Author Archives: Amanda Barber

What if the client worries too much?

Like most human traits, worrying in the normal course of events has benefits, because it raises our awareness of real or potential threats. Compulsive worrying, however, can cause unnecessary stress and have a serious negative effect on performance. At extreme …

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Taking team or group decisions

The Abilene effect (where a solution is adopted that no-one really favours, but no-one feels sufficiently opposed to, to go against the majority) happens remarkably frequently, even in high performing teams. It is actually quite easy to prevent, with the …

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Negotiating the balance of power between the team leader and the team

One of the biggest impediments to team performance occurs when there is a mismatch between the leadership style and behaviours the team needs and those that the leader and the team default to. The word default is appropriate because there …

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Multiplicity theory and team coaching

The concept that humans are composed not of one single self or personality, but of numerous different “selves” that think and behave differently in response to different stimuli, is now well entrenched (Bern, 1964; Rowan, 1990, 1993). Bachkirova (2011) and …

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When the coachee or mentee is unhappy with their current job

Everyone has times, when their job just doesn’t seem to give them the same satisfaction. These feelings don’t always last – simple shifts in role or responsibility can make a radical difference, for example – but when ennui sets in, …

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What does a great developmental conversation look like between line manager and direct report?

The weight of evidence in recent years with regard to traditional performance appraisal and developmental conversation between line managers and direct reports presents a clear picture – not only do they not motivate higher performance, but they often reduce motivation …

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Line manager, mentor and coach: managing the conflicts and capitalizing on the opportunities

As a line manager, one of your principal responsibilities is to develop your direct reports. Coaching and mentoring are two of the most powerful and well-publicized ways to support other people’s develop – but how do they work best in …

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Helping a coachee or mentee manage uncertainty

Much as humans generally crave certainty, we have to live with constant uncertainty. In organizations, uncertain comes in two kinds: prediction uncertainty and decision uncertainty. Prediction uncertainty comes from operating in a VUCA environment, where we know that “best guesses” …

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Does fear of opening up something you can’t handle hold you back from asking tough questions?

Even very experienced coaches and mentors admit to worrying that sometimes they are not taking the conversation deep enough, or giving enough challenge to the coachee or mentee. They feel held back by the concern that they may open up …

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What to do when the mentee has no clear career goals?

It makes mentoring a lot easier, when the mentee knows exactly where they want to go in their career. The trouble is, many mentees – particularly those in the early stages of their careers – have only a general sense …

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