Worldwide Performance Coach Training for Leadership

Coaching and Mentoring Training

Our signature coaching and mentoring training course is part of Virtual manager as coach trainingour certified portfolio of ILM leadership coach training courses. The programme includes everything required to become an accredited coach, or an authentic coaching manager. We have delivered this performance coach training course, both face-to-face and on-line in 33 countries and several languages over the last 15 years, and it has often been named as the best coaching leadership course that the participants ever attended.

Based on Sir John Whitmore’s time-honoured GROW model, and delivered live or virtually, this GROW training  will transform a manager’s leadership style, and the practice with other participants brings about a change in self-awareness, energy, potential and personal impact at a profound level.

The GROW model

We are sometimes told that participants on our courses who have trained in coaching skills previously, never really understood how to use the GROW coaching model until taught by us. We have the rare advantage of having had the GROW model explained to us by Sir John Whitmore himself, during our partnership over the last ten years of his life.

The secret lies in the flexibility of the GROW model, and the ability to understand the purpose behind each category of questions.

GROW model

“Virtual” GROW training has proved to be as effective as face-to-face training.

Our coaching and mentoring courses:

  • are designed by business people for business people
  • are structured to be practical, embed the skills for the long term and make efficient use of participants’ time
  • use best practices refined and shaped by the feedback of thousands of participants
  • are based on proven methods, like the GROW model, and the use of unique and novel learning techniques developed by Carol Wilson, and directly acquired from Sir Richard Branson, Sir John Whitmore and other thought leaders in the coaching arena, including Tim Gallwey and Nancy Kline
  • are designed by former corporate Managing Director Carol Wilson, drawing on 25 years of business experience including 10 years working at board level with Sir Richard Branson
  • are relevant to today’s highly pressured, cross-cultural workplace

ILM accreditation

ILM coaching training
We are an ILM Centre  – approved to deliver Endorsed, Level 5, Level 7, and Diploma ILM coaching and mentoring courses. The ILM is the UK’s awarding body for general and specialist management qualifications. It is the leadership arm of City & Guilds, which awards NVQ qualifications, and its awards are internationally recognised.

Our coaching and mentoring training team

accredited coaching and mentoring training ta

All our coach trainers are fully qualified in our methods and have worked with us  delivering GROW coach training for managers for five to fifteen years. They all have experience as managers in the workplace themselves, as well as at least ten years’ experience at delivering coaching and coach training to managers at all levels of seniority including CEO. Our trainers are experienced coaches specially selected for their presentation skills, empathy and ability to provide a safe, though challenging, training environment.

Our approach to coaching and mentoring training

Our coach training courses are fast moving and intensive. The content is pragmatic and constantly adjusted to relate to the participants’ own workplace and unique challenges. We believe that every minute in the  training room must deliver something useful and practical for participants to take away.

The training consists of demonstrations by the trainer with volunteers, group discussions and participant practice. People learn by doing and focus what is relevant to them as individuals. In between the training sessions there are practical assignments enabling participants to integrate the skills, experiment and stretch themselves within the safety of practise sessions with a partner from the course, so that they can develop their own unique way of using coaching skills in tune with their leadership style.

The coaching mindset

We believe that a coaching culture is a holistic term which embraces skills, attitude and behaviour in an organisation. There is a misconception that coaching is about learning special techniques, like listening and asking questions. These are indeed coaching skills, but we believe that in a ‘coaching manager’ it is the underlying intention behind the words that matters, ie treating people with respect, focusing on their development, believing in them and raising mutual trust and self belief:

The coaching mindset

Any manager whose intention is to respect and develop others will lead in this way whether or not they have attended a course, although training in coaching skills will enhance their approach. However, if the intention is not in place, they may well find themselves saying, “I’m using open questions but my staff still hate me!”

We encourage managers to learn and copy the skills as taught on our coach training courses, integrate them through practice, and then throw the rule book away. In this way, it is possible to manage with a coaching approach but in one’s own authentic style, congruently with one’s personality and values.

coaching mentoring managing continuum

The role of today’s leader requires an ability to move smoothly between being directive, guiding as a mentor and drawing out self-directed learning by asking questions.

At times managers must tell people what to do or what not to do, it is part of their role. Within a holistic GROW coaching approach, where trust is high and people are allowed to develop their potential, such direction will be an inspiring and motivating part of the relationship between leader and report.

