Category Archives: Latest news

Coaching Masterclass, 7 December

Establishing the Coaching Agreement.

Bernadette Cass PCC leads this Masterclass to develop coaching skills on behalf of the UK International Coach Federation, taking place on Thursday 7 December from 6pm to 8pm.

Fluency with coaching competencies informs us about who we are as coaches and enables us to meet our clients at our best, deepening coach awareness of our style and approach, and strengthening skills and performance.

The topic for this evening is Establishing the Coaching Agreement

How do coaches invite clients to name the coaching objectives and partner with them to support the achievement of attainable outcomes?

How do coaches invite clients to achieve their goal for each session within the context of achieving the overall goals of the coaching programme.  How do we recognise when the coaching agreement may need to be adjusted?

ICF Continuing Coach Education Units (CCEUs for CPD) are available for this event, and tickets are free.  Book tickets here:

Use this link to learn more about the core competencies:

York Coaching Group- 28 November, York St. Johns Uni 18.30 for 19.00 start

Owning privilege – a coaches perspective

As coaches we are constantly aware of and engage with notions of power and diversity in our practice. We will all work with the use, misuse and abuse of power in work settings and how that power is ‘allocated’ and embodied. We also work with what it means to belong, what it means to be on the margin and what it means to be excluded from situations, groups, decisions – the relational aspects of being at work.

Come and join us to explore issues of power and privilege and no doubt take away some food for thought and reflection in relation to your own practice and experience.

The event notifications are sent via Eventbrite email and if you wish to receive them please contact

Community Coaching Conference

Community Coaching Conference
3rd March, Principal York hotel, York

A conference for public sector, third sector and corporates with clear CSR agendas. Let’s extend coaching beyond the workplace and into communities – why should coaching be seen as appropriate primarily for people who reach certain levels of seniority within organisations? Surely the benefits of coaching could be much more widely experienced outside  and inside the workplace.

Building on the research into Community Coaching commissioned by City of York Council and conducted by Coaching York, this jointly hosted conference will table key findings from the research, illustrate some examples of Community Coaching, and provide workshops to explore facets of the subject. Our key note speaker is Professor Bob Garvey, hon President of Coaching York.

Reflections on International Coaching Week 2016

A continental perspective from Patricia Speltincx

I started with a question… Before attending the 2016 edition of the International Coaching Week (ICW), I was wondering if it was just by chance that York was the place where a few dynamic coaches had come together with the ambition of making their city the coaching capital of the UK.

Why I love York!

Patricia SpeltincxI love York and this week, more than ever before, I could feel how much York is conducive to personal quest and to self-fulfilment.  York is at the same time dignified and humble, vibrant and peaceful, wise and bold, soothing and energizing, confident and open, rich with experience and welcoming.  York offers a perfect space for growth and transformation.

Is this not what coaching is all about?

After this week, I know now that is not just by chance that it all happened in York.  York and coaching are just a perfect match.

So what did I think of ICW?

In a mature and friendly atmosphere, the 2016 ICW has been conducive to reflection, learning and growth, both at personal level and at a collective level, as a coaching community.  The experience was so rich that I could write a book on it!  Don’t worry (!). For now, I will limit myself to three main themes that emerged from the week.


The discourse, the language we use is a wonderful tool for organising our thoughts and communicating with others.  Our coaching discourse and its evolution over time has been identified as an indicator of the maturity of our profession, despite the fact that it is still at odds with today’s predominant managerial ethos.

The dangers and limits of language were covered during the week, and reminded us that discourse is nothing else than an imperfect and reductive mental representation of our experience.  It shapes our behaviours and has a massive influence on our experience of reality.  However, it is not reality.  The danger in not recognizing this is to get stuck in our mental constructs and miss what the real experience has to offer us in the here and now.  This is leading us to our second theme…


In a world where separation prevails, the need for integration has been emphasized and tackled from various perspectives: to reunite the being and the doing, to celebrate cultural differences, to open ourselves to new experiences, to investigate the overlaps between coaching, mentoring, counseling and psychotherapy.

