The Coaching at Work Editor’s Awards 2021 ceremony was held online at Coaching at Work’s annual conference on 23 November. The awards recognised significant contributions championing, innovating, pioneering, modelling and inspiring best practice in mentoring, coaching supervision and coaching, including in the areas of social change. Who won what and why?
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS
Lis Merrick for contributions to mentoring and social change
Nomination comments included:
“It’s through examples like this (including in the humanitarian and aid sectors) that Lis is making a difference in parts of society that really count. Lis has largely gone unrecognized in this way and it’s time she was.”
Presenting the award, Coaching at Work editor Liz Hall (LH) highlighted some of Merrick’s contributions, saying: “Lis has been so generous with resources and so hardworking on so many fronts, it would take me forever to read them all out, but it’s the non-corporate work I’d like to highlight.”
Accepting the award, Merrick said: “Bob (Garvey’s)’s speech earlier (at the conference) about David Megginson brought it home to me how much David helped me initially, shaping my thinking about how to use mentoring to support society including those with different needs, and also Bob, and David Clutterbuck.”
Merrick has developed more than 250 mentoring programmes globally, training thousands of internal and cross-organisational programme mentors and mentees, working with more than 150 organizations including in financial services.
UNOCHA commissioned her to develop an innovative approach to training managers in the humanitarian field in Africa in coaching skills, which through the Humanitarian Leadership Academy is now offered across the humanitarian sector. She set up an Across Organisational programme in the Humanitarian and Aid Sectors soon to have 15 participating organisations including Save the Children, UNHCR, Tear Fund, War Child, Red Cross, and Médecins Sans Frontières. She’s developing a women in leadership version of this in 2022. She’s worked with Save the Children since 2015, currently exploring using coaching and mentoring during humanitarian surges to make the response team and home leadership team more effective and resilient in their crisis reaction. Work in the conservation field has included with the WWF.
She’s supported homeless people charity Crisis including with a reciprocal mentoring programme for senior leaders, and has supported mentees with lived experience of homelessness into employment. She’s also supported women in male-dominated environments through mentoring, a theme through her career since her MSc dissertation on ‘Mentoring women through the concrete ceiling in the construction industry.’ She’s currently working with women scientists at CERN and supporting women in Investment Management in the City through CityHive.
Liz has also used mentoring to help during the pandemic, including with two organisations, which have really been under pressure: the International Olympic Committee and pladis (formerly United Biscuits). She also specializes in using mentoring in membership organisations including the CIPD. She’s contributed to research including around the design of mentoring programmes, and mentor supervision.
Dr Siobhain O’Riordan for contributions to developing coaching psychology internationally
Presenting the award, LH highlighted how “generous Siobhain is with resources” and highlighted some of O’Riordan’s many contributions. These have included her working as a volunteer, holding many roles within professional psychology, coaching psychology, and allied bodies to support the development of the profession, and has contributed within academic and educational settings as well as working as a coach, coaching psychologist and supervisor in organisations and with individuals. A chartered psychologist, she’s an International Society for Coaching Psychology accredited coaching psychologist and supervisor, and course co-director/trainer on the coaching and coaching psychology programmes at the Centre for Coaching and Centre for Stress Management (UK). Ongoing interests include stress, resilience, wellbeing, learning and development, performance, health promotion in the workplace and education.
Between 2007-2019, at City, University of London, Coaching Psychology Unit, O’Riordan’s roles included deputy director, honorary research fellow, guest lecturer and/or external supervisor on coaching psychology programmes/modules. She’s currently an honorary fellow of the Wales Academy for Professional Practice and Applied Research (WAPPAR) at University of Wales Trinity Saint David. She’s the founder chair since 2008 of the International Society for Coaching Psychology,and a past chair of the British Psychological Society’s (BPS) Special Group in Coaching Psychology (SGCP)- now the Division of Coaching Psychology. In 2021 she co-edited An Introduction to Coaching Psychology (Routledge), is currently editor of Coaching Psychology International and the International Journal of Coaching Psychology, a co-editor of the International Journal of Stress Prevention and Wellbeing and the European Journal of Applied Positive Psychology, and a former editor of journals including the International Journal of Health Promotion and Education, The Coaching Psychologist and of the Rational Emotive Therapist. Former accolades include a Distinguished Contribution to Coaching Psychology Award (BPS SGCP) in 2010 and Highly Commended in the Coaching at Work 2019 External Coaching and Mentoring Champion award category.
