Exploring past and future trends

Exploring past and future trends

 
 
00:00 / 00:44:35
 
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Guest Bio

John Raymond

Head of Asia – People and Leadership

John is the Head of Asia – People and Leadership and is responsible for building and running the IECL business across Asia. He brings a wealth of experience and expertise to his work having run businesses and business units. He remains very involved with the International Coaching Federation supporting local chapters around the region and is currently one of the Global Ambassadors for the ICF Foundation. He was privileged to contribute to the first and only coaching guideline in the world, The Handbook for Coaching in Organisations published by Standards Australia in 2011.

John has been working in leadership development and coaching for over two decades and is passionate about working in a highly professional learning and development industry. A highly regarded specialist in organisational coaching, John has led large change and leadership programs in corporate, government and NFP organisations across the ASEAN region. His work ranges from developing individuals and teams to cohorts of leaders and whole organisations.

John has worked with managers and leaders at all levels in private and public sectors across APAC. He has delivered exceptional results for organisations in industries including Legal, Regulatory, Engineering, Banking, Insurance, Social Media, Advertising, Pharmaceuticals, Digital, TV Production, Education, Universities and all levels of Government.

Qualifications and Memberships

  • ICF Professional Certified Coach (PCC)
  • Bachelor of Commerce – Marketing (UNSW)
  • Master of Coaching Psychology (University of Sydney);
  • IECL Level 3 Accredited coach
  • Coach Supervisor (IECL)
  • Diagnostics: HBDI®, The Leadership Circle®, Global Leadership Wellbeing Survey®, GENOS Emotional Intelligence

SHOW NOTES

There is immense value to be taken from a conversation with one of most experienced, impactful coaches and coaching industry leaders of the past 20 years. It is akin to sitting with a sage, whose thinking is fascinating and spirit is generous.  In this conversation with John Raymond, Head of Asia with IECL, we reflect on the past 24 years of John’s time in the coaching and leadership development industry.

John shares his insights and experience of working across the ASEAN region coaching and developing leaders, his thoughts on what exceptional coaching looks like from various perspectives and a story or two including a reflection on the impact of the late, great Tony Grant. 

John reminds us, as always, to be human, keep a critical eye and continually hone our coaching craft. He talks to the immeasurable value of practice and not becoming complacent despite having some of the best coach training in the world.

We also ponder the future and discuss a few really interesting trends emerging in coaching. The rise of popularism, the things that are challenging coaches and the shift from individual to systemic approaches. John also offers sound advice to organisations investing in coaching and tips for improving the impact of that investment.

Transcript

 

Renee Holder:
So John, you’re currently based in Singapore, coaching and developing leaders all over Asia. How are you noticing coaching is different across Asia?

John Raymond:
It’s interesting that you ask that, because coaching in itself is fundamentally the same. But when you apply it in different contexts, there are some nuances that I’m discovering, only having kind of been out of Australia and living in Singapore that I need to adapt my coaching to. So, if I can give you a very small example. Singapore obviously sits next to the largest Muslim country in the world, Indonesia. And when you are coaching in Islamic cultures, obviously you can do it, but one of the things that doesn’t sit well is goals. Now, goals are fundamental to coaching obviously, and it’s what we’ve all been told, it’s what we teach through our programs.

But in Islam it’s less about having a goal which is more an outcome and a result, and more about having, like what is your intent, what is your thought, the positive intent is the language that is used. So from a coaching perspective you need to adjust the way that you think about goals and how you set coaching up. Simply because it doesn’t land as well in that particular culture. So there’s definitely some cultural nuances, and I think the other thing that I’m noticing is that I’ve grew up coaching in Australia, Australia is one of the more mature markets in the world, and of course Asia being this diverse range of countries. The level of maturity and coaching across the Asian countries is really, really varied.

So again, I’ve got to adapt, even how I talk about coaching, how I introduce coaching is going to take me back 10, maybe 15 years to where Australia was for some emerging countries. And then you’ve got some developed countries like Singapore that are reasonably sophisticated. The government sponsors coaching and has been doing so for 15 years. So again, it’s a relatively mature market. So you got this incredible range of maturity, of understanding of coaching, and certainly the application of coaching.

Renee Holder:
Could you give an example of where you’re modifying the way that you’re framing your pitching, coaching for a market that’s less mature? How might you do that in a practical way?

