CorporateCoach eNewsletter

Issue No. 81, 29th November 2004


  1. Editorial: Thanksgiving
  2. Coaching notes: Twelve habits of the toxic mentee

1.     Editorial: Thanksgiving

Richard Winfield - editor and principal consultantAmericans have recently celebrated Thanksgiving, and most of us are approaching the end of the year. A good time to think over the things that have been important to us, and to give thanks. Recognising the gifts of the past helps to focus on the priorities for the future. Here are a dozen thoughts from me: -

  1. The Economist. The arrival of this magazine is a high point in my week and it keeps me going throught the week. It gives me enormous pleasure with its international news, features and clear thinking.
  2. I also enjoy Fortune, and read it ahead of The Economist, because it is lighter. It gives me a greater insight into American opinion. It also gave me the idea for this editorial. Stanley Bing's article "20 things I'm thankful for".
  3. I am grateful to my subconscious that supplies me every week with something to write to you in CorporateCoach.
  4. I am grateful to the readers of CorporateCoach who volunteered to meet me in foreign cities during my overseas tour this summer, and who send in letters to the editor.
  5. I am grateful for the opportunities to travel overseas, especially the two invitations to Dubai this year (next one starting on 11 December, if anyone would like to make contact this time), as well as my more frequent trips to America.
  6. I am grateful to Dave Buck and Lance Secretan for the work they are doing to develop the coaching profession through CoachVille, which was introduced to me on my trip to Orlando in May.
  7. I am grateful to all those who have taught me and allowed me to learn this year, especially Robert and John Dilts, Richard Bandler, John and Michael Grinder, Carmen Bostick St Clair, Tim Halbom and Suzi Smith.
  8. I am grateful to Emirates and American airlines for giving me upgrades to business class and reinforcing my new identity, and to Continental for donating two return tickets to America. Life is abundant indeed!
  9. I am grateful to David our technical director for beavering away all this year developing a powerful new web site, and for being sufficiently divorced from our everyday activities to keep us focused on e-commerce potential and return on investment.
  10. I am grateful to Michael our new business development director for providing a generative sounding board and stimulating interaction.
  11. I am grateful to my two designers, Joe and Chris, who have enabled me to indulge my creative energy in new brochures and web pages.
  12. And finally, for this list, I am grateful to my clients and associates for inviting me to share their joy in discovering new options.

Of course, there are many more, both business and social.

You may be aware that I am currently studying coaching with John Grinder and Carmen Bostick St Clair. You will have to wait another week for my insights from this course. Suffice it to comment at this stage what a joy it is to experience two such different and complementary styles. I have been researching models for consultancy, coaching, facilitation and training. Carmen has developed an excellent model of coaching that fits my style. Watch this space.

I have had a couple of enquiries about activities for teams needing to learn about negotiation. Two of our downloadable products that I have recommended are Prisoners' Dilemma and the Spaceship Shortlist.


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2.     Coaching notes: Twelve habits of the Toxic Mentee
David Clutterbuck

A couple of weeks ago I gave you the list of habits of the toxic mentor developed by David Clutterbuck and introduced to us at a mentoring lunch in Birmingham.

Here is his complementary list of habits of the toxic mentee.

  • Bring to the first formal meeting a long shopping list of things you want the mentor to do for you.
  • Expect the mentor to be available for you, whenever you want them.
  • Regard the mentor as your prime source of gossip to pass on.
  • Expect the mentor to always have the answer – that's why they are more senior.
  • Expect the mentor to decide when to meet and what to talk about.
  • Boast about the relationship to your colleagues at every opportunity.
  • Never challenge what the mentor says – s/he is paid to know best.
  • Blame the mentor whenever advice doesn't work out – s/he should have known better.
  • Treat mentoring sessions as mobile – the easiest item in the diary to move at the last minute.
  • Enjoy the opportunity to have a good moan or whinge, whenever you meet – especially if no-one else will listen to you.
  • Make it clear to the mentor that you want to be just like them – adopt their style of speaking, dress and posture.
  • Never commit to doing anything as a result of the mentoring session. If, by accident, you do, simply forget to follow the commitment up. (Why spoil the fun of discussion with outcomes?)


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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)