On becoming an Author and a Conference Speaker

Well November has been a great month. Yes, an excellent month because my book is now available to buy (via Amazon or Blackwells) and it is everything I hoped it would be. A wonderful comprehensive collection of viable and practical exercises, meeting formats, tools and techniques for managers, with 52 chapters that help managers bring out the best in their people and improve business results. Each chapter is designed to give an informative read and practical application through exercises, reflection, methods and templates. The book has three parts:

Part I is about mindsets that bring about trust and openness, and how to develop them

Part II is about practicing skills which enable you to connect with people

Part III is about using applications that create engagement and participation

I also think it is a great reference book if you attend any Line Manager training as sometimes that covers a lot quite quickly, so hopefully this book will help you consolidate and build on that training. It’s not a book to read cover to cover but it is designed for people to dip into when they are wondering ‘How do I …’. The feedback so far has been encouraging.

Also, it contains useful exercises to help coaches with their coachees. There are chapters on building relationships, maintaining momentum and working with others. So, lots for everyone, I hope.

Secondly, I gave my first formal university conference presentation at the UWTSD inaugural Coaching Conference and it was very well received. Now I can officially say that I am a conference speaker. I was pleased with the feedback from people and noted that one lady had a cram-packed page full of notes, like a mind-map of circles with my name in the centre.

It was really useful to present. I was anxious although I was also very excited to share the story I had put together of how I use neuroscience within my coaching practice. I think that that was the most valuable thing – being forced to think about how to do that and to have to do it. I am somewhat kicking myself as when I practiced it, it fitted into the time slot but in reality I had to cut it short. At least I now know how it goes: I am going to rearrange a few sections then the key parts get said regardless of time slippage. I liked my slide deck too – Ok I admit I am biased – but university faculty seem to think that text heavy, black and white slides work. Although I think they use them as their script, whereas I have a separate script. I also learned that if someone is going to wave helpful yellow (5mins left) and red (2 mins left) flags at me, then they need to be sitting directly in front of me, not at the side as I missed them completely. Anyway, it was great to hear that so many people found it fascinating to listen to: What a great word to hear.

The Coaching Conference itself, was insightful with a rich variety of speakers and topics, including Prof Stephen Palmer and Dr Peggy Marshall who successfully embedded a coaching culture within her US Fortune 66 company. Also Dr Annette Fillery-Travis has started a Coaching Society based from the university and her aim is to create a vibrant community of practice and research.

On the DProf, things have been quiet as work has been hectic – in a rich and energising way – and it has allowed me to think about how I more overtly bring neuroscience into my coaching. I thought about how I need to broach it in a way that doesn’t sound strange or as if I want to show how much I know. In the end, when relevant, I decided to ask them how their brain knows it needs to create that emotion. Usually they look rather quizzically at me and then I say, ‘in there (pointing to my head and theirs), how does your brain know to make that emotion?’ Usually they are curious and it allows me to talk about their brain and how the emotion they are feeling may not have much to do with the current situation on its own but that it is linked to lots of other memories. In this way, I find they are ok to have a conversation that doesn’t feel like therapy but one that allows us to talk about ‘that feeling’ in a more detached manner and how to handle it.

Now I am doing the correct Literature review I am exploring if there is anything else on Self-hindering coachees. This is both exciting and nerve-racking as you’re always worried about finding someone who’s already done the research. So, I was a bit apprehensive in reading Stephen Palmer’s work on Procrastination. However, after reading some research papers I decided that procrastination doesn’t describe the coachees that I have described as self-hindering and I feel able to defend my argument on that. Phew!

I am hoping to get through the Ethics committee soon though as I’d like to start again in January.

I loved this article, “Twenty things I wish I’d known when I started my PhD” as it rang so true. I particularly liked number 5 about needing to record everything and even if you think you’ve done that enough, like her, I have found I haven’t. And I now agree with number 14 about presenting your work. It has helped me structure my thoughts and turn data into information.

And I am finally on Twitter (@DeniLyall) as I wanted to follow someone who Tweets on leading digital transformations. My tweets mainly fall into: ones on neuroscience and ones on digital transformation. I am trying to keep them relevant and I really like how easy it is to pass stuff on.

On that theme, these couple of articles caught my eye:

Nature: How automation is changing work

‘Frontiers in Psychology’ article on Neuro Myths

Enjoy 😊