By Tony Brewerton
“It wasn’t me but I know a man who did”, I said, a senior probation manager, quite uncharacteristically passing the buck.
“My great great grandfather was doing a publicity stunt for a big London store. The cow was unharmed but my great great grandafther was fined.”
So what has this got to do with the ILM Level 7 Diploma in Professional Executive Coaching and Leadership Mentoring?
Well, nothing really, other than that I am flying high since gaining maximum marks in all elements and soon to be nominated for ILM Learner of the Year, by CFM Consulting.
Fiona Hill of CFM Consulting said, “There was no hot air and no cow but it certainly was a big portfolio. What I enjoyed about it was the combination of the academic and the practical. The portfolio provided an example of a sound academic approach, with good evidence of the period of supervised coaching and a description of what he, as an individual, can contribute to the coaching of others. The work based assignment involving the design and delivery of a business coaching programme for leaders in a public sector organisation is real and the proposal simply leapt off the page.”
My career spans thirty five years in the criminal justice system and, since 1989, I have been a senior manager working in small and medium sized probation organisations. I have led a number of European Social Funded projects, the biggest being the highly successful multi-million pound resettlement project, Connect. I currently lead a unique prison and probation collaboration on a major change programme for managing high risk offenders returning to the West Midlands.
In the last 15 years I have pursued an interesting line in continuing professional development, all of which has contributed to my interest in coaching and mentoring. After completing an NVQ level 5 in Strategic Management, I spent 4 years undertaking psychotherapy training in Transactional Analysis with the Elan Institute, taking a particular interest in transactional analysis as it applies to organisations, education and training. I recently completed a level 5 Passport to Teaching qualification (PTLLS) with Glyndwr University to support my training activities and I have been co-facilitating creativity workshops for professionals in my spare time in a centre on a neighbouring farm in Shropshire where I live. I have an interest in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and, more recently, I completed a course in Cognitive Behavioural Counselling at Chester University. I have been coaching since 2005 and, latterly, have coached CEOs, senior managers and a governor from the public and voluntary sector and have been doing so as an adjunct to my day job. I am also working alongside other coaches, who trained with Peter Hill, in a newly formed limited partnership that my wife and two colleagues have set up called CBT Partners, which provides counselling, business coaching and training services (www.cbtpartners.org.uk).
I thoroughly enjoyed the ILM Level 7 Diploma in Professional Executive Coaching and Leadership Mentoring programme with Peter Hill not only because he is an engaging and motivating trainer but because the qualification gave me the impetus I needed to start coaching and mentoring with very senior people. What I discovered, which will come as no surprise to coaches with more experience than me, is that life for a CEO can be quite isolating and coaching can be a real tonic.
My challenge for the future is to achieve the qualifications I want without, metaphorically, having to take a cow up in a balloon to achieve it! I think it would be a great idea for CFM to produce a practical guide for successful completion of this qualification along the lines of the guidance that Peter gives on the course and through his excellent team of coaching supervisors. I would be happy to contribute but, if it’s Ok with you, I will leave the cow behind.
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