bell being rung

Ringing in changes

Are you ringing in changes in 2018? We are here at Development Solutions. I set up the business last century, 21 years ago this March; then John, my husband, joined four years ago. It is time for a change and you can help us achieve our aims.

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Wimbldeon Court 1


How much grass on the Wimbledon courts? How many roads do we need to walk? Bob Dylan wishes to know. Both challenging questions that I don’t know the answers to; please let me know if you do! How many words does the average person speak in a lifetime? According to Gyles Brandreth it is a staggering …

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two slinkky

How coaching can make a difference

Coaching can make a difference to you and what you achieve. Coaching can support you in defining and achieving your aspirations. Here I talk you through how coaching can make a difference, highlighting what you can do to make coaching work for you.

Increasingly organisations are using coaching as a key aspect of personal and leadership development. Last year organisations reported[1] an anticipated increase in coaching of over 80% in the coming two years, matched by a 73% increase in spend on coaching.

Equally, many individuals seek out a coach when facing various challenges. The evidence is becoming clearer that coaching make a difference to working through personal change, facing career cross-roads and at times of uncertainty.

Coaching is an investment that we make because we believe it will enable us to move forward and to achieve certain outcomes. Coaching can make a significant difference. My personal experience of being coached and my professional experience as a coach have highlighted for me five key steps to ensuring that coaching makes a difference.

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4 dice

Brand Yorkshire

As I was born and brought up in Yorkshire and it is where I now live, I guess I can describe myself as ‘brand’ Yorkshire. Thus, we are proud to be associated with the 6th business-2-business Brand Yorkshire conference, by having a stand and speaking.

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a view across from Otley Chevin


To make good decisions in the workplace, which we have to do with great frequency, we need to be able to call upon our thinking strengths. Yet, do we know what they are? Do we stretch our ability to think and challenge ourselves to think differently? We need to think about how we think.

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coaching can helps us fit together difficult things to think about

Coaching – frequently asked questions

 Here are some simple answers to those frequently asked questions about coaching. Who is it for? What is coaching? How will I benefit? Plus some guidance on finding a coach and getting started.

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a sat nav

Contracting – the sat nav for coaching

Contracting is like the sat nav for coaching. Coaching must provide confidential space where the coachee can address issues of significance to them; my role as coach includes offering support, challenge and encouragement. Coaching is like setting out on a journey together and it is important that the coachee sets the direction; contracting, like a sat nav, can help to set that direction and enable regular reviews to ensure that we are on track or taking a diversion if we agree it is appropriate.

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Talking for charity

Those of you who know me, know talking is one of my strengths! This year I will be talking for charity. In memory of a young friend who was starting out on research into dementia, I aim to raise money for two Alzheimers & dementia charities. I need your help; please invite me as a speaker to your network groups (social, coaching or business). All I ask is that people can make a small donation if they wish.

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goals, realtiy, options and will

GROWing positive workplace conversations

This paper was initially written as a resource for a group of line managers I was working with. The aim was to foster a coaching culture by enabling them to adopt a coaching style with their team members, peers, senior colleagues and clients.

The feedback from this work was highly positive and the outcomes for the organisation were achieved.

Whatever our role, conversations are fundamental to how we achieve positive results. For line managers, workplace conversations can aid developing performance; with clients (both internal and external) focused conversations can bring great mutual benefit.

I was recently reminded of the usefulness of the GROW model in stimulating focused conversations. The GROW model is particularly well known as an approach to coaching; it can also add value to other important conversations. So, here is a brief overview of the model and how it can be used. Read more

uncertainty and change are messy

Curiosity to refine – asking questions

During a recent coaching session my client said ‘I have a curiosity to refine.’ The context was the improvement of the service his team offer to the wider organisation. The phrase ‘curiosity to refine’ appealed.

  1. Curiosity implies an openness and a willingness to question. The OED defines curiosity as “a strong desire to know or learn something.” Just imagine, if we went about our work with a true spirit of curiosity, what we may learn and how we may see things differently. 
  2. ‘To refine’ is about building on success and extending what is already done well. Too frequently we focus on ‘what is wrong’ when in fact we can learn so much from ‘what is working well and can we do more of it.’

How can you become curious to refine? What skills will enable you to adopt this shift in mind-set to your context?  Asking questions and listening can open up conversations and offer the opportunity to explore different perspectives. Asking people ‘what do you like about our service?’ may well tell you what people really value and give you the chance to extend this way of working. Read more