Bringing the practices of mindfulness and dialogue to leadership conversations


Posts Tagged ‘Coaching practice’


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Witnessing extreme cyclist Danny MacAskill ride Collie’s Ledge in the Cuillin Mountains is a heart-stopping experience. Two fellow coaches watched ‘The Ridge’ with me, and could barely look. A small camera on Danny’s helmet allowed us to share in the vertiginous drops, and the judders and bumps of the narrow rocky trail.

The short film is already an internet sensation. For me though, the documentary about the making of it is more potent. In this, the toil and care involved in getting the spectacular footage demonstrates the dedication and commitment required of the team. There can be no short cuts in navigating the rugged terrain and the vagaries of the Scottish weather. (more…)

Back to basics

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As the year turns, it’s natural to reflect on where we are, where we’ve been, and where we’re going. ‘Where’ questions give a sense of place and journeying, but we could equally reflect on how we are, how we’ve been, and how we intend to be. For some, ‘what’ questions work best, tending to emphasise action, achievements and goals. What is the language of your reflecting process? How does it set a frame for your entry into a new year? (more…)

Raising questions

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In my previous article I wrote about offering support, and touched on a central tenet of my practice as a coach and coach supervisor: balancing challenge and support. This month, I continue this theme, focusing on the impact of challenging colleagues or clients.

What do I mean by challenge? (more…)

Sweet spot for support

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As a coach and coach supervisor I’m currently reflecting on how I offer ‘support’. Balancing challenge and support is a pivotal tenet of my practice, and is fundamental to many professionals involved in personal development. By nature I’m more disposed to challenge – it comes relatively easily, and feels ‘innate’ in some way. Support feels more ‘learned’, a little less adept and agile. When I offer support I need to pay conscious attention, and be mindful of my intent and the impact of my words and actions.

What do I mean by support? (more…)

Still listening?

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This month, I am completing my series of pieces on aspects of the four dialogue practices outlined by Garrett, Isaacs and others: authentic voicing, respecting, suspending judgement and listening. Listening, along with suspending judgement, especially supports skilful inquiry, an intention to draw out and include what is not yet known.

As I began, I realised that I’ve already written about listening twice this year: Giving talk a rest!?, posted here, and Talking well, a guest post for FuchsiaBlue. ‘Giving talk a rest!?’ explores the potential therapeutic impact of listening well – being heard can bring a sense of ease and nourishment to a speaker. ‘Talking well’ considers the whereabouts and intensity of attention.

I want to take these themes further, in support of the idea of listening as receiving. (more…)

Giving talk a rest!?

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As I begin to write this blog post, there two strong influences on my thinking. Firstly, I was asked by my friend and associate, Julie Drybrough, to write a guest post for her blog with a theme of ‘talking well’. My response was to write mostly about listening well, which I believe to be a precondition for talking well.

Around the same time, I read a prize-winning essay by my friend and fellow coach Brigid Russell, in which she explores how coaching can feel like therapy for a busy leader. (more…)