HOW TO… BUILD A POSITIVE AND CREATIVE CULTURE AT WORK

Many companies know the true value of a healthy working environment. Coaches can help achieve it by being good listeners and by encouraging clients to trust their intuition in the workplace By John Reynard As coaches our role can include helping improve a company’s work environment, and/or helping individuals find work that fulfils them. Both of these goals – and others too – can be helped by creating a positive and creative culture at work.   Signs of a healthy culture Positive cultures can be identified when: Problems get solved in surprisingly simple and practical ways Staff enjoy being at work, […]

RESEARCH MATTERS: SELF-DECEPTION – WHO ARE WE KIDDING?

Tatiana Bachkirova, professor of coaching psychology and director of the International Centre for Coaching and Mentoring Studies at Oxford Brookes University, discusses her research on self-deception in coaches I have been fascinated with the phenomenon of self-deception for a long time since noticing that I am quite capable of deceiving myself. It is also impossible to imagine that self-deception would not influence, at least in some way, the coaching process. Observant coaches may notice our clients sometimes deceive themselves, for example, about their status and prospects in the organisation, not noticing ‘the bad news’ to stay in the comfort zone. […]

MENTORING: DON’T RUSH RAPPORT

Lis Merrick explores how a lack of trust can ruin mentoring relationships in formal programmes and how good design can prevent it Over the past year, several mentoring programmes I have been working on have experienced real difficulties with trust among their participants. What is going on? Since the 2008 recession, many organisations have been forced to take steps to reduce costs, including redundancies, reduced working hours, cuts or freezes in pay and other benefits and restrictions on recruitment and promotion. This job insecurity has led to distrust among employees. I believe this is also symptomatic of a wider lack […]

BOOK REVIEWS

Coaching and Mentoring: Practical Techniques for Developing Learning and Performance (3rd ed) Eric Parsloe and Melville Leedham Kogan Page 978 07494 7762 2 4 out of 5 stars I found the earlier edition of this text invaluable as a reference for my doctoral research study in executive coaching. This new edition is even more powerful with its re-energising of Part One with the latest developments in the most relevant techniques and models for professional practice in coaching and mentoring. The inclusion of Part Two with offerings from OCM experts in the field is an authoritative addition that reflects current trends […]

IT’S A FUNNY OLD WORLD

In this column, we provoke fresh thinking and round up some of the weird, wonderful, quirky, surprising – and shocking – stories out there What’s in a name? Apparently we can intuit people’s names because their name influences their facial appearance in adult life, suggests a study led by Dr Ruth Mayo and PhD candidate Yonat Zwebner at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The research, ‘We look like our names: The manifestation of name stereotypes in facial appearance’, in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 112(4), pp527-554, 2017, consists of eight studies, including one experiment carried out by Zwebner […]

EMBRACE THE BEAUTY AND THE BEAST OF DIVERSITY – JACKEE HOLDER: COACHING AT WORK CONFERENCE 2017

In her keynote, Jackee Holder, leadership coach, coach trainer, coach supervisor and creative writing facilitator offered a personal lens on diversity and challenged delegates to question their own assumptions around clients’ and their own stories. By Ros Soulsby   Delegates were invited to name diversity rather than pretend it’s not there, and to challenge how we generalise about each other as coaches and clients. Holder shared her experience as first-generation UK Caribbean, living in London’s Brixton area. She highlighted how perspectives differ with the example that the Brixton ‘riots’ of the 1980s were to her, and her community, a political […]

CROSS-CULTURAL COACHING – RECONCILE THE PAST WITH THE FUTURE: COACHING AT WORK CONFERENCE 2017

Jenny Plaister-Ten, director of 10 Consulting, explored the richness and diversity of inter-cultural communication and presented an updated version of her model, the Cross-Cultural Kaleidoscope. By Ros Soulsby   Drawing on seven years of research and being part of an inter-cultural family, Plaister-Ten has distilled her findings into a model and tool for inter-cultural coaching. The intention with the cross-cultural kaleidoscope is to help clients go beyond their stories around culture, reconciling their influences and experiences with the present to get to their true sense of identity, she told delegates at the Coaching at Work annual conference on 5 July […]

EMPLOYEES STRUGGLE TO BE AUTHENTIC AT WORK: COACHING AT WORK CONFERENCE 2017

Meetings are a microcosm for how people show up more widely, and it’s easier to come out as homosexual at work than to challenge others in meetings, said Neil Tomalin. By Ros Soulsby   Presenting early findings from his research on authenticity, at the Coaching at Work annual conference on 5 July, Tomalin said, “The microcosm for being genuine and authentic is how you perform at a meeting. It’s the real-time gladiatorial arena.” He said, “Meetings paralyse business and are the absolute test for how organisations reflect their diversity principles. It’s easier to come out as a gay man than […]

COMPASSION IS AT THE HEART OF A HELPFUL FEEDBACK CONVERSATION: COACHING AT WORK CONFERENCE 2017

Compassion is at the heart of a helpful feedback conversation: research presented at Coaching at Work’s annual conference on 5 July in London By Ros Soulsby   Despite designing an ‘immaculate’ competency system for an organisation Lise Lewis found that things remained as bad as before, including emotionally damaging behaviour when giving feedback, prompting her to research a different approach with compassion at its heart. In her session at Coaching at Work’s annual conference on 5 July, Dr Lewis, owner of Bluesky International and president of EMCC International, explored the activity of feedback, how we react to it and how […]

INTERNATIONAL COACHING WEEK 2017: MAY, YORK, UK

Community coaching has been given another boost in city of York’s celebrations for International Coaching Week 2017 in May. Geoff Ashton and Peter Lumley from Coaching York share their reflections For the fourth year running, social enterprise Coaching York (CY) responded with vigour and creativity to the challenge set by the International Coach Federation to celebrate International Coaching Week (ICW) in May. CY serves the people of York through high quality coaching and its wider ambition is to make York the coaching capital of the UK. The ICW activities saw these ambitions become much closer, giving community coaching a vital […]