Profile: Dr Ilona Boniwell

Liz Hall talks to Positive Psychologist Dr Ilona Boniwell, founder of the first masters
in Positive Psychology in Europe and of the European Network of Positive Psychology, author, teacher, director, speaker and parent of five children. Not surprisingly, she feels well-qualified to discuss work/life balance. She stresses its importance and the role of coaching in helping others understand their choices

It’s refreshing interviewing Dr Ilona Boniwell. Funny, bright and warm, she’s happy to share that despite being a world-renowned expert on resilience and Positive Psychology (PP), she hasn’t got it all sorted.
I don’t know whether to be disappointed or relieved. I’ll opt for relieved, considering that optimism is rated so highly in the PP movement.
When we did the interview, Ilona was emerging from weeks of burning the midnight oil, completing validation paperwork for her latest brainchild, the International MSc in Applied Pos Psych (I-MAPP), which she launches in Paris and Cambridge this autumn. Uniquely, the programme offers students the choice of 12 modules, including coaching, and education.
Ilona already teaches at the École Centrale, Paris, including a module on Positive Leadership and on the Masters in Transformation and Innovation.
In addition, she lectures and speaks on PP and resilience widely, writes and edits books, does media work, including writing a monthly column for Psychologies magazine on modern family life and consults as a director of consultancy Positran, including advising the Bhutanese government. All this, and she is raising five children, four of whom are teenagers, aged 14,15, 16 and 17. The latter means her weekends are not always restful.
“I do feel myself quite qualified to discuss work/life balance! Three of the teenagers are boys, and you have to deal with multiple issues frequently at the weekend, yet still perform once you’re back at work. On Monday morning, I have to teach PP.”

Profile: Eric De Haan

Sense maker Erik De Haan’s ability to work with the organisational unconscious and surface hidden levels in groups has been called ‘magical’. The director of Ashridge Business School’s Centre for Coaching talks to Liz Hall about the ‘dark side’ of leadership. Magical is how one corporate client described Erik De Haan’s ability to work with groups. “I like the complexity and the dynamics between people. I’m quite good at detecting and naming some of those,” admits the director of Ashridge Business School’s Centre for Coaching. De Haan has been working with groups in various ways for many years, including as […]

Profile: Kiki Maurey

Coach and inspirational speaker, Kiki Maurey, has worked hard to promote diversity among black and ethnic minorities and women. An OBE was certainly a welcome surprise, but she had no intention of resting on her laurels. Liz Hall finds out why. I’m still standing When a letter arrived last summer from Her Majesty’s Government notifying Kiki Maurey that she was to be awarded an OBE, she thought it was a hoax. “I read it and I thought, ‘Yeah, right… if it’s not Saga, it’s a practical joke’. I laughed, then looked at the postmark and thought, ‘Oh, my God!’ ” […]

Profile: Katherine Long

Katherine Long is on a holistic journey. When she isn’t exploring spirituality or shamanism or even equine-facilitated coaching, she can be found running barefoot, engaging in dialogue with the earth. Liz Hall catches up with her.

Winning the Coaching at Work Best Practical Article award (see page 14) was a surprise for Katherine Long – she feels she is best known for her ideas and frameworks. Yet her ability to dance with concepts is matched by her knack, and desire, for grounding them in practice.
Spirituality, somatics, shamanism, focusing and mindfulness, equine-facilitated coaching, the Paleo Movement, barefoot running and getting back to nature, emergence and transformation. Our conversation touches on all of these areas.

Profile: Peter Burditt

Peter Burditt, founder of Strategic Development Consultants, is proof that there are still big bucks in coaching. Even in the current climate, he is highly sought-after, commanding fees of up to £1,500 an hour.
The secrets of his success include loving what he does, a non-compromising yet flexible stance, his high professional standards, a bulging contacts book from his time as a banker and an ability to work with tricky clients. “I tend to work with difficult people who eat coaches for breakfast and spit them out. I get their trust and pull the poison,” he says.

“There are an awful lot of coaches struggling because they are vanilla. I’m not vanilla. When I started to do masterclasses, I would get 50 per cent giving me a five and others a ten. Now it’s 90 per cent and 10 per cent. That’s OK with me. I’m not going to compromise to please people, although I will be flexible to maintain relationships – which are very different statements.”

