Thursday, 22 December 2016

Black Box Thinking

I recommended this book to a team I am working with, because I feel it really does reinforce a team striving to become high performing.

Black Box Thinking is a new approach to high performance, a means of finding an edge in a complex and fast-changing world. It is not just about sport, but has powerful implications for business and politics, as well as for parents and students. In other words, all of us.
Drawing on a dizzying array of case studies and real-world examples, together with cutting-edge research on marginal gains, creativity and grit, Matthew Syed tells the inside story of how success really happens – and how we cannot grow unless we are prepared to learn from our mistakes.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Learning to work Simpler Smarter Quicker

Wherever you look, in whatever part of the world and organisation, you will find tired and over-worked people. The pressure to produce results is remorseless, and people simply feel they don’t have the time or resources to do what is asked of them. Certainly not to the quality that they would like it to be. Add to this, that we live in a 24*7 world where the sun never sets on the continuous flow of communications, so we tend to remain permanently ‘connected’, making it increasingly difficult to switch off. Is it any wonder, that we often come across people, who feel they have no life, and who by the end of each year feel burned out – totally exhausted. Surviving means devoting all of your energy to your little plot on the campus, avoiding rich interaction with others because you just don't have the time, and out of this 'solo mentality' is born!

Simpler Smarter Quicker has been created to help individuals, teams and organisations to survive and thrive in the 21st Century. It is a programme that embeds a continuous improvement mindset within team thinking, and simple, yet powerful tools and techniques to deliver the changes.

In designing Simpler Smarter Quicker we have drawn ideas and inspiration from many books and from our experience of working with individuals and teams over the last 20 years. Interestingly. with so many books on the subject, it is surprising that people still struggle to be effective. 

We conclude that generally people know what to do, but they don’t do what they know! 

If you are interested in finding out a bit more about how to transform your team ways of working, please watch this 5 minute video.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

What is your personality type?

I am certified to use Myers Briggs step ll and have always had a great deal of faith in the system, at both and individual and team level.

I have just found a really good article on Life Hacker that provides some fascinating incites. Please just click on the image below.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Brexit Rocks!

In the recent EU referendum I voted remain for a number of reasons:-

  • I like being part of Europe and have lots of European friends and colleagues. Before I retired I worked for a European region of a global business and it was great to always feel part of something bigger.
  • I also believed it would be a financial catastrophe to lose our premier status within the EU, especially as a retiree looking to ensure our investments continue to grow.
  • I also looked at Boris and Gove and there was no way I would back either one as leader of our country!
I went to bed thinking the floating 10% of voters would, because they were unsure, vote to remain. Sad to thinking that the tipping point to leave may well have come from people that voted leave as a protest against the establishment!

So now it's Brexit and we know Brexit means Brexit. 

I find it hard to see the meaningful positives coming out of 'taking back control', although as much as I love the Europeans, I certainly despise anything to do with the EU administration. The unelected officials who seemed to have so much power over our lives. Also the sheer waste, excessive remuneration packages, unaudited accounts. All those pigs feeding off the trough of our toils .... BARSTARDS!

Hey I'm starting to warm to Brexit.

Now thank goodness we have a down to earth woman as prime minister and all the silly little public schoolboys have gone. I think the government appears to be made up of people who take politics and running the country seriously. It seems as if there really will be a focus on ordinary hard working people, rather than primarily benefiting the privileged few. Plus Gove, and possibly Boris has been stitched up. 

Hey Brexit Rocks!!!!!

Monday, 1 August 2016

Awesome leaders - Michelle Obama

With the American presidential elections confusing the hell out of the world, there is one leader that has stood out for me. Sadly she has not put herself up for the election, she probably has better things to do with her life. Michelle Obama, what an amazing leader she is and an example to all.

