For all the 20 years I've been coaching, I've always loved it. I get a deep sense of achievement from taking a client who feels like there's no way forward, and opening their eyes to their own potential and the opportunities that are available to them.
And it's a privilege to have clients open up to me and for me to see inspiring and talented individuals start to realise what they are capable of.
I think the best way to give you an idea of what coaching can do for you is if I give you some feedback from one of my clients:
'Olive coached me for four months this year and it has literally transformed my life.
I would really look forward to our weekly sessions where we'd focus on my works issues and aspirations. To have the attention and insight from a trained professional was a massive luxury and allowed me to not only improve my performance in my job, but it also gave me the confidence to aim higher and expect more for myself.
And being listened to each week was just glorious. At work I'm quite quiet and it's a very competitive and at times undermining environment. I flourished and grew with the attention and guidance that Olive gave me. I learned to trust my own instincts and my ability to make sound decisions and that confidence was quickly noticed and appreciated at work.
I feel so much more equipped to deal with difficult situations and people at work now. And I'm getting to work on really interesting projects because of my improved performance. I feel that I'm a much more respected member of the team now. It's a long way from where I was this time last year.'
If you'd like to find out more about the coaching I offer, do contact me - I'd be very happy to explain how it works.
I have just read a report by the World Economic Forum called 'The Future of Jobs – Employment Skills and Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution'. As a Learning and Development professional, consultant and coach, part of my role is to prepare my clients for the future trends which could impact on their business, and the individuals that work in that business. This report together with the CIPD Megatrends report paints a picture of the future where changes in technology, emerging markets, the ageing population, together with a rise in robotics, mean that the jobs we hold dear may not exist in the future. There may also be a shift in the skills required from technical expertise to interpersonal, soft skills.
The Future of Jobs report predicts that, by 2020, some of the core work-related skills will be overall social skills such as:
- Emotional intelligence
- The ability to teach others
- Active listening
One of the most effective methods of preparing leaders, managers and individuals for the future is coaching. Coaching targets high performance and improvement at work, usually focusing on specific skills and goals. As an experienced coach, I see coaching particularly impacting on social interaction and confidence.
A great deal of my work involves delivering training to managers and leaders; so emotional intelligence, influencing and persuading skills are often neglected. Because of the years of austerity and ‘making do with less’, managers have had to focus on achieving goals by delivering on KPIs and aligning all efforts to the organisation's strategic objectives, ultimately ensuring that growth targets are met demonstrating return on investment (ROI). Sometimes, but not always, this can mean that the softer 'people' side of management is neglected.
Why coaching is an effective technique
- It focuses on improving performance and developing skills. The starting point is getting the person being coached to look objectively at all aspects of their present situation. This includes looking at home life, personal life, friends, family etc. as often these impact on their ability to perform well at work.
- Personal issues may be discussed, but for business coaching, the emphasis is on performance at work. It is useful at the beginning of the relationship to use a profiling tool, which helps the coachee to better understand themselves and others. This often helps to clarify that the conflict they may be experiencing with others may be because of different personal values and beliefs.
- It provides people with feedback on both their strengths and their weaknesses. Working with a coach means that there can be a free and frank discussion, which helps to focus on how the person is perceived by others and their impact and presence.
- A good coach will work with you to achieve your goals, whether business or personal. They will sometimes hold you to account, allowing you to push out of your comfort zone to discover your true capabilities. Goals can become just written aspirations without a coach to keep you on track and provide support or challenge when necessary.
- The right coach can make the difference between success and failure. Coaching is a skilled activity, so it is important that the person doing the coaching has been trained to do so. Many organisations use internal coaches such as line managers - this can be a benefit or a liability depending on how committed they are to the coaching relationship. As an external coach, I am engaged specifically to coach a member of staff. Often, coaching is bolted onto a manager's job role with no training, so coaching becomes a chore that must be done.
Coaching is not the only way to develop the skills required for the future. In the Learning and Development profession, we recommend a blended learning soluton - this could include classroom, shadowing, a webinar, eBooks, etc. The possibilities are endless.
However, to achieve real behavioural change - particularly when focusing on the soft skills required to build strong relationships and influence others - I feel that at least one of the techniques used should be coaching.
To discuss your coaching requirements, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0) 161 209 3950.
"Catch a man a fish
Feed him for a day
Teach him how to fish
And feed him for life"
For me, the unknown author of the above quote perfectly captured what coaching is all about: releasing the potential in someone.
Do you use coaching as a resource to cultivate and develop the employees in your organisation? At Olive Strachan Resources, I have coached and mentored people for many years, and I am a great believer in personal development and training. As part of my quest for continuous personal development, I too have embarked on the ILM Level 7 Diploma in Executive Coaching and Mentoring, an intensive and experiential programme which requires extensive practice and reading outside the formal tutorial workshops.
