Improve your appraisals with one small word

Something that’s been coming up in Zoomly’s workshops recently is goals. Not in a good way; we’re talking about goals that are unclear, too vague and utterly unhelpful. Whether the topic is appraisal discussions, coaching skills for 1:1 conversations or simply giving feedback (yes, you can have a Zoomly workshop on each of those topics),… Read more

Boost your team’s confidence with coaching

A question I sometimes hear from participants in Zoomly’s workshops is ‘How can I convince someone to step up?’ When we explore this it’s often the case that the person in question seems to lack confidence – even though their manager sees them as very capable. For example, they: Seek approval for every step of… Read more

Dear Manager, coaching isn’t your ‘night job’

Whenever I lead Zoomly’s ‘How to coach your people’ workshop, there are a few things we need to clear up early on. For starters, what coaching is – and isn’t (for example, mentoring, counselling, consulting to name a few). After that, a perfectly reasonable question always comes up: When on earth am I supposed to… Read more

Book review: Optimize Your Strengths by James Brook & Dr Paul Brewerton

It’s no surprise to this reader that ‘Optimize Your Strengths’ comes with endorsements by some pretty big hitters, such as Facebook, BNP Paribas, the London School of Economics – and an Olympian. Both the book and its theoretical foundations are being adopted by employers big and small. This is a slim volume and an easy… Read more

Reflection exercises: writing from the future

Reflection is essential to make sense of our everyday lived experiences. Without reflection, we’re doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over. Reflection helps us process our experiences, thoughts and feelings; we can spot patterns of behaviour that may be helpful or unhelpful. With methodical reflection we can begin to plan new and more… Read more

Is coaching right for you?

1. What’s your understanding of ‘coaching’? Maybe you know someone who’s worked with a professional coach; it may have been on an aspect of their personal life, or to focus on their performance and success at work. As the ‘coachee’ (clunky word, but we know what it means) told you how it was working for… Read more

When to coach (and when not to)?

It’s great when participants on Zoomly’s ‘How to coach your people’ workshop start to see the difference they can make when they add a coaching approach to their toolkit. They experience the power of switching from being in ‘tell’ mode all the time to ‘ask’ mode. Indeed they can get a bit evangelical and want… Read more

Differences between coaching and mentoring – what’s best for you?

I recently listened to an interesting podcast on BBC’s ‘The Bottom Line’ series entitled ‘Lonely at the top?’ Evan Davis hosted a discussion with an executive coach and two senior executives: one who’s worked with a mentor, another who at various times has worked with an executive coach. Unsurprisingly, there was a chunk of time… Read more

Stay true to your values – and true to yourself

  Ever felt uncomfortable with how you’ve treated someone? Or guilty when you think of what you’ve said about someone? Or angry at the way someone else has treated you? Answer “yes” to any of the above and chances are your values were being violated in some way. ‘Values’ can be an overused word, so… Read more