Forbes summed up her leadership qualities as:-

How does Mrs. Obama exemplify great leadership skills? Consider the following takeaways when seeking managerial success:

Self-respect and respect for others

It’s very easy to forget to respect others, especially in our current political landscape. But without recognising and respecting the opinions of others, a leader isn’t leading; they’re dictating. Similarly, without self-respect, giving respect to others is quite difficult. In everything Michelle Obama has done, she has always held a high level of self-respect and respect for others, and that’s something all leaders should uphold.

Relatable to employees

In her recent speech, Michelle Obama talked about her personal life, her first date with her husband, and her hopes for her daughters. Her personal story has resonated with women across the country and empowered African American women to knock down stereotypes. Much of this happened because she has been a continuously relatable figure.

She’s not the first to convey personal anecdotes during speeches, obviously. In fact, it’s commonly seen in a First Lady’s speech. But the takeaway is the same: a leader who is relatable to his or her employees will connect easier with them, provide better feedback, and foster a more effective personal relationship.

Effective communicator

Effective leaders not only speak confidently and clearly, but also with a sense of conviction that will move who they are speaking to into action. Michelle Obama has continuously rallied women across the country in areas like women’s rights, voting, and finding balance between professions and motherhood.

Effective communication is not just about being clear and persuasive. It’s also about being open and available. Without having an open door, employees will feel restricted in their own conversations with you.

Honest and dedicated

Great leaders are honest about their policies and expectations and their areas of expertise and downfalls. In particular, an important leadership skill is knowing when to admit you’re wrong or that you don’t know. In fact, the best leaders not only don’t know everything, but they don’t claim to. However, holding honesty and dedication to their work is what is most effective.

Michelle Obama has been honest and dedicated in many areas during her husband’s presidency. In particular, her dedication to solving childhood obesity and supporting military families has been part of what makes her a great leader.

Inspiring and motivational

Take a look back on your life; who inspired you the most? Whether it’s a teacher, co-worker, or family member, they likely had at least this quality which made an impact on you. A leader who is inspirational and motivational is a powerful leader. Similar to Michelle Obama seeming like one of the rest of us, her personal story also evokes inspiration and motivation in women.

To me this video summarises what a great lady she is!

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Developing excellence in paradise

We have just returned from a wonderful holiday in Mauritius. Two weeks of soaking up the winter sun, doing very little and achieving a deep level of relaxation. We stayed at an amazing hotel The Oberoi which offers beautiful accommodation in a wonderful location. No high rise buildings, just 75 pavilions and villas within 20 acres of paradise. Super attentive staff who, regardless of their jobs, are dedicated to making your holiday special. Outstanding food, with sufficient variety, which meant we were never bored. If you wanted a change the chefs would cook you something special!

We have travelled to many highly rated beach resorts around the world and rate this hotel the best of the best. Everything you read in all the TripAdvisor reviews are TRUE!

I wasn't working, but I'm always interested the attributes of successful organisations and my lazy observations picked up through watching and talking were:-

  • They recruit based on attitude and then train new employees in The Oberoi way
  • Every member of staff seemed highly motivated and well trained and we were provided with exceptionally attentive, personalised and warm service
  • They promote from within in preference to bringing in people from other hotel groups
  • People at all levels appear to be empowered to do their jobs with little interference, because they all know the very high level of quality that is expected
  • Outstanding attention to the detail, the little things from which excellence grow from!
The general manager Dhiren is a super guy and a constant presence across the resort - certainly not a desk bound leader. A warm personality, a great memory as he gets to know all guest and we really loved his method of ensuring all the little things are excellent. He has set up a WhatsApp group and as he walks around the resort he takes a photo of any flaw and shares it with the group. Then just leaves it to his empowered team to sort out the problem.

The interesting feeling we had after our holiday was that we could safely go to any Oberoi hotel around the world and expect the same level of excellence. We now have massive faith in the brand thanks to all the staff of The Oberoi Mauritius!!! 

M A G I C !!!!

Thursday, 12 May 2016

It comes down to GRIT

Up until last week I thought of grit as the substance that trucks spread on the roads here in the UK during icy conditions. Then I received Dan Pink's infrequent newsletter and discovered the following.

