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oaching comes naturally to some people; although many wouldn’t know they

had the skill, or that such a skill existed. T ese people are exceptional communicators who are able to get the very best from people. Often, our fi rst experience of a

‘coach’ is a relative. My fi rst coach was my father. He had the ability to imbue people with confi dence in their own ability. As a disabled child, he fi lled me with a sense of what I could achieve through education and determination, despite what others implied, generally that I wouldn’t do very much! He encouraged me to go to university and become independent. In later life, he told me this was a diffi cult decision as he constantly worried about my safety! As a teacher, he believed in his

pupils’ abilities and, when he died 10 years ago, we received many letters from past students saying how important he had been in helping them decide on their future paths. So where did this ability come

from? As a teacher, he knew all about ‘telling’ but he also knew all about the power of listening and asking good questions. T is is where the skill lies – giving people the opportunity to talk about themselves and by refl ecting back those thoughts with questions that give insight to reframe a problem and see a way forward. As a manager, and as wife, mother and friend, I try to incorporate

4 | February 2017 |

coaching into all my interactions. T e material in this month’s issue has inspired me anew in the power of coaching. So whether you’re an experienced coach or just starting out, you should fi nd a wealth of articles to motivate you this month. Due to the speed of our lives today,

coaching, and other refl ective practice, is extremely valuable in providing us with focus and personal strength, so do take a look at Ed Chacksfi eld’s article on page 23 which gives his perspective on how to develop a resilient mindset. Away from coaching, Catherine

Park (p20) throws down the gauntlet to educationalists to challenge the status quo on how we deliver education and skills to our young people. She argues that game-changing technologies have altered the dynamics of how people learn. She advocates a move to a more collaborative system where learning is personalised and the options vast due to the availability of more, and better, e-learning. Don Taylor (p5) echoes some of

Park’s sentiment when he encourages L&D professionals to start engaging with MOOCs, a growth area for learners right now but not a fi eld em- braced by those in workplace learning. Time to take a closer look, perhaps? Happy reading.



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