John Raymond:
Yeah, good question. I think one of the things, and generalizing about Asian cultures, is that mentoring and a sense of hierarchy and a sense of learning from elders is a far more accepted way of learning and developing in not only organizations, but also in society more general. So in emerging countries, what I find is that if I start with mentoring, they understand what I’m trying to do in terms of a development or learning. And then I can move into coaching and describing as a more of a questioning. And that gap is actually quite big. So in Australia and a lot of the Western countries, you’ll find that people will understand the difference between mentoring and coaching quite easily. In a lot of Asian countries you’re always met with a bit of a blank look. Like, “Why would you ask me questions? Why wouldn’t you just tell me the answer?” So it’s almost a smaller step from mentoring which is understood, to coaching which is reasonably  new and often foreign. So the assumptions that we are able to make in Australia or with people being able to make that kind of leap of understanding for mentoring and coaching. I’ve got to take baby steps to get there.

Renee Holder:
So just bringing you back to Australia and Sydney. Specifically you spent the last couple of days attending the Evidence Based Coaching Conference at the University of Sydney. Our listeners would be very interested to hear any insights, particularly for those who couldn’t make it, like myself. Any insights that you have to share from attending?

John Raymond:
Yeah, so look, it was a … I mean, it was a bittersweet experience, because for those that know the University of Sydney master’s program, they would know that Tony Grant is synonymous with that. He passed away earlier this year, so it was very much a tribute to him. But his request certainly before he died was that not only was it celebrating the 20 year anniversary of that coaching psychology unit, but what does the next 20 years hold? And so what is the future of coaching? There’s some really interesting things that are starting to emerge, because there were some global leaders like Tatiana Bachkirova for those that know her works, she’s done a lot of work in developmental coaching. She, I’m not too sure of her ethnicity, but she has a strong Eastern European accent, which is wonderful to hear. She challenged us to think about the popularism that is starting to creep into coaching, and how there is an appeal to that, an attraction to that.

And so she talked about things that we’re all very comfortable with, things like positive psychology, mindfulness, even coaching supervision. And how popularism is starting to creep into those and undermine some of the evidence base. So there are some wonderful presentations that really challenge the way that we thought about coaching. So, obviously the evidence base that Sydney Uni has provided for the coaching industry more broadly is highly regarded right across the globe. And we still need to have a critical eye on that to make sure that we are always honing our craft I guess. So don’t be complacent just because we’ve got some of the best coach education in the world!

There was a lot of talk about technology, and in particular AI, and a lot of differing opinions as it emerges in the coaching industry, whether it can actually do the work of a coach or not. My personal opinion with that is I think it actually can, and very quickly it will be. That wasn’t necessarily the opinion of everyone else in the group, but it was certainly a topic that was hotly debated in the conference.

I think the other thing as you will know is near and dear to my heart is systems thinking. And there’s an increased appreciation of the system in coaching. And one of the presentations that really brought this home was some research around resilience. And so when I went to uni almost 10 years ago and learned about resilience, they look at it as an individual character trait. Are you, as an individual, resilient? Do you have resilience to be able to manage setbacks and recover, and it’s not a foreign concept by any means.

But what the research is starting to move into is looking at resilience from a systems’ perspective. And so it’s less about your individual capability, and more about the resources and your resourcefulness, your capability to access those resources to manage whatever the challenge is. So, thinking of even some well defined constructs that sit within coaching, and looking at that through a systems’ lens. Now I know Sydney Uni tends to have a bias towards a system lens, which is probably where I’ve inherited with my bias towards a system lens. But what it’s starting to do is to really challenge, and I guess challenge us as practitioners, about how we think about a lot of the constructs that underpin coaching.

Even thinking about goals for example is again thinking about it from a more systems’ lens. And once we start to do that, and once we start to appreciate what the system is requiring from a goal, it does change the way that we coach. I think the other one that is not a new construct as well, so Dr. Sean O’Connor. His PhD was around the ripple effect of coaching. And so he did a keynote presentation yesterday, and what his research showed is that the leaders that were coached not only got benefit from the coaching. But the people that they were connected to also received a reasonably significant benefit, particularly around wellbeing, but also goal attainment and some other things.

So he said, “When we think about coaching, we think, who’s the person that needs coaching. Who’s the new leader? Who’s the one that’s having some performance challenges? Or who’s that individual that needs coaching?” And he said, “When you look at it from a system lens and look at it from that kind of ripple effect of coaching, actually maybe what we should be thinking is, ‘Who are the influencers in the system? Who are the nodes in this network that can influence and connect with the most number of people?’ Because if we coach them we’re getting a bigger bang for our buck.” Now, again that kind of fundamentally changes the way we think about who we coach, how we coach, the purpose of the coaching. So some lovely mental or conceptual challenges about how we coach.

