I help coaching clients ‘step in’ with difficult (thorny, sticky) challenges they face, to practise leadership for building shared understandings with stakeholders, and action for outcomes.

Are These True for You?

You might find my approach especially helpful if any of the following are true for you:

  • You’re an executive or manager facing one or more challenges/issues, broadly that have human and change components
  • You’re not making as much progress as you’d like with these challenges
  • You’d like to develop your practice of leadership as well as management
  • You’d like to learn, and gain experience with, skills and tools you can apply in different situations over time, including outside work
  • You don’t want a grab-bag of concepts and methods, just some practical, useful, intuitive, and readily understood tools
  • You’re willing to work at your practice of leadership, try out different approaches for handling situations, and reflect on your practice.
Coaching for Leadership Practice
Hi Don, I hope you have a successful 2022.  I often think about what you taught me, and I have a sticky note on my desk with some of the important OBREAU words that I find to be useful reminders.  I wanted to thank you for the insight you gave me.

(Unsolicited praise received from a coaching client in early 2022, four years after our coaching)

What’s Distinctive About My Approach to Coaching?

Obviously, many people offer their services as leadership coaches. Many, perhaps most, come from executive roles in corporates and have expertise in dealing with all manner of executive, managerial and technical challenges.

What you’ll get with me is a difference in emphasis. I focus on helping executives, managers and professionals build their capabilities in productively and safely working through people and change-related challenges.

In my experience, most executives and managers are pretty good at, and comfortable with, the more managerial and technical/professional aspects of their jobs. It’s the people and change aspects they find hardest. Much of my work is geared to helping coaching clients bring more of their intelligence, and that of others, to bear on issues by helping the client converse more openly and authentically on difficult and sensitive topics.

Think of any people and change-related challenge as like an iceberg. Above the waterline are the more concrete, tangible aspects of an issue, things like job descriptions, strategies or KIPs. Below the waterline are the more subtle, implicit, human aspects such what people are feeling and assuming, what they have experience in and what they care about.

Most work-related conversations stay largely above the waterline. Tapping into the hidden, more subtle aspects is generally perceived as too risky. Yet here is where lies a depth of largely untapped intelligence – yours and theirs – if only it can be brought to the surface, scrutinised and utilised.

The power of engaging at such deeper levels is in building shared understandings and drawing forth energy and action for change.

My internationally-recognised* OBREAU conversation model is a resource for helping users take the conversation usefully and safely below the waterline, as well as talking about what is above.

Leadership Coaching

What kinds of things might we work on?

Everyone’s needs are different and in our coaching sessions our focus will be firmly on your challenges and concerns. That said, there are some aspects we might explore:

  • Considering the purpose you are seeking to fulfil in the current situation and your vision for it (what success would ‘look like’ if achieved)
  • Recognising your own default behaviours (comfort zone) and practising stepping beyond these
  • Working at ‘noticing’ before ‘locking-in’ to interpretations and conclusions, to increase your awareness of different possible understandings of the situation
  • Contemplating others’ possible perspectives to gain an expanded, more complex and nuanced understanding of an issue, as well as a more empathic appreciation of what might be real for others
  • Taking a ‘deep dive’ into what is true for you personally regarding the issue: What might be your own assumptions, interests, feelings and knowledge in this context?
  • Thinking through and rehearsing possible interventions and actions you might take, whether leadership or management-oriented (or both) to bring about change/improvement
  • Reflecting on your experience, results and learning, and planning for further interventions.

How might we work together?

I suggest that, as a first step, and prior to starting any coaching, we meet online in a 30-minute, free-of-charge session. This is an opportunity for you to learn about my approach, for me to gain an understanding of your needs, and also for you to think about whether my approach is right for you.

Ordinarily, I work in blocks of 3 x 1-hour sessions, with a review at the end of the first set. However, you can discontinue at any point (with a minimum notice requirement).

Sessions are conducted via web conferencing at two-week or monthly intervals – or some other mutually-agreed arrangement – depending on your needs.

At the end of each session, I’ll ask you to commit to one or more follow-though actions, which we’ll review in the next session.

How does this sound to you?

Contact Form

If my approach sounds like it could work for you, why not get in touch and arrange a 30-minute chat, free of charge and obligation?