"By now you've probably heard the term. It’s one of the biggest ideas in social science in the last decade — the brainchild of Angela Duckworth, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, winner of a MacArthur “genius” grant, and founder and co-director of Character Lab. 

This week Angela is publishing a book on the topic titled — you got it — Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance (Buy it at Amazon,, or IndieBound). I had a chance to read the manuscript awhile back — and it’s one of the smartest, most compelling non-fiction books I’ve read in years. Mark my words: People are going to be reading and talking about this book for a long, long time."

So I had do the Grit Scale and discovered I am 4.13 out of 5 and grittier than 80% of the US population?? 

Then I found and watched a TED talk and based on my life experience,I agreed with the research. It certainly explains why a lot of high potential graduate recruits just don't make the grade. The challenge then, is how to develop grit in children and in adults??? 

Perhaps I should buy the book

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance :-)

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Set up your support network

I've just heard something on the radio and don't want to lose it as I think it's so good. In all of our coaching we encourage people to set up their support networks, so that they never have to struggle alone with their problems and issues. You know the old saying a problem shared is a problem halved.

Well this graphic summarised what I heard.

Team Coach model - visualising what you want

I realise it's the way I am wired but I know if I can picture what I want to develop, then I can create a training programme to deliver that outcome. I'm currently working on a Team Coach programme and have created this model.

This TED talk highlights the value of creating a visual image of what you want to achieve.
  • See it
  • Believe in it
  • Act on it

Friday, 6 May 2016

Team Coach - learning graphic facilitation

I'm busy developing a Team Coach - growing high performing teams programme and one of the key skills they will learn is the ability to run highly interactive workshops. In this crazy digital world that we live in, there is a compelling need to get people away from their screens and reconnecting with paper, pens and real live people!!! 

Participants will, regardless of their ability to draw, learn how to use graphic facilitation techniques. They will learn how to get rid of the stodgy boardroom meeting format and create a magical, colourful and fun environment, where great ideas blossom and grow. 

I was very lucky to have been taught graphic facilitation by the master David Sibbet on his first visit to the UK and have continued to use the techniques for over 15 years. To say it works is an understatement as it ROCKS!!! When you use these techniques with the high performing team programme you actually witness teams transform from plodders to vibrant, exciting performers.

To give you a better idea of the visual meeting approach of High Performing Teams, please watch this short David Sibbet video.

Less elegant than the master, but done with love and passion and with an exciting outcome.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

How did Leicester City win the Premier League?

I'm not a football fan but you couldn't avoid the success of this little club against against the giants of the Premier League.

How did they do it????

Leicester City have completed one of the most remarkable stories in the history of English football by winning the Premier League title. Written off as relegation candidates at the start of the season, when the bookmakers made Leicester 5,000-1 outsiders to be crowned champions, they secured the first top-flight title in the club’s history after Tottenham were unable to beat Chelsea on Monday night. 

I went on to Google to see if I could get answers and discovered the following.

  • Employing Italian Ranieri a charming, extremely passionate and knowledgeable manager
  • The blessing of a Thai monk may seem a bit quirky but appeals to the emotions 
  • Great talent scouting, uncovering rough diamonds that could be developed to meet their full potential
  • Seeing the talent in those that had been rejected by the big guns and giving them a chance to succeed (at last someone belive in me!)
  • Getting tactics right and winning early in the season
  • Ranieri has that warm, infectious personality and brought humour and light to Leicester, privately as well as publicly, occasionally mixing up his words with comical consequences and, in true Ranieri fashion 
  • Success brought greater team spirit and determination, as well as the individual talent, was shining through and, in many people’s eyes, inspiring Ranieri every bit as much as his players
The more I read, the more I picked up on happiness, fun and laughter, warmth and emotion. Great team work, belief in one another, caring and nurturing. It aligned very much with what I have witnessed working with business teams where success comes from 'feelings and emotions'. Where the manager, leader or coach has a high level of emotional intelligence and can understand the emotions of their people and excite them about a better future. 

