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Rich Questions in Coaching

“Rich questions demand rich answers, which are unfamiliar and sometimes even unexpected”

NLP in Training

How can NLP help to design and run a course that has a positive result for everyone – including you, the trainer? Deni Lyall outlines the processes, gives plentiful advice and shares her personal experiences.

Facilitation: more than a process

Facilitation requires attention to five key aspects if it is to deliver actual results which are taken forwards by the group.

Recommended Books


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As an AC accredited coach, I predominantly coach people within organisations, although they have come from many industry sectors, most functional departments and at most levels within an organisation.

“People are people”

My continued development with NLP, Clean Language, Motivational Psychology and other coaching fields helps me maintain my curiosity whilst coaching, as well as feeling comfortable to handle different situations and the uniqueness of each coachee. A combination of listening to understand and an adept use of various questioning styles allows for the coachee to explore the true cause of what needs to be different thus being able to make a long term change.

Having an engineering background and being a Chartered Engineer helps with gaining initial credibility with scientists, engineers and technical people/ graduates, where this audience may be more sceptical to coaching than others at the start.

For many senior executives having some time and space to reflect from time to time is another useful role which I play. The executive brings his/ her current important situations to the meeting and my role is to act as thought-provoker and long term reflector.

Often four to six, 2/3 hour coaching sessions provides enough space, exploration and progress for most coachee’s requirements. In a mentoring-coaching relationship usually three or four monthly sessions provide adequate time for reflection and goal setting.

Reasons for coaching have included:
  • Leadership issues including team motivation & development, and managing stake holders both internal and external
  • Personal self development in enhancing confidence / interpersonal skills or performance issues
  • To embed learning after a training programme: help with transfer into the workplace
  • Supporting individuals to gain promotion and transitioning into that new position
  • Development of superior performance of self and teams
  • Working through challenging or stressful situations
  • Enhancing self-belief; gravitas and leadership skills
  • Enriching presentation style and influencing skills
  • Mentoring new senior executive appointments
Coaching examples:
  • Coached a middle manager on team performance issues such that he received an Exceptional Appraisal rating (only 10 out of 2000 employees received this rating).
  • Coached a scientific senior manager through his preparation for promotion to Board Director and his subsequent first 6mths in post.
  • Coached a business specialist on her interpersonal skills such that she went from being known as a difficult person to work with to being promoted 18mths later into a project co-ordinator position.
  • Coached a departmental manager with a difficult technical presentation to deliver to a non-technical leadership team which received a standing ovation and an invitation to go for promotion which 12mths earlier he had been perceived as unsuitable for.
  • Coached a Public Sector director through a period where significant change was required from her direct team, leading to an overall shift within her division.
  • Coached a senior executive in a global consultancy through a stressful work situation which was affecting her performance to a successful conclusion whereby she regained her business credibility.