In the latest in our series of columns looking at coaching and mentoring-related research, Lis Merrick explores whether the gender of our clients is relevant in the coaching dialogue – and whether we should we coach to it Social science research, popular myths, fairy tales, films and any number of psychological studies suggest men and […]


Being present is the magic ingredient in all coaching conversations, and mindfulness practice can further develop it. In fact, there are so many overlaps that it’s sometimes hard to distinguish between the two concepts, says Roland Spencer, associate lecturer at the Sheffield Business School Anyone actively and passionately involved with coaching and mentoring will have […]

Mentors help women get ahead

How can we build women’s confidence at work? A new guide shows businesses how to implement programmes to help women reach top leadership roles

Mentoring is the most important thing Women in Leadership programmes can offer women, suggests a guide from the CIPD and 02.

Almost half (47%) of the women interviewed for the study, Breaking the Boardroom: A Guide for British Businesses, would value highly a mentor from such a programme. The overwhelming majority of the women surveyed expressed the importance of individual and personalised support, from a mentor, coach or official sponsor, over and above their line manager.

The research identified three obstacles holding women back in
their careers: lack of confidence, of networking and difficulties in being comfortable with being themselves.

Coaching corridors of opportunity

RESEARCH ‘Coachable moments’ play an important part in coaching cultures, yet research in Australia shows that managers consider informal settings too much of a risk Australian managers are failing to take advantage of informal ‘coachable moments’ with their staff, citing time constraints, concerns about insufficient skills and relationship issues, preferring instead to conduct ‘less risky’ […]


Coaching with courage and vulnerability can not only lead to client change, it can boost coaches’ learning too, says Janet Laffin, senior lecturer, Sheffield Hallam University. There has been renewed interest in the relational qualities sponsors look for in a coach, following the publication of the 2013 Ridler Report1, which highlighted qualities, including personal chemistry […]

Research matters: The wild west of coaching

Cowboy or professional? Let’s drop the negative discourse and use an inclusive one. Isn’t that what coaching is all about, asks Bob Garvey, professor of business education at York St John Business School The idea of ‘discourse’ is important in the study of people and society. Discourses are basically how people talk about things. They […]

Research: Putting out the feelers

Paul Stokes, director, Coaching and Mentoring Research Unit, Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University, argues for a formal link between emotional intelligence and leadership development Since the work of Daniel Goleman (1996; 1999) popularised the notion of emotional intelligence (often referred to as EQ), it has become an accepted part of the language used to […]

Research matters: eight ways to best practice

David Megginson, emeritus professor of HRD at the Coaching and Mentoring Research Unit, Sheffield Hallam University, puts forward some provocative propositions about coaching practice in organisations Proposition 1. Coaching works because it honours the coachee’s agenda Nancy Kline (1999) offers a radical perspective on the coach’s role to facilitate the thinking of the client. This […]

Research matters: have you got the moves?

Many coaches use rituals in preparation for their work, but could the cathartic nature of rituals help clients move through pain, too, asks Dr Angélique du Toit, senior lecturer, Sheffield Business School It is evident from conversations I have had with many coaches that everyone has their own particular ritual they engage in before a […]

Research matters: Martini moments

What does ‘any time, any place, anywhere’ look like in a coaching conversation, asks Stephanie Sturges, senior lecturer, Coaching & Mentoring Research Unit (CMRU), Sheffield Business School.

A number of years ago, my colleague and I were exploring with a group of coaches how coaching might be transferred into the workplace, where and when it might be appropriate to coach and how to assist in the development of a coaching culture.

We explored the notion of coaching ‘any time, any place, anywhere’, or as one coaching student termed it, a ‘Martini Moments’ approach to creating coaching culture.