Viewpoint – Social butterflies

John Blakey HR must underline its importance now or risk being sidelined. And coaching skills will play a vtial role. Henley Business School recently surveyed 2,500 HR and non-HR leaders from large private and public sector organisations. It found that only 3 per cent ranked developing their HR team as a first or second place priority for 2011, compared to 34 per cent in 20101. Nick Kemsley, co-director at the Henley Centre for HR Excellence, said: “HR will need to live the values of the post-downturn world – speed, pragmatism, tangibility, impact – in its own evolution or else risk […]

TroubleShooter – It’s all in the balance

A director in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) prepares for a merger with another hospital. A coach will guide her through it. Yet the changes are unsettling and she feels she has no time for sessions Carol, a woman in her late 40s, has been with the NHS for 20 years. She has worked her way up to director level. The hospital where she works is merging with another and she is feeling overwhelmed and overworked in preparation for this, a reaction that is taking her by surprise. Her teenage children need more attention as exams loom, and her […]

Toolbox – Conflict resolution

Continuing our series looking at coaching tools and techniques, Coaching at Work road-tests the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument 1 The tool What is it? The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI) assesses an individual’s behaviour in conflict situations. It is measured along two dimensions: assertiveness and co-operativeness. These can be used to define five modes of dealing with conflicts: competing, collaborating, compromising, avoiding and accommodating. Concise definitions of each mode are given, with a page on interpreting your scores, a full-page description of each mode, what situations it might be appropriate in and diagnostic questions to help demonstrate when it might […]

A hazy notion

Coaches have worked hard to define their profession. Yet, they are perfectly capable of using therapeutic approaches without straying into therapy. Caroline Horner reports on a ‘third way’ of coaching Much effort has gone into making a distinction between coaching and more established helping professions. Yet, just as fields such as therapy have developed a diverse range of approaches and models, coaching too has seen an explosion in approaches and affirmed outcomes, making a conclusive definition ever more difficult1. The concept of a ‘fuzzy space’ – neither coaching nor therapy – was shared by Professor Ernesto Spinelli at the UK’s […]

Guiding light?

Tatiana Bachkirova suggests a new role for coaching supervision, one she hopes may even have something to teach the more established helping professions The idea of coaching supervision still divides coaching communities – into those who are keen and practise it, and those who are not, or less so. Here, I suggest a new role for coaching supervision that I hope may lead the way even for other more established professions. Addressing concerns One of the first arguments of those who are against supervision is the lack of evidence that it improves the quality of coaching. There are usually two […]

Get shifting

Sometimes mentoring can uncover unexpected results – such as the requirement for a spot of consultancy or full-blown coaching, as Sian Bryant discovered with a client recently One of the rewards of working in the helping professions is the rich diversity of individuals, organisations, challenges and roles. However, this diversity sometimes brings confusion about what is needed to deliver the right results, at the right time, to the right people – is it coaching, mentoring, consultancy, or even counselling or therapy? Many think it unethical to shift from coaching, mentoring and consultancy to counselling or therapy – even if the […]

Book review – The Three Levels of Leadership: How to Develop Your Leadership Presence,

Title The Three Levels of Leadership: How to Develop Your Leadership Presence, Knowhow and Skills Author James Scouller Publisher Management Books 2000 Ltd ISBN 978 18525 2681 8 Usefulness 5/5 The central tenet of this excellent addition to the leadership discourse is that a leader’s job is to ensure leadership happens, and not to do all the leading themselves. This is critical: our desire for heroes (of either sex) and attachment to simple problem–solution behaviour are out-dated and unhelpful in today’s complex world. An experienced coach, Scouller makes the case for distributed leadership, based on the core value of self-mastery […]

Book review – Developmental Coaching: Life Transitions and Generational Perspectives

Title Developmental Coaching: Life Transitions and Generational Perspectives Editors Stephen Palmer and Sheila Panchal Publisher Routledge ISBN 978 04154 7360 6 Usefulness 4/5 This book is part of the Essential Coaching Skills and Knowledge series. It seeks to place coaching in the context of a life course, examining the role of a coach in building coping strategies and resources in individuals as they negotiate transitions.   It is split into two parts. The first explores major life transitions individually, from childhood to retirement, and places them in social, cultural and generational context. Each chapter contains case studies, illustrating and personalising the […]

Research – The art of delaying it

David Megginson, emeritus professor of HRD at Sheffield Business School, turns to the self-regulating forum, LinkedIn, for perspectives on procrastination and how to address coaching around it I decided to write this column on procrastination and, funnily enough, found I was up against time in getting it out. So, I decided to use an alternative method for assembling and writing this piece from conventional approaches to building a bibliography. I started from the European Mentoring & Coaching Council LinkedIn chain on procrastination and coaching, which at the time of writing had 52 entries over a three-month period. The entries, as […]

Virgin Territory

Coaching really did begin at home for Carol Wilson. Self-directed learning led her to run Richard Branson’s newly formed Virgin Records, and help her spread the word about coaching. It’s a passion, she tells Liz Hall When Carol Wilson first entered the UK’s job market, she found it hard to fit in. It was the 70s and workplace culture was highly authoritarian. Wilson wasn’t impressed. She’d been raised in a family she later realised had a coaching culture. She’d been praised often and been brought up to be independent and to think for herself. It had been the same at […]