Trisha Avery

MD, Business Performance CoachingAustralia.

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Executive Coaching in China – working with our Neighbours.

An experiential workshop based on real case studies exploring the differences between executive coaching in Beijing, Shanghai and other SE Asian locations such as Singapore and Hong Kong - as opposed to Australia, the UK and North America.

Utilising preliminary findings from doctoral research and other activities undertaken in China, this workshop will discuss the difficulties of creating a leadership programme for developing Chinese leaders to work globally within an existing multi-national culture delivered through a coaching and action learning methodology. 

There will also be opportunity within the workshop to discuss the pros and cons of issues such as coaching by Skype and by phone, and the use of diagnostics.

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Michael Collins

Director, Hipotential, Sydney.

Understanding neurocognitive leadership.

Organisational cognitive neuroscience (OCN) promises to fundamentally change the way we select and develop leaders. However, this rapidly evolving field of research is fragmented and complex, and has yet to fully inform organisational practice. This interactive workshop examines the neurocognitive basis of leadership and how this applies to organisational coaching. This session will cover:

  • Evidence for a neurocognitive model of leadership
  • How psychological resource depletion predicts destructive leadership
  • Techniques for assessing and coaching affected leaders

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Rachel Collis

Former consultant psychiatrist, now MBA lecturer and executive coach in private practice. 

Coaching for Meaning and Purpose.

Employees who see their work as meaningful tend to be more engaged (Rich, Lepine & Crawford, 2010) and people who have a sense of meaning in their life have greater wellbeing and better psychological adjustment (Steger, Kashdan, Sullivan, & Lorentz, 2008).

However, changes in the workplace, such as increasing mobility and decreasing job security, mean that many of the traditional approaches to connecting employees to a sense of meaning in work may be problematic (Harter, Schmidt, & Hayes, 2002). It may be that employees need to develop their own sense of meaning in their work. 

How can coaches help their clients to connect with this individual sense of meaning and purpose?  

This experiential workshop will draw on a range of research and theory to suggest practical strategies and will include exercises where participants will practise advanced coaching skills and explore their own sense of meaning and purpose in their work, and include exploring how to apply Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Relational Frame Theory (RFT, the theory underpinning ACT) to coaching for meaning and purpose.
In this workshop, Rachel will explore:

  • the skills, from a behavioural science perspective, that are involved in choosing and then acting on meaning and purpose, and
  • the approaches that are likely to help coaching clients to connect with meaning and purpose at work.


  • Steger, Michael F., Kashdan, Todd B., Sullivan, Brandon A., & Lorentz, Danielle. (2008). Understanding the search for meaning in life: personality, cognitive style, and the dynamic between seeking and experiencing meaning. Journal of personality, 76(2), 199-228. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2007.00484.x
  • Rich, B. L., & Lepine, J. A., & Crawford, E. R. (2010). Job engagement: Antecedents and effects on job performance. Academy of Management Journal, 53, 617-635.
  • Harter, J. K., Schmidt, F. L., & Hayes, T. L. (2002). Business-unit-level relationship between employee satisfaction, employee engagement, and business outcomes: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87, 268-279. doi:10.1037//0021-9010.87.2.268

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Prof Sarah Corrie

Professional Development Foundation, Middlesex University and Chair, British Psychological Society's Special Group in Coaching Psychology (SGCP).

Tackling the prison of perfectionism: How to help coaching clients modify excessively high standards.

Perfectionism is a common presentation in coaching practice, appearing as both a distinct area of concern, and as a feature that interferes with the accomplishment of the coachee’s goals. As a result, coaches need to understand what perfectionism is, how perfectionistic tendencies can exert a negative influence and be equipped with methods that can transform unhelpful forms of perfectionism into a healthier striving for excellence.

This workshop draws upon a cognitive behavioural approach to understanding and working with perfectionism, and provides practical approaches that can easily be built into the coaching contract. This workshop will be ideal for those who are relatively new to working with perfectionism, as well as those who would like to consider new ways for tackling what can sometimes be a complex presentation.

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Frances Feenstra

Organisational psychologist.


Prof Helen De Cieri

Professor, Department of Management, Monash University..

Coaching for Gender Equity: Evidence, Ideas and Strategies.

In the past decade there has been almost no progress in the participation of women in senior corporate roles. Less than 10% of senior executives are women, the majority of ASX500 companies have no women board members, women CEOs are rare and the gender pay gap is increasing.