It is interesting to notice that, although integration is about bringing together, it requires barriers to be removed, spaces to be opened, novelties and differences to be welcomed.  A condition to make integration possible is our third theme…

Reflective space

With a greater focus on the being rather than on the doing, coaching has definitely entered a new generation.  There is now less exclusive emphasis on pragmatic dimensions (e.g. problem solving, goal achievement, performance development…) and more emphasis on reflective, philosophical, narrative and even spiritual dimensions.  There is more focus on why clients do the things they do and who they become by doing them, than on what and how they do things.

Opening a reflective space for our clients enables them to achieve a higher level of consciousness, to let new meanings emerge from their experience and to redefine their discourse accordingly, to broaden their field of possibilities and choices, to go through a genuine transformation and to reinvent a new life narrative.

To be able to do this for our clients, we need first to do it for ourselves.  International Coaching Week has given us a great opportunity to do so.  A warm “thank you!” to all of those who made it possible, by organising or by participating in this memorable week.

And … rendez-vous next year!

  • Patricia Speltincx-Mann
  • June 2016
  • Patricia is a Coach, Consultant, Trainer and Speaker based in Brussels. Patricia’s passion is the exploration of the boundless human potential. Her goal is to contribute in raising the level of consciousness, wisdom and humanity in the business world.  Her passion and contribution permeate through all her activities: coaching, OD consultancy, conferences, workshops and writing.


Coaching in the media

Evan Davis explores coaching and mentoring for

The Bottom Line

In March, Evan Davis sat down with Gavin Patterson CEO of BT Group, Melanie Richards Vice Chairman and Partner of KPMG UK, and coach and mentor Jonathan Bowman-Perks to explore the growing interest among UK businesses in coaching.

The answers for your questions or the questions for your answers?

As a coaching professional, it was fascinating to hear what participants saw as the differences between coaching and mentoring. A nice distinction was that: “A coach has some great questions for your answers and a mentor has some great answers for your questions.” Both, in different ways, help “unravel what you’re thinking and feeling” whilst then “nudging and helping you get perspective.”

Evan Davis 2016 03

Evan asked why, if coaches and mentors have such decisive expertise, companies didn’t just employ coaches and mentors to make decisions instead of senior leaders. Gavin and Melanie were clear that the decisions they made in their managerial roles were very much their own decisions. At senior level there is no shortage of people willing to give advice – the unique value of the coach/mentor relationship is that it’s one where the client is given the space to unpack the issues, evaluate the options, consider the trade-offs and blow away the smoke to allow them to see the landscape into which any decision will be taking them.

Manager decisions are scrutinised by their peers, staff, partners, and stakeholders. Particularly at senior levels every time a manager makes a decision it sends out a signal, and it’s not always easy for them to see the signals they are sending. It’s a point made also by Eric Schmidt, CEO of Microsoft, who is the on the record as saying: “everybody needs a coach” particularly because we are not good at seeing ourselves as other people see us. Coaches really help bring perspective to these issues.

Evan’s guests discussed the value of coaching and mentoring in career transitions. On promotion “People don’t arrive fully baked” and a coach can be immensely valuable in helping build confidence, set priorities, and empowering the client to get to grips with the new relationships and dynamics of more senior leadership.

Success factors in a coaching and mentoring relationship

So what makes a coaching relationship successful? Whilst a lot is down to the skill and competence of the coach, it’s crucial that the client wants to engage in the process. Some clients are keen to engage from the off, whereas others may take a little time to see the value. But engagement is crucial, and a good coaching-client relationship is one where both parties prepare well for their conversations and are open to putting their discoveries into practice.

Coaching for all

Is coaching and mentoring just for managers at the most senior levels? No! All the panelists agreed that coaching was valuable at all strata of a business (KPMG offers coaching throughout its organisation). The focus of the activity will differ depending on the employee’s role, but all can benefit from it.