Renee Holder:
Fascinating.

John Raymond:
Yeah.

Renee Holder:
You mentioned Tony Grant a moment ago, and a visionary in the field of coaching. Has had a huge impact on so many people, and I know a huge impact on you. What was the most valuable lesson that he taught you? Or lessons?

John Raymond:
Yeah look, so many, so many. I remember, I was at a conference. If I get to tell the story first, and then maybe say what I learned. But I was at a conference in the U.S., and just sitting around the table at lunch, and … I said that I was from Sydney… They knew I was from Australia, and I said I was attending the Sydney Uni master’s.

And they said, “Ah, do you know Tony Grant? And he’s this kind of movie star, this international guru, man of mystery.” And I said, “Oh yeah, I do.” They said, “What’s he like?” And I go, “Oh my God, he’s a grumpy old man.” He’s just he’s very ordinary. And for anyone that knows his background, he was a carpenter, and then he was a builder, and then he decided to become a psychologist and moved into the coaching area, and basically pioneered it.

But look, I think that the thing that he probably told me the most, and there’s two, one is an appreciation and a love for the evidence and a passion for understanding the research and how that can inform our practice more broadly. But I think the other thing that he really shared is, don’t take it too seriously. Yes, we’ve got to have rigor, yes, we’ve got this wonderful evidence base that he’s building that is going to professionalize the industry, and all of us have a role to play with that.

But never forget that it’s just two human beings. And at the end of the day we’re just doing our best, and coaching is one of those wonderful conversations that not only help the coachee or the counterpart, but it helps the coach as well just to be their best and contribute. So, from a philosophical perspective he kind of grounded coaching and it does make a difference.

Renee Holder:
You said that was 10 years ago almost that you’ve undertook your master’s-

John Raymond:
Yeah.

Renee Holder:
… and all together you’ve been coaching as you said in the intro a couple of decades now. So-

John Raymond:
In my 24th year this year.

Renee Holder:
Ooh, 24th year. So that’s a long time and wisdom that comes with that.

John Raymond:
Let’s hope so.

Renee Holder:
What advice would you give to people just starting out, new coaches or aspiring coaches? Maybe even for leaders who are looking to take more of a coaching approach, what advice would you give to those sort at the other end of their coaching career?

John Raymond:
Yeah, good question. It was interesting, if I can just share a little bit of research that were shared at the conference. It was from Europe, but it looked at the age groups of coaches. And my age group, which is 40 to 54, I don’t want to tell you where I sit in that age group, is by far the largest. But what I thought was interesting was the 25 to 39 age group is almost as large. So there’s a strong pipeline of new coaches coming into the, certainly the European system. And I would imagine that would be replicated around the world.

For me I think there’s a couple of things that you can learn about coaching, so you can know a lot about coaching. But your skill is really about practice. And I think people underestimate just the effort that’s required, and the value that you get from practicing. And so my advice is, practice, practice, practice. Get out there, find just about anyone that will accept a coaching conversation from you, and just get out there and do it. I think a lot of new coaches get very much caught up on the process, which is fair enough, because it’s a structured conversation. There’s a process and framework that sits underneath it, so you want to be competent and confident in knowing what that is. But get out there and do it, don’t hold back, don’t try and find the best possible situation. And so practice, whether it’s at work, whether it’s with friends, whether it’s in community groups, the people that you trained with. Just get out there and practice as much as you can.

But I think one of the best ways to practice is, obviously we know that the coaching has been asking great questions. You can practice your questioning in nearly any situation, anywhere, any time. And so if you are constantly thinking about what question might I ask in this moment. Whether it’s at a meeting at work, whether it’s at a dinner table, whether it’s at just catching up with a friend, and really reflect on that impact of the question in every single moment. It might be a bit obsessive to kind of do it, but I think in terms of honing a craft and really becoming confident in asking those questions. Use just every opportunity to ask a good question.

And I think that if I can offer one other piece of advice. There are a lot of people like myself that have been in the industry for a very long time. And everyone that I know who’s in that position is committed to passing on a legacy of a highly professional industry. And so there will be a lot of people that have been coaching for a long time that are very happy to help you to be your mentor. I had someone come up to me yesterday, an alumni of ours, and he’s looking to move into coaching full-time. And asked me, he said, “You know, I just like to have a few conversations, just to make sure that I’m on the right track.” And I’m only too happy to do that.

