Mindfulness as a Coaching Tool?

This time I’m sharing a guest post I wrote not long ago concerning how certain aspects of a mindfulness practice can become useful tools for coaches in dealing with distractions or emotional reactions that may arise during or after coaching sessions. head silhouette filled with cloudsThese ‘tools’ have been useful to me, and I hope they’ll be useful to you too!

The guest post was first published in Coaching World in January 2018, published by the International Coach Federation (ICF). You can see the original publication here, and I’d like to point out that copyright is held by the ICF (meaning it should not be reproduced or reblogged without gaining permission from the ICF first).


Mindfulness as a Coaching Tool?

What’s a coaching tool to you? Something you pull out of your “toolbox” and “apply” to a client? Like MBTI? The GROW Model? Or, a perspective on coaching that provides a whole variety of questions and approaches?

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3 things to do when you don’t feel like coaching…

Let’s face it, sometimes coaches don’t feel like coaching. Have you ever greeted the prospect of giving a coaching session without any enthusiasm at all, wishing it would just go away?

Upset pink stylised figureI’m not talking about burnout. Hopefully we’re all self-aware and self-compassionate enough to notice changes in our inner state which might indicate such problems ahead, taking action to protect ourselves from pushing ourselves too far. No, here I’m talking about those occasions when we might feel distracted – by the thousands of other things we have to do today, by not being in the mood, not quite in the right place mentally or emotionally, or having the feeling that the session might just be more taxing than we can take at that moment.

Coaches aren’t superhuman. We’ve all felt tired, disgruntled, preoccupied with our own concerns. Here I’m going to take a look at how we might think about and approach this state of affairs, and what we can do if and when we find ourselves facing it.

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Should we take notes in coaching sessions?

This time I’m sharing a guest post I wrote recently addressing questions asked by instructional coaches about whether to take notes in coaching sessions. Instructional coaches work with teachers in schools, coaching 1:1 or in groups as well as in the classroom. Whether to take notes or not therefore needs careful thought, with decisions varying according to circumstance.

Most coaches aren’t active in this particular context, but the issues raised need to be considered by any coach in any coaching situation. Therefore I hope what follows is useful for you too!

The guest post first appeared on 27 March 2018 under the title ‘Should Coaches Take Notes During Visits?’ on The LaunchPad – the official blog of TeachBoost (a US organisation providing a customisable instructional leadership platform).* You can see the original publication here.


TeachBoost Coach's Toolbox image

Image courtesy Schoolbinder, Inc

Coaching is an intriguing occupation. There’s usually not a straightforward answer to any question, however simple it may seem. For example, taking notes in coaching sessions—some people say you should; some people say you shouldn’t; while others say maybe you should, maybe you shouldn’t, depending on the context.

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What if… mindfulness weren’t so fluffy after all?

What do you think of when you picture mindfulness? Something fluffy and soft, like a comforting pillow?

I ask this because these days mindfulness is talked of widely as a solution to almost every ill. If we’re mindful, we might eliminate depression and stress, cultivate clarity of vision, influence our surroundings to the good, run better companies, and possibly live longer more healthy lives. Practising mindfulness for even a few minutes a day could increase our sense of well-being, helping us to be comfortable in our own skins, as well as accepting of life as it really is, as opposed to being fretful because things aren’t what we’d like them to be…

Fluffy FeatherIf this were the full story, mindfulness really would be the ‘grand fluffy pillow’ of development interventions. The problem is that the story’s a little more complicated than that. What if mindfulness weren’t so fluffy after all?

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4 bite-sized insights into Career Coaching

Have you ever wondered what career coaching is all about? Many coaches without a careers advisory background shy away from tackling career issues head on in coaching sessions. I was pleased to participate in an excellent CPD workshop on this topic recently, and I’d like to share with you some insights I took away from it, just in case you’re wondering what career coaching is all about too…

career compass‘Approaches and Tools for Career Coaching’ was facilitated by Paul Walsh – a coach, facilitator and trainer who’s currently a Learning & Development Specialist at Manchester Metropolitan University here in the UK (you can see his LinkedIn profile here). Packed with fascinating insights and practical tools to help us move forward, it encouraged everyone present to have that bit more confidence in tackling career-related matters.

I can’t reflect all the goodies from the session in one blog post. So here are  4  bite-sized insights that made the biggest impression on me. I hope they’ll leave you feeling encouraged too.

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