Coaching in a crisis. Part 4 – Breaking the silence

Joint Highly Commended, Best Article/Series 2018.
Coaching at Work Awards 2018. 

First published as an article in Coaching at Work, August 31 2017
By Liz Pick and Neil Atkinson

In the final part of a series of articles exploring coaching and mental illness, Liz Pick and Neil Atkinson offer pointers for adapting your practice to include people with mental health conditions.

Mental health directly impacts work performance so surely it makes sense for coaches to talk about it with every client, whether they’re happy and healthy or living with mental or physical illness? Yet when it comes to mental illness, the coaching world seems to be reinforcing stigma through its silence.

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Coaching in a crisis. Part 1 – Working with mental health issues

First published as an article in Coaching at Work, May 8 2017
By Liz Pick and Liz Hall

Part 1 of a series of articles published to mark UK Mental Health Awareness Week on 8-14 May 2018, that looked to support individuals and organisations in challenging times.

Is a blanket refusal to work with coaching clients with mental health issues tenable?

By Liz Pick and Liz Hall

Many people with mental health issues fail to get support from coaching because coaches and organisations believe it falls outside their remit. Yet with mental health issues on the rise and mental ill health costing UK employers an estimated £26bn a year (London’s City Mental Health Alliance), a blanket approach of refusing to work with anyone who has experienced mental illness is arguably impractical, untenable and needlessly exclusive.

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Performance coaching must evolve to address wellbeing

Nothing in life is ever black and white, especially when it comes to our health and wellbeing.

It is often assumed by employers that being at work is a unilateral declaration of good health, even though many people will still go into the office and work conscientiously when they feel less than 100%.

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Drawing a line – who won’t you work with?

Deciding not to work with a particular client is a really difficult decision, especially if a client appears distressed or vulnerable in some way.

The good thing is that this happens quite rarely. My inclusive approach to coaching means I am prepared to coach anyone who is well enough to be at work, whether or not they have ongoing health or wellbeing concerns. The basis for deciding whether to work with a client or not, is the same for all clients – are they able to engage with the coaching process or not.

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Wellbeing shouldn’t be a ‘hidden’ agenda

There are times in my professional life when I feel like I’m operating undercover because some aspects of employee wellbeing are still taboo subjects for employers and staff.

When I’m contacted by an organisation and asked to coach someone, it is almost invariably to help them perform more effectively at work.

But many of my coaching clients tell me, in confidence, about the wellbeing challenges they are living with and struggling to manage such as stress, physical or mental health problems, caring for a family member or marital breakdown.

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Are line-managers being left to do the ‘heavy-lifting’ when it comes to managing wellbeing?

Thanks to research, especially by The Work Foundation, organisations are now aware that an employee’s long-term productivity depends on more than just talent, drive or even interpersonal skills. It’s also vital that an individual’s wellbeing and personal circumstances are taken into account because this can have a powerful effect on their motivation, focus and performance.

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Professional coaching – a buyers’ guide

At this time of year, just about every email that lands in my mailbox heralds a new opportunity to buy that perfect present for a special person in my life.

While my response to this marketing bombardment is usually a groan of ‘bah humbug’, I am (secretly) grateful for the early prompts. It always feels much more productive to plan my gift shopping in advance than spend a frenzied Christmas Eve armed with a long list of recipients but zero inspiration.

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The Future for Executive Coaching: Evolving Professional Practice

Wellbeing in executive coaching – do you address the whole person?

A paper for the 3rd APECS Annual Symposium on Wednesday June 18th 2014 written by:

  • Liz Pick
  • Emma Donaldson-Fielder

In consultation with:

  • Fiona Adamson
  • Colette Gannon
  • Sarah Perrott

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How to Buy Coaching

First published in People Management 11 March 2004.
By Liz Pick and Graham Lee

Anyone responsible for buying coaching will be aware of the challenge of meeting the needs of both the organisation and the individual being coached. The process outlined below should help you strike the right balance and source the best possible coach.

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Our Definitions

This is a guide to the common buzzwords and phrases used today when talking about wellbeing, health, coaching and training.

We have found that these terms can represent different things to different people so to avoid any misunderstandings, we wanted to clarify what they mean to us. It’s not an exhaustive list but we hope these definitions are a useful starting point.

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