4 September 2011

Self Coaching

This is a very useful and structured approach to self coaching based upon the GROW model. Ask yourself the following questions and record your responses. You'll be surprised at the fresh insights you reach as a result of this systematic and direct approach.
I also use this approach to 'blind' coaching  groups of managers whose needs and issues are disparate. There is no need for them to respond verbally to the coach. All they need to do is write down their response to each question and then do their own internal processing. 


  1. What topic or situation would you like to explore now?
  2. What do you want to achieve?
  3. How will you measure your achievement?
  4. How would someone else tell that you had achieved it?
  5. What else might you achieve?


  1. What is the current situation?
  2. What is the impact of all of this on you – physically, mentally and emotionally?
  3. What have you tried so far?
  4. What has been the result?
  5. Who or what has stopped you?


  1. What options do you have?
  2. What else could you do?
  3. If a really close friend was in the same situation and wanted your  view what would you say?
  4. How would you like things to be?
  5. What else could you do to achieve that?


  1. Out of the options so far, which are most appealing?
  2. What are you willing to do?
  3. When will you do it?
  4. When will it be completed?
  5. What support might you need and from whom?

Of course, being an executive coach, I would have to say that this is no substitute for the real thing but I believe that coaching is not just something that executive coaches do; coaching is a way of thinking and challenging our reality to do things differently.
Try it and let me know what you think.

11 August 2011

Leadership - The Importance of Asking Questions.

The trouble with being a leader is that you're expected to know all the answers. But, effective leadership is really not about having all the answers. The secret of being an effective leader is the ability to ask questions. Sometimes you need to ask yourself the right questions and at other times you need to ask other people.The skill here is knowing the right questions to ask and to ask them  at the right time.  The ability to ask questions - and to listen to the answers you get - is one of the most seriously underrated skills not just of leadership but of  the whole sphere of human relations.
Robert Kaplan of the Harvard Business School in his excellent book Looking in the Mirror: Questions Every Leader Must Ask argues that framing a question and listening can be enormously powerful in leading to excellent decisions.
Examples of powerful questions are as follows:
Have you developed a clear vision and priorities for your enterprise? How have you communicated this?
How does the way you spend your time match your key priorities?
How do you actively seek feedback from your key direct reports? Do you listen to what they tell you?
If you had to change your enterprise today with a clean sheet of paper, what would you do differently?
How do you act as a role model?
How do you know you are reaching your potential and being true to yourself?

Of course these questions don't just apply to top leaders. They apply to all of us in all walks of life. I'd be really interested in hearing from you about how these questions - and the answers you get - can make a difference to you and those around you.

25 July 2011

Why Would you Need an Executive Coach?

Being a senior manager in either the private or the not-for profit sector is a tough and, sometimes, lonely job. Coaching can give you the boost that will help you re-discover the vision and passion you had when you first started. A coach will help you turn difficult situations into opportunities.

A coach will also ask you the tough questions which will help keep you on track. Coaching is also an effective way of ensuring that individuals are able to adjust to change in a way that is congruent with their own beliefs and values. In this way, coaching is  an effective method of combining the organisational need for change with the personal development of the individual. Benefits  include increased morale, motivation and productivity – a proven effect on the bottom-line.
The benefits of coaching include the following:

  • Clear direction and purpose.
  • Improved performance.
  • Faster response to change
  • Learning tailored to individual needs

If you feel I can help you or your organisation enhance their capacity by providing executive coaching then please do contact me for a no obligation discussion.