Our High Performing Team programme is very much about getting teams to develop this emotional bond and it can be summed up by the following image.

Well done Leicester!

Thursday, 28 April 2016

AirServer is awesome!

It has puzzled me for some time now, how can I view my iPad screen on my desktop? I use my iPad a lot and quite often want to video a demonstration of an app, but not sure what to do? I even plugged in my redundant Apple TV (why did I buy it anyway!) but was obviously doing something wrong as nothing happened.

Then last week when I was using skype to coach someone I ended up holding my iPad up to my webcam and failing miserably. So I decided to do some serious research and wow did I strike gold!!!

It's called AirServer and it is superb!

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Team Coach - an HR Business Partner development programme

As with all good things, we stumbled upon the role of the Team Coach. We were running a superb inspirational leadership programme and out of that we developed a High Performing Team programme (HPT) and needed resources to be able to cascade HPT. I would run HPT at a board/management committee level, but then each member of that team wanted to run the workshop with their teams.

To rise to this challenge we developed a great win-win solution, an HR Business Partner development programme:
  • Inspirational leadership Programme (ILP)- all senior managers were attending our inspirational leadership programme, so what better way to prepare HR to support these managers when they returned to work, than get them to experience the same life changing programme. So we ran ILP for HR and it was amazing to see how they too transformed.
  • Coaching - we then taught our HR team to be able to coach the teams that they supported.
  • Facilitating - we created a train the trainer workshop and taught our HR team how to run the HPT workshop.
As a small European region (5,000 people) of a giant multinational we had created an enviable capability that gave outsiders the impression that we had a huge training department! What we did have was a few passionate internal trainers working with an outstanding external training company and a wonderful team of willing HR Business Partners, plus line managers who were prepared to give up their own time to release the magic in others.

That was then, now many years later I am developing a Team Coach programme, an HR Business Partner development programme and all I can tell you at this stage, is that I know it will be ....

                                         A M A Z I N G ! 

Assertiveness is good!

I know it's wrong to generalise and make big assumptions about what troubles people, but so often I listen to the people I am coaching and struggle with my inner dialogues. What's going on in my mind is 'why didn't he just say no?', 'why didn't she tell him that she wasn't happy with the new arrangement', and 'why doesn't he have doormat tattooed on his forehead'. I have concluded that a lot of people struggle to be assertive and somewhere along the way think of assertiveness as bad, confusing it with aggression!

I did find a very simple guide on the net to the three key communication modes and an endorsement that assertiveness is a good thing. The good news is that if you or someone you know struggle to be assertive, with coaching support you can develop this skill and change your life for the good.


Compliant, submissive, talks little, vague non-committal communication, puts self down, praises others.

“I don’t mind … that’s fine … yes alright”
Actions and expressions fit with words spoken, firm but polite and clear messages, respectful of self and others.

“That’s a good idea, and how about if we did this too …” or “I can see that, but I’d really like …”
Sarcastic, harsh, always right, superior, know it all, interrupts, talks over others, critical, put-downs, patronising, disrespectful of others.

“This is what we are doing, if you don’t like it, tough”

You’re okay, I’m not
Has no opinion other than that the other person/s are always more important, so it doesn’t what they think anyway.
I’m okay, you’re okay
Believes and acts as if all the individuals involved are equal, each deserving of respect, and no more entitled than the other to have things done their way.
I’m okay, you’re not
Believe they are entitled to have things done their way, the way they want it to be done, because they are right, and others (and their needs) are less important.


Avoids eye contact, looks down, teary, pleading
Warm, welcoming, friendly, comfortable eye contact
Narrow, emotion-less, staring, expressionless

Makes body smaller – stooped, leaning, hunched shoulders
Relaxed open, welcoming
Makes body bigger – upright, head high, shoulders out, hands on hips, feet apart

Together, fidgety, clammy
Open, friendly and appropriate gestures
Pointing fingers, making fists, clenching, hands on hips

Give in to others, don’t get what we want or need, self-critical, thoughts, miserable
Good relationships with others, happy with outcome and to compromise
Make enemies, upset others and self, feel angry and resentful

Friday, 15 April 2016

Coaching people to make good decisions

At a training session for coaches that I ran last week, we discussed helping people to make decisions (without telling them what to do!).

