Philippa Thomas Online

Life and leadership coaching

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My ears are open

I knew I would thrive on coaching – but this much?
I now have a roster of BBC coaching clients in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Salford and London.
I’m developing my niche.   Identifying strengths.  Focussing forward, on what success means for each client and how to get there.   Looking at the whole life experience – body and mind – and embracing “mid-life” as a fresh chance to thrive.
It’s immensely rewarding to keep learning. I’ve just survived my first essay crisis for MAPPCP – that’s the Masters in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology at the University of East London.
And this week I discovered how much I enjoy teaching.
Together with fellow BBC coach and marketing whizz Isabella Kornas, I ran my first workshop at the BBC  – an Introduction to Coaching Skills – for 35 members of our Global Women in News network (GWiN). Participants came to the two hour event from as far afield as Salford, Coventry and Norwich.
I talk live on TV for a living, to audiences in the hundreds of thousands, but I still got that “gulp!” moment of looking at this room full of expectant faces and thinking “I hope this works!”
It did.  Everybody brought energy;  the buzz and buy-in was apparent from the very first Q & A.  Two hours later, after Active Listening, Powerful Questions, and Challenging Assumptions, we finished by fielding a host of questions about what it takes to coach, how to develop… and when are we going to do this next?
I’m thrilled to say I’ve already been asked to do more to help deliver coaching training at the BBC.
So this year, my coaching plans are:
Learn more!
Practise more!
And reach out.
Thank you for reading.


Why Jo Cox was the best kind of politician.

I will remember Jo on her boat with a baby and a smile.

We’d been introduced by a mutual friend who used to work in the White House. When I headed back to London after four years living in the States, he said “there’s this fantastic woman you just have to meet”. And so in October 2011 we did – on her lovely vintage houseboat on the Thames. We talked about babies and boats and travelling the world, about being working parents, and about what professional women could do to help others coming up behind them – as she did.

I first reported on politics for the BBC in Westminster back in 1990, and have spoken to dozens and dozens of politicians since in the UK, the US and beyond. I’m always fascinated with what drives them.

With Jo, this was very clear. She was in politics not for what she could be, but for what she could do. She was smart, strategic, lovable – yes, she could have been a cabinet minister or a party leader. But she really was driven to make the world a better place. And to make us behave more decently.

She was passionate but positive. Something else to hold onto in an age of politicians “full of sound and fury”.

“Let’s have a cuppa sometime” she tweeted me last month. Oh if only