Blue Ridge ManagementBlue Ridge Management
The Blue Ridge Coaching Charter

Background

I am David Pullinger and I set up Blue Ridge Management Ltd in 2001 since when I have developed a range of associates who share my basic philosophies and approach. This enables me to offer clients a wide range of services with confidence.

I set up the company to help people develop more of their potential in the world of work. I do this by working with clients from their overall development strategy, through to 1-1 coaching, drawing on a wide range of tools and techniques.

This Charter is a series of statements that define the nature of Blue Ridge as a business. It is designed for clients, to establish what they can expect from my associates and me. It is 'work in progress' and will be updated as my ideas develop by talking to people, from experience and as I read more about people and their development. I have also recently completed my MA in Coaching and Mentoring, which has been a great way to develop my ideas.

The Charter covers the following:

What is coaching?
The theories and models used by Blue Ridge
Ethical considerations
Philosophy and beliefs
How does it work?
Who is this for, and not for?
Where the coaching takes place.
The cost
A biography of David Pullinger
Other services offered by Blue Ridge
Reading

The Coaching Practice - Inputs

To top

What is Coaching?

'Coaching is a way of working with people that leaves them more competent and more fulfilled so that they are more able to contribute to their organizations and find meaning in what they are doing.' (James Flaherty)

To top

What theories and models does Blue Ridge use?

Essentially a person-centred approach, in that the client's agenda is what matters and they are afforded unconditional positive regard. The orientation is one of Solutions Focus which is best suited to working on outcomes. The work focuses on performance and development coaching rather than skills (see The Reflecting Glass by West and Milan for a discussion of this distinction). This is supported by use of a range of tools and techniques, such as Transactional Analysis and the GROW Model.

Blue Ridge does not follow any one model consistently, choosing to adapt to the client's needs. Nor does it believe it has any single formula to suit all occasions.

To top

Ethical considerations

Confidentiality between client and coach is paramount and sacrosanct. This covers the issues that are raised by the client in the course of the coaching (the HOW). However, it is essential that there is agreement between the sponsoring organisation, the coach and the client from the outset about the objectives of the coaching (the WHAT?) This should be clear and explicit, and the subject of review during and after the coaching process.

I believe firmly in the importance of professional development for coaches. I have studied for my MA, and I have my own supervisor, whose role is indirectly to protect the client's interests by ensuring that I am handling each coaching relationship professionally, and that I continue to grow my expertise.

I am a member of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council, and I give every new client a copy of its Code of Ethics, to which I adhere.

To top

Philosophy and Beliefs

I help people to develop their potential, and self-sufficiency.
I treat people as individuals, not just employees.
People have huge untapped pools of talent.
Companies that learn faster than the competition will adapt and prosper.

'Potential is not the demonstration of acquired talents but rather is the demonstration of the ability to acquire the talents needed for future situations … In a world of rapid change, the real measure of leadership is the ability to acquire needed new skills as the situation changes.' (M.W.McCall in High Flyers)

The Coaching Practice - Outputs

To top

How does it work?

The Engagement Phase:

An initial meeting between the coach and the sponsoring organisation to establish the purpose of the coaching.
A first meeting between the client and sponsor, with the coach, to establish the particular objectives.
The first 1-1 meetings between coach and client that establish rapport and trust, and develop the precise contract. It may also include data gathering, using such as a Learning Style questionnaire, 360° analysis or a psychometric instrument.

The Development Phase:

Understanding the nature of the issue(s) and exploring them in more depth.
Exploring possible ways forward.
Broadening the work to understand the wider implications at work and/or outside work.
Consider options to go forward.

The Consolidation Phase:

Drawing the strands together, and confirming action.

The Disengagement Phase:

Ensuring the client has the capacity to go forward without the support of the coach.
Coach and client working through what this means.

Evaluation

The effectiveness of the work will be evaluated against the objectives set at the beginning, or against a modified set if these become less relevant. This will be done between the coach, client and sponsor mid way through the work and at the end.

To top

Who is this for, and not for?

It is for people in business and the public sector.
It is not for people in need of therapy or counselling.

What sort of issues may coaching be used for?

The simple answer is for anyone facing change in the job, but more helpfully, some of the more common uses are:

At an individual level:
For a person facing the challenges of a new role
To help with the development of strategy
To support a technical expert who has taken on supervisory responsibilities.
To help with consolidation of off the job training.

At a collective level:
To support managers faced with a new business strategy.
Where there is concern about the capacity of a team to meet a new business challenge.
To support a stream of highly talented managers.

'Doing coaching is like playing jazz: the coach, like a jazz player, must understand where to begin and where to end, and what a basic structure could be in the moment, while at the same time listening well to the music that the others are playing so as to blend with it and move the entire effort forward. Even while a jazz player is improvising, she is always playing within a structure.' (James Flaherty)

To top

Where does it take place?

Usually at the client's premises, either in an office or meeting room. The criteria must include absence from interruption, and an environment in which the client can be at ease. If necessary, the meetings can be off site.
I believe 1-1 meetings are necessary, and I encourage contact between meetings, either by phone or email. However, I will not rely on telephone or email for the core meetings.

To top

How much will it cost?

Each project is charged independently, depending on the scope and nature of the work. However, I will charge for a period of time, and not per coaching session. This enables clients to feel free to contact me (and vice versa) between sessions, and to flex the 1-1 time in relation to need. Also, Blue Ridge does not have high overheads, so my rates will be competitive, without sacrificing the quality and professionalism of the service.

To top

David Pullinger

I have a background in HR management in a variety of industries - manufacturing, public utilities, shipping, and retail - before spending 12 years as a Director in an insurance company. Learning & Development has always been my passion, and I have had time as a tutor, in management development and leading a training function. I believe that it is essential to link people development activities firmly and explicitly to business strategy, and while this sounds obvious, in my experience it is often neglected.
Having aligned development activities to the strategy, the key to implementation is to work with the individuals affected, to help them to make the changes necessary in their part of the business and in their lives.

As well as studying for my MA, I have trained in counselling, which gives me a wider perspective on the issues my clients may be facing. I am also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

To top

Reading

Coaching - Evoking Excellence in Others, James Flaherty, Butterworth-Heinemann, 1999

High Flyers: Developing the Next Generation of Leaders, M.W.McCall Jnr, Harvard Business School Press, 1998

The Reflecting Glass, Lucy West and Mike Milan, Palgrave, 2001 (ISBN 0-333-94529)

New Passages, Gail Sheehy, Harper Collins, 1997 (ISBN 0 00 638676 8)

'If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we are not really living.' (Gail Sheehy)


DMP
2005