Profile: Sally Bonneywell

Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline needed to change radically to keep its position in an increasingly challenging market. Sally Bonneywell created a coaching initiative that did just that – proving its worth with stunning results, reports Liz Hall

“Go for it,” responded global healthcare company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)’s head of HR when Sally Bonneywell suggested coaching was just what the business needed.
Bonneywell’s infectious enthusiasm and bubbliness no doubt helped her case. But the business case was compelling, too.

When Andrew Witty became CEO in 2007, he was clear that only radical transformation could help GSK meet the challenges it faced with the rest of the pharmaceutical industry. Coaching was the ideal way to support the huge internal change he had set in motion, but as an integral part of HR.

Profile: Professor Paul Brown

The limbic leader

Neuroscience expert Professor Paul Brown speaks his mind, and it’s our minds he’s passionate about. He tells Liz Hall why the neurobiology of behaviour is the future of coaching

With Paul Brown’s penchant for challenging the status quo, it seems fitting that we meet in London’s Reform Club, birthplace of many of the ideas, ideals and political activity expressed in the UK’s Great Reform Act of 1832.

Members of the former gentlemen’s club have included Winston Churchill, E M Forster, Henry James and H G Wells. Admission is not based on background, but character, talent and achievement – and Professor Brown has all three in abundance.

If anyone can convince me it’s coaching, rather than any other profession, that should carry the baton of neuroscience in the occupational arena, it’s Brown. Not only is he eloquent, charming and irreverent, he has an enormous wealth of expertise and knowledge at his fingertips.

Into Bulgaria

Post-Communist Bulgaria may not be the first country you’d associate with world-class leadership, yet International Coach Federation Bulgaria co-founders Peter Goryalov and Irina Goryalova are spearheading some remarkable changes

To say that Peter Goryalov and Irina Goryalova have got coaching off the ground in Bulgaria is an understatement. They won the International Coach Federation (ICF) President’s Award for their leadership and contribution to coaching and the ICF in Bulgaria in September 2011, and their chapter won the ICF’s Breaking Barriers Award in 2012, along with Australia’s Victoria chapter for a joint project.

They’re launching one trailblazing executive coaching initiative after another, they’ve been interviewed widely in Bulgaria, and former prominent journalist Irina has had more than 20 ground-breaking articles published, establishing a new language for leaders and organisations.

The stress professor

World-renowned counselling and coaching psychologist, founder of the Centre for Stress Management, Centre for Coaching and the Coaching Psychology Unit, Professor Stephen Palmer’s boundless energy has helped add many strings to his bow – just don’t put him in a box, he tells Liz Hall

As we talk, Stephen Palmer watches tanker ships on the horizon, waves crashing against the walls on the beach below his house in Cornwall. Other times he might see dolphins. But “always there’s the sound of the sea, which I love”.

Palmer is well-known globally for contributions to coaching psychology, stress management and Cognitive Behavioural Coaching (CBC). He’s known for his involvement in many projects and professional bodies, and for his high energy levels. The artistic, reflective and nature-loving side is less well-known.

Palmer does have fingers in many pies. Even in Cornwall, where he comes to reflect and to write, he is very productive. He has written and edited more than 40 books and more than 225 articles. He also produces seascape-inspired semi-abstract paintings and often explores the coastline.

Mind and body
Biology is one of many recurring and long-standing interests in Palmer’s life and work. Psychology is another. He’s been interested in human behaviour since childhood.

Profile: Adrian Moorhouse

Lane Changer Adrian Moorhouse may be a former Olympic gold medallist, but, as Lane4’s co-founder tells Liz Hall, he’s found a very different way to succeed With just days to go, those taking part in the London Olympics must be feeling the heat. Adrian Moorhouse, co-founder of Lane4, has been there. In his case, the hard work paid off – in September 1988, at the Seoul Olympics, swimmer Moorhouse won gold in the 100m breaststroke. The year before, he’d become the first person ever to swim the 100m breaststroke in less than a minute, one of five times he broke […]