Our coaching and mentoring training is divided into two or more modules. Between the modules, participants are paired with other course participants in order to practise their skills in a safe setting. This builds confidence and fluency, enabling them to embed the new skills and use them in the workplace after the course is over.

All modules of the coaching training for managers course are specifically tailored to examples relevant to the organisation, and participants coach each other on issues currently occurring in their workplace. We are skilled at integrating our programmes into your existing coaching and leadership models and methods so that your investment in prior learning is not lost.

We are committed to ensuring that the impact of our interventions with your organisation is captured in a way that is meaningful to your business. We will work with you to develop a method that meets your specific requirements and gives you the information that you need throughout the programme.

Participants who would benefit from this course

  • C-Suite leaders
  • Directors
  • Senior and middle managers
  • Team Leaders
  • Learning and Development Heads
  • HR Executives
  • Trainers
  • Staff wishing to become internal executive coaches

This course is open to the public twice a year in London.
Full details are available on Open Executive Performance Coach Training

Reviews of the Coaching and Mentoring course

  • “It is the best course I have been on and the most useful one to me in my entire life, not just at work. I am glad the company is investing in it. I will willingly take part in more calls and will continue with the coaching practice. On a lot of courses, once the course is over you go back to daily routine. With this, because we had the assignments it made me think about what I had learned and put some discipline in there and made it more useful.” –Dawn Calderbank, VP Retail Channel EMEA at NCR (National Cash Registers).
  • “Then, this year came to me with a gift, a precious and immeasurable gift: Manager-as-Coach training. None of the previous courses around people management I ever attended has brought me such a powerful and impactful method to help people reach their own goals. It has been a real eye-opener and a revelation of what a coach is.” – Dominique Andrey, Manager Quality Assurance, Philip Morris Products SA, Switzerland.
  • “We have really valued the training provided by Culture at Work. People always enjoy the courses and say it is often the best training they have attended.   It really adds value to people’s life – both work and personal.” – Kirsty Duck, HR Manager, GE Healthcare
  • “I’ll just come right out and say – ‘it was perfect’. The things that really matter to me have all scored highly. It is rare that one course meets needs/expectations in all areas.” – Sue Akroyd (Head of Professional Development, Foundation for Community Dance), Arts Council England Cultural Leadership Programme
  • “I have received the feedback that the first training session had quite a big impact on the participants! They were very pleased with you as a trainer (open, good examples and demonstrations, knowledgeable). And also they were very happy with the content of this first session: pragmatic. One feedback was even that it was the ‘best training ever’. And PM employees do have quite often the opportunity to attend a training, so this is absolutely a compliment.” – Joyce Heijgen, Manager HR Business Partner, Czech Republic, PMI
  • “The depth of the course was great and gives hope for real behavioural change across our organisation. Speaking personally, despite having attended a number of business coaching courses during my career, there were some significant learnings from the Culture at Work course which have improved my coaching and leadership skills; whether it be quotes that resonated with me that I draw on in my day to day work, improved awareness of listening skills, importance of belief and trust in your coachee or the concept of detachment. This has all contributed to me being a more capable coach – inside and outside work!” – Lucinda Pullinger, HR Director, England Rugby.
  • “James: thank you for your effort during the session in Hong Kong. Your facilitation style, in depth knowledge , your credibility in walking the talk with these skills has made the impact on the participants already. The feedback is excellent and our people are truly energised to complete the certification. Thank you.” – Henry Kharoufeh, Director of Organisational learning,  Hilti (Asia) Ltd
  • “I valued the practical coaching sessions, demonstrations, comprehensive reference materials and mixing with other people in the group. I will use the new knowledge in coaching sessions back at work and build it into sessions for coaches in our Coaching Academy. This has put a whole other angle on coaching for me – like finding the missing part in a jigsaw! Thank you.” – Carol Bull, Organisational Development Consultant London Borough of Bexley
  • “I think this course is fantastic – It’s exceeded my expectations.” – Sarah House-Barklie. Head of HR, Facilities and Internal Communications, Nectar Loyalty.
  • “An excellent course that has made me self-aware of taking a coaching approach as well as reflecting how I could approach things better. The key benefit is putting into action the leadership behaviour of coach throughout life.  Receiving coaching has made me clear on new ways forward that will make a big impact.” – Alex Thompson – Club Management and Governance Manager, England Rugby.
