Newsletter June 11

Welcome to the June issue of the Pelican Coaching newsletter, sorry it is a little late – it has been a busy month.

Thanks for your lovely comments about the new format in last month’s newsletter and your feedback about how useful you find all my newsletters. It’s wonderful to know that you value them and forward them onto your friends and colleagues.

This month’s topic is Problem Solving exploring a few of the many approaches you can use to solve your current problems or dilemnas.

Enjoy :)

Highlights from last month

‘Letting Go’ book

My new book is proving to be quite a hit. The book is called ‘Letting Go’ and explores the journey of change, how far you are along on your journey and gives ideas for things you can do to help you to begin ‘letting go’ of the past and focusing on the future. You can download a free e-version of the book from our website just click here. I’d love your feedback positive or constructive (If you’ve already already done this and are receiving this newsletter for the first time – I hope you find it useful).

Leadership Coaching

We have started another leadership programme with an experienced leader who wants to be a more decisive and courageous leader. The programme will run over six months with interim review meetings. If you’d like to know more about our leadership coaching programmes please contact us.

Resilience Coaching

We have just completed a four month resilience coaching programme with an associate director who was struggling to manage his workload and stress levels. Through the programme the leader learnt how to develop his own coping mechanisms and organise himself in a more effective way. He now gets positive feedback about his relaxed style! If you’d like to know more about Resilience Coaching please contact us.

Featured Topic: Problem Solving

This month’s featured topic is Problem Solving providing you with ideas to help you with your problems or dilemnas. I will describe five approaches that I regularly use as part of a coaching discussion for you to consider. Why not print these off, go somewhere quiet and take some time out to think through a current challenge. Each approach has a series of steps; take as much time as you need for each step before moving to the next, rushing through the steps will limit your creativity.

Let me know which of the approaches works most effectively for you.

1. GROW model

The GROW model was developed by Graham Alexander one of the first business coaches and is a simple and effective framework for exploring problems and issues.


The first step is to think about the goal that you want. What is the ideal outcome from this situation? What will make you feel as if you’ve moved forward with this problem?


Once you are clear on your goal or outcome – think about the current reality of the situation. This is an opportunity for you to broaden your awareness of the problem. What is really going on? What have you tried? What have other’s tried? How do you feel at the moment? What is frustrating you most? What is telling you that you need to do something differently?


Now think about your various options for moving your problem or dilemna forward. What could you try? What is the easiest thing you can do to take action? What will make you feel like you’ve made progress? Who might help you?


What actions will you commit to? What are you most energised to do?

2. SOAR model

The SOAR model was developed by Jackie Stavros as an alternative to SWOT. It is based on Appreciative Inquiry, using strengths to set strategies and move forward rather than focusing on problems.

First of all think about the problem or dilemna that you want to explore, then…


What strengths do you have that can help with your problem? What do you do better than anyone else? What do other people see as your strengths? What resources or people do you have access to?


What might the opportunities be in this problem, challenge or dilemna? How could this problem help you to grow? What new partnerships might you develop? How could you grow your skills?


What would you like to happen? What is your ideal outcome, what you you aspire to? What new things do you want to consider? How can this help you in the future?


How will you know that you’ve solved your problem? What will be different? How will you be different? What will the result be?

3. POWER model

The POWER model is based on Outcomes Thinking, a key approach within the field of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). It focuses on developing a clear vision of what you want (rather than what you don’t want).


Think about what you would like to happen and then state this in the positive. It is important to focus on what you want rather than what you don’t want.


Is what you want to happen within your control? Can you take responsibility for making it happen? If you cannot go back to positive (step 1) and restate what you’d like to happen.

What specifically

Exactly what will you make happen? Who will be involved? How will you acheive it?


What will it be like when you’ve acheived what you want? What will you be doing? What will you be saying? What will you be thinking and feeling?


What strength do you have that will help you? What other resources are available to you?

4. Perceptual positions

Perceptual positions is a way of flexing your thinking by exploring perspectives that you might not usually consider. This is another NLP technique. You may find it useful to actually move seats or positions whilst you are exploring each of these perspectives.

First position

Think of the problem or challenge from your perspective. Think about how you usually behave, what you think, feel or say.

Second position

Step into the shoes of another key person involved in your situation. Imagine how they will look at the problem. What will they be thinking and feeling? How might they suggest solving the problem?

Third position

Now imagine that you have been observing the situation from a neutral position (as a fly on the wall). What have you noticed from this position that it was not easy to see from the other positions.

Fourth position

Now imagine that you are a wise, all knowing person – what would their advice be to your situation?

Now you’ve explored each perspective think about how you’d now like to approach your problem or dilemna.

5. Disney Strategy

The Disney creative problem solving strategy was developed by Robert Dilts after modelling the creative approaches of Walt Disney – who used different themes rooms to create his characters and story lines. It is similar to the Perceptual Positions idea but the thinking is a little more structured.


Step into the shoes of a ‘dreamer’ and think about all the things you could make happen. Be as daft as you like – you are a dreamer.


Now think about how you can make each of these things happen. What will you need to do?


Now think about what it makes sense to do and not do.

I hope you have found these different problem solving approaches helpful, remember to let me know which technique worked the best for you and I’ll report back next month.

Coming next month

The featured topic next month will be Communication.

Do let me know if you’ve enjoyed this month’s newsletter.

Warm wishes,

Leadership and Team Coach