Career Conversations – A guest post by Allana Holmes

Allana reflects on our conversations over coffee I had come to a point where I had been in the same role for eight years and I loved it. However, I felt I needed something more from my career but I wasn’t entirely sure what that meant. I just knew I was ready for a change.[…]

Looking for more than formulaic coaching? Try a “useful conversation”

Sometimes the only place to be is right here and now Coaching should be about much more than just setting goals to be achieved in the future. Important as this can be, it just doesn’t cut it for many professionals I work with. They are looking for something more meaningful, more immediate and more generally[…]

What is Personal Development? – Revisited

Personal Development is hugely popular and an important focus for many people. However, I rarely see anyone stop to think about what it actually is. Nor do I hear people ask what its potential benefits might be beyond the vagueness of “to achieve my potential” or more pragmatic outcomes such as “to get that promotion”.[…]

An Appreciative Inquiry

I’ve recently been working with teams reviewing their progress against goals, celebrating achievements and exploring areas for development. Most interventions of this kind would involve the team reflecting on their successes and failures. The team would highlight strengths, problem solve for underlying causes of weakness and action plan for change. This is certainly an approach[…]

Schein’s ‘Humble Inquiry’ – Old Ideas Rehashed. Thank Goodness!

After reading Edgar Schein’s latest book (Humble Inquiry, The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling), I was initially dismissive: ‘These are old ideas rehashed’. I was able to skim-read the book in less than 30 minutes and didn’t feel the need to deep-dive into any sections. This is usually a sign the material is[…]

Continuing Professional Development – promoting bad learning habits

In a previous post I wrote about weaknesses in formal Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programmes required of some professionally qualified sectors. I bemoaned the tick-box exercise that most had become as people attended events in order to achieve a target number of study hours. The so-called learning delivered through this CPD also came under my critical eye.[…]

What is Personal Development?

I think it is important to ask this question. The thinking that unfolds below may help you focus on why you are on the journey you are on and whether it is the right one for you right now. I hope it also peaks your interest in the social sciences and their contribution to our[…]

Mind The Gap – Everyday reminders to think, then act

When I’m traveling by train or on the underground in the UK I often see the words ‘Mind The Gap’ painted on the platform edge. The phrase is also often spoken through a recorded message. This is obviously to warn passengers of the gap between the platform and the train. I took this warning on[…]

Express yourself – articulating feelings

As an Englishman, if I were to be stereotyped I’m sure the caricature would include a ‘stiff upper lip’ and ‘repressed emotions’. I’m not sure the former is accurate but the latter is, for me, where my stereotype is sometimes confirmed. I am not particularly good at expressing my emotional needs or discussing my feelings.[…]

The Broad Concept – A four step reflection and planning process

My first exposure to personal development in the workplace was when I started selling life assurance. The life assurance industry is well known for its use of personal development in supporting its mainly self-employed sales people. One of the first concepts I was introduced to was The Broad Concept. This was a model for structuring[…]