A section devoted to giving you advice and sharing tips on best practice. You can search the Coaching at Work archives by using the search box on the left.

HOW TO… effectively engage coaching sponsors

By Jane Adshead-Grant What kind of relationship should we have with the executive sponsor of a client? Is it safe to take a brief from the boss? Here we examine three ways to support sustainable change in individuals within organisations “Coaches should not take a brief from the coachee’s boss,” a leading psychologist recently suggested. On the contrary, I believe the sponsor has a critical part to play in an executive coaching assignment when funded by an organisation. In my experience, there are usually two sponsor relationships within the corporate environment: the sponsor of the coaching assignment, often the line […]

HOW TO… build effective relationships with your boss

By Barbara Moyes A major reason why people leave their jobs is because they don’t get on with their boss. So coaching employees in how to work more effectively with their boss is a win/win: it reduces their stress, and it makes economic sense for their organisation, too Clients who don’t gel with their manager tend to want the boss to change. But that’s the wrong place to start. As Gabarro and Kotter said, “If the relationship between you and your boss is rocky, then it is you who must begin to manage it.” This means helping clients to: develop […]

HOW TO… promote and market your coaching services

This fourth article in the series considers the in-person marketing approaches you can use to get your coaching business known to potential clients

Part four: Getting your name known
Unless you are starting your coaching business with a ready-made list of contacts, you will need to make yourself and your services known to potential clients and referral sources. There are myriad ways to do it. In this article, we’ll look at some of the main ones and which approaches work best for coaches setting up on their own (McMahon, Palmer & Wilding 2006).
Clients will hire you as their coach if they believe you have the skills and capabilities to help them solve their problem and they trust they can work with you to achieve it. Consequently, clients who are going to hire a coach are likely to prefer ‘in-person’ marketing approaches that give you the opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of the client’s challenges and your capabilities. This also allows you to show your personality and develop a relationship.

How to… set up and develop a successful coaching practice

By Gladeana McMahon and Antoinette Oglethorpe This second article in the series identifies the decisions you need to make about whether your coaching practice will be full- or part-time, as well as the all-important financial considerations Part two: Planning your coaching business 1 Your practice: full- or part-time? One of the first and most important decisions you need to make in the planning phase is whether to set up a full- or part-time coaching practice. Many individuals begin their professional coaching career by seeing a few clients in the evenings or at weekends while continuing full-time employment. Doing this will […]

Toolbox – tried and tested

A new, occasional column, in which readers share tried and tested tools they’ve invented or adapted. This issue, Eve Turner shares her lift analogy. Looking out, not looking up This tool came about in my early days as a coach. I was working with someone who wanted to apply for a role two grades above their current position. In the major organisation involved, applying in such circumstances was highly unusual, and the chances of success were very limited. We talked about preparation – the normal things you would expect, such as looking at CVs, job descriptions and person specifications; matching […]


By Gladeana Mcmahon and Antoinette Oglethorpe This is the first in a series of articles aimed at helping coaches deal with the variety of factors associated with setting up a successful coaching practice Part one: Guidelines for coaches starting out in business Many qualified coaches love coaching so much they want to make it their full-time profession. However, being a competent, or even an excellent, coach is not an automatic guarantee of financial success (McMahon, Palmer and Wilding, 2005). Before you set up in business you need to consider three core factors: business acumen, professional expectations and personal need/resilience. Each […]



Like any other generational group, Gen Y is uniquely shaped by its historical context. It is only by understanding, respecting and addressing such generational differences in the working environment, that coaches can establish a successful relationship.

There is no consensus on the exact birthdate of Generation Y (Gen Y), but various publications and research studies give it as between 1982 and 2002 (Baby Boomers: 1946-1963, Gen X: 1963-1977 and late Gen X: 1977-1982).

Each generational group has a distinct set of values: how they view authority, their orientation to the world, loyalty, expectations of their leadership and ideal work environment. Each is uniquely shaped by its historical context. These formative influences have enduring effects and bring something new to the workforce, underscoring our need to understand, respect and regularly address generational differences in working practices.

Gen Y at work

A major challenge is an apparent mismatch between what employers want – and the world can offer – and what Gen Y want to do

Diversity Awareness Ladder

Coaching at Work road-tests the Diversity Awareness Ladder One step at a time 1 The tool What is it? Created by David Clutterbuck, the Diversity Awareness Ladder helps clients and practitioners understand and work with their stereotypes and implicit biases about people they perceive as different from themselves. It has also been used widely in general diversity education. How does it work? The Ladder is a model of two conversations – the inner conversation, which represents instinctive, emotional responses to difference and is not normally spoken out loud; and the outer conversation, which offers a way of engaging with the […]

Road tests : It’s what you make it.

Coaching at Work road-tests the personality-based assessment tool Risk-Type CompassTM It’s what you make it. The tool What is it? The Risk-Type Compass™ is a personality-based assessment tool which, as its description suggests, seeks to help individuals explore their disposition to risk and their capacity to manage it. The tool has its roots in the financial and investment sectors. Independent financial advisers (IFAs) need to understand clients’ underlying appetite for risk so they can be best positioned to offer appropriate advice regarding suitable investment portfolios. With this in mind, a large IFA business approached the Psychological Consultancy (PCL) to develop […]

Myth buster: Choice words

Aboodi Shabi Life is full of possibilities, but what if your client disagrees? Is it your job to ‘fix’ them? Or is it more productive to ‘meet’ them in their stuckness? A given of the coaching profession is that everyone has a choice in life – without choices, there are no possibilities, and coaching is all about enabling or accessing what’s possible. Or is it? I think these assumptions are worthy of further investigation. When I explore them with coaches during my training sessions and presentations, I usually ask for a show of hands from those who agree that everyone […]