CorporateCoach eNewsletter

Issue No. 77, 1st November 2004


  1. Editorial: Launch of Consultant Training Limited
  2. Coaching notes: Hurrah for Dave Buck

1.     Editorial: Launch of Consultant Training Limited

Richard Winfield - editor and principal consultantThis has been a busy year for Brefi Group with a whole raft of developments going on behind the scenes.

This week sees the launch of the first development. Working with our associates at Sales 101 and Lighthouse 365, we have have established a new company, Consultant Training Limited, to help the many, many senior successful people who have reached the stage in life when they would like to put their experience to use as consultants.

We know from our own experience that there is more to it than just announcing yourself. There are specific consulting skills to acquire. There is the whole subject of self-employment and building a new business. And, for those who come from a corporate background, there is 'loneliness'. Suddenly, when you need it most, there is no-one to talk to, no convenient sounding board.

This is why many people investigate franchises. But franchising is only suitable where there is a defined product, or a service that follows a rigid process. The point about consulting is that it it must be flexible and provide an appropriate response in a variety of circumstances. Our programme provides the training, support and marketing benefits of franchising for potential consultants.

Brefi Group has an established presence and a selection of powerful diagnostic tools. But our main skill is the ability to build relationships and ask powerful questions. We do this in the context of NeuroLinguistic Programming. NLP is the study of human excellence, with a focus on communication and change – the fundamentals of effective consulting.

As part of our intensive support and training programme, we are developing the world's first NLP consultancy practitioner certificate programme, with the support of Robert Dilts, Sue Knight and Lex McKee. The programme will model the Brefi Group consultancy appoach to releasing human potential through consulting, facilitation, executive coaching and training. Sales 101 will contribute a strong sales and business input and Lex McKee of the Registry for Accelerated Trainers will ensure that we incorporate both accelerated learning and accelerated training.

My role has been to ensure the rigour of the consulting processes, which has involved identifying definitive texts and extracting core models. Obviously, one of these is for coaching.

I have long been unhappy with the GROW model, but it is so obviously logical that I have not wanted to deny it. But I have been modelling my own successful coaching sessions, and they don't match GROW. So I was really excited to read an email this week from Dave Buck of CoachVille. Dave claims that the idea that coaching is about setting goals and creating accountability is a myth - and has created a service that is almost impossible to sell. So I summarise his paper below.

I attended the CoachVille conference this year because its theme was about building successful coaching businesses - clearly relevant to our consultant trainng programme. I was very impressed with what was happening at CoachVille. I had not expected to attend future conferences unless they were particularly relevant to my current interests. However, I am increasingly coming to realise that CoachVille is where it is at. Dave Buck and Thomas Leonard set out to re-invent the coaching profession with the launch of CoachVille in 2001, and it seems that Dave is continuing to do this. I was recently pleased to entertain Lance Secretan to breakfast and learned that he is Dave's personal coach. Put Lance and Dave together and you do indeed have a powerful combination.

Brefi Group and Consultant Training will keep close relations with these and others setting the pace around the world, so leveraging the effectiveness of consultants in the UK and elsewhere. Please look at our proposal at I would welcome your comments.



Dear Editor

I am studying for a Diploma in Management and was recommended your site as one to investigate. It really looks good.

Jane Brett
NHS, Kent

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2.    Coaching notes: Hurrah for Dave Buck

"Coaching is setting goals and creating accountability" – is a typical example of creating a service that is almost impossible to sell.

The people who are doing reasonably well financially and can afford to hire a coach are already pretty good at setting goals and accomplishing them! They mostly don't need to pay someone $300 / month to hold them accountable!

People hire a coach because they are entering some new territory in their lives. Entering new territory creates uncertainty. Uncertainty is almost always accompanied by fears. In the current coaching tool box, the coaching approach to fear and uncertainty is motivation and accountability – feel the fear and do it anyway! Accountability is very useful at times, but over the long haul it is a meagre tool in the face of fear!

The only way to counteract fear and uncertainty in the client is for the coach to create certainty!

You do this first through sharing your knowledge and experience – you've been there and you've seen this before. Remember, coach what you know!

Second, the coach must be willing to explore deeply with the client the experiences, thoughts and beliefs that are at the core of the fear and uncertainty. This exploration will greatly expand the clients' awareness. In order to do this, the coach must be courageous! The coach must be on a path which is causing them to understand their own issues and face their own darkness. It is from this courage – the willingness to "go deep" – that certainty is born.

Certainty is what clients will pay for – not better goals and accountability.

Expanding the client's awareness is a key to masterful coaching, and it has two parts. First, expanding awareness is looking at what is going on around you: in the world, in your environment, in the market place, in technology, and in others.

The second part of awareness is looking at what is going on inside of you: your energy, your intentions, deepest desires, emotions, values, beliefs and inner conflicts.

Expanding awareness is a process wherein you transform chaos into order. Life - "the game" - seems to slow down. What needs to be done right now becomes obvious and natural. Your talents are flowing into the situation with complete absence of doubt.

Expanding awareness leads to power in any situation – this is what most clients want and what they will pay for.

In the face of overwhelm, isolation and frustration - the three killer emotions of the new age - creating certainty is the ultimate skill. This is what masterful coaches can do - this is what sells.

A simple way of explaining this phenomenon to a potential client is called "seeing into your blind spots". Blind spots exist because you simply can't watch yourself do something. Ultimately this is the phenomenon that created the coaching profession. The coach can "watch" the client perform in real time or by talking about it afterward, point out things that the client is not aware of and dramatically improve performance.

Editor's comment: This approach is much more in line with what I do. I explore with the client, as a result of which the client is able to resolve their own issues. We may well set a few well formed outcomes at the end, but we certainly do not start with Goal and work through Reality, Options etc. Perhaps coaching can now grow out of GROW!


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)