Blog archive

Facing up to the diversity challenge in executive coaching

02/May/2019

A recent Sunday Times[1] headline ran: “Q: How do you end up with AI that’s white and male? A: Let Google design it” The article went on to explore the dangers of designing AI systems that carry the biases of …

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Open air coaching/mentoring

24/Apr/2019

Open air coaching/mentoring When choosing a place for a coaching or mentoring session, the obvious choice is to find a quiet meeting room, where you can relax and be creative. Unfortunately, meeting rooms tend to be anything but relaxing, with …

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How teams evolve: a systemic perspective

25/Mar/2019

There are a number of models of team development, which provide perspectives on how teams evolve over time. Most commonly cited is Tuckman’s four stages of forming, storming, norming and performing. Less well known is the seven stage … And …

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Helping a manager understand his or her leadership style options

20/Mar/2019

How a manager behaves in any specific situation depends on many factors, including how much preparation time they have, but the two most significant factors are their general style preference and the range of options they have within their preference. …

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Helping a manager understand his or her leadership style options

04/Mar/2019

How a manager behaves in any specific situation depends on many factors, including how much preparation time they have, but the two most significant factors are their general style preference and the range of options they have within their preference. …

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The moment you think you understand is when you need to listen twice as hard

04/Mar/2019

It is one of the most deceptive moments in coaching or mentoring. You have listened to the other person’s story, trying to understand the situation. Eventually, there comes a moment, when it all seems to fall into place. We relax …

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Is MeToo undermining mentoring?

04/Mar/2019

A number of recent articles, both popular and academic, have fuelled concerns that fear of being accused of inappropriate behaviour is causing men to avoid being mentors to women. For example, a recent article in the International Journal of Advanced …

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Small teams are more creative

04/Mar/2019

A recent meta-study by the University of Chicago compares the creativity of teams of various sizes. [1] It concludes that team size has a significant influence on the amount and type of innovation and creativity they exhibit. Or to precis …

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Leadership functions: keys to changing team dynamics

14/Jan/2019

A seminal paper on leadership functions identifies 15 functions divided amongst two mutually dependent phases of team activity (Morgeson et al, 2009). The first phase, called transition, consists of evaluation and planning activities. The second phase shifts focus to goal …

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What if the client worries too much?

16/Nov/2018

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

07/Nov/2018

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

07/Nov/2018

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

07/Nov/2018

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

05/Sep/2018

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?

05/Sep/2018

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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