James Wright

What they say

DSC00810

Thank you to those who went out of their way to tell us what they thought…

 

When asked what specific insights, value, learning or new awareness they felt they had received from our training courses this is a snapshot of what people have had to say…

“Coaching is about establishing rapport, giving the other person a little more about you personally, about being real, human and about creating the space for the other person to be real with you. It has made a real difference to my team.”

“Using open questions is crucial to allow someone to find their own answers, which is far more empowering than either leading questions or closed questions. E.g. asking,  “what was your experience of today’s workshop?” places the other person in a very different space and creates a different energy to, “how much did you learn in today’s workshop?” (assumptive) or, “did you enjoy today’s workshop?” (limiting, closed) or even, “how amazing did you find today’s workshop?” (leading). This technique alone has been eye-opening for me.”

“I was unaware that I (we) listen at several different levels during any given conversation. Being more aware of the way I listen now allows me to differentiate between selfishness, empathy, friendship and empowerment.”

“People talk too much! They think you need to get the whole, long story to understand something. And having explained it once, they often repeat it in a slightly different way just to make sure! Mostly, this is not the case – the longer the story, the more blurred the message, so less insight is apparent. Being a patient listener doesn’t always create breakthroughs; in coaching, encouraging them to be specific and succinct creates a far more impressive impact.”

“When we meet someone for the first time, we often have no idea who they are or what their talents are. And if we do, we define them initially only by the information we have. Coaching creates a strong, positive assumption around the coachees and I love James’s TOPCAT “The person in front of me is a Thoroughly Outstanding Person, Capable of Astonishing Things.” That has already made a massive difference to my expectation of team members at work.”

“Unlike other courses where there is no opportunity to transfer the skills in the workplace, coaching is a useful additional tool in my work and home life.”

“I feel that I do, most of the time, try to avoid the ‘drama’.  It is sometimes quite easy to get drawn in to the issue/’crisis’ but I do try to move away from this. I feel that I do now take more time to ask questions/check back to ensure that I am clear on what is being said and I see the value of being able to detach more fully.”

“It is fair to say that I felt very uncomfortable and nervous initially in the coach’s role and I did not feel very in control to begin with. But working with ‘Real-Plays’ instead of the dreaded “Role-Plays’ you find on other courses has really upped my confidence  and since returning to the workplace I have found that I am using many of the techniques covered during the training and am feeling a lot more confident with taking on the role of a coach.”

“I am continuing to learn and enjoy analysing the reactions of people when I use the coaching skills. I have also recognised that, when I don’t jump straight to the solution, but encourage managers to do this, they are much more willing to take ownership of the issue.”

“A key learning point for me was “closing” one issue and agreeing / re-contracting before going on to the next thing.”

“I’ve been amazed how willing coachees are to admit when they see the light and get motivated to do something really challenging, just by me asking them questions and letting them wrestle with it. I had expected them to find all sorts of reasons why not to do something, but it was the other way round. Insight – maybe my expectations of them were driving their old habits??!!”

“Whilst somewhat cynical about the process at the outset I now firmly believe the new coaching skills will be helpful albeit as ANOTHER tool in the toolkit rather than the ONLY tool in the toolkit.”

“I am more confident now to ask more probing and persistent questions without sounding judgemental or offering advice and without sounding like a policeman!”

“Awareness of the need to avoid taking personal responsibility to provide the solution all the time. So liberating! I have sometimes felt ‘lumbered’ with the actions that other managers should probably have taken themselves and I now have more techniques to avoid this and “GROW” them at the same time. One colleague has already taken the time to email me to say that she thought the coaching technique had helped her to think deeply for herself, and she really appreciated my approach with her.”

“I found the course valuable and will try to continue to use the techniques.  Even if I don’t remember all of it yet, the questioning techniques have been so valuable that they are embedded in my toolkit already.”

“It has been an enjoyable journey that I have shared with my colleagues and I believe we have all benefited from it. The live training sessions I felt were particularly good with great contributions and insights from all of us – I can’t remember us all getting so enthusiastic at a training!”

“I am learning to use more powerful questions when dealing with other managers so that I get them thinking around issues and problems, rather than just expecting a stock answer! This has actually led to more innovative solutions on several occasions. Using the skills that we learned on ‘goal-setting with energy’ have certainly helped to galvanise people into taking action. They also know that I know better how to follow up too!”

“This training has shown me that actually the majority of situations can be turned into coaching scenarios. Personally, I feel these skills should be cascaded throughout the organisation to achieve major benefit.”

“That instead of trying to convince people that they need assertiveness training I have now been able, by means of different questioning techniques, to get them to see how they (and I!) get bogged down in trying to solve other people’s problems and agree mechanisms to avoid this.”

