Questions and coaching

In this month’s post Janet Kipling,  a Wise Goose student, tells us how training in coaching is impacting on her work.  Janet began her career as a journalist in newspapers, and as a BBC radio reporter, producer and presenter.  Twelve years ago she jumped the fence to work in public relation. She still does occasional radio presentation work, writing and media training as well as teaching yoga, and came to coaching wanting to develop a decluttering business. 


Questions, questions

I’ve made a pretty good career out of asking questions. As a newspaper journalist, radio reporter and then presenter, asking the right question to get the headline or soundbite was a key tool of the trade. Thanks Helen and the Wise Goose team for turning this all upside down! Continue reading “Questions and coaching”

Taking Time for Down Time


Sunday morning was definitely on the chilly side, bright and beautiful but with an unmistakable sense that autumn is elbowing summer out of the way.  As the equinox brings shorter days I feel an impulse to turn inwards and take some down time.

But I have to keep busy; I launched a new one year training programme over the weekend and tomorrow I travel to London, where I’ll be in back to back meetings and when I return to the office there’s plenty of admin to catch up with.  The pace of life and work doesn’t recognise that the seasons bring their own change of pace.  There is constant pressure to keep focussed, keep on doing, keep on achieving and attaining and keep the focus is relentlessly “out there”. Continue reading “Taking Time for Down Time”

Tackling silent bullying in the workplace



Have you ever been ignored, rejected or felt slighted by a colleague or a boss? Have you ever given someone the ‘silent treatment’?


Silent bullying is common and costly, I know a lovely woman who was so badly shunned by her boss she became depressed, burnt-out and left a career she loved.  I’ve also been a target –  in a  place where I’d felt liked, appreciated and respected. Because of the behaviour of one person, I felt I didn’t  matter, it was like I didn’t exist.  The good news:  it was limited to relatively a small project. Continue reading “Tackling silent bullying in the workplace”

“A Magnificent Profession” – The future of management?

shutterstock_109645829Management is out of fashion, not many people want to be called a manager, they might want their title to be leader, or entrepreneur, or even coach – but manager?

Executives have been getting bad press for years now, they are thought to lack integrity, a 2008 Gallup poll on honesty and ethics found that 37% rated executives low or very low. Things haven’t improved since then.  Is it possible that the way management is portrayed by ‘leadership’ gurus encourages ethical decline? Continue reading ““A Magnificent Profession” – The future of management?”

Take Three Questions…

Close up of baby's foot in mother's hand


What do you most deeply and profoundly love?

What are your deepest and most profound gifts?

What are your most profound responsibilities?

On Friday, sixty of us, mostly coaches, spent the day at Embercombe reflecting on these questions.

Embercombe is a delight, ‘a garden that grows people’ a place dedicated to touching hearts, stimulating minds and inspiring committed action for a sustainable world.  Fifty acres with views towards Dartmoor, it includes two yurt villages, mature broadleaf woodland, a wildlife lake, forest garden and apple orchard, cob pizza ovens,  circular organic market garden (that supplied fresh food for our lunch) and a peaceful ‘medicine garden’. Continue reading “Take Three Questions…”

Enlightened Business

JoolzLast week I shared this photo on Facebook of Joolz Lewis.  We first met earlier this year through Plymouth University’s  ‘Futures’.

I took the photo at the Bakehouse in Cullompton where we’d met for lunch to celebrate the launch of her first book ‘Enlightened Business: Leadership for Sustainable Success’.  What a lunch! The food was really good, healthy salads and home baked bread, the coffee and walnut cake we shared was delicious and the conversation was marvellous-  once we finished the last crumbs of cake and last sip of coffee we looked at our watches and realized over 3 hours had passed!

I’ve had several requests to say more about the book and now that I’ve actually read it I thought I’d write a review for you. Continue reading “Enlightened Business”

Where are women managers going?

Business Executives Running in a RaceOrganisations are losing women.

They are leaving at all levels, draining the intellectual capital of all kinds of organisations. It isn’t because there is a deficit in woman – there’s plenty of evidence that women are doing better academically than men.  So why is all this talent and potential being wasted?

Last month I attended a great CPD day with Exeter University’s Centre for Leadership Studies Professional Network to explore the issue.

Dr Ruth Sealy of Cranfield University began by reporting the good news: the Top 100 FTSE Boards met Lord Davies target of 25% women participating on Boards by 2015, that’s at least one woman on every board, not many but better than zero. Continue reading “Where are women managers going?”

Walking Coaching

old long roadFollowing the previous post about pilgrimage I had some requests to say more about ‘Walking Coaching’.  So here goes…

‘Walking meetings’ have become a bit of a fad among  Silicon Valley and New York entrepreneurs, as well as at the White House where Barak Obama often ends his working day with a walking meeting with his chief of staff.   Steve Jobs was known for taking walking meetings, Mark Zuckerberg is said to have picked up the habit from Jobs. Continue reading “Walking Coaching”

Coaching as Pilgrimage

Walking coaching DartmoorCoaching and pilgrimage – what’s the link?

My son returned last week tired but happy from walking the last stretch of the Camino of Santiago di Compostella with his youth group.  The ‘camino’ or ‘Way of St James’ is a 500 mile long walking pilgrimage route that’s inspired seekers since the Middle Ages. It had become fairly dormant but since the 1980s its popularity has grown, though these days it’s commonly taken as a secular pilgrimage – you can  watch this video about the camino to find out more. Continue reading “Coaching as Pilgrimage”

The Power of Vulnerability

BabyDo you feel you are enough?

Sometimes, as we are busy coaching to improve performance, meet goals and help our clients achieve more, we can find that another very different question rises to the surface.   It’s not about hard goals and outcomes and can be tricky to pin down; it’s  question that arises in a tentative, hesitant, almost faltering way, it goes something like this:  “Given there is always ‘more’ that I can ‘go for’, where do I find a sense of enough?  A sense that who I am  is enough?” Continue reading “The Power of Vulnerability”