From my own experience the best help I received was from my cousin's husband, an estate agent! I was being transferred by my company from Cape Town to Johannesburg, great from a career point of view, but heartbreaking to be leaving the most beautiful city of the world. We had sold our house on one weekend, and flew up to Johannesburg the next weekend.

On arrival on the Friday evening, over a few beers my cousins husband spoke to my wife and I as follows:

"I am going to help you to be very clear on the criteria you will use to make your final choice of the house you will buy. If you don't do this you might fall in love with a great feature in a house, buy it and live to regret your decision as you discover the house didn't deliver on all your needs."

Years later I have learnt that all of decision making is emotional and what he was doing was injecting some logic into the process.

"Tell me what 3 to 5 attributes your house must have, meaning you will not look at a house that doesn't fulfil your 'must' needs." 

I can't remember exactly what our 'musts' were but I think it may well have been a cost ceiling, location near a good school, three bedrooms, south facing and with a swimming pool??

"Now tell me your 3 to 5 'wants', your nice to have, not deal breakers but criteria that will help you to choose between a short list of house?" 

I think our criteria covered house style, garden layout, outdoor living space and internal decoration. Once we had established our criteria we then spent two days looking at what was available on the market and finally sat down and evaluated our chosen few against our criteria. Finally and quite quickly we mad up our minds, put in an offer, signed the sales contract and three months later moved in.

The 'coaching' we received was hugely valuable and helped us to buy a house that we ended up enjoying for many years. A very good process, that will help you to guide your coachees to make the well thought out decisions.

To summarise this approach:
  • Coach people to define their choice criteria before they start looking at options
  • Define the 3 to 5 musts and only look at options that meet those needs
  • Define the 3 to 5 wants that will help your coachee to make their final choice from their short list

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Productivity tips

Working Smarter: 11 Things Ultra-Productive People Do Differently

The amount of time we have to get things done in our day is limited. We all work within the same 24 hour day, yet some people do a fantastic amount of quality work in those same 24 hours.

On the flip side, others can barely beat down the urgent tasks knocking on their door so that they can work on the main projects.

What makes the difference? How do the ultra-productive get so, well, productive?

It is a combination of factors, but we have distilled them down into 11 key concepts & rules. Follow some of these rules and you’ll see a difference, follow all of these rules and you’ll be doing more with less in no-time flat.

11 Productivity Tips


Thursday, 10 March 2016

Investing in work teams

Everyone gets if you want to succeed, then you need to invest in sports teams . Sports teams have skills coaches, psychologists, health and fitness experts and everything is geared up to improve performance.

In the case of work teams, generally so little is done to develop the team performance. Team building events, as much fun as they are, really do not directly impact on the performance of the team.

I was very lucky to have spent 22 years working for NestlĂ© Purina, a company that did get it. We created a team development programme, which I continued to develop when I left and set up Release the Magic.

Celebrating my first five years in business, I have renovated and invigorated the High Performing Team Programme and started to roll out the new version from the beginning of 2016.

This year we will be able to offer the following programmes where we provide the team coaches:

  • High performing team kick off workshop
  • Performance Coaching for Teams
  • Working Simpler, Smarter and Quicker as a team
In addition we will be offering programmes to empower other people to run our programmes:
  • High Performing Team Coach
  • Team Leader - developing high performing teams
If you want to find out more, please watch this 10 minute video. Thanks!


Wednesday, 2 March 2016

The 10 Key Skills

As part of the High Performing Teams programme I will be developing coaching modules that can be used as part of the Know and Grow Our Skills workshop. 

