Newsletter : November 2009

View From The Hill

This month has been a busy one personally. We are coming to the end of a house extension and the “inevitable snagging list”. There has been lots of clearing out and sorting out to be done. In the office, I have taken the opportunity to update my “Coaching & Mentoring Scrapbook” As part of my CPD, I committed to collecting articles on coaching and mentoring from the journals and periodicals we receive. I read them as I cut them out and put them in a large ring binder. There are some fantastic articles and it is great to browse through them to catch up on my knowledge on our discipline.

One such article was written by Henry Mintzberg, Professor of Management at McGill University (12th in the Times University Rankings in 2009). His article was in the Institute of Directors monthly magazine. It was an exceptionally courageous article as it “slapped management, leadership and directors” in the face of reality. Saying that “management has been made worse by focusing on leadership” and “anyone expecting a bonus should be ineligible for a job as CEO” and ” measuring quarterly returns is like the titanic measuring its course every 200 metres – it’s a joke”.

It got me thinking, in my last 5 coaching sessions, how courageous were my conversations? Not just active listening, not just offering my opinion, not just challenging. But holding up (as in a mirror) all of the strands of learning, development, raising awareness of the issue, the consequences, the cultural barriers, the operational parameters, the obvious opposites, the easy answers and “Devil’s advocation” – for my clients to see for themselves. I would probably give myself 2 out of 5 and that is being generous! What can I do about it? Well I could look at how I summarise. That may hold some keys. I could talk to others about how they do it. There is no monopoly on good ideas. I could ask my clients – not a new idea asking the end user. I could agenda the issue for my next supervision as the voice of experience always helps. Maybe even get some observation. That last one is interesting: I could ask my clients if I could tape a session and “observe through listening”. This should give some insight to courageous conversations on my part. Thanks for helping with my CPD and I hope you take the chance to revisit yours soon. Have a good month.

Julie Philp, Senior Change Manager

julie philp“I used to be quite sceptical about the value of coaching. However following significant restructuring within our business, my training with CFM has proved to be an excellent investment. The skills learned have been put to good use in a number of different coaching scenarios e.g. helping colleagues deal with major change and uncertainty or supporting those colleagues faced with making decisions on their future career, whether that is internal or external to the company.”

CFM Coaching Club ‘A Place To Develop’

This session’s topic will be on how to use Observation and Feedback effectively to develop your coaching practice.We just have a few places left so if you would like to join us please contact me ( This complimentary morning is a partnership between CFM Consulting and the University of Edinburgh Business School.

CPD Certificates will also be issued at the end of the event.

Wednesday 9th December
Arrive 9.15 a.m for coffee and networking
CPD session led by Peter Hill, Managing Director CFM Consulting
Short introduction to plans for University of Edinburgh’s new Business School (opening 2010)
Buffet lunch 12.30pm (close 1pm)

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