And there are hundreds, thousands of people across the world who have been practicing coaching, who know it well, and are committed to their tiny part of the legacy of the professional industry. So, find yourself a mentor, find yourself someone that can kind of help you along your journey, because there’s plenty of people. And I think the thing is that, maybe people think they’re too busy, or afraid to ask, whatever. But the people that I know are just waiting to be asked.

Renee Holder:
And for those coaches who’ve applied themselves and have undertaken the practice and now have a number of years under their belt. I’m sure they’d also be interested in what you see in terms of the difference between a good coach and a great coach. This is a question that we’ve posed to other guests before, and I’d love your perspective on that, because-

John Raymond:
I feel like this is a bit of a test.

Renee Holder:
No.

John Raymond:
What’s the right response.

Renee Holder:
We want your response to see, you’ll have a unique position on this. But you train a lot of coaches, and some of those people have been professional coaches for some time, some are brand new to it. And so what do you see sort of separates the good from the great, if you have some thoughts on that.

John Raymond:
Yeah, if I can answer slightly different question first, but I’ll come back to the good to great. What I notice in the, like you say, I’ve trained a lot of people. And there’s a point in their development where there’s a bit of a kind of shift in the way that they coach. And what they appreciate is that it’s about who they are being, rather than what they’re doing. And when they truly understand that and are able to kind of bring that to the coaching, that’s when there’s a steep shift in their coaching. So I think that’s probably when they become a good coach is when they I think see the humanness in what we do, rather than the process.

But I think from good to great, I think the … Maybe if I talk about personally what I’ve noticed, and I guess the areas of development that I think have helped me be successful as a coach is one, being open to the whole person. And you know, it’s a skill to be able to listen in to everything that they’re saying. But I guess with my systems’ lens on, I think what will help people be a great coach is realize that none of us are here by ourselves. And so often coaching focuses quite narrowly on a performance goal or some kind of development goal.

But as a coach we need to hold the mirror up all around the person, not just for maybe the specific area that the organization wants them to focus on. So again, like it comes back to not only having the conversation and maybe having a cognitive relationship with them, but it is about having a heart conversation with them. It’s about listening in to what is really meaningful for that person. And I think once we bring that into our coaching, a lot of the processes we apply in a slightly different way. But it has a bigger impact for the person that we’re working with.

I think the other shift is that when you realize that coaching is not about you as the coach. When you truly appreciate that actually the more that you get out of the way, the more that you give the space to the counterpart, the more that you are able to give them that safe space to discover, uncover, recover themselves. That’s when coaching I think really hits its stride.

Renee Holder:
Everyone wants to be coached by John now, if they didn’t before. You’ve mentioned a couple of times the system.

John Raymond:
Yeah.

Renee Holder:
And ripple effect, and you mentioned Sean O’Connor before, and having worked with you for a number of years now, this passion for a systemic impact of coaching, and the consideration of the whole system is absolutely something that is such a strength of yours. I wonder if you could share a couple of stories just of that impact on the system. So you’re sitting in a one on one coaching engagement, working with an individual, how are you factoring in the system? And there’s no simple answer, but probably by bringing it to life with a story or two we might be able to explore that a little bit for our listeners.

John Raymond:
Yeah sure, so maybe if I share, there’s someone that I’m coaching at the moment, and she has a very senior role in an organization which is highly political, and she’s been given an almost impossible change agenda. It’s why she was brought in, she’s done it before, yet it’s, like I said, an almost impossible thing to achieve. So, in my coaching with her, we very much focus on her and how she is and what she can do, so that’s kind of the performance goal. But in the absence of really understanding the system that she’s operating in, and it’s not about her finding that out for herself, but who can she access in that system to get different perspectives around.

And so one of the questions that I asked was, “Who else could you talk to, to get an understanding of the system that you’re operating in? And who else could you talk to that could give you support through this?” Now, neither of those questions are particularly revelationary really. But that happened, it sparked a thought that she goes, “I have this network of people, actually I can access that person. I do have a relationship with them and I know that person that I could go and ask. And they’ve worked in this organization before, they’ve been faced with a similar situation. Interestingly they’re a female in this organization, and so there was a similarity around that given the culture of this organization.”

