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Last month, myself and Louise Kiteley of Coaching Innovations ran a one-day interactive and practical session called Take Time Out – building resilience, managing change and working differently.

This well attended session saw GPs, Practice Managers and Senior Nurses come along to take stock of their skills, approaches and look at new ways of problem solving and dealing with the relentless pressures in primary care.
The following interview with Dr Chris Hewitt (Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland Local Medical Committee) explores what we learnt, and observed, during the day. 

Q: What did we cover during the day that you think was particularly powerful for people?

Seeing GPs, Practice Managers and Practice Nurses having the headspace to think, to share experiences and ideas with colleagues with similar roles, challenges and environments, was enormously energising and uplifting. From the feedback it is clear that this experience was shared by course participants. I found it particularly powerful to gain more insight and to learn more about how my personal preferences around how I learn and communicate (and the preferences of those around me) influences how we all cope and look out for ourselves and each other.

Q: What do you think people particularly struggle with regarding ‘resilience’?

The i-resilience model was interesting – the need for a balance of confidence, social support, purposefulness and adaptability in order to endure and thrive, although on first inspection was clearly common sense, deeper review provided a clear framework for where as an individual we might be neglecting an area that could make us more vulnerable. Social support is particularly neglected. People put on a brave face or bottle things up, and we are wary of asking colleagues or networks for support to help deal with challenges and adverse situations.

Q: What is it about ‘change’ that can cause a lot of difficulty?

William Bridges transition model highlighted that the physical changes we overcome, do require a catching up of psychological buy in, with acceptance and change to pre-existing familiarity and habits which is required to go through the ’neutral zone’ of transition.  What was particularly interesting is that accepting and adapting to change – new premises or patient access systems – then requires people to ‘transition’ in their behaviours, working patterns and psychological acceptance, all of which occurs at different rates in different individuals.

The session was financially supported by the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Local Medical Committee and the Central Nottinghamshire Clinical Service.

Attendees said:
  • “Enjoyable, constructive.  Having the headspace and tools to think laterally around work issues, impactful.”
  • “Opportunity to work with different folk/groups, really helpful.”
  • “Great course – well-presented and facilitated.”

If you are interested in attending or hosting a course like this, call me on 0754 0593476 or email me at

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So what is it that works for Doctors with coaching?

The following are typically what Doctors bring to coaching and are the reason, I think, it works so well:

  • A desire for self improvement and development
  • A self reflecting attitude that questions personal performance
  • A need for change to be realistic and purposeful
  • A wish to make learning practical and action based

And the most common postive feature that all Doctors say is crucial? The ability to talk through their thinking in a non judgemental environment.

But don’t take my word for it. Last month the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management and I worked together to film some mini videos on the subject of coaching for Doctors.

These give an interesting insight into why doctors seek out coaching and what they get from the experience. They are only about 3mins long so worth a quick watch. Click on the links below.

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 10.07.06Liz’s Story

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 10.09.28Chris’ Story

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 14.42.17Alexis’s Story


If you would like to talk over coaching call me on 0754 0593476 or email me at


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What are the ingredients to a successful outcome in coaching?

Research carried out by the Ashridge Centre for Coaching highlights key features that significantly contribute to a successful outcome for coaching clients. The research is yet to be thoroughly analysed, but initial findings suggest the quality of the Coaching Relationship remains the best predictor of outcome. Ashridge considered the Coaching Relationship by Bond, Task and Goal. All three are important but the ‘active’ ingredients in the working alliance appear to be Task and Goal.

Another key ingredient in the Coaching Relationship is the client’s self-efficacy. This is the measure of your ability to complete tasks and reach goals.

Indeed, this finding supports previous research that has shown that a person’s self-efficacy expectations have a direct bearing on their personal and career development.” Erik de Haan & Nadine Page 2013.

So, clearly being really focussed on what you want to achieve and believing you have the power to do something about it, is important.

But what if you are unsure what to do? What if your confidence has been knocked about and you feel that events are controlling you? It’s a common enough feeling. And actually, working on tasks and goals that are self generated and focussed on your own development is hard to prioritise.

I suspect this is where the ‘Bond’ element of the Coaching Relationship plays a role. If your Bond with your coach is based on mutual respect, empathy, allegiance and hope, then self generated goals and tasks can be carefully and realistically crafted.

My recommendations:

  • Prioritise your own development.
  • Pick your coach wisely.
  • Be clear about what you want to achieve.

Call 0754 0593476 or email me on and book your FREE initial consultation.


Ashridge – The largest ever coaching outcome research – preliminary findings

The Ashridge Centre for Coaching’s The largest ever coaching outcome research has already drawn exactly 2,018 completed client questionnaires, 1,880 matching coach questionnaires and 130 matching coaching sponsor questionnaires. These numbers are at least ten times more than most existing coaching outcome studies and larger than any study known in this field. They have already analysed about 75% of the complete dataset and at the moment they are writing up a substantial article about their main findings.