CorporateCoach eNewsletter

Issue No. 45, 9th February 2004


  1. Editorial: Second chances
  2. Coaching notes: A little bit of life coaching

1.     Editorial: Second chances

Richard Winfield - editor and principal consultantMy first degree was in civil engineering. The first year was a general engineering course that included electrical engineering. I was not very good at it and my laboratory bench was often marked out by smoke rising!

When the first year exams approached I had a problem. Hard as I worked at it, I could not understand the resolution of vectors. This is actually a very simple concept by which a vector, which has direction as well as size, is divided into two perpendicular forces. By doing this, various vectors can be combined. It merely requires the use of sines and cosines. I must have learned it at school.

Anyway, it was wasting my time and work on other subjects was suffering. So I gave up and revised everything else, coming back to it when they were complete. Revisiting it, I quickly understood it and passed the exam.

It is just ten years since I qualified as a practitioner of NeuroLinguistic Programming. Since then I have studied with many of the world's leading trainers and it has increasingly become the basis for my consultancy and is a pre-requisite for all our associates. But it might never have been.

The John Seymour Associates NLP practitioner course was in two parts. You had to pass the diploma in order to move onto the rest of the certificate course. And I failed. Horror, horror.

Generally, I am successful (with the exception of electricity) at more academic activities such as exams and interviews. But NLP is about interpersonal relationships – where I was not so good at all. Success at NLP was very important to me and I very much wanted to move onto the next stage.

Fortunately, Michael Neill took two of us to one side and gave us some personal coaching. Suddenly it clicked for me, and I was able to pass and thus qualify for the next stage. Oddly, the problem I had was in using questions to elicit a client's outcome in the positive. It has since been one of the most important tools that I use in my coaching.

And, again, a simple concept – just a mental block. Many thanks to Michael.

So the lesson is that when you come across people who cannot grasp something it might be a simple blockage, rather than sheer stupidity. A little bit of help could be critical. I wonder how many people have gone onto personal greatness as the result of a little help that you gave them?



The exercise below involves contacting five to eight people you know well.

What a wonderful opportunity to introduce them to CorporateCoach. Would you help us spread the word by recommending us? And do keep letting us know what you think of it. We love to hear from you. Many thanks.

2.    Coaching notes: A little bit of life coaching

I have started a Life Balance Programme with International Teaching Seminars. The first module was "Vision, Purpose and Spirit", presented by Ian McDermott.

One exercise involved using the Wheel of Life. You can find one of these on the Brefi Group web site. It is a standard life coaching exercise. Why not try it now.

The wheel of life allows you to determine whether you are focusing too much on one part of your life and so neglecting others. The wheel is divided into sections. Rank your level of satisfaction with each area of your life.

Just click on the appropriate scores for each area of your life. Then, when you press the submit button, you will receive a visual interpretation.

Now look at it. Does anything strike you? How balanced is it? What could you do to improve any area? Would that have an impact on any other area? Would a change in one area lead to improvements in another area?

Everyone knows that having a balance in life is important because we can be more content and more alive and really enjoy what we are doing. Your result will show you the degree to which you are satisfied with your own level of balance in your life. The more red there is, the more you are satisfied. Which are your low spots – the areas you are least satisfied with? Make a list of them and rank them in order of importance to you right now. Taking rank number one – the area of your life you are least satisfied with, answer the following questions.

  • Why is it most important to me right now to become more satisfied with this area – money, friends/family or whatever it is?
  • What can I do personally to improve things?
  • What can I ask others to do?
  • How will I know that things have improved – what will I feel, see and hear that is different and better?
  • How much do I really want to achieve more satisfaction with this particular area?

Has completing the Wheel of Life suggested any project or change in your life that you would like to make? Would it be helpful to talk it through with a friend or family member?

Brefi Group also offers a Wheel of Work. Why not try the same with this tool?

The wheel of work allows you to review the balance within your career and work; whether some parts of your work life are more satisfactory than others. The wheel is divided into sections.

Give yourself a score for each of the eight areas of your work life shown below.

  • Professional development
  • Career progress
  • Work content and process
  • Earnings/financial reward
  • Recognition/support
  • Relationships at work
  • Purpose and passion
  • Work/life balance

What did you learn this time? What changes would you like to make? Maybe there are some changes in the work environment that would be worthwhile. Could Brefi Group help?

Ian also set us some homework.

We were asked to approach five to eight people who know us well and ask them about our unique abilities, things we are particularly good at or special qualities that this person sees in us. Then record what each of these individuals thinks of as our unique abilities.

Would you like to try this exercise too? I suggest a development of the exercise. As well as asking them what they think are your unique abilities, also ask them what they value as a special gift from you. This would be more personal, and might have no relationship with your unique abilities – either something that you have done for them, something your are for them or something you represent for them.

When they reply, record their response as follows: -

"Name" thinks my abilities are:

"Name" values ........ as a special gift from me.

May I suggest that when you ask people to respond that you also offer to do the same for them. And don't do the asking until you have already decided what are their unique abilities and what is a special gift from them.

I wonder what you will learn? Good luck.


We aim to make the Brefi Group web site the premier developmental site for teams and individuals in organisations, so do please send us your suggestions and requests for further development. And let us know what you think of this newsletter, and comment on the content.

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Brefi Group is a change management organisation that provides corporate coaching, consultancy, facilitation and training. Be sure to visit the Brefi Group web site at

We hope you enjoyed this issue of CorporateCoach. If you would like to learn more about how we can work together, then please contact me, Richard Winfield:

Telephone: 08450 678 222, or +44 (0)121 704 2006 (international)