So, working simply with the social system around this person, and getting her to think more broadly than her team, or more broadly than her manager or the direct people. Because there’s people in the system that can give you both perspectives, but both support. So that’s a simple example. There’s another lovely one, which is I was working with a counterpart and we had a kickstart to the year this year. And so we had about a four hour session where we were doing a review of 2019 and looking into 2020. And what we did was essentially a stakeholder type map, and we did it on the floor. We had pieces of paper of who and what, and this is a global company, he runs the APAC part of this organization, and when we put all the people down, he was able to see, he was able to stand back and get that perspective about how all these people interacted.

And what he realized was that the structure, if you look at the hierarchy and the way that the organization is structured, isn’t necessarily how the work gets done. And again, that’s no big surprise. But for him to be able to move these pieces of paper around to actually work out what’s going to be the best way, what’s the network that actually gets the work done, and who outside of the APAC region have relationships and connections. And once he could see the system, he was able to work out with the limited time and energy and resources that he’s got, where is going to be the best place to put his energy.

And again, it’s so often, well this is where there’s a gap in the resources. This is where the person is challenging, so let me put my resources there. When he stood back and actually looked at the whole system, he realized, and again I said, it’s a lovely coaching principle, that if he focused on the influences in the system, and they were often the high achievers and they were doing a great job. But if he focused on them, he could have a bigger impact and have a more successful business. And so, getting that perspective, standing back, and we did it visually and kind of physically with pieces of paper, he was able to see the system in a completely different way. Which fundamentally changed his approach to leadership and what he was going to do.

Renee Holder:
So, I’m sure our listeners are getting a picture of you working with the individual, but also … And how that individual might impact their system, but also I’m sure their system is impacting those individuals. In terms of setting up a system, if somebody has some influence over that, and you’ve mentioned about say where coaching dollars are spent for instance. But also I’m thinking broadly about things that either enable or inhibit progress against the things we are looking to achieve in coaching. What can an organization do? Or what can a decision maker who’s spending money on coaching or thinking about where that money should be spent. What can they do? Some of those factors that might enable coaching to be even more successful to get a greater impact?

John Raymond:
Yeah, good question, big question in fact.

Renee Holder:
Enablers, inhibitors, everything.

John Raymond:
That’s a lot, but a good question. I think, so there’s multiple parts of the coaching industry. There’s external coaches like ourselves, the internal coaching kind of group, the cohort in the coaching industry certainly growing larger and larger. The leader as coach is being defined, and that’s still a very popular part. You’ve got these kind of multiple levels of coaching. I think for organizations what they can do is step back, and I know Peter Hawkins talks about this when he talks about building a coaching culture, is really thinking about what is the strategy. So if we step back from coaching for a moment and think about it from an organizational perspective, what are we trying to achieve here? What are the levers that we’ve got to pull? And how can coaching enable those levers?

John Raymond:
Because often what I find is that people go straight to coaching, and they just want some either one on one coaching, or some coach training, or whatever part of the coaching pie they’re after, without necessarily having thought strategically about what they’re trying to achieve, or why coaching is the answer. There was a great question posted by Christian van Nieuwerburgh  who works for GCI. He is based in the UK and works specifically in Education. And he asked the question, “So, if coaching is the answer, what’s the question that you’re asking? What’s the problem that you’re trying to solve?” And I think that’s the part that a lot of organizations don’t ask. So, they want the coaching, it’s still the sexy thing which is nice to be in the industry, because we’re in demand, particularly in emerging markets across Asia. But yet there’s a misunderstanding or even just a non-understanding of what they’re trying to impact.

So I would say that to take a step back first, and what are you trying to do. Like for example, we’re working with an organization in Singapore at the moment, and they have a wonderful intent that all leaders are able to coach. So fantastic, it’s lots of work for us, it’s a great skill for them to have. But my question back to them is, why? For what purpose do you want your leaders to coach? If you want them to invest in training, you’ve got to have a fairly strong premise for them to invest in coaching. And they couldn’t answer the question. I said, “Okay, so let’s just take a step back and what is the strategy?”

I think one of the most successful coaching programs that I’ve been involved with, was with another organization where what they wanted to do strategically they said, “We want to improve engagement.” They got their engagement scores, their engagement scores were low, and when they looked into it, there was a leadership component, and there was a communication component. And so they said, “Okay, so if engagement is what we’re after, then the leadership component coaching seems to be the thing that will enhance the leadership, which will improve engagement. And so strategically they knew what they wanted, it had the executive sponsorship. And it was a really successful program. So, that’s kind of thing I think. And I kind of forgotten what the question was.

