Food for thought…

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”



Davina Whitnall and her great big ‘Confidence Roadshow’

Confidence is one of those slippery concepts, isn’t it? Everyone’s looking for it, but no-one can put their finger on what it is…

Coloured spirals on head outlineThe number of times coachees present with an issue they relate to ‘confidence’ is phenomenal, especially given that it can be well-nigh impossible to pin down exactly what ‘confidence’ really means to them. It’s like a wet bar of soap – smelling lovely when it’s firmly held in our hands, but unsettlingly prone to slithering right out of our grasp…

The other day I had the good fortune to participate in Davina Whitnall’s ’60 Minute Confidence Roadshow’ along with what seemed like dozens of university-based Professional Support Staff (PSS). What an exhilarating experience! Having specialised in researcher development in Higher Education, Davina now runs her own consultancy and is a Fellow of The Higher Education Academy. She’s more than well placed to offer insights into tools that can help anyone (not just researchers) define aims regarding the kinds of confidence they need to acquire, and put practical plans in place which can take them towards generating the confidence they seek.

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What if… historians were coaches?

Remember in my very first post I said I’d write another one about the interesting conundrum of being both a coach and a historian? Well, here it is!

Once upon a time - written in coffeeI said then that, although the combination is unusual, as far as I’m concerned ‘coach’ and ‘historian’ are actually two sides of the same coin. It’s that ‘relatedness’ that I’d like to tease out here. In the process I’ll be comparing and contrasting both ‘callings’ in a way which (in my view at least) puts into relief two sets of key commonalities that lie at the core of what it means to be a coach and what it means to be a historian.


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Barriers to coaching in organisations – What can we do? (Part 2)

Remember those organisational and operational barriers we looked at last time? The ones that get in the way of establishing coaching programmes and a coaching style of interaction in organisations? Well, we’re not finished yet. There was a third category of barriers to tackle, so this time we’re turning to  individual barriers to coaching. 

I don’t know about you, but I felt encouraged that, by facing up to the reality of organisational and operational barriers, we could design ways of overcoming them. In good coaching style, examining the reality meant we could think of options, and that meant we could tease out things we could actually do. The same is true for individual barriers. Let’s take a look at what they are.

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Barriers to coaching in organisations – What can we do? (Part 1)

In a previous post we looked at coaching as a “way of seeing people,” along with its key role in facilitating the emergence of teams and community relationships based on values of respect and integrity. But before we all enthusiastically assume it’s easy to establish a coaching style of interaction and/or coaching programmes within organisations, let’s take a step back to consider the kinds of things that can get in the way. And there are many…

Yes, we have to accept that significant potential barriers to coaching can exist in organisational contexts which need to be factored into our strategies.

These barriers fall into three main categories:

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