How did you get into coaching?
When practising as a company turnaround specialist for various banks and private equity houses, I realised how important it was to have the right people in the right roles and how much the internal conflicts between departments had less to do with the technical aspects of individuals’ roles but more to do with the personality conflicts of the senior executives. I consequently undertook to understand the motives and styles of the individuals involved and realised that by developing a coaching style, I could get the best out of the various teams. I then went on to study gestalt psychology and was a founding director and member of the faculty of the Academy of Executive Coaching.
What have been some of your professional highlights?
I have had the privilege of developing and coaching a number of executives to the role of CEO. It has been very gratifying to take individuals with specialist backgrounds from risk, finance, legal and IT and develop their general leadership skills to the role of CEO. Irrespective of the industry they lead, whether it be oil, entertainment, manufacturing, media or financial services, the challenges, aspirations and concerns they face in fulfilling the role of CEO to the best of their abilities are very consistent.
As an early pioneer in the field of executive coaching it was a privilege to be a founder member of the board and faculty member of the Academy of Executive Coaching and then become an accredited coach supervisor.
What do you think makes a good coach?
There are at least four genres of coaching; skills, performance, developmental and transformational. Having been a qualified coach for 27 years, with a previous successful business career, I tend to appeal to those executives wanting to transform themselves from management to leadership positions. This requires the coach to have both business and life experiences. In addition, the coach has to be sufficiently comfortable in their own skin to want to genuinely support another human being’s “successful” journey and not be in competition with them. Coaching requires a combination of ruthless compassion, unconditional positive regard, active listening, encouragement, the ability to co-create with the client a vision of success and transformation. Rather than solve a client’s problems, we are here to help them overcome the obstacles that are stopping them reaching their full potential.
How do you define the success of a coaching assignment?
The coachee is often the best judge of the success of the programme; however some organisations encourage a 360 feedback exercise at the beginning and at the end of the programme to assess changes perceived to the individual as a result of the coaching. The positive impact of a coaching programme is as much about the qualitative changes in the coachee’s relationships with others as it is about the improvement in the coachee’s internal well-being.
Peter has worked as an executive coach for 25 years. As a high impact, challenging and insightful top team facilitator, executive coach and consultant, Peter brings vast experience gained through a highly successful career in investment banking and finance where he has advised a large number of global corporations and governments. He combines hard business skills and experience with powerful motivational insights, which blend to form a unique perspective on how to help an individual leverage their innate skills and style in the service of organisational excellence. His psychological foundations include Gestalt, psychosynthesis and Psycho Cybernetics.