New Coaching Tool around career futures

I have been working with several clients in the last few months looking at possible new futures and changes in their work; some through organisation re-structures and downsizing, others through the desire to move on and find new challenges.It also came up at one of our recent Coaches network sessions.

What has struck me is that like a sailing ship, there are links and interdependencies across lots of sails and rigging, and one change in our lives in the arena of work, will impact hugely on our relationships, our family lives, and where we live. This is a hard nut to crack thinking about what we put first. Do we say that living by the sea for example (a big future factor for me despite still living in the middle of Oxfordshire!) is more important than the job we are doing? We went down to Poole a couple of years ago to look around with a view to thinking about a move, but ended up reflecting on the stages the kids were in their lives and all the networks we have locally were too much to give up. However, it may not be right now, but in the medium term/longer term future.

The tool

The idea of the Futures map is to create the opportunity to do a brain dump to help structure that confusion in our minds about all the different elements around making such a big change decision.

  • The map has 4 areas; work, home/location, partner/family/friends considerations, and a personal/growth section. The idea is to go through each of these and think through what the implications of change might be, but also look at the whole map for the connection between these 4 strands
  • There are also a few questions that might help unlock thinking: what is the first step you might take? Who do you need to talk to you about it? What might the obstacles be?
  • As ever with a tool like this, its really helpful to talk through with a Coach/trusted friend after the initial “splurge” of creative thinking

You can access the futures map here:  FUTURES MAP

New Coaching tools and articles; the “spring collection”

As part of preparing for a set of spring Coaching Learning sessions with in house Coaches, I have identified  some new articles and tools (click on the link to access all the information) , along with all of the previous articles and tools over the last couple of years, which I think are worthy of a read. I usually try and find a blend of practicals tools that Coaches can use with clients in sessions or outside the sessions, and background articles.

The “spring collection” is:

Values and purpose Tool: This is a Coaching tool I created from merging (like 2 ends of a car!) your core values with the idea of creating your own personal coat of arms. It came out of some coaching work with an individual who really wanted to connect their personal values with the work they were doing.

Neuroplasticity: Changing our Belief about Change. I came across this doing some research on neuroscience. This article is about the power of neuroscience: as the saying goes, “neurons that fire together, wire together.” The more we practice something, the more we strengthen the pathway, and the easier the skill becomes

The talented Coachee article: interesting article that looks at the role that Coachees (clients) play in the coaching work, and especially their “enabling” and “defensive” skills

“The Life Canvas”; similar to the values and purpose tool, but a bit more comprehensive, I thought this was interesting in how it borrows from strategic business thinking to apply to  us as individuals to chart who and what we are across our whole lives; if you want a bit of background reading to the tool, take a look at this link:

New Coaching Tools and articles

autumnAs part of preparing for a set of autumn Coaching Learning sets with in house Coaches, I have identified  4 new articles and tools, along with all of the previous articles and tools over the last couple of years, which I think are worthy of a read. I usually try and find a blend of practicals tools that Coaches can use with clients in sessions or outside the sessions, and background articles.

The “autumn collection” (!) is:

  • A short article as an overview of the initial contracting phase of Coaching
  • A new Coaching tool based on the comfort stretch panic model
  • A coaching progress review: a reflective exercise that allows clients to think about their next session, the positives and challenges and how the work is going for them overall
  • Stakeholders Coaching exercise: a psychological exercise that will help us reflect on the border between Coaching and counselling, this exercise looks at the power of key figures in our lives;

New Coaching articles and tools

PSYCHOTHERAPY 2As part of preparing for a set of spring Coaching Learning sets with in house Coaches, I have identified 4 new articles on various aspects of Coaching, along with all of the previous articles and tools over the last couple of years, which I think are worthy of a read. I usually try and find a blend of practicals tools that Coaches can use with clients in sessions or outside the sessions, and background articles.

The “spring collection” (!) is:

  • A deceptively simple Purpose Practice Sheet Tool which links values-options-making room for what you love
  • A background career tool to start thinking about what motivates you at work called Career Drivers Assessment
  • A Brene Brown article showing how to work with emotion and change your narrative: Brené Brown on how to Reckon with emotion and change your narrative
  • An article on Gestalt theory in Coaching, an interesting approach to try and adjust between the “figure and ground” in a coaching context

Do research priorities of patients and doctors really matter?

research-directionsRecent publications by Sally Crowe and others highlight the challenges of developing and funding research priorities as part of the James Lind Alliance.

A blog introduces the context for the research and gives the top line results.  The full research paper is available here, in the launch issue of Research and Involvement and Engagement from BioMed Central.

