Journal

My journal is a place to express my thoughts about what I do. The entries you see here are prompted by client scenarios or the ideas that inform my work. I hope they may be useful to those who are trying to find out about me or who want stimulus for their own thinking.

Lucy Ball Director of Lucy Ball Consulting
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Diversity: Am I biased?

As more and more organisations put diversity and inclusion on their agendas, many leaders are confronted with, or choose to ask themselves, the question “Am…

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The Cycle of Experience

In 1947, Fritz Perls began to shape an idea that became the Gestalt Cycle of Experience. It was built upon by successive Gestalt thinkers including…

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Presence is so much more than charisma

Many of my clients, have, at some point in their career, wanted to build more presence. Perhaps they have had feedback that they need to…

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Ignore Psychological Safety at your peril

Psychological Safety has become part of the business and leadership lexicon. It is a simple, but powerful phenomenon. It describes a state in which one…

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On Striving

Striving: Trying hard; making one’s way with effort; straining; exerting yourself. What’s your relationship with striving? I see striving as neither good nor bad in itself,…

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Why leaders need their coach to be supervised

Good coaches know that their craft requires supervision. In fact evidence suggests that the more mature and experienced a coach is, the more likely they…

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The emotionally intelligent leader knows their body

Emotional Intelligence is now firmly accepted as a vital enabler of leadership. In Daniel Goleman’s model, Emotional Intelligence comprises Self Awareness, Self Management, Social Awareness…

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Archetypes: What leaders and coaches need to know

What is an archetype?  An archetype is a character that we know in our culture and in our stories. It is the King, the Queen,…

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How are you feeling about… Climate Crisis, Biodiversity Collapse and Mass Extinction?

I would like to share how I’m feeling and see what we might have in common. I didn’t glue myself to Oxford Street with Extinction…

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None of us is perfect, so why is negative feedback such a minefield?

Today I’m revisiting the topic of feedback. Specifically, why negative feedback is hard and what we can do about it. Hands up if you think…

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The craft of team coaching

An Executive Coach works 1:1 with a leader, a Pairs Coach works with two leaders at a time and a Team Coach works with a…

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The Guilt of a Working Parent

Does any of this feel familiar? When I’m at work, I feel guilty that I’m not with my kids. When I’m with my kids, I’m…

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Ways of Listening

Being aware of our ways of listening can transform our conversations and therefore our impact. A mentor of mine from many years ago used to ask…

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Overcoming Resistance: 7 Tips

Resistance to change can be very frustrating for leaders. It happens up and down hierarchies, across functions and between individuals. Individual and team coaching clients…

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How do you respond to a grumpy authority figure?

This week I’ve had many causes to think about how I, and my clients, respond to a boss, peer or stakeholder who is disappointed, critical,…

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How can men and women talk about feminism?

MeToo, Mansplaining, Everyday Sexism, Women in the Boardroom, ‘Stupid Woman!’ My amateur lip-reading inclines me towards believing Jeremy Corbyn that he said stupid people not…

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The Super Hero Leader

The super hero leader: Is a high achiever Takes on large burdens Volunteers to sort impossible problems Works intensely Doesn’t complain Is their own harshest…

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Being powerful around difficult people

It’s certainly unscientific and probably unprofessional of me to use the term ‘difficult people’ in this journal entry. It’s a generalisation that can be really…

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Feedback and Shame

As is often the case with these journal posts, the topics seem to pick me. This week the topic is feedback and shame. I’ve had…

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Designing a strategy engagement event? 10 Dos and Don’ts

A good strategy engagement event gives leaders and managers in your business the chance to get to grips with the new strategy. It helps people…

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10 tips for leaders joining a new business

Some of my clients are moving on, some have recently moved. Here are 10 tips from my experience of coaching leaders as they establish themselves…

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Heated executive discussions- sitting in the fire

I am privileged to observe and support Executive teams as they grapple with tricky complex decisions. In these discussions I am fascinated by how Executive…

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Countertransference – what coaches need to know

I have been learning from and supervised by psychotherapists for several years as part of my ongoing professional development. The worlds of psychotherapy and coaching…

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Leadership Range not Change

Coaching clients often bring to coaching a particular aspect of their leadership that they want to improve. This has sometimes been brought to their attention…

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When Leaders Cry

Many of my clients have cried at work. Male and female. The last female example: tears of frustration when she didn’t feel heard. The last…

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Dark clouds and loving our weaknesses

I’m prone to melancholy. Although I know bright optimism and joy, I also very keenly feel hopelessness. I consider it one of my weaknesses –…

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Five truths about team conflict

This post explores my observations about conflict in teams. It is prompted by a day spent recently with the executive team of a multi-million pound budget-holding…

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Trousers and inner tyrants

I know a very accomplished guy, a big, strong guy in his 50s. Let’s call him John. John is a successful professional, a loving role-model…

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Are you a political animal?

Is politics a positive or negative word to you? What does it conjure up? Do you think of yourself as a political animal? The theme…

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Disappointment

It’s so hard to live with disappointment – when our expectations are not met or our dreams dashed. It’s also hard to disappoint someone else…

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Coaching or Couching

This entry explores the area between Coaching and Counselling or Psychotherapy which some practitioners are now calling Couching. In entry level coach training much is…

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Collaboration caution

Research published in Harvard Business Review Febuary 2016’s article Collaborative Overload by Cross, Rebele and Grant found that ‘the time spent by managers and employees in collaborative…

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Team Endings

I’m inspired to write about endings by a friend and colleague who recently became MD of an international non-profit organisation. Hold on, this sounds like a…

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Viral Change

The prevailing frame of reference for change programmes continues to be a linear, programmatic version of change that has its roots in the process and…

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The roles we play in pairs

Pre-teens weren’t even a thing when I was growing up, but now I have one. I can already hear those of you with adult kids…

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Corporate Loneliness

John Cacioppo is the director of University of Chicago’s Centre for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience and is interested in Loneliness as a social phenomenon.  According…

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Resilience

Resilience is much talked about in the world of leadership and organisation development. I love the way the funny and brilliant researcher and speaker, Brene…

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Strengths first

Many of us spend so much time thinking about what we are not, that we forget who we are. We grow up with teachers, parents,…

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Safe Empowerment

Something is going on at the top of organisations that leads to frustration. Many leadership teams behind closed doors talk about how they would like…

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70 20 10

70 20 10 in the field of leadership development is much talked about but not yet widely applied. I see many leadership development professionals getting…

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What should I do?

In a parable written by Leo Tolstoy in 1885 called the Three Questions, a King decides that he will never fail if he knows the…

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The power of three

Three has been my favourite number since I was a girl; I liked the curves. Three is the number of items I can remember before…

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I don’t know

At the station this morning, a dapper looking gentleman was wearing a pin badge on his coat. It said on it simply I don’t know. He…

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Where is leadership?

Much leadership development attention has and still is focused on leadership competencies and leadership qualities. I believe this unhelpfully perpetuates the notion that leadership exists…

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