Climate Change and You. What do you want your coach to ask you?

Climate change and you: What would you want your coach to ask you?

As coaches, our job is to work with our clients to find the best way forward. We use open questions and deep listening as we explore their reality. We may shy away from raising questions of the wider environment and climate on which our clients depend.

This does a disservice to our profession and the coaching experience.  Our work is an exchange towards answers in a shared context rather than solely an exploration of the client’s concerns.

In the last thirty years, human activity has done more damage to our blue planet than at any other period. We are all affected in one way or another. The decisions we make in our lifetime will determine the future of the human race and many other species.  Your climate (emergency) is mine too.

In years to come as our impact develops, how will our industry be judged if we fail to embrace the wider reality of the context on which we all depend interconnectedly? Will we wring our hands and admit lamely that we didn’t feel it was right to ask?  It perhaps says more about our own uncertainty and confidence than any right or wrong about coaching orthodoxy when we shy from asking questions about climate change and bio diversity.  Last year the industry leaders were unequivocal:

Coaching and mentoring are ultimately concerned with developing the potential of human beings, of raising awareness to enable people to take responsibility for their actions and ownership for their contribution. Coaches have a significant role to play in creating a new way of being in service to a healthy human society and a healthy planet. (AC,APAC,ICF,EMCC, APECS joint statement 2020)

If I was your coach what would you want me to ask you?

We posed this question in recent weeks to several kind interviewees across three continents. You may have been one of 5000 small crowd of viewers of the recordings that have explored how clients and coaches think about coaching and climate. Our work was intended to raise awareness in advance of the Climate Coaching Alliance‘s excellent 24hour workshop. The conversation continues as we prepare for Cop26 and the sense of urgency gathers apace.  The interviews showed us that clients and coaches are ready. More, they were enthusiastic in urging coaches to get on with this issue.

The answers ranged from everyday things that people do and want to do more of, to the need to press policy makers and make connections at the highest  level of industry and policy. As one said: “We need our coaches to challenge us to think more and take action”

So the questions that I have are:

  1. Always: What would clients really like their coaches to be asking about their place in the world and its future?
  2. How can coaching academies better train coach-students to be able to see the whole environmental context in their work?
  3. What will bring down the barriers towards broaching the subject, which is not a “subject” but reality?
  4. How should supervisors adjust their work to ensure that the industry is supervised better?


Climate. Change. Coaching Harriet’s Thoughts

Three questions.

This entry is the start of a series. They each ask three questions:  How does climate change affect you? How are its affects on you reflected in your workplace decisions? What would you want a coach to ask you?  Each recording is between 1-3minutes long.

Extreme weather, our global fragility exposed by the pandemic and a sense of urgency make these questions relevant.  The members of  The Climate Coaching Alliance and the Cimate Phsychology Alliance both work with clients in all walks of life. All our cllients are considering the present and the future.  

Whats ours to do?

In the month that has seen the publication of Bill Gates writing how to avoid a climate disaster (you can listen to it on the BBC here). The Climate Coaching Alliance and I have been gathering the views of a wide range of people on this issue. 

Please comment and engage in this debate. We are all learning. And of course, contact me to talk about your coaching needs.

Coaching for business continuity

Getting in control of business continuity in times of crisis

Headless Chickens, Denial and the Mothers of Invention!

Chickens with heads in tact

No this is not the name of  Nick Cave’s new band. Rather I am talking about how coaching can help as you think about business continuity.

In the face of the rapid rise of Covid 19 you maybe feeling like a proverbial headless chicken, or rather frustrated by the panic and in denial that there’s anything to worry about. You may even feel that we have more to fear from the fear itself. 

All are common and unsurprising.  Whichever it is, we must agree that these are unprecedented times. They will affect both you, your family, and your teams and their families. It is likely to that your suppliers and customers will need to change their behaviour and this in turn will have an impact on the work you do. 

Managing your work through the current health crisis will be a significant test of your skills. As a leader it will challenge you to find invention in response to necessity.  Hopefully in the coming months you will steer your organisation without loss of life and you will emerge stronger and wiser. As a leader you have a significant role in that outcome. Coaching has a key role to play in supporting your management of business continuity.

Hasty reaction or planned response?

At these times of uncertainty your mettle will be tested.  Even for seasoned leaders, there is a strong temptation to react as events unfold rather than plan and prioritise. Too often businesses communicate hastily rather than effectively.  

Some quick questions to consider:

  1. Do your staff feel supported and informed of how you see the need to respond and their role in it in the coming 4-6months?
  2. Are you able to manage your own health and well being in and outside of work just now?
  3. Do you have an understanding of how your business may be affected in the short to medium term with a plan you are able to review as the situation unfolds? 

How can coaching help?

Well thought through and authentic risk management reviewed and applied for a crisis can serve to find the best course of action for you, your teams and your business. However leadership is a lonely place and time to pause reflect and think through your options can be hard to find.  