The skills I will be focusing on will be:-

  1. Managing Conflict - being able to deal effectively with day to day, work place challenges.
  2. Communicating with Impact - able to deliver compelling messages to people in whatever format used.
  3. Influencing Others - able to win the hearts and minds of people through skilled strategies and skills
  4. Managing People - able to get the best out of individuals and teams.
  5. Personal Effectively - able to manage time, focus on what really matters and deliver maximum value.
  6. Problem Solving - able to break problems down into their component parts and implement lasting solutions.
  7. Decision Making - able to weigh up all the criteria and make the best solution with the minimum of time delay.
  8. Emotional Intelligence - able to understand the emotional impact of own behaviours and 
  9. Performance Coaching - able to coach the best from others by skilled use of  the key coaching skills and the ciaching toolbox.
  10. Facilitation Skills - able to use the skills and tools of facilitation to get the best from teams and groups.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Dealing with Conflict

In my training and coaching practice I come across many people who say not dealing with conflict is one of their biggest struggles. We use a coaching Root Cause tool that lays bare the recurring problems that people experience. It identifies the root cause of the problem, but so often people, because the can't deal with conflict, feel powerless to make changes. This invariably means they live with their issues and the stress that doing nothing brings! 

Here is what Huffington Post had to say ... 

"Most people don't like conflict. A recent study of CEO's found that fear of conflict was one of the seven deadly sins CEOs won't admit. The problem is, avoiding conflict doesn't reduce tension, if anything, it escalates it. Issues become bigger, resentment grows, people become disengaged, and feel powerless to solve their problems. A reluctance to deal with conflict is hugely detrimental to business. Good ideas remain unspoken, people create silos, and leaders don't get the information they need because everyone is afraid to bring up potentially contentious issues. 

The post mortem on any business failure almost always reveals critical information went unaddressed because somebody was afraid to discuss it. 
Avoiding conflict also wreaks havoc on relationships. Have you ever been around someone who was frustrated or angry, but doesn't want to talk about it? They ooze resentment."
Conflict is a reality of life, so learning to manage conflict is an essential and very valuable skill that people can learn.
For many years we taught Managing Conflict as part of an amazing Influencing People training course we ran. We provided people with 5 strategies and a process for managing conflict and it worked marvellously well.
The strategies were based on the two key ingredients:-
  • Levels of cooperation
  • Levels of assertiveness

The process to follow was called R.E.S.U.L.T.

Learning to manage conflict effectively is a very empowering experience. Our method of teaching today is through a wonderful supportive coaching programme in which we take people through the theory. Then guide and coach them through dealing with their specific conflicts. This way they start to build up their managing conflict 'muscle' and resolve to never back away from a conflict unless they have chosen to do so as part of their strategy!

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

The 6 key drivers of a coaching culture

After many years of training people in the corporate world to be able to coach, I know I am quite well qualified to advise organisations on how best to develop their coaching cultures. This qualification is based more on my trial and error, the successes and failures I have experienced, rather than any personal brilliance! This is based on practical, down to earth experience.  So let me share what I believe are the six key drivers of a coaching culture.

1. Start with the WHY

Many failed coaching implementations fall at the first hurdle because they have a muddled vision for 'why' they want to develop a coaching culture.  If the vision doesn't get people emotionally connected and excited about being a part of a transformational change, then it has little chance of succeeding.   Doing coaching just for coaching sake, or because it's a requirement from head office doesn't cut it! 
My own view is coaching has to be about improving individual, team and organisational performance or why do it at all! Avoid using neutral titles to describe coaching like 'work based coaching', 'everyday coaching', 'coaching essentials' and just call it 'Performance Coaching'!!! Be honest performance improvement is what you really want to happen, isn't it? 

2. Get the top team championing and role modelling coaching

Here I mean the top team at whichever site you are implementing coaching, so it could be a factory management team or regional sales team. I know I am a passionate believer in the power of coaching to unlock the potential of any organisation. I think the first mistake I made early on was thinking everyone must think the same as I do, because it is so BLOODY OBVIOUS! It's not, and you really do have to get your key stake holders on board before rolling out any coaching initiative. You need to run an away day with the senior team to make sure they fully understand and commit to coaching. My advice is to delay implement until you have this top level buy in, otherwise it is going to take you at least twice as long to get going.

