business, leadership

Business lessons from dog training

ChicaAn unlikely title for a blog perhaps, but a recent training session with my anxious German Shepherd has got me thinking.  Chica is a gentle giant, but gets scared around other dogs – especially small ones.  Her anxiety manifests in apparently aggressive growls, snarls and fierce body language.  However, when challenged she either runs away or hides behind me for protection.  I’ve been at a loss about how to help her.

In just one training session I have learnt to distract Chica so that she forgets to feel anxious.  I have discovered that I’ve been confusing her by talking too much and that she is eager to give the behaviour I’m looking for when she understands what I want.  And I also now know that she’ll do anything for cooked turkey!

This experience has provided some useful learning to apply to some current business challenges.  Rather than sharing what I have learnt, I’d be interested to know whether this story resonates with you.

decision making, Uncategorized

Brave decisions – and their consequences

Rosita15 years ago this month my then partner (now husband) asked me a question.  As I considered my answer, I realised I had to make a brave decision.  What I didn’t know was that my decision would still be impacting on my life today.

The question?  He asked me to leave my job as a teacher and sail away to the Caribbean on his yacht.  Many people might see this as a no-brainer, but for me it wasn’t a far from easy decision.

I loved my job, I was financially secure and I had a good life in Sussex.  I had always taken the safe options in life – good job, work hard, save for the future – you know the routine.  But, the idea of sharing in his great adventure made this offer too good to refuse, so I said yes!

After months of hard graft and preparation we sailed away, crossing the Atlantic to the Caribbean, sailing around the islands and returning to the UK three years later.

When I said yes, I could hardly have guessed the long-term consequences of my decision.  I had intended to return to teaching once the adventure was over.  I never did that.  My career journey took a very different route, which ultimately led to me establishing my own business.

The old risk-averse me would never have taken the risk of self-employment.  The me who had sailed across oceans and learned so much about myself in the process knew that risks can bring great rewards, and after all – “what is the worst that can happen?”


Calling people in, or near Worthing

Next week I will be part of always possible’s takeover of Colonnade House, in Worthing from 12-17 March. If you are interested in creative thinking, problem solving or decision making, we have workshops, debates, lunchtime picnics, 1:1 coaching, business surgeries and drinks – all free, or ‘pay what you can’.

Very special guests include:

– Alex Bailey – CEO, Adur & Worthing Council
– Jo Sullivan – Superstar Arts
– Ben Clench – Author, ‘Ben Again’
– Josie Kelly – Chair, (first ever) Worthing Pride
– Alison Rendle – leadership coach
– Emma Turner – social enterprise guru
– Hesan Yousif – IT, cyber security & data wizard
– Cat Rose – The Creative Introvert
– Leo Sedgley – founder of DailyDo
– Dan Flanagan – writer of the ‘dadifesto’ and founder of Tot Rockin’ Beats
– Davina Sambath – Customer Journey Strategist and Designer 


and many many more. Please book tickets, pop down and say hello and spread the word.

mentoring, Uncategorized

“Everyone should have a mentor”

This is what I was told when I asked a student why he had signed up for the University of Brighton’s Momentum mentoring programme.  I enjoyed the time I spent last year mentoring that student.  And I’m delighted to now be working with another student as she completes her studies and carves out a new career path.

Momentum is a programme which matches volunteer mentors with students to help them to build confidence and develop their employability skills.  I get so much enjoyment mentoring students through the programme – it’s a true partnership with benefits and learning flowing in both directions.

In the words of the great Oprah Winfrey:

“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.”


How to get added value from your coach

Coaching represents a significant financial investment for you or for your company.  This means you need to make sure that you get the maximum benefit from your coach.

So, how can you do this?

  1. Choose the right coach for you

There are so many coaches out there.  With so many different approaches, qualifications and ways of working.  So how can you be sure that you’re choosing the one who is right for you?