How Coaching York can help you

For a confidential, no obligation conversation to explore how coaching and mentoring could benefit your organisation, please email us on or call Geoff Ashton on 07735 46 75 98, or any of the other Coaching York Steering Group members.

Coaching in Business Forum

  • Are you a Manager who would like to continue to develop your coaching conversational skills?
  • Are you looking to connect more effectively with your team and colleagues?
  • Are you looking to be more influential and successful?
  • Do you want to motivate and grow your team?
  • Do you want to improve your performance and that of others?
  • Have you completed a coaching skills programme or qualification and wondered how to keep on improving your skills?
  • Perhaps you are someone who runs an internal coaching or mentoring scheme and would value sharing and learning ideas?

Then we are offering you a solution!

We would like to provide a forum for people/managers from businesses small and large to come together and share their coaching experiences, develop their confidence, knowledge and skills and have some fun in the process.

We have ideas about how we might do this but we need your thoughts too.

So we are proposing to facilitate a workshop in September for all those who are interested to develop this idea further.

If you’d like to come along, please let us know of your interest by emailing:

  • Chris Lazenby –
  • Julia Pallant –

Let us know your organisation, role, location and how to contact you and we’ll be in touch

Coaching in response to hate crimes

York Disability Doodle compositeMarije Davidson’s experience demonstrates that coaching can bring positive changes to any area of life. Marije is a volunteer at the York Independent Living Network. She has focused on the impact that hate crimes have on disabled people and their families. Read her article about how coaching has been used to explore the choices disabled people have when responding to hate crimes. You can find it along with other coaching success stories under the community menu at the top of the page or simply click here


A little help from my friends

The idea that is now ‘Coaching York’ was conceived nearly three years ago – a body of skilled coaches in the York area who can individually and collectively address organisational and community coaching needs, and in so doing help people achieve a sustainable and positive way of relating with each other.

Three years down the track, we have a vibrant coaching community who regularly meet and exchange ideas on best practice; are anticipating our third iteration of International Coaching Week in York next year; have launched our Community Coaching project; have worked with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development on regional seminars; have participated in various local events, and are actively working with the local Council on promoting Coaching Conversations.

It occurs to me that none of this would have been possible without the support and goodwill of many organisations – Universities, Councils, private, public and third sectors, and an army of volunteers.

Of particular note is the support offered by Lloyds SSE (School for Social Entrepreneurs) over the last year or so. This support has provided necessary funding for Coaching York’s various initiatives, and development opportunity for one of our Steering Group members via training, action learning sets and a mentor.

This support has translated into some great guidance for Coaching York in terms of clarity of purpose, values, marketing and determining organisational structure and entity. It was a pleasure therefore to attend the graduation of said Steering Group member, Pam Wells, at a recent evening event just outside of Durham, and to hear the stories of sixteen of her cohort who have shared the developmental journey.

Sue Osborne, Director of the Yorkshire and Humber branch of the School for Social Entrepreneurs set the scene with a reflection on the core ingredients for successful entrepreneurial endeavour – a passion for an idea, and an open mind – which is nurtured by co-coaching and action learning sets through the programme and translated into knowledge, expertise, and a great network of like minded people who are focussing on the things that really make a difference.

The Social Entrepreneurs are diverse in their offerings, but unite under some thoughts and philosophies of their projects, offered on the evening:

  • “We focus on what they can do, not what they can’t”
  • “ Become a Fellow, and give something back”
  • “Grow in confidence and it becomes a joy”
  • “When storms come crashing in all the time, Weebles wobble, but don’t fall down!”
  • “Turning can’ts into cans and dreams into plans”
  • “Exploring untapped potential, and seeing the Mentee become the Mentor”
  • “This is the problem ….. and this is what I’m going to do about it”
  • “Such an empowering model”
  • “People get boxed in by narrow perspectives”
  • “Building confidence and new life skills”
  • “Putting foundations in place”

Plenty there for a half decent coach to get their teeth stuck into! Thanks for an inspirational and heart warming evening.

Peter Lumley

Chair, Coaching York

October 2015