While this is clearly an issue of equity, the lack of gender balanced leadership is also an active barrier to Australia’s economic performance and our collective bottom line.1 2

The 2 big questions are:

Why aren’t there more women in senior leadership roles?


Could [or does??] executive coaching make a difference for gender equity at the top?

This workshop will bring together research evidence and practical experience focused on helping women attain senior leadership roles. The workshop will address two key benefits from executive coaching, namely:

  1. What is the benefit of coaching for women in attaining senior leadership roles?
  2. What is the benefit of coaching for men who work with, and lead, the women who want to attain senior leadership roles?

The workshop aims to:

  • Raise awareness of the benefits, and potential pitfalls, of coaching for gender equity
  • Identify warning signs and roadblocks of inequity
  • Discuss case studies of the benefits of coaching for gender equity
  • Discuss ways to design and implement coaching to build gender equity in senior leadership roles
  • Demonstrate practical strategies that could be applied by coaches, individuals, managers and their employing organisations.
  • Provide tools to evaluate coaching: Does your coaching build or block gender equity?


1 The Bottom Line: Connecting Corporate Performance and Gender Diversity. Catalyst, 2004.
2 Australia’s Hidden Resource: The economic case for increasing female participation. Goldman Sachs, 2009.

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Prof Sandy Gordon

Professor, Sport & Exercise Psychology, School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health, University of Western Australia.

A strengths-based approach to skills and performance coaching.

This workshop will use exercises and activities designed to enhance both individual performance and well-being. Participants will use conversation frameworks and discussion processes, informed by both appreciative inquiry coaching and the Realise2 4M model, to identify and exploit personal strengths and to improve capacity at team/group as well as individual levels.

There will also be a focus on enhancing personal engagement using exercises that focus on autonomy, mastery, purpose, and resilience.

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Dr Michael Cavanagh

Deputy Director, Coaching Psychology Unit, School of Psychology, University of Sydney.


Dr Gordon Spence

Program Director, Master of Business Coaching, Sydney Business School, University of Wollongong.

Psychological foundations for evidence-based coaching practice: What research says about coaching and how can this make you a better coach.

Coaching has rapidly become an accepted methodology for creating purposeful positive change in a wide range of individual and organizational settings worldwide. Despite its popularity and anecdotal reports of its effectiveness, compared to other branches of applied psychology, there has been little empirical research exploring the psychological mechanisms by which coaching works.

This session presents key points from 18 years of research from the Coaching Psychology Unit at The University of Sydney. This research addresses fundamental questions regarding the effectiveness of coaching, including the results of randomized controlled trials in personal, organizational and educational settings; comparative studies of the effectiveness of peer vs trained coaches; the impact of coaching on psychological constructs such as anxiety, stress and depression, well-being, insight and resilience; the relative effectiveness of problem-focused and solution-focused approaches to coaching; and the nature of effective coach-coachee relationships.

All of these findings have important implications for those wishing to engage in psychologically-grounded, evidence-based coaching practice and can help you become a more effective coach.

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Dr Suzy Green

Clinical and Coaching Psychologist (MAPS) and the Founder of The Positivity Institute.


Prof Stephen Palmer

Director, Coaching Psychology Unit, City University, and Director, Centre for Coaching, International Academy for Professional Development Ltd., London, and President, International Society for Coaching Psychology (ISCP).

Positive Psychology Coaching:  Enhancing Resilience, Achievement & Well-Being.

Positive Psychology is now 15 years old with many theories, models and interventions that are utilised primarily for the enhancement of individual, group, organisational and community well-being.  During this time there has been increasing calls for the integration of positive psychology with coaching psychology at both the individual level (Kauffman & Scouler, 2004) and at the organisational level (Green, 2014).  Evidence-based coaching whilst being previously defined as "an applied positive psychology" (IGCP) can also be described as a "facilitator of felicitation" meaning it can act as an enabler of positive psychology research into practice to promote higher levels of well-being.  In this workshop, Suzy and Stephen will present a new model of flourishing (RAW) which combines the science of Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology which can be utilised to enhance individual resilience, achievement and well-being. The model can be applied across different life stages and transitions.  The workshop will have a focus on experiential coaching practice and assume a base knowledge of key Positive and Coaching Psychology theories and research.

