A creative and innovative HR leader has had her wings clipped by her new risk-averse boss. Feeling stifled, she knows she must break free. And soon. The Issue Marie, the head of talent development in a financial services organisation, feels stuck, demotivated and frustrated, but at the same time as if something new is trying to emerge. In the past, Marie has enjoyed the freedom to be creative. She has been applauded for her innovative, money-saving contributions, and has got a kick out of supporting people to make the most of themselves. Recently, however, her role has lost its shine […]


An internal coaching organiser waits until the end of an uneventful supervision session to let slip about a serious client issue. What should his supervisor do? The Issue Nick is a learning and development officer with a small charity. His organisation has been introducing internal coaching for 18 months and Nick has been involved in organising the internal coaching programme. As part of his coach training, Nick has been receiving supervision for the past nine months. In a recent meeting with his supervisor, Ben, Nick remarks that he has no major issues to discuss. He spends most of the session […]


A leader in the tech industry is moving into a major role. Executive coaching is aiding her transition. So why is she failing to complete the agreed actions? The Issue Verity has had a successful career in the technology sector for 20 years. Eight months ago she was promoted to head of division. This is her first position with a strategic focus and significant leadership responsibilities. To help her make the transition, her employer offered six sessions of executive coaching, with the possibility of continuing if the sessions delivered positive results. Verity relished the opportunity and has done some great […]


If the client’s situation changes, should the coach change too? Mark feels he now has little to offer his client; she, however, disagrees. What should they do?   The Issue Mark has been working with Catriona for nearly two years. He was approached by the HR director to support Catriona in building her influencing skills as she transitioned into a more senior role. The role involved supporting the EMEA region, while overseeing the integration of two new acquisitions. She did not have a dedicated team or operational resource, so her ability to build relationships and influence through collaboration was key. […]


TROUBLESHOOTER A school leader feels judged by her peers and judges them in her turn. She is angry, defensive and exhausted. A focus on compassion could hold the key THE ISSUE Beatrice is a department head at an independent secondary school in which teachers, pupils and management are under enormous pressure to deliver impressive academic results. She feels alienated from her colleagues, whom she believes collude with a set-up that encourages academic prowess at the expense of creativity, emotional intelligence and sports. At the same time, she ‘beats herself up’ whenever her pupils don’t get good grades, feels overwhelmed and […]


A coaching company has a long-term relationship with a multinational technology business. The lead coach values her catch-ups with the firm’s HR director. But during coaching, her corporate client shares his perspective on a senior manager, and it raises practical and ethical difficulties for the coach. A global technology firm uses coaching as a development tool and as a means of support, for many of its senior and middle managers. Tania, the lead coach for the coaching company, believes it is important to know what impact the coaching programmes are having on both individuals and the organisation. So she values […]


Staff at an ambitious new ad agency are looking forward to exciting times ahead, but they face challenges too. Youth and talent are on their side, but they lack experience in sales and development – essential for future success. Can coaching help? A new, medium-sized advertising agency has big ambitions, wanting to grow into a well-known, successful brand, with a reputation for providing high-quality, creative and insightful campaigns. The company has 40 staff, several of whom have worked together before. But the managers are young and have limited experience of managing others. Only a few of the employees regard sales […]


A medium-sized building firm wants to develop a coaching culture following a recent change in management. The current culture is macho, blame-heavy and suffers from a chronic case of ‘knowledge is power’. How can the HR director begin the process of change and win over the board? Construct UK Ltd is a medium-sized business employing 1,300 staff, mostly construction workers. The management is quite lean, but effective and the organisation has a good reputation in the market for safety and sustainability. However, a recent management buy-out has led to a re-examination of its leadership. Some of the new senior team […]


The boss of a large organisation finds himself mired in its day-to-day running, pulled in by senior managers who rely heavily on him for answers. How can he extricate himself and concentrate instead on furthering his company’s strategic business aims? John is managing director of a multi-million pound business that is looking to increase its turnover. Despite having a highly capable senior team, John is frequently involved in the everyday running of the business, leaving little time for strategic development. On a typical day he will spend a large amount of time working on solutions to operational issues and problem […]


An interim management role has thrown up some problems for a talented and committed employee, who until now has been overlooked for promotion. She feels negative and undervalued despite her considerable skills. What is her next move?  Ava is hugely valued in her organisation for her very specific expertise. However, she has seen a pattern of being passed over for promotion, and is feeling despondent. Though committed to the organisation, she is wondering what a future career path might look like. Conversations between her and her boss are not helping. Age is also a factor as Ava is approaching her […]