Plutchik Wheel of Emotions

How emotions change memories

  Back in the 1990s I learned to drive in Amsterdam. You won’t see L-plates in traffic there because it is illegal to drive a car without a licence and therefore the only way to learn is to take lessons at a driving school. Amsterdam is an utterly excellent place to pass your driving test. Everyone knows […]

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The psychology of organisational change

Twenty years ago John Kotter published his famous article on organisational change, Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail (you can read it here). Kotter sets out the steps required for successful transformation in organisations, and explains the common pitfalls that cause 70% of change initiatives to fail. In summary, these causes of failed change according to Kotter: […]

How creative is creative?

If you gave me a penny for each time someone uttered to me “I am not the creative type” I’d be rich. The remark often comes in the context of discussing resilience in coaching or team development sessions, and is also a word that features in conversations about strengths. When the conversation develops around the […]

Marketing to the home mover

This summer I joined the 2015 cohort of home movers by selling and buying my house. As anyone who has ever engaged with the joy that is buying and selling in England knows, it was ‘interesting’ on several levels. However, moving also triggered a few things that made my inner marketer sit up and pay attention. Home movers […]


Disruption please!

Clients who arrive for coaching or mentoring sessions may not realise it, but what they will be getting is disruption. For those clients who have opted to find a coach or mentor themselves, this is almost always a welcome discovery: they were ready to have their usual way of going about things disrupted. It takes […]

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Everyone needs a theory

  I think everyone needs a theory to play around with. Something that interests you, an idea you are working on and like to share with other people. A ‘what if’ question perhaps, or a conviction about something you cannot quite explain, so you like to put it to other people, or spend time thinking about by […]

Catalysis and catharsis, taking coaching a step further

Catharsis and catalysis in coaching

Sometimes a client arrives for their session clearly carrying something with them which will get in the way of a productive session if it isn’t declared and discussed. That ‘something’ isn’t necessarily on the agenda we have established so far, but the fact that it has made its way into the session makes it part […]

Box with the text 'chairing vs facilitating'

Chairing versus Facilitating

Last week while facilitating a morning’s group work with an 18-strong board of directors, one of the delegates came up in a break to ask how chairing versus facilitating sessions differs. It is a really good question which I am asked more often, so here is how I explain it to my clients. Let’s have a meeting Meetings are […]

Humour at work

When I opened The Guardian this morning, I was greeted by the headline: Jeremy Clarkson joins Guardian drive for fossil fuel divestment. Of course – it’s April 1st today! The hammed-up, amusing piece brought back to mind a conversation about humour I had a few days ago. Earlier this week I had an impromptu coaching session […]

button with text clever clogs

Smart coaches aren’t as smart as you might think

  Asking questions is an art form. As a coach it’s one you cannot afford not to master to an above average degree: a successful coaching process depends on it. If you have ever picked up a how-to book about coaching, you will undoubtedly have been presented with at least a chapter on types of questions, […]