Not enjoying what you do has a lot of downsides. Gallup have conducted a lot of research into this, far too much to cover here, but some juicy snippets are: People who use their strengths at work are six times more engaged in their job People have a better quality of life to the order […]

Alright, I admit, I don’t enjoy conflict any more than you do; my heart pumps harder, my palms get sweaty, I can feel my voice wobble and I worry terribly that I’m going to upset the other person and risk doing some irreparable damage. But I know that conflict is good, at least healthy conflict […]

Conflict is a daily part of life as a leader; sometimes it’s big, sometimes it’s small, usually it lands on us, but if you want be the best leader you can be, and create the best school culture you can, then you need to look for conflict. I don’t mean you go ‘spoiling for a […]

I get to work with a lot of great head teachers, ones with a real sense of moral purpose, who work hard and are willing to make tough decisions for the benefit of their pupils. But one thing keeps coming to me as an issue that these capable, purposeful heads face: managing adults. Not in […]

I’m working on my ability to procrastinate. I know what you’re thinking: why would you want to procrastinate? But this is no ordinary procrastination, this is positive procrastination. Positive procrastination is all about doing stuff other than what you should be doing. Procrastination on its own is about doing nothing or very little. Part of […]

I spent a great day with a head teacher and deputy head working on difficult conversations. These two were a great fun pair who, to their credit, never shied away from having those conversations so many of us avoid. However, they had reached a point where they both had some conversation classed as ‘top-level trickies’ […]

You don’t want to do it but you want to have a cleaner, clearer life. I’m sure my flatmate thinks I like cleaning, because ritually once a week our flat is cleaned. Like most people, cleaning is far from the highlight of my week and I’d really like to avoid it; the problem is I […]

I was giving a talk to a Local Authority in Birmingham, helping them understand the difference between mentoring and coaching. However, during the course of the conversation (I always prefer ‘talks’ to be two-way whenever possible), the issue of giving feedback came up. I have to confess I’m a big fan of feedback, as long […]

I’ve always been a bit anti-advice-giving in coaching sessions. After all, it’s not coaching, is it? However, the more I coach, the more I realise that this is a time and place for advice. Not a very big place; in fact, so far I’d say less than 1% of total my coaching time has involved […]