Article archive

Keep your Mentoring Programme fresh and vibrant!

17/Nov/2017

The Mentoring Expert Webinars with David Clutterbuck and Lis Merrick are designed to provide continuing support and development for mentors. They are available to any mentoring programme, whether in-company or for a professional association or not-for-profit. Each is designed to last for 60 …

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How mentoring functions have become a dangerous distraction for research and practice in mentoring

16/Mar/2015

When Kathy Kram carried out her seminal research into mentoring at the beginning of the 1980s, she focused on a small number (22) of informal mentoring relationships, taking place within a specific cultural context – educated North Americans. She identified …

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What every HR director should know about coaching and mentoring strategy

07/Mar/2014

Although overall spend on training and development has in many organisations been capped or declined during the recession, coaching and mentoring appear to have at least held their own and actually become a more critical part of the L&D offering …

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Step forward the ethical mentor

04/Oct/2013

Ethical mentoring is a fairly new term, but it’s likely to be one we are going to hear a lot more of. The concept comes from a recognition that unethical and illegal behaviour in organizations rarely happens because an individual …

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The problem with research in mentoring

16/Sep/2013

One of the remarkable aspects of mentoring is how extensively researched the topic has been. However, extensively-researched isn’t the same as well-researched. Having had to trawl through hundreds of papers and a fair pile of dissertations for my own current …

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Where next with research in mentoring?

27/Aug/2013

It would be easy to conclude, from the vast numbers of research papers and studies on mentoring, that the field is pretty well covered. In practice, that’s far from the truth. It’s noticeable, for example, that there are far more …

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Why do we need to train mentees?

12/Apr/2012

One of the most common reasons for mentoring programmes failing is that they forget to train mentees sufficiently. Programmes that train only mentors deliver less than half the benefits, on average, than those that train both participants.

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What makes executive coaches feel valued?

12/Apr/2012

Considering how much organizations pay for the services of executive coaches, it might be expected that the relationship between them would be a partnership, aimed at providing the best possible support for the client. While in some cases, this is …

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The Liberated Coach

12/Apr/2012

This article has its origins in several complementary sources: the personal coaching experiences of both myself and my co-authors in 14 books on coaching and mentoring; the experiences of coaches, who I have supervised; and observation of coaches in real …

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Seven Coaching Conversations

12/Apr/2012

Being an effective coach requires a continuously expanding portfolio of BDQs – (Bloody Difficult Questions). These are what stimulate the client to reflect and gain personal insight. Equally important, however, are the BDQs we ask ourselves. For example: For whose …

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Evaluating Mentoring

12/Apr/2012

One of the paradoxes of formal mentoring programmes is that the essence of the relationship is its informality – the ability to discuss in private a wide range of issues that will help the mentee cope with and learn from …

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Critical issues in succession planning

12/Apr/2012

Current approaches to succession planning are based on assumptions, which are largely unevidenced and insufficiently flexible to meet the demands of adaptive organisations and careers. This chapter highlights some of the issues, which HR needs to address in redesigning succession …

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Creating a Powerful Personal Development Plan

12/Apr/2012

Personal Development Plans can often be “something and nothing” – a paper exercise mandated by HR for line managers and direct reports to undertake as an annual ritual.

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Coach maturity: An emerging concept

12/Apr/2012

Coaching sometimes seems like Keats’ rainbow – the more we try to define it, dissect it, classify it and demystify it, the more we diminish it and lose its essence. One of the concerns both of us have about so …

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Beware the coaching scam?

12/Apr/2012

I recently initiated a furious debate on the web about a coaching technique called EFT, by asking whether there was any evidence to support its remarkable claims. The furore – from both detractors and supporters, with “let’s keep an open …

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Blog archive

What if the coachee or mentee appears delusional

24/Nov/2017

Although only one person in 500 is receiving treatment for a delusional disorder at any time, the rest of us are much more susceptible to bizarre and irrational beliefs than we like to admit. A recent study asking people about …

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FKT isn’t mentoring

24/Nov/2017

In recent months, there has been a spate of articles and webinars extolling the virtues of “speed mentoring”, “flash mentoring” or similar means of fast knowledge transfer (FKT). We have also seen the rise of “Mentoring Lite” from major dot-com …

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The linguistic origins of mentoring

09/Nov/2017

An eminent US scholar in mentoring recently said at a conference “There is no such word as mentee!”, arguing instead for the word protégé. By the same logic, of course, there is no such word as protégé (French, from which …

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What’s the conversation you need to have

16/Oct/2017

We all have conversations we avoid. We can wall these conversations off to the extent that we are not even aware we are avoiding them. In helping someone get to know themselves, a coach or mentor can encourage them to …

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Having a good talk with myself

16/Oct/2017

Walking down the street 25 years ago, the sight of someone talking to themselves would probably make you want to cross the road to avoid them. Nowadays, it is nothing strange – we assume that they are on their mobile …

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Control or let go

16/Oct/2017

People often struggle to get the right balance between doing things themselves and delegating to others. Here are some simple questions to manage the conversation about this: What do you have to control? What do you feel the need to …

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Wise words create wise thinking

16/Oct/2017

One of the greatest gifts between cultures is that of new words. Our awareness of concepts is tightly bound with having words to describe them. (For example, the concept of mathematics is alien to some remote tribes, who are limited …

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Team coaching virtual teams

26/Jul/2017

Virtual teams have a number of differences compared with co-located teams. On the plus side, their geographical dispersion means that they can draw upon a wider and more diverse pool of talent. It is also easier to maintain 24-hour oversight …

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How to recognise and help a coachee/ mentee manage loneliness

24/Jul/2017

It’s a common misconception that loneliness is about isolation from or lack of contact with other people. In reality, people differ greatly in how they respond to being on their own. Loneliness is a feeling of being socially isolated that …

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The Systemic Talent Life Cycle

05/Jun/2017

Many companies limit the effectiveness of their talent management by taking a narrow perspective of what is involved – focusing on the aspects of identifying, development retention and promotion. In contrast, a systemic view of talent takes into account the …

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Cross mentoring – Mentoring between companies

08/Mar/2017

Most formal mentoring takes place between people within the same organisation, but this isn’t the only possibility. It is hard, for example, to create effective mentoring relationships within small national branch offices – people are often too close and the …

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Working with SUIs (Significant Unresolved Issues)

08/Mar/2017

The concept of Significant Unresolved Issues arose from David Clutterbuck’s unpublished research in the 1990s on what issues mentees brought to their mentors for discussion. Participants in workshops were asked to write down and reflect upon all the issues, about …

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Helping your coachee develop resilience

08/Mar/2017

In challenging working environments, resilience is increasingly an essential competence. People, who are resilient, are better able to cope with unexpected change, with setbacks and disappointments, with high stress environments and with periods of excessive workload. The signs of low …

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Parallel processing in coaching and mentoring

08/Mar/2017

Parallel processing happens when a coach, mentor or therapist reproduces a behaviour or emotion within their client, or more subtly, when they conflate the client’s experiences and issues with their own. It can distort the coaching or mentoring conversation, so …

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Why coaches and mentors shouldn’t beat themselves up when client change doesn’t happen

16/Jan/2017

Every beginner coach or mentor goes through a phase of questioning their own competence, based upon a sense that they could (or should) have had so much more impact. Even very experienced coaches and mentors sometimes feel that they have …

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