  • “Very valuable for my leadership development, and a thoroughly enjoyable experience which will impact on my work at the organisation more widely.”“ – Mike Barnett – Area Manager, England Rugby.
  • “An engaging and motivational course. Very empowering and confidence building.”  –  Hilary Dyer,  Media Buying Manager, Nectar Loyalty.
  • “Really positive – much less pressurised and better than previous coaching course. It’s really been fantastic with the level of practice and feedback we’ve been offered alongside the theory. My confidence has really improved.” – Ellie Haralampous, Client Manager, Nectar Loyalty.
  • “With an engineer education, I quite naturally built my understanding of the world through a rather scientific and technical approach. The years have taught me that the world is above all made of people who, as individuals, have their own way of seeing the world. And obviously, they do not all have an engineering background. With the time, I had the opportunity to move from engineering to managerial positions, from pure technical skills to people management, with all the diplomacy that is required. The years have allowed me to increase my interpersonal understanding and leadership skills supporting and developing people who work around me. And yet, it has always been a challenging and difficult task to encourage, motivate and guide people, sometimes leaving me with a feeling of helplessness. Then, this year came to me with a gift, a precious and immeasurable gift: Manager-as-Coach training.
    None of the previous courses around people management I ever attended has brought me such a powerful and impactful method to help people reach their own goals. It has been a real eye-opener and a revelation of what a coach is.”
     – Dominique Andrey, Manager Quality Assurance, Philip Morris Products SA, Switzerland.
  • “I feel non-stop like I have to say thank you very much  for this opportunity. We had 3 intensive days of practising, demonstration, changing coach-partners, stepping out of comfort zones sometimes… This is an extremely useful and unusual experience and it is really motivating to do everything possible to use it properly with various people and situations around us – totally helpful and self-developing.” –  Tatyana Neshta, VP Finance and IT, Hilti, Russia.
  • “The Manager-as-Coach program helped me to build the right mindset; not because it made conceptually sense to me, it is because I could implement my learning right away and see the impact on people. After five years, I regularly coach people from other functions, and the good news is, I still enjoy it and feel proud of myself – not something small 😊. At the same time, I could also use this program for my organization i.e. to enhance my team’s managerial capabilities and effectiveness by applying coaching leadership style. I must say, I am happy with the progress we had as HR Services organization. I take this opportunity to thank our partners for their super professional and effective coaching – it works and worth the effort.” – Can Kullukcu, Director HR Services PMI.
  • “What I most valued was being together as a team, confirmation of boundaries and how to deal with the line between coaching and telling. A positive, enjoyable and insightful course. Four years later I am still using coaching almost on a daily basis, but have to admit that it doesn’t feel like coaching now, just a good way to support people.” – Charles Larkin, Director Finance, Planning and Administration – PMI Nordics Cluster.
  • “Follow-up and perseverance are not always easy with the busy agendas we all have … however I can see more openness and willingness to invest the necessary time for coaching. Overall, the first steps towards establishing a Coaching Culture are being done and we are ready for the journey ahead of us. My personal learning objectives have been met and are now part of my formal objectives for the rest of the year: I am applying attentive and active listening more often and effectively and I have improved my capability and dedication to the true role of any manager – to develop others and help them to GROW! There are nights when I think ‘I did a real good job today’. A big ‘Thank you’ for that!”  –  Sandra Silva, PMI Leadership Institute.
  • “For me ‘manager-as-coach’ was one more training. At the beginning, I was sceptical about what could that bring to me on top of the OPEN culture we have in place, the different leadership trainings I took in the past and the one to one session already in place with my direct reports. At the same time, most colleagues who have participated were pretty unanimously positive about how it changes the behavior. I have to say that very quickly I’ve been convinced about the approach and the benefit it can bring me, my team and the full organization. Personally, I’m very satisfied to have attended to the training, because it definitely help me to be a better leader, coachee and coach.” – Javier Saiz, SC Planning & Controlling Manager, Philip Morris Products.
  • “Great pace.  Very clear to understand.”  – Emilie Diop, Rewards Manager, Nectar Loyalty.
  • “James is very open, approachable and sets a good tone. Useful content and well structured. Good balance between practice, ‘teaching’ and group examples. Great content – very helpful and a great way to become more confident and adept at coaching.” – Liz Higgins, Commercial and Strategy Director, Nectar Loyalty.
