Honesty and feedback II

It seems that last weeks note prompted many of you to have some honest conversations. This is great news. I was pleased to receive comments about how good and relieved people felt after having them. There is, partly, a scientific explanation for this. It is linked to a chemical in our bodies called oxytocin. It is the same chemical that is released for example when we kiss and make up with our loved ones after an argument. Some fascinating research has been done on this area. I’ll explain more on another occasion.

I spent some time last week thinking about my previous line managers. Some had had a great impact on me. Two that come to mind are Tracey Fagan and Lee Golding. They shared a number of similarities:

  • They both had regular honest conversations with me
  • They made me feel stretched and challenged
  • They delegated important pieces of work
  • They supported me when I messed up
  • They made me their successor when they moved on

I also remember feeling a sense of fear and dread as the weekly 1:1 was coming up, in case I hadn’t delivered on pre-agreed actions. Part of the ongoing impact they each have had on me is that when I am thinking about what to do in difficult circumstances, I regularly find myself thinking about what they might do. Often, we don’t realise the impact someone has had on us until they leave.

Striking the right balance between task and people management isn’t always easy. We owe a debt of appreciation to those we work for who do it well.


Finally, following last weeks email, I had a number of questions about coaching. Let me try and answer two of them here. Do I coach people at all levels? Most of the people I coach are at senior and executive levels. This includes CEO’s and Chairs. We also have a national panel of coaches providing coaching at similar levels as well as to people at junior and middle management tiers too. Do we train people to become coaches? Yes. We are currently experiencing a surge of interest coaching. We run both open and in-house accredited coaching courses. If you want to train to become a coach you might like to know that spaces are available for our next ILM accredited coaching course which starts on 3 February 2010.