CorporateCoach eNewsletter

Issue No. 60, 24th May 2004


  1. Editorial: A positive state for learning
  2. Coaching notes: Accelerated Induction

1.     Editorial: A positive state for learning

Richard Winfield - editor and principal consultantWe have CorporateCoach readers all over the world and I am making some international trips to meet readers and discuss overseas activities.

Here are some dates. If you would like to meet, please contact me.

  • 2-6 June, Orlando, USA
  • 22-28 July, Dubai, UAE
  • 29-31 July, Mumbai, India
  • 2-4 August, Singapore
  • 6-10 August, Melbourne, Australia
  • 19-22 Sydney, Australia

Also note this diary date for our second workshop on building a successful business consultancy practice: Monday 21 June, "Lessons from CoachVille", Birmingham, UK.

Last week I was asked to submit a proposal for some presentation skills training. We offer three modules. The first, 'Introduction', is aimed mainly at creating a positive attitude to presenting in public. Participants start by talking one on one, then work in pairs, then speak to larger groups. In the afternoon they make team presentations. I choose outrageous subjects and the groups respond in kind. We have a lot of fun and everyone goes away looking forward to the next sessions. These are for smaller groups and focus on practical coaching.

Recently I visited a public speaking club, at which members get lots of practice and feedback. They had some very accomplished speakers. There were two of us visitors and we were asked to give a talk to introduce ourselves. In each case we were told words to the effect. "Don't worry. This will be your worst experience. Each occasion in the future will be less bad."

What an example of setting up a negative state! I am sure that their motives were good. Many people are nervous of speaking in public, but there is no benefit in imprinting the fear - even if it is to reassure people that things will get better. It is rather like telling a child not to worry. The dentist has lots of ways of ensuring they don't suffer pain.

I understand that in Japan, when young children have their first lesson on the violin, they and their parents and friends gather. Before they play a note, each child is given a violin to hold and asked to walk out onto the stage. Here they are greeted with rapturous applause. Surely, this creates a more positive attitude to learning!


HOT NEWS: Another product release from Andrew Halfacre

Hollow Square Hollow Square

This game can be used to help teams understand the impact of communication between those who develop plans and those who have to implement them. It also highlights helpful and not so helpful behaviours when planning, assigning or completing tasks. Teams that regularly work on problem solving will find the game useful for alerting them to factors that encourage or restrict effectiveness.

It can be played at several levels of complexity [MORE].


Dear Editor

I value your newsletter immensely - however I was disappointed to see one of your topics called meeting skills for " a woman who chairs lots of meetings this seemed rather outdated. Chair person or just chair ....are much more common these days.....and thanks again for a great newletter.

Denise Taylorson

2.    Coaching notes: Accelerated Induction

Recruitment is becoming an increasingly important part of a manager's job. And, according to Fortune Magazine, senior managers fail, more than any other way, by failing to place the right people in the right jobs – and the related failure to resolve ‘people’ problems in time.

Recruitment is expensive:

  • Head hunters are expensive
  • Management time spent preparing the specification and interviewing is expensive
  • Time lost while the incumbent finds his/her feet is expensive.

– and that is assuming that the new employee performs well and stays.

Including coaching in the recruitment process can significantly reduce the total cost of replacing key staff by managing the induction process to ensure that the new incumbent becomes effective in the minimum of time. Ideally, this can be reduced by half.

Coaching the existing team

Management teams are rarely taught the skills of recruitment, interviewing and induction – and once selection has been made they tend to focus back on their own day-to-day responsibilities. Induction coaches take over responsibility from the recruiter for supporting the team and helping them prepare for the arrival of the new team member. They clarify immediate expectations, agree an induction programme and discuss team re-building opportunities.

Coaching the new incumbent

It is unlikely that the new employee will arrive fully capable of the job – that might imply that the employer has over paid and the post is insufficiently challenging. More likely he/she will need to hone some skills and gain some specific experience on-the-job. Coaching helps identify needs and supports the employee in filling the gaps.

New employees want to make a good impression, and may be unwilling to ask for information, clarification or help. A coach can act as an independent go-between.

Director development

In many cases a new director will be getting his/her first experience as a board member. This represents a significant change from being a manager, and early coaching in director responsibilities and skills will significantly enhance his/her performance. Often this is an opportunity for the whole board to review its processes, and for some general director development.


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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Copyright 2004 all rights reserved.

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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)