Reader’s letters


Like Kahlo, be the best you In late October 2017, I spent 10 days in New Mexico, the US and visited Ghost Ranch and Abiquiu where Georgia O’Keeffe painted (see Rachel Ellison’s review, vol 12, issue 1), a photographic exhibition of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo and the gallery of Native American painter Daniel B Ramirez’s work ( Each, in their own way, epitomises challenge and personal courage, choice and strength. Frida Kahlo was the first Mexican female artist whose work sold for more than $1m (a painting bought by Madonna). Having been injured by a tram when young, she had […]


Thank you to Neil Scotton for writing his humorous, warm and thought-provoking article, Every label masks us. It gave me cause to stop and think; to do my own ‘inner work’. Like many an experienced coach, I believe that I’ve developed a deeper understanding of my thinking, my values, my beliefs etc, and my own unconscious bias. I’ve done the work. But of course, it isn’t finished. It’s work that we have to keep chipping away at; it’s the gift that keeps on giving. I’m reminded of it at every supervision session, at every training event and at every coaching […]


Shoot me now! It was great to read articles about ageing and the menopause in the last edition of Coaching at Work (vol 9, issue 1) – topics dear to my heart as coach, client and human being. I fall squarely into the boomer category and am proud of the legacy (and the music!) and appreciate the wisdom that my age is bringing me. I fully agree that the menopause is a neglected issue that deserves greater recognition, not just for women experiencing it, but for others in their system, be it at work or outside it. However, I did […]

Letters: poisoned chalice?

Reading Lis Merrick’s article ‘Applied Wisdom’ (vol 8, issue 6, page 56) prompted some reflection on how knowledge is passed down through business generations. It is a staggering thought that most of the knowledge in a business “walks out of the door every evening – and it might never come back”. Merrick identifies how mentoring can bridge gaps in organisations from business generation to business generation. She makes some compelling and practical points about how this knowledge transfer might happen. The article highlighted the ‘good stuff’ that can be handed down through mentoring. Musing over mentoring schemes I have had […]

Spotlight on nlp

LETTER Your articles on neuroscience and NLP in the September/October issue (vol 7, issue 5) had my neural pathways lighting up and making connections! Drawing on NLP as a fundamental part of my coaching practice I found Trish Riddell’s article on research into aspects of NLP thought-provoking. First for its content, but second for making me curious as to why there is no systematic or comprehensive research into how and why NLP works. I’d be intrigued to know what other practitioners believe to be the reasons for this. Is it partly because there is just so much to it, in […]

The what, why and how of it

I’ve been thinking about why we do what we do and how we do it, a lot recently. I blame Tatiana Bachkirova. In the first term of her postgraduate supervision course at Oxford Brookes, we had to write about our model, demonstrating that we understood why we worked the way we did. We had to show congruence between our personal philosophy (values, beliefs, assumptions, perceived purpose for supervision), desired outcomes and the processes we used when supervising. It was a time for burning the midnight oil and searching the soul – 78 books and articles later, I began to understand […]


Hearts and minds The report of the ICF European conference in Madrid (vol 6, issue 4) conjures up a highly charged atmosphere in which the keynote speakers’ words finally got the response they were advocating, although perhaps not in the way they were intending. As I read the report, I had a sense of the audience connecting in a united voice, stimulated by one delegate’s expression of frustration. I’d like to have been in the audience. Reflecting on the editor’s invitation in her Talking Point to consider how we as coaches might shape our responses to the ‘New Normal’, I’ve […]

Letters – A stellar performance

Your article “Thank Your Lucky Stars” on elite coaching (View from the Balcony, vol 6, issue 1) prompted me to reflect on what a ‘star’ might look like in the coaching world. Neither of the definitions proposed by the author worked for me. The attributes of a coach who writes good articles and supports the coaching community or who costs more than other coaches are not helpful in defining a star coach. As I reflected, I thought about star players in the football world. Manchester City now has some of the best-paid players in the world, many of whom are […]

What you’re saying online

At the last count, there were 2,130 members of the Coaching at Work LinkedIn group, from all over the world. Here’s a selection of what you’re saying: Typical fees in coaching Adopting a values-based approach to fees was recommended by Chris Grieve (and Amechi Udo, see Profile), contributing to this discussion thread, posted by Sarah Dale. Rates quoted ranged from £50 to £750 an hour. Keren Smedley says: “I charge very little to those that don’t have much, and more to those that do.” Magda Bunea from Romania says: “A famous writer said about my country, ‘At the Gates of […]

Letters from readers

fine line The issue of the boundary between coaching and therapy was a theme in Coaching at Work (vol 5, issue 4). Your Poor Practice Survey showed 61 per cent of respondents thought practising therapy while coaching was unethical, and 49 per cent poor practice, while Jenny Rogers urged us to stop looking for boundaries. We had some thought-provoking conversations on these issues when writing a paper for the International Gestalt Journal last year. While the paper had Gestalt as its focus, the broader issues debated are applicable to any approach. We offer discussions and case studies to guide thinking […]