Accepting the award, O’Riordan said, “I also have so many people to thank, because as a community, we always do it together… including Stephen Palmer for his friendship and mentorship over the years, and colleagues Alanna Henderson and Sheila Panchal for our work during Covid.”
Professor David Lane for contributions to coaching and coaching supervision
Presenting the award, Hall said:” He’s been a key figure in the development, evolution and professionalization of coaching and coaching supervision.” She shared the following
Nomination comment: “He’s the unsung hero, quietly being radical in the background but never being pushy. He’s been talking about the ecological crisis since the 60s and 70s, he helped in the formation of APECS, writing about accreditation, has written widely about ethics and in May 2021 gave the most wonderful keynote at the Oxford Brookes supervision conference called ‘Ethics as a way of navigating novel issues for practitioners’ which called for a new relational type of ethics that paid attention to all the social issues of our time.”
Accepting the award, Lane said, “We build on the work of others, Bob Garvey, Stephen Palmer, David Megginson, David Clutterbuck, Tony Grant, Michael Cavanagh, Sunny Stout-Rostron, Eve Turner, Lise Lewis, so many people. One of the things about getting a lifetime award is that you can look back and see how much things have changed, going back to the 80s, (when we were) trying to talk to organisations about coaching, it was really difficult to get anything, but it’s not just that (that’s changed), it’s the breadth of coaching, as we’ve seen in these awards- contributions to social justice, to climate change, in a Covid pandemic. Coaching has become something of real value not just to professionals and the work they do, but to society as well and it’s been an absolute joy to work with so many people over so many years to really push coaching and coaching supervision forward.”
Hall also highlighted some of Professor Lane’s many contributions, for example, as co-founder of the International Centre for the Study of Coaching at Middlesex University he contributed to leading-edge research in coaching as well as supervising leading coaches undertaking Doctoral research with the Centre. He developed a Master’s programme in Executive Coaching, which is now available in the US, South Africa and the UK and the first Professional Doctorate programme in coaching. These innovative programmes are work based and available to experienced coaches.
Through his associations with other bodies he’s created accredited programmes for work-based development in a wide range of organisations including major consultancies, multinationals, and public sector and government bodies. He has served on committees of the BPS, CIPD and EMCC. He’s worked with the EMCC around codes of conduct and standards and kite -marking of coach training. With the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches he researched and developed the standards for the Chartered Business Coach award. He co-founded the Global Coaching Convention.
BEST ARTICLE OR SERIES OF ARTICLES AWARD
Clare Norman, Michelle Lucas & Sebastian Fox for their series on fees in one-to-one coaching, coaching supervision and team coaching.
Hall said: “In coaching, fees are a bit of a taboo….so this is a very needed well-researched series calling for and bringing greater transparency (around fees), and identifying next steps.”
Accepting the award, Lucas said: “This started with a grumble with two supervisors saying how come it’s different with what you can earn as a supervisor compared to a coach…it was an exercise in collaboration…we’re absolutely thrilled.”
Read the series:
Dorothee Stoffels’ “timely, accessible” article on role clarity in team coaching as part of a series from Ashridge
Diana Tedoldi & James Farrell’s “inspiring and practical “article on working with nature in coaching
Tammy Tawadros, Debbie Wayth and Preeta Cooley’s “sophisticated, nuanced and challenging in a good way” article series on race equity in coaching:
CLIMATE COACHING AWARD
Charly Cox, co-founder of Climate Change Coaches
Speaking at the awards, Hall said the award was for Cox’s “courage, creativity and drive for getting climate coaching a place at the coaching table…she launched herself as a climate change coach at a time when it wasn’t really a thing, so she’s really led the way for many others to step into that space…she’s been a key driver to equip coaches to coach in this space, not just through her business but lots of free events, she’s currently writing a book with Sarah Flynn about the role that coaching can play (in this field), and she just empowers people…we have this idea we want to do more but don’t always know how and she makes it possible. Inspiring, creative, humble and generous.”
