A round up of the latest news and events to happen in the coaching and mentoring community. You can search the Coaching at Work archives by using the search box on the left.

Coaching falls foul of ‘vanilla contracting’

Research showed that organisations needed a new leadership model rather than trying to rely on coaches using the old one to deliver the kind of leaders they required Steve Crabb Coaching suppliers are failing to be challenging enough when they agree contracts with client firms, according to research unveiled at the conference. Lee Sears, strategic adviser to the CIPD, was part of a team at Bridge Consulting hired by a consortium of six global businesses to investigate why, despite huge investment in their leadership development programmes, they needed to hire an increasing proportion of their leaders externally. The answer, Sears […]

Do get your hopes up

A Danish psychologist states that the use of hope theory is key to coaching Applying hope theory to coaching can offer more than a “quantum of solace” as individuals and society battle with the challenges arising in the current troubled times. Danish coaching psychologist Jens Boris Larsen identified hope as a personal quality that is key to coaching. Coaching can facilitate three elements of hope: goal setting, developing solutions to achieve goals, and bolstering willpower to maintain the motivation to achieve them. “One of the key success parameters of any coaching engagement seems to be the cultivation of positive emotions […]

Making meaning in troubling times

Themes of making meaning during this period of economic uncertainty were expressed by several speakers Jennifer Liston-Smith and Alanna O’Broin Different ways of “meaning making” in an uncertain economic environment was a strong theme from the end-of-conference speakers’ panel, as were paths to transformational adult learning. Jens Boris Larsen, a Danish coaching psychologist and chair of the Society of Evidence-based Coaching of the Danish Psychological Association, asked: “If it is true that business is ill, how deep does the disease go?” Discussing how coaching psychologists can contribute in the crisis, he added, we can “deconstruct psychology so that soul will […]

External coaches may prove ‘inadequate’ in downturn

Warns that companies should review their roster of external coaches to ensure they are still getting valuable quality support from them Veronica Hannon Organisations could be using dangerous coaches, warned David Clutterbuck of Clutterbuck Associates. Speaking at the European HR Directors Business Summit in January, the professor urged 500 HR directors to review their roster of coaches in light of the current economic climate. “Organisations are spending a lot of money on executive coaching. This is fine if coaching is done well. The problem is that often it’s not. If organisations have not recently reviewed their coaching provision, 60-80 per […]

BT empowers bosses in global roll-out

Group mentoring by senior leaders is a key part of BT’s new leadership development programme Liz Hall Group mentoring by senior leaders and peer coaching are central to BT’s new global development programme for front-line leaders. The six-month Inspirational Leadership Programme (ILP) launched last June in BT Operate is being rolled out to BT Retail, BT Global Services and operationally independent BT Openreach. Others, such as BT Wholesale, will follow. So far, some 60 senior leaders, including board members, have mentored 600 front-line BT leaders. Another 500 people leaders are set to go through next year. ILP has already been […]

Get creative and get your business through the crisis

Creativity is key to surviving the economic crisis, said Edward de Bono at a European HR Directors conference. Another speaker noted that most people leave jobs due to a lack of appreciation Veronica Hannon Making time to think creatively will get organisations through the economic crisis, said creative thinker Edward de Bono. De Bono, famous for his bestselling book, Six Thinking Hats, was speaking at the European HR Directors Business Summit in Birmingham in January. The stressful situations leaders are facing force senior executives to focus on continuity and problem solving, he said. Coaches can provide leaders with the space […]

Engineering change

Describes Electrocomponents’ new accredited coaching certificate for managers. Liz Hall Global engineering company Electrocomponents aims to improve performance by encouraging leaders to think more for themselves through its new accredited coaching skills certificate. The business has teamed up with Starr Consulting to roll out the programme which will be accredited by the OCM Group and, it is hoped, by the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC). Sara Wright, organisation development manager said: “Being directive doesn’t improve performance as it creates a bottleneck. To me, coaching is a leadership skill and this isn’t softie namby pamby stuff. It’s about driving performance […]

Conflict coaching is key to new dispute resolution regulations

Urges organisations to ensure managers have the necessary coaching skills in dispute resolution to prevent disputes escalating to tribunals Liz Hall With a month to go before the repeal of statutory dispute resolution regulations, experts are urging employers to equip managers with coaching skills so they can nip conflict in the bud and avoid hefty tribunal costs. A simpler, less prescriptive system comes into force on 6 April 2009 as part of the Employment Act 2008, but organisations must still demonstrate they have acted reasonably to avoid disputes. Tribunals will be able to increase awards by up to 25 per […]

Break on through to the other side

Describes research by the Institute of Employment Studies on coaching women to progress in their careers Liz Hall Coaching can help women progress in their careers by helping them address the many barriers which still exist. The barriers which hinder women’s attempts to break through the glass ceiling are similar in Germany, the UK, Greece, Sweden and the US, finds research by the Institute for Employment Studies (IES). They include perceptions about women’s management style; difficulties with masculine organisational cultures; general discrimination; difficulties in gaining the right experience and access to the right people to advance and with managing family […]

Avon calls on solution-focused coaching to restore confidence

Describes a coaching initiative at Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnerships NHS Trust which is boosting managers’ performance and confidence. Liz Hall Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnerships NHS Trust is boosting managers’ confidence and performance with solution-focused coaching (SFC). In November 2006, the trust restructured its services, moving away from a structure based on locality to one based on care groups such as child and adolescent mental health. The restructure meant people were being managed in units which were geographically dispersed- the trust covers an area from Swindon to Bristol- and confidence and performance suffered as a result. “Natural […]