Here are a few golden rules:

  • Ask people for recommendations. But be careful – what works for a colleague or friend may not suit you.
  • Ask the coach how they work, check out their qualifications and request client references.
  • Book a free ‘chemistry’ session to see if you would like to work with this coach.  If they don’t offer a free session, keep looking.
  • Trust your intuition – are you excited about working with this coach?
  • If not, don’t be afraid to say no, and keep searching for your perfect coach.
  1. Be open and honest

You will gain most from coaching if you are open and honest with your coach from the word go.  Some people don’t find it easy to open up to a stranger, but you won’t get very far if you keep the important stuff to yourself.

Tell your coach what does and doesn’t work for you.  Give them feedback as you go along, and they will tailor their coaching to your needs and preferences.

  1. Take responsibility for your own progress

Coaching can bring about powerful development and change … when people take responsibility for their own progress.

This means taking time before sessions to prepare and clear your mind of the day’s clutter.  Also find time soon after each session to download the learning.  This can soon get lost as you go back into your busy life.

Take responsibility for completing any actions you have identified, and take time to reflect on your learning. For example, if you committed to having a difficult conversation with your boss, consider afterwards what went well, what could have been better, how you felt, and what has happened as a result.

Put these golden rules into action and you really will get added value from working with your coach.

To find out more about the power of coaching, have a look at my article: How I built a successful business, working with a coach.

coaching, executive coaching

The power of supervision

I enjoyed a great afternoon of group supervision yesterday with Melody Cheal of GWiz NLP. As an Executive Coach and NLP Practitioner, I recognise supervision as an essential aspect of my practice. It gives me a space to learn more about myself as a coach, to stand back and reflect on cases and to hone my coaching skills.

In short, supervision is essential to me as a professional coach and it helps me to deliver the very best service to my clients.

coach training, coaching

Coaching skills for leaders

I had a great time this week facilitating the first session in my coaching skills for leaders programme to headteachers and middle leaders from schools in the Bexhill area.

A very enthusiastic group of leaders, and some inspiring conversations in the room – impressive, coming as it did at the end of a full day at school.

For more information on this programme, see my services page.

clean coaching, coaching

What are you reading at the moment?

I always have a pile of ‘to read’ books on my shelves and I’m ashamed to admit that some of them remain unread for years. Others rise to the top of the pile very quickly, and I’m currently enjoying my January read – ‘Clean Coaching’ by Angela Dunbar.

Angela writes with great precision and clarity about this fascinating coaching methodology, which she describes as “communicating without attempting to alter another’s perception or understanding by adding yours”. What would happen if more of us tried to do this, at least some of the time? I’m looking forward to continuing my own clean coaching journey later this year when I join one of Angela’s courses.

So – what are you reading at the moment?


Brighton Association for Coaching co-coaching forum

The next meeting of the AC’s co-coaching forum will take place on Monday 3rd July 2-4 pm at Stanmer House on the outskirts of Brighton (BN1 9QA).

The theme is feedback – please think about a question that you would like the group to consider. The session will start with a discussion around this theme, followed by our usual co-coaching triads.

If the weather stays fine there will be an opportunity to coach in the wonderful surroundings of Stanmer Park for those who like to work outside.

Please email me to book your place, and I look forward to seeing you there.

Dates for future meetings:
Wednesday 13th September 2-4 pm – topic: building a coaching business model


Executive coaching in education

Follow this link to view my new coaching programmes for leaders and teachers in schools and colleges: alison-rendle-coaching

If you think about the great teachers you have known and the great leaders who have inspired you, you will probably notice that they share similar characteristics.

They live by their values and refuse to compromise on the things that really matter.  They are great communicators.  They care deeply about the people they work with and those they serve.  They are resilient, flexible and pragmatic, and they consistently deliver.

Our schools and colleges are full of great teachers and great leaders, who are working hard to deliver the very best education they can to improve the life chances of their pupils.  And they continue to do this through ongoing changes to the curriculum and assessment regimes and shifting government education policies.

I am very pleased to launch three new coaching programmes designed specifically to meet the needs of today’s education leaders and teachers.

These programmes are rooted in my deep knowledge and passion for education, and in the latest coaching research and thinking.  They are designed to support improved skills and performance, enhance goal attainment, resilience and well-being.

Please contact me to discuss your coaching requirements.