To Know or Not to Know? That is the Question.


When and how can a coach offer insights or thinking without it turning into advice giving? Or without using their expertise? Here we will explore the concept of the coach demonstrating vulnerability—which often comes from being able to be comfortable with the idea of ‘not knowing’, especially, when offering insights and comments, not assuming them to be ‘the truth’. First, let's look at some of the sub-competencies that I feel speak to this concept: ICF Core Competency 2: Embodies a Coaching Mindset 2.1 Acknowledges that clients are responsible for their own choices 2.5 Uses awareness of self and one’s intuition ...

To Know or Not to Know? That is the Question.2021-09-01T17:56:19+01:00

The Science and Art of Reflecting, Summarising and Paraphrasing


Reflecting, summarising and paraphrasing in a coaching conversation is an important skill that a coach needs to learn. It’s not just the skill itself that is important, it can often be more about when to do it, and indeed ‘if’ to do it (the art) than what and how to do ‘it’ (the science). What I notice in early day coaches is that this skill is often overused in terms of what is reflected, summarised or paraphrased and is perhaps not always truly in service of the client, as it being used as a learned behaviour to demonstrate ‘hearing’. In ...

The Science and Art of Reflecting, Summarising and Paraphrasing2021-07-31T15:23:22+01:00

How Present Are You? Part 2


In last month’s article, we looked at ‘Maintains Coaching Presence’, one of the eight ICF Core Competencies in the updated model that comes into effect later in 2021. We specifically explored the relationship between this and Competency 4 Cultivates Trust and Safety, the place, purpose and value of presence in coaching, and some of the psychological thinking that underpins this important element of coaching skill. In Part 2, we look at some of the barriers to presence and how we can develop and convey this important quality to our clients in our work with them. What gets in the way ...

How Present Are You? Part 22021-07-05T18:45:14+01:00

How Present Are You?


Maintains Coaching Presence is one of the eight ICF Core Competencies in the updated model that comes into effect later in 2021. This is such a pivotal skill and quality that coaches bring to their practice with clients. I am sharing my thoughts on this topic in a 2-part series. In Part 1 below, I explore what presence is and its place, purpose and value in the coaching process. In Part 2, I will invite us to look at some of the barriers to presence and how we can develop and convey this important quality to our clients in our ...

How Present Are You?2021-06-07T09:11:13+01:00

Once Upon a Time: Storytelling in Coaching


I recently had a supervision session with someone on the value and purpose, or not, of storytelling in coaching. Is it really coaching? It led me to thinking I would offer a blog on my perspectives and thoughts on story telling in coaching. I will look at the types of storytelling that could happen in coaching, what the purpose and value might be when offered by the client, or indeed the coach, and how therefore it might be used in support of a client’s desire for change. Types of Storytelling Here are some of the types of storytelling that might ...

Once Upon a Time: Storytelling in Coaching2021-04-28T18:34:26+01:00
  • Emotions in Coaching

Working with Feelings in Coaching


We are feeling creatures that think, not thinking creatures that feel. The Gry-LaViolette (1981) scientific research, which integrated psychology and neurophysiology, articulated that feelings organise thoughts and that thoughts are filed in our memory bank according to the various “shades” of feelings associated with them. The conclusion of this work is that the mind, with its thoughts, is driven by those feelings. Each feeling is the cumulative derivative of many thousands of thoughts and each time the feeling is felt, it can trigger a multitude of thoughts, time after time after time, potentially for many years or even throughout our ...

Working with Feelings in Coaching2021-04-28T18:34:16+01:00

A Picture Paints a 1000 Words: The Power of Metaphor


Metaphor can be powerful in coaching. It is part of ICF Core Competency 7, Evoking Awareness, a competency that I often sense is least used and yet can bring powerful insight and new thinking more quickly. Let's explore what it is, why it is so useful in coaching and how coaches, and indeed anyone, might use metaphor to deepen awareness and facilitate insight. What is a metaphor? The word metaphor means “to carry over”. A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase that ordinarily means one thing can also relate to something else and therefore ...

A Picture Paints a 1000 Words: The Power of Metaphor2021-03-11T17:31:42+00:00

Coaching Maturity: Our Philosophy


As we have been planning programming for 2021, it's caused us to reflect upon our overarching philosophy and approach to coach development and maturity—which underpins and positions how and why these programmes have been created. Understanding our underlying philosophy will help you get to know us and how we work a little better and why we've structured our programmes the way we do. Our philosophy of Coach Maturity As you may know, a coach needs to have at least 125-hours of coach-specific training to be eligible to apply for an International Coaching Federation (ICF) Professional Certified Coach (PCC) credential. Some ...

Coaching Maturity: Our Philosophy2021-02-16T02:41:48+00:00

Celebrate What Is Right With Your World


Welcome to 2021! What a year 2020 has been. Last year I wrote about ‘New Starts and New Beginnings’ and this year I would still encourage you to do that exercise again, however, I felt this year I would also invite you to celebrate ... Celebrate what is right with your world! I have taken the phrase from a wonderful National Geographic photographer, Dewitt Jones (, who has an amazing Ted talk and I would encourage you, as you start to think about next year and the years ahead, to watch the Ted Talk .The essence for me of his ...

Celebrate What Is Right With Your World2021-02-16T02:49:54+00:00

Agile and ICF Coaching – A Perfect Marriage?


Having noticed an increased in the number of Agile Coaches coming to my ICF-Accredited coach training programmes, I decided to do some exploration of these two professional paths to understand what appears to be an interesting and complementary relationship. What is Agile Coaching? The Agile Coaching Institute defines Agile Coaching as “a collaboration with people in a thought provoking and creative journey using coaching approaches with an agile mindset and principles to help individuals, teams and organizations be the best they can be”. Interestingly, this aligns well with the International Coaching Federation’s (ICF) definition that “coaching is partnering with clients ...

Agile and ICF Coaching – A Perfect Marriage?2021-05-13T02:33:15+01:00