Historically, most of my coaching has taken place inside offices, which can sometimes - if you are in a confined space, having a one-to-one with another individual - can be a very intense and concentrated experience. The ILM focused on a contemporary programme that specialised in coaching but also utilised the environment to further enhance the coaching experience. This involved working with a coachee whislt walking around Lake Buttermere in Keswick. It was truly an amazing experience; the beauty and stillness of the surrounding environment and the sense of being at one with the elements allowed each person to reflect deeply, making use of mind, body, and spirit.
Here is another famous quote that I feel captures the essence of coaching - this one is from Ralph Waldo Emerson:
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
As the summer months approach, I am looking forward to the balmy summer weather, which will offer my coachees at Olive Strachan Resources the opportunity to leave the constraints of the office to embrace and experience the beauty of nature whilst discovering their full potential and finding exactly 'what lies within us'.
Your personal presence is the experience people remember and the memory of you that they take away. For example, the inner 'you' creates the outer 'you', and how you feel inside and your wellbeing makes a huge difference to how you portray yourself to others. Our outer behaviour is driven by inner factors such as self-belief, confidence, purpose, likeability, authenticity, and a determination to succeed. It also includes Mind Space and elements relating to this, which are Functionality, Sociability, and Mental and Spiritual Wellbeing. One of the factors that impact on your health and how we feel inwardly and outwardly is stress. When we encounter stress, we have less 'get up and go'.
Our energy levels leave us feeling low, and with less energy, this in turn can affect the digestive system and our choice of food. Therefore, nutrition plays a key part in your wellbeing and how you manifest yourself to others. There are also 4 key areas that are crucial for health; these are All Day Energy, Enhanced Memory, Improved Sleep, and Balanced Mood.
Reflective Coaching can also help to eliminate the symptoms of stress and aid your persistent negative thoughts. Gradually over time you will re-train the way you approach yourself and find your inner confidence. Through nutrition and coaching, your memory and energy levels will increase and you will improve your concentration and cognition. In turn, these actions will help you to develop the inner and outer 'brand you'. Feeding the Brain is a combination of mind, body, and brain, and how we use nutrients and coaching to aid your all-round wellbeing.
Olive Strachan will be joining nutritionist Jeannette Jackson at UK Fast Campus, Birley Fields, Manchester, M15 5QJ on Wednesday July 22nd from 2pm - 4pm. This FREE event is open to managers, HR, OD and occupational health staff, To book, please email email@example.com.
Tetramap® was created in New Zealand, and it offers structured training tools that improve communication and consolidate unity and effectiveness. It maps the complexity of nature into four basic elements: Earth, Air, Water and Fire. Then, using the power of metaphor, we apply the map to human behaviour. It helps us to choose a balanced, holistic perspective, whether to improve relationships, strengthen teamwork, clarify a corporate vision, or provide a framework for organisational development.
I have found TetraMap® to be an engaging model that lends itself to transforming team performance. In addition to my capacity as an HR/Learning & Development professional and coach, I have also been a certified TetraMap® Faciliatator for 11 years, and I have found that it works well when used in my reflective one-to-one coaching sessions.
OSR have delivered training in 20 countries, and we have worked internationally for 15 years. One of the criticisms that many delegates make is that some of the profiling tools do not lend themselves to diverse audiences. Whilst working with a coachee who could not understand why his manager was always seeking to build their brand externally and was always looking for recognition from wider stakeholders, we used one of the tools produced by TetraMap®: a booklet called 'Why are you like that?' Once we had completed the booklet together and discussed how the elements worked, it gave the delegate an insight into his manager's behaviour, thus reducing conflict in their relationship.
When utilising TetraMap®, I have often found that it works well with audiences from both the private and public sectors, promoting harmony and understanding amongst diverse groups. I have discovered that it works well with my 'Reflective and Contemporary Coaching', where we use the tool to promote self-awareness prior to our coaching session outside, allowing us to utilise the beauty of nature to broaden and deepen the coaching experience. This method allows the coachee to understand that the only limitation to achieving their goal is their own self-belief.
TetraMap® is a registered trademark of TetraMap International in New Zealand and other countries.
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us"
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
The above quote epitomises what coaching is all about: realising the potential in someone.
I have coached people for many years, and I am a great believer in personal development and training. I have recently embarked upon the ILM Level 7 Diploma in Executive Coaching and Mentoring as part of my quest for continuous development.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) lists some characteristics of coaching in organisations that are generally agreed upon by most coaching professionals.
Coaching consists of a one-to-one, non-directive form of a development discussion and provides feedback to an individual on both weaknesses and strengths. Addressing a wide range of issues, they are usually specific and relatively short-term. Focusing on work-related issues rather than personal, coaching is both time-bound and a skilled activity.
Historically, most of the coaching at OSR has taken place inside offices. If you are in a confined space, having a one-to-one with an individual, it can be a very intense experience. The new reflective coaching approach concentrates on a contemporary programme that specialises in coaching but also utilises the environment to further enhance the coaching experience. The approach will also include Tetramap, the G.R.O.W. Model of Coaching, and a 360 degree feedback model.