Accepting the award, Cox said: “What’s been amazing in these two years is how many other coaches have resonated with this and jumped in and on board. Linda (Aspey) and Zoe (Cohen) were power in my arm so thank you to them…(for the new book) what’s been really heartening is that we have almost 40 case studies from practitioners in the climate space and coaches all talking about how they’re using a coaching approach and how it’s making a huge difference to their ability to galvanize climate action. Today I interviewed Kimberly Nichols, author of Under the Sky we Make, and she was delighted that coaches wanted to do something about climate…I hope in the next ten years there are hundreds of books written about this.”
Executive coach, team coach, coach supervisor and carbon literate coach. Founding member of Climate Coaching Alliance (CCA)
Hall said: “Zoe has had a passion for and unwavering commitment to protecting earth and its creatures for many years…and has taken this into coaching…It was her idea to pen an open letter on the climate crisis which she co-authored with Linda Aspey and Alison Whybrow in 2019, which led to initiatives including the CCCA. She’s brave, she’s committed…she embodies fierce and tender compassion.”
Linda Aspey, executive coach, therapist, speaker and facilitator around climate change
At the ceremony, Hall said: “Linda woke up to the extent of the climate crisis and touched into the grief, and then she actually did something, loads of things…she has been really generous with her time and resources…she’s been standing up and stepping up and sharing her time with free webinars and resources such as her With the Earth in Mind model which she’s made freely available, she’s a media spokesperson for the BACP for climate change, a trainer/facilitator with XR. The vast majority of Linda’s climate change work is pro bono.”
Diana Tedoldi, speaker on topics like climate justice, coaching with nature to develop climate awareness and pro-environment behaviour
Hall said, “In addition to her work writing about working with nature and other collaborations with James Farrell, she founded the Nature Coach Academy..and done a lot of pioneering work around working eco-somatically…so this idea of we are nature and we can work with nature, drawing on the body’s wisdom…generous with resources”
INTERNAL COACHING CHAMPION AWARD
This award recognizes an individual/individuals/an organisation who have/which has made a significant contribution internally within their organization around coaching, innovating, pioneering, modelling and inspiring best practice.
Nicolas Ceasar, lead coach for NatWest Leadership and Coaching Faculty (see Profile, pages 26-30)
Hall said, “He’s done so much in-depth work, really passionate and committed to measuring and embedding coaching, ensuring coaching is aligned to leadership and talent development, career transition support, executive team success, programme alumni support, partnering with the business’s behavioural science experts on key projects where coaching and nudges can work together, (and work with Climate Change Coaches around carbon transition support)
Accepting the award, Ceasar said, “I’m in shock…I realise I spend so much time blinkered and focused on coaching and my belief for how coaching can enable the humanizing and spiritualizing of organisations and the reconnecting with our right brains and the other beyond, I get so obsessed and I don’t step back and look up, and getting this nomination has given me the opportunity to just pause..I thank everyone including Charly.”
Lucy Daykin, Grant Thornton International (GTI)
Hall said: “I was excited to hear about all the wonderful things she’s been up to, professionalizing coaching including through the Exceptional Coach programme for partners and senior leaders…one of the things that comes through really strongly is her absolute passion for the difference coaching can make internally and externally.”
Nomination comments included:
“She’s a one woman machine, who is driving a deep and lasting coaching culture through the partnership with the intent of growing a better, more sustainable business. She works tirelessly, and has designed a programme in collaboration with the EMCC to ensure that in-house leader as coach training is for life, not just a one off workshop”
Daykin has worked for Grant Thornton for six years, developing coaching and leadership, and pioneering the Apprenticeship Levy for a Coaching Standard in the UK. In 2018, she
realized that GTI needed to develop professional coaching across its global network of member firms (130 countries) after seeing how coaching changed the culture in the UK and Canadian LLP firms, recognizing that a global coaching culture would help the business be future fit. The Exceptional Coach Programme (EQA) is offered to partners and senior leaders in the APAC, EMEA and Americas regions. In 2021 GTI won the EMCC Global Coaching Award for its extensive work professionalising coaching globally at GTI.
Naomi Schwabe, Deutsche Bank for her work promoting coaching internally
Hall said, “For her work growing the internal resource internally, including promoting coaching at a senior level, and starting to promote a coaching culture, and supporting the business’s audit function to develop soft skills. And again, real passion.”