“As far as the employees are concerned, I think they would say I had become more determined to get to the root of their problems – often a more personal approach than previously – although they now feel empowered to do something about it.”

“I am still stunned at the power of the last two sessions as I have been waiting for that jump forward for ages! It feels really great!”

“You will have noticed from the responses from the team that a number of my colleagues do have concerns regarding their people management roles.  I am convinced that this has been an excellent start to building their confidence in adopting this new style of working.”

And when asked what feedback people had for the trainer – ahem… me, – here are some of the comments, all very generous and I will do my best to continue to live up to them …

“It honestly exceeded all of my expectations – if it had fallen short I would have raised it with James and he would have fixed it.”

“Generous, patient and yet skilled in maintaining pace. I would really like to find some constructive criticism – but I can’t.”

“Really strong in delivery skills, communication, organisation, building the team and facilitating an open, supportive learning environment.”

“You created the safest “mistake allowing” environment that I have ever experienced. It was much appreciated.”

“James allowed the group to develop quickly, taking everyone with him. He has excellent leadership skills and created a great supportive team.”

“James is very patient and able to explain things clearly making it easy and fun to learn.

“James provided a very safe environment for the training and as a coaching role model he is clear, approachable, authentic and teaches by example. i.e. he walks the talk!”

“Approachable and human – good fun”

“Very open and always available to help. Let his sense of humour shine through which was uplifting.”

“The lightness and humour you use in your work complements your coaching presence – indeed a strong leader.”

“I’d like to acknowledge your energy, pace and enthusiasm, your clear, articulate presentation and your sense of fun, bringing lightness and playfulness into the training room”

“James was always very sincere and built high levels of trust”

“I really do think this training has been excellent and the service from the trainer has been first class.”

“I want to thank you for managing the sessions so well; you have great presence, you always sound so enthusiastic, you made it seem as if we were missing out if we didn’t volunteer for the role plays, and your feedback was always constructive and generous.”

“Thank you for encouraging us to (making us?!) practise our fledgling coaching skills in a safe place, in the sessions and with each other, so that we couldn’t help but end up as coaches with real people.”

“When I started the course and realised that we would be encouraged to go out and actually find people to properly coach halfway through, I thought it was a crazy idea.  It wasn’t though, was it?!  I think we all have coachees now, whether paying or not, who reward us and motivate us by their enthusiasm, dedication and progress.  How great is that?!!”

“I really liked the way you created a safe space for me to get it wrong as well as right, handled the process side of things so I could ‘just go for it,’ shared your knowledge and yourself, your never-ending questions made me really think, let me be just me and find my own way through the journey.”

“One thing I really liked was the professional way you worked together to bring us to learning, inspiration and accountability. You have given me many meaningful skills to use on my Journey of Coaching. Most importantly I now value the positive, structured process, not just the detailed content.”

“I loved the way you moved us forward and kept the sessions so very alive. I felt real steering, guiding and understanding from you. You are a true natural with a great sense of humour, intuitive and wonderful at creating insights. And thank you for all your wonderful motivational energy – it has done wonders!”

“I think you were wonderful with the way you stretched us without breaking us and you were so generous with acknowledgements. Thank you for reminding us of the importance of celebrating successes, no matter how small.”

“Your constant encouragement made me realise that despite the pressures of work and the times I felt I may have made a mistake undertaking the course when I did, that I could still keep up. Your willingness to dedicate extra time to mentoring sessions was highly appreciated.”

“What I really liked in you as a trainer was: your leadership, your enthusiasm, your example as a coach, your keenness to find insights, the courage you show when challenged, your ability to keep moving us forward”

“Thank you for the empowering experience of learning in a safe, structured and generous environment. Your teaching and coaching has been open, honest and fun, your support constant and the journey … a life changing one.”

“You are a real motivator and believer that life is so beautiful and that we have the power to make it even better for ourselves and for all those around us!”

“I really like the way you have lead us all through this training, you have released the little coach inside us and nursed it to become a real life-coach. I really enjoyed the “real play” examples you set up for us to guide our learning. Thank you for leading the way and creating the vision for us, I really appreciated your leadership, politeness (permission), and for always helping us find a way to get back on track when we were struggling. You are always smiling and very energetic and acknowledging us from whatever we do.”

“Thank you sincerely for your leadership, support and encouragement throughout the PCT. Your natural, enthusiastic and relaxed training style, taught me a great deal and you are truly an excellent role model, both as a lead trainer and as a professional and bold coach. You have a wonderful talent of being able to answer even the most challenging questions from trainees in an open, honest and effective way. Your ability to smoothly demonstrate “hot seat” coaching in order to move the learning forward, was also impressive to observe.”

 “It has been life changing and so immensely rewarding, from a self-development perspective. You have an extraordinary talent for instantly capturing the trainees hearts and minds, then knitting them together into an inspired unit.”