My Journey

Welcome! I remember the first time clients told me they liked my coaching. As far as I was concerned I was just doing what I had always loved doing. I thought it was cool, as a consultant, to get the client’s people to do the work, and I loved it when they got the fantastic results that they had told me were impossible, six to nine months previously.

I’ve quite often been asked “When did you become a coach?” The first time I can remember being in what I now understand to be a coaching situation was when I was 16 years old. I can remember asking a friend why he, and others, always came to me for advice. “Well,” he said, “you are the only one who tells it like it is.” After further prompting – because I just didn’t get it, he said “everyone else tries to put you down, trip you up, take advantage or in some way manipulate the situation. You don’t.”

I’m no angel, but it simply hadn’t occurred to me that other people would do that. I now understand that it wasn’t just naivety at work, here was a fundamental values conflict. In the early days I was guided by my values (subconsciously) and my intuition.

When I look back over my career I realise just how much training and development I’ve had that was taking me in the direction of coaching:¬†leadership (Centre for Creative Leadership, Brussels) (Jung Institute, Switzerland) , facilitation skills, coaching, business coaching, Open Space Technology, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Hypnosis, Time Line Therapy.

Although I’ve always been keen to learn, it was my own executive coach, back in 1992, who really opened my eyes. I literally drank in that programme. I was just so curious about all of it: to know myself better, to understand stuff I knew but couldn’t explain, and to connect more effectively with others. I was literally the proverbial kid in the sweet shop.

And, as a business leader myself, I always preferred a facilitative style. It didn’t seem to matter which country we were in, that approach worked for me.

I also realised, from what trainers told me and from the reactions of others, that I had a natural gift for working with people, a gift that has taken me 30 years to understand and master.

Most often, I post little snippets on Linkedin. I’ll be writing posts on this site about client and personal stories that illustrate my world as an executive coach, and that hopefully provide you with some useful food for thought.

Take care and take action,

John