Renee Holder:
Those enablers of the outcomes that we seek.

John Raymond:
Yeah, yeah. I think the other thing is an investment from senior leaders to understand and appreciate what coaching can do. Again, what I’ve seen is where you have someone on the executive who has either had coaching or knows coaching. And if they can sponsor it, then it will enable a fast stronger appreciation and take up of coaching across the organization. Again, we’re working with an organization in Singapore which is right across southeast Asia. And all the execs, including the founders of this startup have had executive coaching. And so it’s an interesting culture, even though there’s about 6,000 staff, the top 10 or so know what coaching is. So their teams are now going through coaching, which is what we’re providing.

John Raymond:
And because their direct managers have experienced coaching and know the value of it, they help them to carve out time for the coaching. They support them by saying, “What are you getting out of the coaching?” So there’s that in workplace conversation about what coaching is doing. And so again, it’s a slightly different attitude to coaching. Simply because they’ve sat at the top and experienced it.

The only other thing I’d say is, again from a systems’ lens. I’ve talked a lot about the kind of social system, so the people and the influencers and the nodes in the social system. I think the other area that organizations underdo hugely is in the structural side of things. So in the recruitment structure, in the performance measures, in the development areas. What’s the role that coaching plays in that and is embedded in those processes and systems? Not so much as a conversation, but as a measurement or as an expectation, or as a behavior that they’re looking for. Or in their recruitment process, is coaching something that you are recruiting for. And so, if you look at the life of an employee, is coaching embedded in some of those more structural elements from the recruitment all the way through the life of the employee.

And again, it’s not rocket science challenged with competing resources. But just one or two things in each of those processes will hold coaching in a completely different way.

Renee Holder:
And looking forward as we look to the future of coaching, and with the three areas in mind you mentioned before, either external coach, internal coach, leader as coach. What trends are you seeing emerging in say those three areas?

John Raymond:
Sure. So I think with external coaching, again, it’s so market specific. So the Australian market and even say the Sydney market versus the Canberra market, with external coaches is very difficult to compare, because the markets are driving quite different expectations. In Singapore at the moment, one of the challenges that I have with the external coaches is that there’s an over demand and an under supply of good coaches. That’s fairly rare, because in most markets around the world there’s an over supply of coaches and under demand. So I think when we think about particularly external coaches, the market that they’re operating in has a lot of impact.

But I think what’s in terms of trends, I think the quality of the education, coaching supervision. There’s a lot of things that have been coming into the industry over the last 10 years or so, that have found their place and are embedded now as normal professional practice, which is good. That being said, at the conference on the weekend there was someone from the UK that really questioned whether supervision was worth it, whether coaches were actually doing it, and did it actually add value.

Of course, I had an opinion on it and I was happy to share it. But I think things like coach supervision are becoming the norm, so I think that’s a trend. I think for the internal coaches, and I think this is probably the area of highest growth in the industry. It’s not quite happening at the moment, but people are aware of the need for this. And that’s again like bringing some of those practices that we as external coaches almost take for granted. But embedding that with an internal coaching practice.

Coaching supervision is a classic example. Most internal coaches are relatively unsupported for the work that they do, yet they’re expected to do almost the same work that we would do as an external coach. And so organizations are realizing that if they are going to build an internal coaching cohort, it’s not just about sending them to a training course and then letting them loose. They’ve got to have some good processes, they’ve got to have the professional development, they’ve got to have an ongoing learning journey for their coaching cohort. And they need someone to organize that, they need someone to hold that community, to hold that coaching practice. Just like you and Jane and Aileen hold the coaching practice for IECL, they need people internally to hold that.

So I think internal coaches are probably challenged the most, because I think they probably got the biggest demands, but they’re least supported to do it. But that’s starting to change. I think the thing with leader as coach, the thing that I’m noticing is that it has moved from teaching them coaching skills as a almost like how we would teach a coach to coach. So instead of expecting leaders to have a more formal type coaching conversation, sit down, go through GROW, whatever it is. It’s really starting to come to the fore that actually leader as coach is about those moments when I can ask a bit of quality question when normally I would tell.

