Are you a drain or a radiator?

How do you respond to the stuff that happens?  What do you notice about your motivation and energy levels, and the effect you have on those around you?  We’ve all encountered drains, with their world-weary, seen-it-all- before, tired and often cynical manner.  Drains can sap the energy out of a team at work, or a personal… Read more

Who are you presenting to?

Surely it’s obvious, right?  Duh, the people in the room??  Well, maybe.  And who will they be presenting to?  Think about it: the audience for your presentation of course includes the people you will have in the room, but if you want those people to act on your presentation then remember that they in turn… Read more

Book review: So What? The definitive guide to the only business questions that matter, by Kevin Duncan

Kevin Duncan reckons that we could make life – and particularly our working life – so much simpler and easier if we just learned from children.  Children are constantly learning, naturally curious and always asking questions.  Yet as we grow older, we can become hesitant about asking questions, in some cases to the point of… Read more

Book review: Shackleton’s Way by Margot Morrell and Stephanie Capparell.

The sub-title to this book is ‘leadership lessons from the great Antarctic explorer’ – and they’re not kidding.  I’d preface the sub-title with ‘massively inspirational’.  This is first and foremost a ripping yarn, a stirring true story of determination, loyalty, teamwork and extraordinary human courage in enormous adversity.  Even better, the authors draw out the… Read more

How old are your colleagues?

Surprise, surprise.  Older workers are seen as less optimistic and more realistic than their younger colleagues. In a recent Department of Work and Pensions report, Professor Dominic Abrams (University of Kent) and colleagues surveyed 6000 UK respondents.  48 per cent of this group viewed age discrimination as a serious issue.  One in four respondents reported… Read more

Ask a trainer: Help! How do I get professional development when there’s no budget left?

You want to develop, both personally and professionally.  You’ve asked for training and been told there’s no budget left.  You’re not alone.  Many a budget holder has got part-way through the year to find there’s not enough budget to go round. If you’re affected by this, what can you do?  Here are some thoughts:  Identify… Read more

Book Review: It’s your life. What are you going to do with it? by Dr Anthony Grant and Jane Greene.

Ten pounds for a lot of life coaching is a pretty good bargain.  I tried it and it worked.  No hype, no hocus-pocus, no hare-brained woo woo nonsense.  This is a refreshingly down-to-earth book, based on sound psychology, made totally practical. If you work through the chapters and apply the tools, frameworks and exercises as… Read more

Lessons in Leadership from NASA

At a recent Association for Coaching conference, we got to hear how they train up leaders in NASA.  As a big fan of Apollo 13 (particularly that scene where the boffins on the ground try to fit the square thing into round thing – can you tell I’m not technical?), I was all ears.  Christine… Read more

Ask a coach: Help! My boss is a perfectionist!

As a recovering perfectionist (I’ll keep trying until I’ve perfected it), I can honestly say I’ve been on both sides of this experience.  As the employee, I’ve felt the dejection when something I’ve worked hard at gets the ‘red pen treatment’, i.e. nothing but fault-finding and critical feedback, ‘must try harder’.  Yet as a manager,… Read more