‘Courageous, experimental and passionate’ – Nicki Hickson, EY’s former director of coaching, is taking on an exciting global role, while successfully balancing career and parenthood. Liz Hall reports   After 16 years at professional services firm EY, where she was most recently director of coaching and lead for highest performing teams – UK & Ireland, Nicki Hickson has joined FTSE 100 business RELX as head of management development. Hickson was highly commended in this year’s Coaching at Work awards, in the Internal Coaching/Mentoring Champion category. Comments from judges and those nominating her highlighted how she’s business-savvy, inspirational, determined and an […]


In this two-part series, Eva Kovacs and Louise Sheppard share findings from their recent research into organisation coach-client matching and what helps and hinders coaches in the meetings. Part 2: chemistry sessions   There has been little research about chemistry sessions or literature on the topic. Wycherley and Cox (2008) commented that “little is known about the role of chemistry. It is rarely defined and is a vague concept for practitioners and researchers”. Chemistry sessions are a mystery for many coaches. As one coach remarked, “I’ve been surprised with some I’ve won, and equally surprised with some I’ve lost.” The […]


Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) – a rarity in coaching – can help build a compelling argument for executive coaching. Erik de Haan, Sally Bonneywell and Sue Gammons report on what’s thought to be the largest ever RCT of a corporate coaching programme   Executive coaching has increased substantially in organisations in the past 20 years and is now firmly established as a development intervention for leaders in large organisations (Ridler, 2016). While increasingly rigorous standards and qualifications have been developed and a wide variety of research into coaching has been undertaken, as shown in recent meta-analyses (Theeboom et al, 2014; […]


The future is here but what should we do with it, asks Martin Harder. A re-imagined leadership for the digital age is one which draws on a coaching style   A new era demands a new style of leadership. Today’s workplace is very different to that of 20, or even 10, years ago. Technological advances have brought companies much closer to their clients. With this, comes the need for re-skilling around how we live and work in the age of artificial intelligence (AI) and the coming augmented reality. Adaptation to this disruption translates into how we think about work, leadership […]


How do you coach your clients to function ethically in the face of our disintegrating climate and ecology? Regenerative coaching is essential for a disrupted world, but how do we bring it into the room? Dr Alison Whybrow explains   Imagine the scenario, one where you’re partnering your coaching client, really aligning to their journey as they step forward to enhance the productivity of their organisation. You’re focused on the path in front, just a couple of steps in front, next quarter, perhaps two quarters, maybe with one eye on the medium term, two to five years. You’ve worked in […]


Peter Welch, award-winning co-founder of the Association of Coach Supervisors, has a passion for self-directed learning. It’s shaping his latest multi-agency venture – creating ethical guidelines for coaching supervisors. Liz Hall reports   One wet Tuesday in Sussex more than a decade ago, self-directed learning advocate Peter Welch was in a coach networking session listening to an Irish woman talking about coaching supervision. Suddenly the penny dropped – coaching supervision was the missing link. Looking back at that lightbulb moment, Welch says, “People talk glibly about aha moments. Well, I did have one. Boom! I suddenly saw the link! There’s […]


There was plenty of cause for celebration on 3 July at the Coaching at Work Awards ceremony in London. It was another tough year for judging, with many deserving people on the shortlists to choose from. The ceremony took place after the Coaching at Work annual conference at the Holiday Inn, Bloomsbury. One of the highlights was the acceptance speech of David Gray’s Posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award by his son, Dan Gray. The awards reception was sponsored by the Academy of Executive Coaching.   The process Coaching at Work team pulls together a shortlist of nominees in consultation with leaders […]


How do organisations match individuals and coaches efficiently and effectively and what have coaches learnt about how to approach chemistry sessions? In this two-part series, Eva Kovacs and Louise Sheppard share their recent research into best practice. Part 1: coach-client matching   In this first part, we describe how coach matching has evolved at GSK and what we have learnt from our research with other organisations and coaching providers on their processes and learning. We started our research by conducting a review of the coaching literature on coach matching. A good coach-client matching process is a vital part of the […]


How do we best support entrepreneurs and how does the entrepreneurship wider culture vary? Kathryn Pope, Gaetane Lenain, Ave Peetri, Lena Gustafsson and Barbara Asimakopoulou report   As coaching someone with an entrepreneurial personality different from coaching anyone else? What are the challenges and potential pitfalls? What skills and resources do we need? These are some of the questions we’ve often been asked by other coaches. What’s the benefit of coaching? What will it help me do that I can’t do now? What results will I get? How quickly will I see these? Is it worth my time? These are […]


Are coaches today’s ‘snake oil’ merchants? Coaching continues to operate on limited evidence, but it’s time this changed, argue Andrew J T George and Jonathan Passmore   The middle of the 19th century many people made their fortunes on patent medicines, often called ‘snake oil’, that were marketed as a panacea for all ills. These had various formulations. One contained mineral oil, callow, turpentine, pepper and camphor, while some contained cocaine, amphetamine or opium, no doubt increasing repeat sales! They all had in common extravagant claims but no scientific evidence that they worked (Young, 1961; Anderson, 2000). So why did […]