A second paper explores missed opportunities in representing the patient voice (Type 1 diabetes) in research priority setting. This was one of the first James Lind Alliance research priority setting partnerships. A small team led by Rosamund Snow and Joanna Crocker re-analysed data looking at the relative influence of health professionals and patients and carers.

Coaching and Mentoring new articles

challenge 2We are really pleased that looking through the web site statistics on Google Analytics, that since the start of the year, we have had over 5,000 visitors and over 10,000 pages viewed!

Our aim is to make as many useful and accessible resources freely available as possible.

In the Coaching and Mentoring skills section we now have around 25 articles on all sorts of ideas, tools and articles relate to Coaching and mentoring; a recent addition has been a new article on Mentoring skills, along with some Mentoring models.

As well as these overall pieces, there are also a number of new articles that I come across and use in work with a group of Coaches in Action Learning set sessions including innovation in Coaching, understanding your values and the “PRACTICE” model of Coaching if you scroll down to the most recent articles.

What matters in early osteoarthritis of the hip and knee? A new James Lind Alliance partnership

JLA pictureA new James Lind Alliance Research Priority Setting Partnership has started and we invite people to take part.

Who can take part?

Patients, carers, and healthcare professionals.  If you have (or have had), or are caring for someone who has (or has had) early stage osteoarthritis (OA), or work as a health or social care professional with people who have (or have had) early stage OA….we want to hear from you. 

Why should I take the survey? 

This exciting initiative will be overseen by The James Lind Alliance, a non-profit making organisation funded by the National Institute for Health Research, ensuring the exercise produces an unbiased result, with equal weighting given to the views of the different participating groups. So whether your interest is personal or professional …your opinions will count.

How do I take part?

The survey is available at or contact the James Lind Alliance Project Manager at the Oxford Biomedical Research Centre to request a paper version (tel / voicemail 01865 223298, e-mail

New Coaching and personal growth articles

Jigsaw HeadsThere are now 24+ articles on lots of different aspects of Coaching, the most recent three being a “past, present and future” tool, an article and free assessment on the big 5 personality traits, and an article on Mindfulness. You can access the Coaching articles here.

There are also some new articles on Teams on managing trust and working with dispersed Teams



calm mindOn the personal growth side, there are new articles on the feel of intuition, an article on the poetry of resilience, and one on the virtue of doing very little! Access the articles to take a look here.

Research Priorities for Hip and Knee Replacement

Every year, about 150,000 hip and knee replacements are done in the UK because of osteoarthritis.  But we still don’t know enough about which patients benefit most, when is the best time for surgery and how do we ensure that patients recover quickly and well?

James Lind Alliance

A James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership gathered research uncertainties from a wide range of people with osteoarthritis and health professionals that treat and look after them.  There were prioritised using a James Lind Alliance approach and the results and process to achieve the Top Ten Research Priorities are detailed in this report.

Resilience; the latest information and self assessment toolkit

With all the changes happening in organisations, resilience is becoming a critical quality to survive. People working in the public sector particularly seem to be suffering from it at the moment – first there’s a budget cut, then a re-organisation, and then a threat of redundancy. This is without anything that may be happening at home. And it’s not just the public sector  –  the private and voluntary sectors are suffering too. Continue reading

Managing change article that’s worth a read


Change is nothing new to leaders, or their constituents. We understand by now that organizations cannot be just endlessly “managed,” replicating yesterday’s practices to achieve success. Business conditions change and yesterday’s assumptions and practices no longer work. There must be innovation, and innovation means change.

Yet the thousands of books, seminars, and consulting engagements purporting to
help “manage change” often fall short. These tools tend to neglect the dynamics of
personal and organizational transition that can determine the outcome of any change
effort. As a result, they fail to address the leader’s need to coach others through the
transition process. And they fail to acknowledge the fact that leaders themselves
usually need coaching before they can effectively coach others.

WilliamBridgesTransitionandChangeModel : in this article (that is worth 10 minutes of your time) William Bridges describes three stages of transition:

• Endings
• The neutral zone (explorations), and
• New beginnings.

PPI Toolkit – “Perfect Pocketsized Instructions”

This toolkit book, published by Wiley Blackwell  and part of an evidence based series for British Medical Jounral was a year in the making. Sally Crowe and Julia Cartwright, together with editors Doug Badenoch and Carl Heneghan have been  on an interesting journey to make the theory and practice of Patient and Public Involvement accessible, interesting and useful.

The design is quick reference, digestible chunks of information, with lots of case studies and resources.

We hope that the book will become a handy ‘aide-memoire’ for those practitioners that seek to engage, and involve patients, service users, carers and the public in service development and research.

Continue reading