Nomination comments included:
“Naomi is dedicated to raising the profile of coaching – an enthusiastic learner with ethical and professional practice at the heart of her practice. She encourages the same principles within the DB coaching resource – is an advocate of regular continuing professional development including supervision. “
Schwabe is a graduate of the Bluesky International Diploma for Coach/Mentor Supervision, which she attended to support the coaching resource she’s growing in the bank. She’s now trained 43 coaches and is promoting coaching at the most senior level in the bank.
EXTERNAL COACHING CHAMPION AWARD
Charmaine Roche and Jonathan Passmore for contributions to social change (race equity)
Hall said, “Including for the in-depth report they produced, Racial Justice, Equity and Belonging, sharing research among key stakeholders across the coaching eco-system and a call to action…to deploy coaching in support of the global movement for racial justice and equity, giving primacy to the voices of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour who work in the industry…and again, fierce compassion, I’ve interviewed Charmaine, and she’s very much stepping up”
Accepting the award, Roche said “I’d like to give testimony, without the coaches who were willing to enter a space of talking about their experiences with me, and without the international team who helped recruit them, the research wouldn’t be possible, and the other key stakeholders, who put themselves in the frame because at this time there’s identity politics which can be quite a scary place…I’d also like to pay tribute to the good response from the coaching community the report has been met with…we need more research and more voices.”
Mark McMordie (individual), founder of the Conscious Leader for his work on psychological safety, compassion and building not-for-profit programme, Coaching through Covid
Hall said, “It was an idea that Mark brought into being, and he inspired the Coaching through Covid team to consider its ethos, he modelled a compassionate mindful agile adaptive and visionary leadership style informed by coaching. (For his work generally) around compassion and psychological safety which he embodied, he’s pioneering this work including with Fearless Organisation, he’s written articles about the topic, hugely generous and humble.”
McMordie said, “Thanks to everyone who made this happen. I just had an idea and followed my intuition on what was needed and what we could do collectively to support those on the frontline. Thanks to Lindsay Wittenberg, Carole Osterweil, Liz Hall, Gina Lodge, Pauline Muldoon, the supervision team, and every single coach, but the biggest accolade goes to those on the front line who are supporting us….working on that team pro-bono for nine months was one of the most special times of my life. The working culture of that team was what great organisations can be. I learnt loads from all of you.”
Coaching through Covid and Beyond (Organisation)
Presenting the award, Hall said: “After much contemplation..because I am part of the team, I got myself out of the way, and thought, yes, you’re part of the team, this is a team and that’s what we’re role modelling here…”
Coaching through Covid and Beyond has been providing pro bono professional coaching to an NHS workforce facing immense challenges, since the first surge back in March 2020, and has now coached 550 clients.
Nomination comments included:
“A tirelessly ambitious and passionate core team rallied hundreds of qualified coaches and connected with clinicians to co-create an open access coaching service, that was up and running within days and sought to be agile and responsive to the needs of its audience. Though CtC was conceived in a time of crisis it never compromised on its standards, with all coaches being highly experienced and accredited and capable of dealing with the complexities of coachees on the front line. The infrastructure to support and develop the coaches themselves added a layer of resilience and depth to the CtC programme. Mark McMordie (who initially conceived of the idea for CtC and led the programme through its first critical six months) and the CtC team embodied the core values of compassion, mindfulness and psychological safety and these infused all aspects of the CtC project…. Coachees reported feeling calmer, more resourced and better able to deal with the uncertainties of their stressful working environments with direct benefits to their personal and professional relationships and ability to care for patients. Feedback describing the coaching as ‘life-saving’ and as ‘psychological PPE’ emphasises the profound and timely impact of the CtC programme and is testament to the remarkable vision and commitment of McMordie, the CtC core team and the volunteer coaches.
CtC continues to respond and adapt to the evolving needs of NHS staff in the aftermath of COVID in the form of Coaching through COVID and Beyond (CtCaB) in 2021. The NHS has never needed this more. “
Accepting the award, one of the co-founders Lindsay Wittenberg said, “The motivation was compassion…we couldn’t have done it unless we were the team we were, I’d also like to pay tribute to those named, it’s been the most extraordinary journey, to be able to give and contribute in the way we were and are.”
Leadership coach Carol Braddick & team and executive coach Alexandru Popa-Antohi for their work researching technology in coaching, through the multi-stakeholder thinktank, the Future of Coaching Collaboration group.
