A client bought me flowers a couple of weeks ago – to say thank you and to show how much she appreciated what we have done together.

Not that I expect this kind of thing you understand, but it got me thinking about appreciation in general and how it’s so important in our relationships.

My own appreciation of the power of appreciation really grew a few years ago when I read Nancy Kline‘s work. She believes that there are ten crucial elements/behaviours that must be present to allow people to do their very best thinking. I strive to have these in place when coaching and they are:

Attention, Equality, Ease, Appreciation, Encouragement, Feelings, Information, Diversity, Incisive Questions and Place.

I think appreciation comes in many forms (not just flowers) but it can be; just being there, being attentive, saying thank you, listening, asking how someone is or remembering important details about them. It all adds up to a feeling of being valued. And we all need that.

But it’s just as important to appreciate others explicitly too. Giving appreciative feedback is so valuable, and yet free. So make it count and do it well by being:

Succinct – Sincere – Specific

I’m not talking about being gushy here. I’m talking about being genuine and honest. Here’s an example from my testimonials page:

Alexis has that rare quality of listening not only to the words you are saying but also the nuances. She is able to analyse and effectively summarise. But she does not force her opinion on you; the conclusions you draw are your own.”

This is why I value my clients feedback through evaluation so much. It’s a form of appreciation that is always concrete, sincere and developmental for me. You can read other feedback on my testimonials page.

Contact me on 0754 0593476 or email me on alexishutson@yahoo.com

The human mind thinks more rigorously and creatively in a context of genuine appreciation.” Nancy Kline



When was the last time you thought about what you want to achieve, for you?

When I first meet clients one of the first things we start to discuss is what they want to achieve. Some Doctors are quite clear about their goals; a job opportunity, a project to lead, or improvements to their GP practice for example. Others need more time to define the development they want to make through communication style or understanding the group dynamics in their team.

Either way, goal setting is crucial. It’ s hard because goals are often set for us with clinical / management targets or career progression tasks. Actually setting personal professional goals is much harder. The distractions of daily life and professional pressures can really get in the way.

That is why I think it is so important to spend time exploring, testing and defining goals. And it’s OK if they evolve because coaching gives you the opportunity to reflect and evaluate regularly. Sometimes this means adjusting your goal as your thinking depends and your experience broadens.

Last week a client said to me “Am I still on track? I feel I’m constantly distracted by the issues that occur in the here and now.” Because this client has a clear and specific goal, I could say, “Yes.” If you know what you are heading towards and you have a plan to follow, then the here and now can be harnessed to help you. By having a clear vision of your future and using your immediate reality as a stepping-stone, you can link now with the future.

To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there.

Kolfi Annan