3. Train everyone to use a single simple coaching methodology

We started off training managers as part of leadership development.  Participants loved being coached and were happy to coach their buddies on the programme. However when they went back to work they really didn't put coaching into practice. It was due to a 'lack of'- you know, 'time', 'skill', 'confidence and 'motivation'!I would advise against creating introduction, intermediate and advanced training courses, as a means of drumming up wide spread coaching activity - which in my experience will never happen! It is seldom the content of coaching training that is wrong, it is more likely the methodology.My advice is that you rather train everyone to use a single, simple, coaching methodology. Rather than pushing people into using a GROW process as the key indicator of coaching taking place. Why not just focus on the four key skills that can be used every day, as part of work. We teach this at a school that we support and we encourage participants to practice the skills at school and at home. To illustrate this one of the participant recently told me that she had used it with her son, who had shocked her by saying he didn't want to go on to university. She said she would most likely have lost her temper with him, but instead, she held back on judgement and asked open questions, listened with empathy and ended up having the best conversation she had ever had with him. At the end of the conversation she realised he had really thought through his decision, he felt he was not ready for university, wasn't sure of what he wanted to do, so rather than waste money and time he wanted to start work! At this point she was in tears and happy to support him.  (coaching is amazing!)

The reality is people perform better when they build trust amongst one another, listen better, show interest, ask the right questions and make feedback part of the way everyone works!
In addition to the skills, we also teach everyone to use three really useful tools that can make daily work a lot easier, so people get a real benefit and their performance  really does improve.

4. Integrate coaching into all people development

Another way you make coaching work is to 'wire it into your processes'. Don't leave coaching for those managers (normally the one's with high emotional intelligence) who just just get it and do it. If you accept that the largest part of learning happens through real life experience. If you want to accelerate the development of your people, then design learning experiences for them and provide coaching support to ensure that they grow in the process. This way coaching becomes an essential ingredient of the development process.

The process we have evolved over the years is aimed at helping people to improve their performance and l.e.a.p. ahead.

  • LEARN - learn new skills in small digestible chunks and be coached by a colleague/friend/boss in order to bring the theory to life.
  • EXPERIMENT - now test out what you have learnt is a safe learning environment e.g. within your own team
  • APPLY now apply what you have learnt to your job, still with coaching support
  • PERFECT - apply your growth mindset and continue to grow striving for skills mastery

5. Integrate coaching into high performing team development

The one hugely successful programme we stumbled on, was creating a development programme for teams. Rather than waste our money on fun away days where we would fail to address the real issues in the team. Instead we would run a high performing team workshop that would identify the issues and deal with them, plus excite people about the future (we also have fun!). This was a programme rather than a one off workshop and we would continue over time to work on areas that improved performance.
Over the years we have continued to develop the high performing team model and in the 2016 version we have now embedded peer to peer coaching into the model (in Know and Grow our Skills) to continue to help drive up performance.

6. Coaching sustainability

If you follow all the above you will get your coaching culture going that is for sure. Having achieved so much it is very important to sustain your achievements and so take steps to make sure coaching becomes self sustained:-
  • Coaching needs time and space to succeed and the top team needs to lead here, allocating peer to peer coaching time at off site meetings. Providing a quiet space in the office that people can go to in order to coach one another. etc
  • Initially use external trainers to get going but very quickly develop internal trainers that can carry on the coaching training.
  • Develop an internal faculty of 'super' coaches who can help with the training, coach the 'performance coaches' and do 'executive coaching within the organisation. 
  • We also see coaching as one of the essential roles of being a leader and have built coaching skills and tools into our inspiring leader training

If you interested in developing a nurturing coaching culture and need some help, then please get in touch with me via Release the Magic.