  • “Very relevant content and awesome explanation. James makes the training very exciting and motivating” – Pedro Ramos, Snr Planning Executive
  • “James: thank you for your effort during the session in Hong Kong. Your facilitation style, in depth knowledge, your credibility in walking the talk with these skills has made the impact on the participants already. The feedback is excellent and our people are truly energised to complete the certification  … Thank you.” – Henry Kharoufeh, Director of Organisational learning,  Hilti (Asia) Ltd
  • “A thoroughly enjoyable/valuable course. You created an atmosphere of openness and trust in which people felt comfortable.” – Janet King, HR Manager (Learning and Development) Human Resource Management Southampton City Council
  • “This is the first time I have used GROW in a group setting and it has been incredibly powerful to see the tangible benefits for people. My confidence levels have surged because I now have clarity on my role and feel better equipped to facilitate some fairly tough, emotive discussions. This has removed a layer of pressure that I hadn’t realised I had placed on myself which means I can now focus on developing my own style, technique and approach to team development.” – Sarah Latham.
  •  “You have just done in fifteen minutes what normally takes me four hours” (after a trainer demo of GROW) – Senior Sales Manager NCR
  • “I have to tell you something, very honest, very sincere. Since February I joined the R&D department in a group where I am in charge of scientists dealing with chemical substances and toxicology. This is about a 100 light years from my engineering background. And I have not felt a second lost or destabilized by the situation. With me, I brought people management and coaching (and its active listening …) skills. I love my job. Unbelievable.” – Dominique Andrey, Manager Logistics Engineering PMI
  •  “I cannot express enough how grateful I am for the opportunity to be part of this training programme. After just two days of training, I have been able to utilise the skills and found I have completely changed my approach to management. I was able to apply the skills immediately upon my return to work to help a member of my team work through a particular problem she was having managing another member of staff. I have also used the skills in a team meeting to gain feedback from the team on how they felt the meeting went, and what if anything could be improved. It has been incredibly rewarding to help colleagues to work through solutions themselves, and to have been in a position to offer help and support. I also sought feedback to understand how my approach was received, as none of these staff members were aware I had taken a coaching approach when they were speaking with me. The feedback was positive and only spurred me on more to work on the skills. The coaching skills principles (GROW model), are easy to apply to a myriad of situations. I have since discussed this programme with a number of colleagues and could not recommend the training highly enough. I cannot recall any other training that has had such a profound an immediate impact on me as this programme, and I eagerly await the next part of the training.” – Lanre Fatuga, Operations Manager Trauma & Orthopaedics, Therapy Services and Pain Management, Royal Free
  • “I would like to give a real life example of the power of this open and inclusive approach to team management. Late at night I was working on the intensive care unit (I am an intensive care doctor) and we, the team, were struggling with an extremely sick baby; the nurses that were looking after the baby with me were attending to drawing up some drugs for the baby while I continued to try and keep the baby stable, despite my best efforts the baby was gradually getting worse to the point I feared that we might lose her. Another nurse who was not directly involved with the care of this baby was heading for her break but noticed that the baby was in difficulty and came over to ask if I needed any help, in my mind I was running through all the possible options which I thought might help the situation, but none of my actions seemed to be working. Without thinking I asked the nurse what she felt might help, I think I might not have done this previously or at least not in such an open way. She made a suggestion that I initially discarded but then explored with her further, the result of our short conversation resulted in a change in treatment for the baby that resulted in a stabilisation of her condition and ultimately contributed to saving her life. This may sound dramatic but I truly believe that my open questioning helped the team manage a potentially disastrous situation.” – Tim Wickham Consultant paediatrician, Royal Free

Case Histories

At Culture at Work we provide global management coach training and leadership development programmes at all levels, including C-Suite, for organisations in 33 countries and in all main business languages. We can provide in-house courses by webinar, open coach training courses in London, ILM Endorsed, Level 5, Level 7 and Diploma qualifications, manager-as-coach courses, plus general leadership development and team building programmes. To read case histories of any of these activities, click here.