Coaching provides a fresh pair of non-judgemental eyes and questions that enable your reflection and support improved planning. 

From denial to the Nile

Drawing on the understanding of years of work in high risk contexts, my coaching can help you think through the range of issues affecting your decision-making as your remain true to yourself and your organisation’s mission. I will help you find confidence by identifying strengths and opportunities you have to hand even as you consider the risks you, your colleagues and your organisation faces.

Let’s work together as you use coaching for business continuity. Take action before its a last resort.  Get in touch for a 15 minute consultation to get started today.


Is coaching what I want?

What is coaching? Is it what I want? Will it work?

Here you will find answers to your questions: what is coaching, is it what I want and will it work for me? Read and reflect then  contact me for more information!

What is it?

Coaching is a professional service where coach and client work together in partnership in a thought-provoking and creative process of exploration. The coach is like a mirror that listens, talks and observes. Noticing your habits or reactions, a coach’s presence can inspire you to self-assess and take action using your personal and professional potential.

Successful coaching is when a client learns more about themselves and takes steps forward of their own choosing from which they learn and grow. Our coaching will explore with you your choices and their impact on others.

Is coaching what I want?

As you think about what you want, these commonly raised questions may help. Read them and consider if any apply to you:

    • Do you feel dissatisfied or stuck or that you aren’t reaching your full potential?
    • Are there unspoken fears or worries at work or home that influence behaviours you want to change?
    • Is there a gap of where you are now to where you want to be?
    • Do you sometimes feel you don’t have the skills, resources or confidence to do what you want?
    • Are you so busy that you have forgotten what you really want?
    • Do you sometimes feel stuck and put off making decisions or fail to stick to those resolutions you have made?
    • Is it time your answers were questioned?
    • Do you need a thoroughly good listening to?

If the answer is yes to any of these question, then coaching might be very helpful for you.

Will it work?

The coach provides a safe, confidential space. Their training and experience provides the framework of the process where intense listening and questions come.  Like a mirror with excellent lighting or microphone that picks up all the noise, coaching can be uncomfortable.  Clients who get the most from coaching are ready to reflect with the coach and entertain new and fresh ideas of their own making. They come to sessions with things they want to work on and are ready to try things out even if it may be uncomfortable. The coach is your partner safe and non-judgemental. She is not a prop!  These client testimonies are real and give you an idea of what ‘works’.

What happens?

Our coaching takes place over a number of pre-arranged structured confidential sessions. Our first session may be exploratory as we think together and you lay out your “map”.  Subsequent sessions you will build on this thinking as you move forward towards what matters. The process and framework is held by your coach who may challenge you to look behind the agenda to what really matters and where new challenges lie.

During coaching sessions you will make plans to take action. You will be responsible for the decisions you take.

Coaching complies  to the Coaching Code of Conduct which you can find here

A session usually last between 45mins and 1 hour

What coaching is not

Coaching is not an advisory, training or therapy service. Of course, there may be some tough questions but our coaching service will not judge, diagnose or assess you.

How to get the best from coaching – top tips

To get the greatest benefit from the investment you make for coaching:

    • Come to the session prepared having reflected on recent experience-make notes
    • Have an idea of a change you want to make or an area of life or work that is bothering you
    • Be honest with yourself
    • Trust yourself
    • Be ready to make a commitment to take action

I think I want to start coaching now. What do I do?

Your first step is to CONTACT ME!

We will talk over your understanding of this service and what you are hoping to get out of it. We will look at a package that best fit your needs now.

Let’s make it worth it! Make a resolution to stick to!

Open a conversation with this team tester

The high performance of teams is an art not a science. That said, like good art, teams combine elements that when done well can enable performance (see this post). Because teams are at the heart of every excellent business they have been studied, measured considered and explored. The following 14 points are a summary of many such investigations and may support the analysis of your team:

  • Clear vision and purpose
  • Identity as a team
  • Composed of the right balance of roles to get the job done
  • Made of skilled and effective individuals clear about their roles
  • Constructive and harmonious relationships within the team
  • Effective leadership
  • Individual learning and development of team members
  • Sound processes
  • Open to change and creative
  • Completion- seeing it through
  • Recognition for success
  • Good internal communications
  • Effective communication to other teams and stakeholders
  • Regular review of performance

How are you doing from 0-20 in each area?

Use the following grid mark with an X where you believe your team sits in each area. This can provide a great opening for a conversation about what GOOD or EVEN BETTER could look like!  Once you’re done ask: Could it be better?  Get in touch to discuss your ideas!

0-4 5-9 10-14 15-20
Unclear Clear purpose
No identity Identity
Unbalanced role Balance of roles
Skills shortage Skilled
Disharmony Harmony
Ineffective leadership Effective leadership
Low L&D High L&D
Poor processes Sound processes
Closed to ideas Open and creative
Nothing gets finished On time completion
Un-recognised Recognised for success
Poor internal comms Effective internal comms
No-one knows what you do The work is understood outside the team
Never review/reflect Regularly review