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6 December 2021

ON 2021

It's been quite a year

One of the things I like about writing my blogs is that they prompt me, in January, to think about which topics I plan to cover in the year ahead. Then, in December, I have an opportunity to reflect on the year past. 

They also force me to sit down and think about a topic, identify what I think is important about it, and how to capture that in what I hope is an interesting read (I will let you be the judge as to whether it is).

In 2021, I wrote about my predicted hot coaching topics, shown below. Some of these have come up regularly in client coaching conversations, some less so, but as I reflect on the year, I think that they have all played their part in how we should behave, what we want for the future, and how we may go about achieving those outcomes.

During 2021 I have covered the following:

In 2021, I had the opportunity to take a part-time role as an internal coach for Robert Walters, coaching their global leaders. This has been a fantastic experience, coaching people and teams around the world. It has also meant working in one of the most impressive teams I have ever worked with - Indy, Neha, Tammy, Kajal and Emily, I thank you!

I’m delighted to say that this will continue into 2022, three days a week, allowing me to balance in-house coaching at Robert Walters with my private client work. 

I attended Coaching Culture’s conference in October with Kajal, to hear more regarding Coaching Culture’s approach to embedding coaching in an organisation. It was a great day learning about their framework approach, as well as reflecting on how advanced Robert Walters are in achieving this. 

I am writing this blog after COP26 has ended, and we wait to see what agreements the partners will maintain moving forward regarding their commitment to mitigating climate change. Meanwhile, I continue to encourage clients, through my One for the Planet offer to have conversations around the topic of climate change, their relationship with it, and what they may do as individuals or within the organisations they represent regarding it.

In October, I was delighted to be asked to coach on a Climate Gardens pilot, at Herstmonceux Castle. This was the brainchild of Deborah Scott Anderson, with the ambition of engaging Britain’s 30 million gardeners through exploring their relationship with their gardens and the impact on them of climate change. I was joined by Gwenaelle Deloux as co-coach at this event and we had two great days at Herstmonceux. 

Some of my key learning points in 2021:

  • The ability of markets and industries to bounce back from global challenges
  • The need for leadership to be agile, honest and communicate clearly whilst navigating their way through challenges
  • The parallels that may be drawn between pandemic-driven change and its impact, and climate change-driven change
  • A growing public interest in climate change, its impact and an appetite to play our role in mitigating it as individuals
  • One person’s experience of living and working through a pandemic can be very different to the next person
  • The importance of having approaches in place that foster good mental health, both as individuals and organisations
  • The role the health service, charity sector, local authorities and others play in supporting good physical and mental health and trying to plug the gaps in society
  • We are more resilient than we may have previously thought.

I would like to say a big thank you to the clients and their sponsors that I worked with over the year. You all showed up brilliantly, which makes my job as a coach so much more enjoyable.

As I start to gather my thoughts on what I think will be the hot coaching topics for 2022, if you have something you would like to hear about, please get in touch. I am planning to do more of my video chats with people next year, so there is also the opportunity to explore the topic with me in one of these (and thanks to David Grayson, Lorraine Gibson and Andy Roberts for our chats in 2021).

On reflection, 2021 played out pretty well. I hope the same is true for us all in 2022.

From the author:

As coaching is not an advice-giving service, these blogs are not written with the intention of proposing solutions to common leadership challenges. Instead, they are thought pieces with the aim of prompting the reader to think more deeply about the topic and reflect on whether it warrants further exploration, with or without a coach.

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