Dramatic rescue

In these recessionary times how can businesses deal with widespread disengagement and difficult conversations? With a little play acting, says Elizabeth Gates. Could sociodrama be the next big thing? Last week, your client was leader of a maintenance team on a council estate. The team would complete half their daily tasks before going to the pub, safe in the belief they had jobs for life. This week, though, management has turned into a public/private sector arrangement. A housing trust runs the estate and your client and his team have been catapulted into a commercially sensitive world. He must now make […]

Book reviews – Volume 6, Issue 2

Title Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing your Career Author Herminia Ibarra Publisher Harvard Business School Press ISBN 978 15913 9413 6 Usefulness     4/5 Although published in 2004, Working Identity has stood the test of time. It addresses the question of how people change careers – a pressing concern for many in the current climate. Ibarra’s answer reveals that the conventional wisdom of change following intense structured self-reflection and planning is misplaced. Changing careers means changing identities: you cannot map it out in advance. Ibarra charges us to focus on “action rather than reflection, doing instead of planning”. This […]

Research matters – You can take our word for it

Coaching is full of jargon, but in a good way. Learn the language and recognise your own, advises Sue Blow visiting fellow of the Coaching and Mentoring Research Unit at Sheffield Business School We trip over tortured, cliche-ridden language every day. Some of it is infuriating, some of it so obscure as to defy sense. But do coaches and mentors need this jargon? The answer is – it all depends. Language is tribal. By that I don’t just mean, “Is your native language Icelandic or Inuit?” I also mean, “Do you speak tribe finance, tribe legal, tribe IT or tribe […]

The long view

There’s no such thing as a job for life, not even for senior managers. That’s why a new mentoring programme in Ireland for redundant executives has proved to be a real eye opener. Paula King reports The Chinese word for crisis involves two English words: danger and opportunity. During constant change, the challenge is how to move from a mindset of fear to one that embraces new opportunities, vision and growth – and all with renewed motivation. Such a change in mindset can be difficult for senior managers and executives who have built up a successful career over many years, […]

Can i help?

AC UK chair, Gladeana McMahon is renowned for her relentless creativity. She’s a media regular, listed as one of the UK’s top 10 coaches, and Coaching at Work’s Coaching Person of the Year. And yet, she tells Liz Hall, she’s really just a sweet puppy Gladeana McMahon has a reputation for making things happen without a big song and dance. She is happy to beaver away behind the scenes without seeking the limelight. However, the limelight does have a habit of finding her. McMahon has just been re-elected chair of the Association for Coaching (AC) UK for the next three […]

Perspectives – a novel approach

What can we learn from how others see the world? This column peers through different lenses, exploring how ideas and perspectives might be woven into coaching and mentoring Eve Turner The harsh yet wise truths of a classic novel can teach us all we need to know about emotional intelligence …”Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough.” Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird (p305) Like many I had seen the 1962 film of Harper Lee’s […]

How to… help clients gain respect

By SUZANNE AND CONRAD POTTS Do you stand up for yourself at work, or is it easier – and less embarrassing – to let the moment pass? Stating a point of view not only empowers the client, but can bring about win-win outcomes for the company as well. As coaches, how can we help clients speak out? “I’m phoning you to thank you for getting me my life back. I’m literally jumping for joy, pinching myself in disbelief. For over 15 years I have allowed myself to endure a relationship with my boss. I have felt talked down, talked over, […]

Hard times

Trauma, guilt, even suicidal thoughts. Coaches are seeing increasing numbers of clients who have been deeply affected by the recession. How can executive coaches help, asks Jenny Rogers When you work as an executive coach in a severe recession you certainly see human behaviour in the raw. Here are some of the things I believe all practising coaches need to be prepared for. Trauma Loss of a job is never pleasant and may well be traumatic. I define trauma as any event that causes the client to feel out of control and chronically unsafe. Assumptions about personal wellbeing, financial security, […]

Don’t worry, be happy

An ambitious Australian TV show is proving that happiness can not only be measured, it can easily – and permanently – be improved. Now it hopes to do the same to the rest of the country. Liz Hall discovers how If you type “happiness” into a Google search, almost 72 million results come up. And in the past 12 years more than 4,200 academic articles on happiness have been cited on psychology database, PsycINFO. The pursuit of happiness is clearly something that interests us all. It’s one of the reasons last November’s Australian TV show Making Australia Happy, its website […]

Moral support

As new legislation increases corporate accountability for ethical failures, companies are turning to coaching to reset their moral compasses. Justine Lutterodt reports Financial crisis in the UK, the BP oil spill and global corruption at Siemens – the high cost of ethical failure is increasingly apparent. The UK Bribery Act, likely to come into force in 2012, further highlights the liability that companies will soon face for not having an effective ethics programme. Traditional ethics training emphasises compliance, but coaching presents the opportunity to go deeper – by transforming the mindset of leaders and influencing real cultural change. Grounded in […]