Posted on December 13, 2010 in Articles, Coaching, Leadership by Rachael

woman speakerRecently I ran a three day workshop for leaders who wanted to power up their coaching skills.

One of them said that he wished he had developed “coaching” as a leadership style he could draw on, years before, when he was leading his organisation through rapid change. Although in many ways a successful leader, he recognised that if he had been able to “let go” and see that his micromanaging was not improving the quality of what was being delivered, but actually slowing it down, he would have had a much more relaxed time of it.

…Continue reading – Coaching Skills for Leaders

Posted on December 13, 2010 in Articles, Coaching by Rachael

transformationSometimes people ask me what kind of coach are you? One of the words I use to describe my kind of coaching is transformational.

And what does that really mean Rachael?”, a colleague of mine asked recently.

Firstly, I love working with people who want to commit to a journey of self discovery, beyond performance improvement, to make a quantum leap in the way that they lead.

Maybe it sounds a bit arrogant – who am I to think that I can transform anyone?

Well first of all, I don’t transform them. The transformation comes from the client’s learning through the coaching – the insights and connections that they make during our work together.

…Continue reading – Transformational Coaching

Posted on January 28, 2010 in Articles, Leadership by Rachael

business people walkingAs a response to clients’ tightened budgetry belts, and as a cost effective alternative to 1:1 leadership coaching, I have found that offering leaders in organisations  action learning leadership has been very well received.

A small group of leaders with some common learning aims form an “action learning set”, and we coach on some agreed  common leadership themes, which tie closely into the organisations’ leadership competency framework.

…Continue reading – Action Learning Leadership

Posted on January 28, 2010 in Articles, Coaching, Inclusive Leadership, Leadership by Rachael


Organisations need leaders who are adept at working with people who seem different from themselves – often due to increased work with partners and businesses outside the UK. This allows leaders to truly live their brand as an employer who values diversity.

What is it like to be an inclusive leader – ie someone who really enjoys  – and has great skill at  – leading a diverse team? What are the skills involved? Is it something you could aspire to being?

…Continue reading – Inclusive Leadership – what is it?

Posted on January 28, 2010 in Articles, Coaching, Inclusive Leadership by Rachael

One of the themes that comes up again and again with coaching leaders and their teams is feedback. When a client wants to really transform as a leader through coaching, feedback can shift from being something to be faced only when really absolutely necessary to becoming something to be welcomed and a productive source of learning.

One senior exec from an oil industry background turned to his colleagues in a leadership session I was running for them and said:   “Feedback really is the feedstock – it’s the high quality input that’s needed to make the “oil refinery” of our business function. Without it we could be in danger of stopping learning and churning out substandard product.” Nice metaphor!

…Continue reading – "Feedback is the feedstock"

Posted on January 28, 2010 in Articles, Values by Rachael

At times of uncertainty when most things around us seems less reliable, less predictable, our values hold us at the quiet centre of the storm. This is true both at the organisational and the personal level.

For the organisation, values are the ship’s compass by which it defines itself – or redefines itself – when pushed off course.

…Continue reading – "Values hold the quiet centre"

Posted on September 24, 2009 in Articles, Empathy by Rachael

Recently I published an article on empathy and emerging leadership with Schneider~Ross, the diversity and change practice I co-founded 20 years ago:

“I believe that we will see a new kind of leadership emerging, “phoenix like”, from the ashes of the current global financial crisis. It is one where a highly prized capability will be empathy. It may not feature in more than a handful of leadership competency frameworks just now – but I believe, increasingly, it will do…”

…Continue reading – Empathy – a vital skill for corporate leaders?

Posted on September 24, 2009 in Articles, Identity, Leadership by Rachael

My core passion is working with leaders and their teams – whether global business leaders or entrepreneurs, supporting them as they move up onto a wider stage where some very new skills are required of them.

As they step onto that stage, their abilty to relate to people both emotionally and socially moves up their performance agenda, while actually the technical skills that got them there in the first place may well not be needed in the same way again.

So it’s not just about tacking on a few additional skills – it’s a real shift in identity.

…Continue reading – Moving on up? – a shift in identity for leaders

Posted on September 24, 2009 in Articles, Coaching by Rachael

At the end of a project, a client recently asked me whether it would be OK to book a top up coaching session at some point in the future. This got me thinking.

Towards the end of the coaching assignment, the skilful coach will be pacing their way with the client to make sure that the client is in the best possible place to take her learning onwards and upwards – and taking responsibility for that learning. Any tendency towards dependancy on the coach is not healthy – and this is explored further in the ICF Code of Ethics, of which I am a signatory.

…Continue reading – Coaching – Topping up our resources

Posted on September 24, 2009 in Articles, Coaching, Leadership by Rachael

snowflakeCoaching is more and more being acknowledged as a core ability for outstanding leadership. Here is Alan Lafley, outgoing CEO of P&G, on his coaching leadership style, which he believes has helped him achieve transformative change at P&G:

“….Coaching at P&G doesn’t mean coddling. On the contrary, Lafley demands that his managers take on the responsibility of making tough strategic choices. “Most human beings and most companies don’t like to make choices. And they particularly don’t like to make a few choices that they really have to live with. They argue, ‘It’s much better to have lots of options, right?'”

…Continue reading – Paint the picture – now sharpen the focus

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