Monthly Archives: May 2014

On Trust, Flying & Catching

If you have a spare 10 minutes and want to learn an essential management skill then watch the Flying Rodleighs on YouTube.

Four men and two women fly through the air, goodness knows how many feet above the ground, twisting, turning, somersaulting, backwards and forwards. The spectacle is breathtaking.

The flyers are magnificent and draw huge, much justified applause.  One of them said “As a flyer, I must have complete trust in my catcher. The public might think that I am the great star of the trapeze, but the real star is Joe, my catcher. He has to be there for me with split second precision and grab me out of the air as I come to him in the long jump.  The secret is that the flyer does nothing and the catcher does everything. When I fly to Joe I have simply to stretch out my arms and hands and wait for him to catch me and pull me safely over the apron behind the catchbar. I do nothing.”

Let the catcher do the catching

Let the catcher do the catching

Now that is TRUST in a very big way. The relationship has been nurtured over many years. The routine practised and the timing perfected but the skill is the complete and mighty trust that the flyer has in the catcher.

To be a successful manager, to work in a great organisation, we need that level of trust every day of our working lives. It underpins all the relationships we have within the organisation and with our customers. It is reliable faultless customer service that brings people back again and again. And this stems ultimately from trust.  I would argue that if we trust the people we interact with then everything else follows. We know how the others think, what they would do in a crisis and what will happen as a matter of course. We can rely on them doing their job, being there for us and always ready to catch us.

If trust has been developed and is renewed every day then your company will be healthy and you will enjoy playing your part in it. You will be part of an effective team operating like a well-oiled machine.

But be warned, trust is like innocence, once you have lost it, it is almost impossible to re-kindle.  Without trust, your working life is unbearable: you can rely on no-one except yourself; you can delegate nothing as you have no guarantee the job will get done. There are no shared targets and too much time is wasted looking for a scapegoat. Ultimately your customers will go looking for a better supplier.

"Trust me, I'm a lion...."

“Trust me, I’m a lion….”

  • So how trustworthy are you?
  • What do your co-workers and clients say about you?
  • Are you reliable?
  • Do you perform consistently?
  • Are you there for your team when they need you?
  • Would they launch themselves into mid air confident you would catch them?

If you are trustworthy, fantastic… will be a great manager, able to delegate and draw the best from your team.

running_manIf you are not, …..then don’t be surprised if people doubt you, walk or even run away from you.

If you want to work on improving your performance on becoming extraordinary, then TRUST will play a key part; I can help you to develop trust and empower you to be the catcher people want on their team – the real star of the show.



With thanks to Henri Nouwen and The Flying Rodleighs 


Elizabeth Toogood
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The 7 Secrets of Hiring a Good Coach


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Liz Toogood iis a mixture of mentor, coach and non-executive director.

Guest Blog Post from Sally Brown, Health Journalist

Bedfordshire BusinessWomen (BBW) members Liz Toogood of Elizabeth Toogood Critical Friend and Caroline Clark of Happiness Matters set up shop at the i-kan earlier this month to debunk a few myths about coaching (Unravelling the Coaching Myth – Is coaching for you? And if so, who?). I booked a half-hour session with Liz Toogood who was so wonderfully wise and insightful, I had to be politely encouraged to leave after an hour.


Here are the 7 Secrets I learned about making coaching work for you:

  1. Chemistry is crucial. If you don’t ‘click’ with your coach, you’re wasting your money. You should feel understood, accepted and comfortable. According to research from Ashridge Business School, the relationship between coach and client is the most important factor in determining the success of coaching. ‘Trust is very important – ask yourself if you could be truly honest with this person?’ says Liz.
  2. Your best friend/partner is not your best choice of coach. However supportive your friends, colleagues or partner may be, they will have their own agenda and opinions. By contrast, a coach is there exclusively for your benefit. Unlike your loved ones, they won’t glaze over while you talk through your challenges in minute detail.

    Caroline Clark - passionate about people’s professional and personal happiness and fulfilment, and about coaching as an effective tool to bring about practical and lasting change.

    Caroline Clark – passionate about people’s professional and personal happiness and fulfilment

  3. You may only need one session. Different coaches work in different ways but it is a myth that coaching has to be a long term commitment, says Liz. ‘Some people want ongoing support, but for many, one or two sessions are all that’s needed. You can also dip in and out as and when you need it.
  4. A coach is not a therapist…. Emotional problems and unhelpful patterns of thinking and relating to people that have their roots in your childhood are best dealt with by a counsellor or psychotherapist registered with the BACP.
  5. ….or an expert. A coach won’t profess to be an expert in your line of business but should be able to offer relevant strategies and techniques, and more crucially, ask the right questions to help you get to the right answers.
  6. It’s OK to be vague. Most people do have a clear idea of what they want to achieve from coaching. But others don’t – they just know they want things to change. Part of the process is sorting out vagueness and uncertainty. A coach is there to provide clarity and steer you through,’ says Liz.
  7. But you do need an open mind. To get the best out of coaching, you need to be prepared to take on new ideas, and go out of your comfort zone – approach it with a closed mind, and you’re wasting your money.


With thanks to Sally Brown.  Sally is an established UK-based health writer with more thanSally Brown - Health Journalist 20 years experience in the industry.  She held several senior editing positions, including Lifestyle Editor of the Sunday Times Style magazine, before going freelance. Sally specialises in all aspects of health and wellbeing, including alternative and conventional health, nutrition, fitness, emotional health and social trends.  Her clients include top consumer magazines, newspapers, customer magazines, websites and publishers.  Sally is also a psychodynamic counsellor and member of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists. She I currently works part-time helping clients to overcome depression, anxiety, relationship problems and low self-esteem.



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