So it’s not even necessarily a conversation, but it’s those moments in time where I push the thinking back to my team member or stakeholder in a meeting or whatever, where I’m bringing that coaching approach. And I think there’s a refined appreciation of what those moments are. And I think us as leader as coach training providers have a bit to answer for, because we probably imposed our whole coaching kind of methodology on leaders unfairly.

And so I think what’s happening now is to realizing, “Well, yes there are small moments where those conversations are good, for your performance conversations or your kind of more formal discussions, but the real power of it is that single well placed question that kind of shifts the conversation.” So I think that appreciation is I think what we’ll see is the leader as coach training fundamentally changing from what it has probably been, which is really a legacy of professional coaching.

And coming into its own, and even having its own set of competencies for example that are not professional coaching competencies like the ICF produce, but more leadership organizational conversational relational type competencies.

Renee Holder:
I think we could talk all day, John. I want to dip into each of these even further, so. Feeling there could be a need for a follow up conversation here. But as we come to the end of our chat today, and thank you for being so generous with all of your insights and your time. I wonder for you personally, how you both look after yourself from a wellbeing perspective as a coach. You’ve got a lot going on there, and lots of thoughts and ideas that are on your plate. How do you look after yourself and your own wellbeing through all this?

John Raymond:
Yeah, it’s a good question. It’s a challenging question, because I certainly would imagine many people and organizations don’t always get the balance right. It was lovely to see at the conference over the weekend that nearly everyone is speaking about performance and wellbeing. So not only for of the people that we’re coaching, but for us as coaches.

John Raymond:

So, to answer your question about how I manage it. So exercise has always been a really important part of my wellbeing practice I guess. It’s the thing that probably challenges me the most living in Singapore, because I travel so much. And so more often than not on a plane at night, or with the timezones there’s kind of calls in the morning and calls in the evening. So a time when I would normally be exercising, so that’s something that I’m challenged with and really have to make an effort to carve out.

But I think the thing in terms of my wellbeing that I really appreciate it is my network of peers. Now I’ve got a peer supervision group, so that’s a kind of a formal structure. But I have, and I guess the good fortune of spending 20 odd years in the coaching industry have a good network of people that I can go to around whatever I guess challenge that I might be facing. So I think having that support network, and feeling comfortable to access it. I know there’s been times where I feel as though I should be able to deal with this myself.

And the moment that I hear that I should, I go, “Okay, John, ditch that, and just reach out.” And like I said, same advice for coaches who are starting out, and there are a lot of people who are just waiting to be asked to help. And I know that from my network, all I need to do is reach out and ask the question. And there’s many, many people that are only too happy to help. So I think from a wellbeing perspective, having that support network and not only in place, because I think most people do. But actively utilizing that network is the thing.

I think for me the other couple of things is, so my home is really important. My relationship is really important. So having that non-work space. I have a rule in our house that I don’t coach my partner. When I walk through the door no coaching gets done, and so it’s lovely to have a coach free zone, because so much in my world is around coaching. And which is really nice, because that means that I can winge and complain and go into telling and all the things that you know I did do in the coaching. So, but that home space is a real oasis, and it’s a place that I’m able to revitalize myself. So I think that for me is pretty critical.

Renee Holder:
So we’re out of time unfortunately, but I think we will need to get you back another day for a further conversation. But thank you. It’s been fascinating getting your insights about the last couple of days, but also about your experience that you’ve gathered over the last two decades.

John Raymond:
Yeah, thank you.

Renee Holder:
And I think for our listeners it will be wonderful for them to get those insights from you, and that wisdom from sort of a range of perspectives. You’re talking about your work with individuals, but also your work with organizations and we’re getting a sense of the impact that that has. So, and the future trends too. The way forward from here.

John Raymond:
Yeah, and we didn’t even get into team coaching or anything like that, which is a whole nother topic in itself, so. And I thank you Renee, I really appreciate being here.

Renee Holder:
Thank you. We hope you liked today’s episode. If you like to get the next episode automatically, please subscribe on Apple podcasts, or wherever you listen to your podcasts. We would love to hear from you. Please leave your feedback, questions, and a five star review. Share this podcast with whoever you think would benefit from the topics we cover. Thank you to our host and special guest for the great insights gained in today’s episode.

 

Pounéh Sedghi
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1 Comment
  • Edwina Chapman
    Posted at 15:36h, 11 June Reply

    Really enjoyed this episode – gave me so much to think about, particularly with regards to the system lens and internal coaching possibilities and potential for organisations.
    Thank you and look forward to hearing another conversation with John in the future!

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