Hall said, “So many people, particularly earlier, were a bit frightened of technology and there was a lot of dragging of heels, and their research looking at how technology can be embraced and encouraging those who are less techno-savvy or even slightly techno-phobic to delve in and harness some of the benefits.”
EXTERNAL MENTORING CHAMPION AWARD
(Individual) Premala Nadarajah, consultant anaesthetist at the Royal Free London NHS Trust for championing diversity and inclusion through mentoring.
Hall said, “She’s committed and passionate not only about her own development but that of others, and feeling that there was more to be done to support people of colour in the NHS, given her own and colleagues’ experiences, she took it upon herself to do something about this. She approached Mission INCLUDE and is now programme partner, championing the programme within the Trust and has helped to spread the word more widely in the NHS…she embraced the programme to drive change…she’s not driven by ego and when she decides something should happen, she really goes for it. She’s a trailblazer and mover and shaker”
Dr Nadarahah said, “Thanks to Liz Dimmock for having faith in me. It’s been an amazing journey. Thanks too to… my coach on Coaching through Covid”
(Organisation) Mission INCLUDE for championing diversity and inclusion through mentoring
Hall said, “Founded in 2019 by Moving Ahead founder Liz Dimmock and Rupal Kantaria from Oliver Wyman , it’s the first mentoring programme focused on broader diversity…linking up with 115 participating organisations including EY, Tesco and Tetrapak…really essential programme and well-deserved.”
Dimmock said, “It’s a testimony to everybody, including amazing leaders like Prem…Mission Include is the culmination of amazing individuals coming together and the brainchild of Rupi who came to me and said, let’s move beyond single diversity strands… celebrating that intersectionality and all that we are and not putting ourselves in boxes…the power of cross-company, to be able to be in a mentoring partnership with someone from another organization…
CONTRIBUTIONS TO COACHING SUPERVISION AWARD
Lorenza Clifford for her work championing coaching supervision in many contexts.
Hall highlighted some of Clifford’s contributions which have included volunteering with the AC, hosting Group Supervision Experience calls for coaches, participating in the AC special interest group on supervision and in the Discovery team for AoCS, carrying out action research for both and designing conversations to share the results (https://www.coaching-at-work.com/2020/03/01/supervision-on-the-way-to-market/). She’s also taken part in the Climate Coaching Alliance, (setting up supervision-informed conversation containers)..”that wider application of supervision and weaving it into all sorts of settings”, volunteering in the AoCS, including bringing the voice of supervision as AOCS signatory of the Joint Global Statement on Climate Change and working alongside webinar hosts in transformative action research (https://www.jgsg.one/jgs-webinars/) The latter led to the creation of a website with Stephen Palmer to share the resulting rich information for coaches and supervisors https://www.jgsg.one/jgs-webinars/research-findings/ with supervision style questions to encourage reflection
Clifford said, “The award is for everyone in my eco-system with whom I’ve been developing and having conversations that matter”
Dr Henry Campion, coaching supervisor
Hall shared a nomination comment which highlighted how Campion “generates lots of interesting ideas for coaching supervision and writes and presents about them for everyone’s benefit”.
Hall highlighted contributions which have included Campion’s emphasis on self-understanding, reflection and learning from client work within a relationship of deep trust infused with a tone of curiosity, creativity and a sense of playfulness and enthusiasm for the work. He also brings his medical and psychosynthesis understanding to how best to do (this work). He’s particularly interested in relationships on coaching and supervision, with an emphasis on the social motives of attachment, power and (currently) intimacy.
Jackee Holder, coaching supervisor
Hall shared the following nomination comment:“ her ability to be creative and take supervision to new pastures, running workshops on using nature as inspiration, has written lots about being more creative in supervision. People love the freshness she brings, she’s been contributing to coaching supervision for many years and is a wonderful role model on many levels.”
Michelle Lucas, coaching supervisor
Hall said, “Michelle is immensely passionate not just about supervision but reflective practice in general, it’s clear not just through her book, 101 Coaching Supervision techniques, and business, but her pro-bono work, participating in the AC special interest group in supervision and coaching supervision spaced in the AoCS with Yvette Ellcock.”
Nomination comments included:
“She’s always a joy to collaborate with, she’s passionate and pragmatic in equal measure, encompasses complexity yet down to earth and unpretentious”