At OSR, we will be offering coachees the opportunity to leave the constraints of the office and embrace and experience the beauty of nature, whilst discovering their full potential and finding exactly 'what lies within us'.
For further information on Olive Strachan Coaching Services, visit www.olivestrachan.co.uk.
I have been a certified TetraMap® Facilitator for 10 years I have found it to be an engaging model that lends itself to transforming team performance but also works well when used in one to one coaching situations. TetraMap® was created in New Zealand and it offers structured training tools which improve communication and consolidates unity and effectiveness. It Maps the complexity of nature into four basic Elements: Earth, Air, Water and Fire. Then, using the power of metaphor we apply the map to human behaviour. It supports us to choose a balanced, holistic perspective; whether it is to improve relationships, strengthen teamwork clarify a corporate vision, or provide a framework for organisational development.
Having worked internationally for some years one of the criticisms that delegates make is that some of the profiling tools do not lend themselves to diverse audiences. Another criticism is that often after completing a personality profiling exercise they soon forget what the outcomes were and how it reflects on how they work with others. Once when I was delivering a session using TetraMap® in Portugal, one of the delegates approached me and said ‘Ahh so we are all different, and it is ok to be different because ultimately we complement each other and our differences make us part of the whole!’ He got it!
Most recently I have utilised the ‘TetraMap®’booklet called ‘Why are you like that’ whilst working with a coachee who could not understand why his Manager was always seeking to build their brand externally and was always looking for recognition from wider stakeholders. Once we had completed the tool together and discussed how the elements worked and the key traits of each one it allowed him some insight into his Manager’s behaviour thus reducing conflict in their relationship.
As a HR/Learning and Development Professional and Coach - I have often found it works well with audiences from both the Private and Public Sectors promoting harmony and understanding amongst diverse groups. It also works well with my ‘Reflective Coaching’ we use the tool to promote self-awareness prior to our coaching session outside. Where we utilise the beauty of nature to broaden and deepen the coaching experience allowing the coachee to understand that the only limitation to achieving their goal is their own self-belief.
TetraMap® is a registered trademark of TetraMap International in New Zealand and other countries
If you've ever been to see a business coach or mentor, the session most likely took place in an office. There's nothing especially wrong with that, of course, but as any office worker will tell you, it can be quite a stifling, claustrophobic environment. That goes double in a one-on-one situation like mentoring; sitting in a room, face-to-face with your new business coach, can be quite and intense (and even unpleasant experience).
We at OSR love trying new approaches to our work, and we recently hit upon a new idea - namely, using the local environment to enhance the coaching experience. Receiving advice for your business is a far more edifying experience when you're walking around a lake or enjoying the sunshine, and now that the weather has (gradually) started to improve, this could be a great approach for OSR and its clients.
Read more about this approach on Industry Today.
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
The above quote, to me, epitomises what coaching is all about: releasing the potential in someone.
At Olive Strachan Resources, I have coached and mentored people for many years, and I am a great believer in personal development and training. As part of my quest for continuous development, I recently embarked on the ILM Level 7 Diploma in Executive Coaching and Mentoring. This is an intensive and experiential programme which required extensive practice and reading outside the formal tutorial workshops. In addition, all the participants shared experiences and had opportunities for networking and peer support.
Historically, most of my coaching has taken place inside offices, which sometimes - if you are in a confined space, having a one-to-one with an individual - can be a very intense experience. The ILM concentrated on a contemporary programme that specialised in coaching but also utilised the environment to further enhance the coaching experience. This involved working with a coachee whilst walking around Lake Buttermere in Keswick. It was truly an amazing experience - the beauty and stillness of the surrounding environment and the sense of being at one with the elements allowed each person to reflect deeply, making use of the mind, body, and spirit.
Photograph by Shaun Ferguson
As the winter months progress, I am looking forward to when the weather is less inclement, offering my coachees at Olive Strachan Resources the opportunity to leave the constraints of the office to embrace and experience the beauty of nature whilst discovering their full potential and finding exactly 'what lies within us'.
Worldwide Who's Who is a global enterprise that seeks to distinguish the most outstanding businesspeople from throughout the world, helping them to network with each other and enhance their own online profiles. The organisation operates on a 'by invite only' basis, and so it gives us immense pride to announce that Olive Strachan and OSR are now a part of the Worldwide Who's Who!
Worldwide Branding issued a press release earlier today, praising Olive's "dedication, leadership and excellence" and highlighting some of her greatest achievements to date. Particular attention was paid to Olive's unique training style; the article describes it as "very engaging, very active with clients and [getting] them involved".
Higher praise we couldn't have asked for - this made everyone here at OSR very happy, and this recognition from the Worldwide Who's Who is further proof of the excellence demonstrated on a daily basis by Olive and the team.
Read the full press release here, or return to the OSR homepage.