practice can further develop it. In fact, there are so many overlaps that it’s sometimes hard to distinguish between the two concepts, says Roland Spencer, associate lecturer at the Sheffield Business School Anyone actively and passionately involved with coaching and mentoring will have read about the continuing ascendancy of mindfulness and associated techniques used by practitioners. I am intrigued by this phenomenon, and it raises a question in my mind: in a client conversation, is there any significant difference between ‘being present’ and ‘being mindful’? In order for […]


In the latest in a series of columns dedicated to mentoring, we look at why things sometimes go wrong. This issue: avoiding unpleasant outcomes in even the best-designed programmes Lis Merrick Well-managed mentoring regularly leads to great outcomes – but beware of difficult relationship issues This is probably the most provocative column I have written about mentoring. As a staunch believer, I want to sell its glorious benefits, promote the success stories and develop mentoring cultures in all organisations I work with. However, as in any human relationship, things can go very wrong between the two people involved. Sometimes they […]

REVIEWS: JournalEngineTM

Online Platform Title: JournalEngineTM Author: Kim Ades Website: Usefulness:  5 Stars   I’ve been keeping a journal for over 26 years and the majority of those entries have been written by hand. I love keeping a paper journal and have written articles evidencing the numerous virtues of writing by hand as having many benefits in our digitalised era. So when I was asked to review Journal Engine (a digitalised online journal-based coaching application) I jumped at the opportunity as I was in the process of re-assessing the benefits of online journaling thanks to my friend Nathan Ohren over at […]

REVIEWS: Mentoring and Coaching for Lawyers: Building Partnerships for Success

Title: Mentoring and Coaching for Lawyers: Building Partnerships for Success Author Rebecca Normand-Hochman Publisher Globe Law and Business ISBN 978 19094 1641 3 Usefulness 5 stars   This book is a compendium of insights on the subject from an eminent array of academics, lawyers, coaches and psychologists, who bring their own unique expertise and experience to bear on issues which affect lawyers and law businesses. In the opening chapter, Rebecca Normand-Hochman says she finds it difficult to talk about the subject “without being either technical or simply uninteresting”. I therefore used this benchmark to measure the usefulness and enjoyability of this book, […]


By Sheila Udall So many people end their time in their employment with a feeling of unfinished business. Supported transitions are usually only offered at a senior level, yet when employers help all their staff to ‘end well’, it benefits every stakeholder. Coaching has a vital role to play in making this happen In researching what occurs at the end of employment relationships, whether from career progression, redundancy, retirement or being ‘released’, it seems that the fear of ‘getting it wrong’ produces such a strong focus on legal or HR policy needs, that it excludes the possibility of really ‘ending […]


TOOLBOX Coaching at Work road-tests Peer Supervision Chain 1) The tool What is it? Our peer supervision chain is a regular opportunity to reflect on practice with peers who have a similar level of expertise and training. Payment is by exchange of time, not money. Each pair in the chain contracts specifically for their supervision relationship for the duration of their partnership. To all intents and purposes, the chain looks like a series of ‘regular’ 1-2-1 supervision relationships.   How does it work? Each member both gives and receives peer supervision to another member 9-12 times a year. The chain […]


Peter Hawkins highlights the limiting mind-sets coaches often acquire in their training that they must unlearn in order to work systemically. He offers seven ways to help coaches break down those barriers in order to progress further in their craft Over the past 20 years I have had the privilege of working with several hundred experienced executive coaches from a wide range of countries, either teaching them to be coaching supervisors, transformational coaches, systemic team coaches or acting as a supervisor and/or mentor to their practice. I have continually been struck by how coaches, in order to progress further in […]