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Aaron McEwan

Director, Executive Advisory Services, Human Resources Practice, CEB

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The Rise of the Enterprise Leader: Executive Coaching in the Age of Connectedness.

Globalisation, mass communication, and  rapid technological and social change (Cavanagh, 2013; Barnosky, et al., 2012) have delivered unprecedented levels of connectedness that frequently push executives and the organisations that they lead to the “edge of chaos” (Stacey, 2011). Not only do they face added diverse and global responsibilities, but they are also exposed to increasing changes that are both unfamiliar and unpredictable. Specifically:

  • 86% of senior leaders report that the change they face has increased in magnitude versus three years ago
  • 62% report that they are facing more situations that are new to them
  • 64% report that they are facing more unexpected situations

While many organizations have increased their investments in leadership development and executive coaching to boost senior leaders’ performance, their efforts haven’t been delivering the expected results. CEB research shows that only 38% of heads of Leadership Development report improvements over the past three years. Additionally, two-thirds of C-suite executives are not confident that senior leaders at their organisations demonstrate the necessary capabilities to deliver on performance expectations. 

Conventional leader centric and linear approaches to leadership development and executive coaching are clearly not working. They don't pay adequate attention to the increased complexity that leaders face and the broader systems perspectives that are required to be effective in complex, interconnected environments.

This interactive session will introduce a new model of complexity-based “Enterprise Leadership” and provide executive coaches with practical guidance on how they can assist clients to develop enterprise leadership capabilities and operate effectively within complex environments where leadership is increasingly emergent and distributed across the enterprise and the broader ecosystem.  The session will also explore how coaches can be more impactful when working with leaders and teams in complex environments by employing specific frames of reference based on Complex Adaptive Systems Theory (CAST). 

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Prof Stephen Palmer

Director, Coaching Psychology Unit, City University, and Director, Centre for Coaching, International Academy for Professional Development Ltd., London, and President, International Society for Coaching Psychology (ISCP).

‘Dreamer, you know you are a dreamer’*
A rational cognitive behavioural coaching approach to tackling procrastination

The objectives of this workshop are to:

  • Become knowledgeable about procrastination and understand the fundamental procrastination paradox
  • Using the procrastination chart to briefly educate, assess and highlight the key cognitions and emotions that largely cause procrastinating behaviours
  • Recognise six key procrastination styles in yourself and your coachees
  • Understand the cognitive link between procrastination, perfectionism, ego disturbance and discomfort disturbance beliefs
  • Become knowledgeable about the rational and cognitive behavioural coaching approach and its application to tackling procrastination today and not tomorrow
  • Recognise key Task Interfering Cognitions (TICs) and developing Task Oriented Cognitions (TOCs)
  • Using TIC-TOC 2 and 5 column coaching worksheets forms based on the ABCDEF rational and cognitive behavioural model to enhance motivation and overcome procrastination
  • Become knowledgeable about Cognitive Based Task Focused Imagery to overcome procrastination
  • Become knowledgeable about Staying Focused Plans

*Acknowledgement and thanks to Roger Hodgson

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Dr Steven Segal

Senior Lecturer, Management, Macquarie Graduate School of Management.

Hermeneutic Circle of Coaching.

Hermeneutic coaching focuses on the way in which our being as managers and leaders is formed and transformed by the ways in which we immerse ourselves in managerial and leadership experiences. While we are performing the functions of either a leader or manager, our habits of practice are being formed frequently in the background rather than the foreground of our awareness. If we leave them in the background of our awareness, they govern and control us. If, on the other hand, we become explicitly attuned to how our habits of practice formed through the lived experiences of leading and managing, we can intervene by either affirming or transforming them.

Hermeneutic coaching consists of methods for intervening in the circular process through which our habits are formed through lived experience. Hermeneutic coaching has its origins in Aristotle and culminates in the hermeneutic philosophy of Martin Heidegger.

This workshop will look at both the theory and practice of hermeneutic coaching.

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Dr Gordon Spence

Program Director, Master of Business Coaching, Sydney Business School, University of Wollongong.

Coaching for employee engagement: The role of basic psychological need support and satisfaction.

Coaching is fundamentally concerned with assisting people to generate motivation for purposive action. Yet, surprisingly, theories of motivation have not been prominent in coaching research to date. In this talk, Dr Gordon Spence will provide an overview of self-determination theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 1985) and discuss its relevance to both coaching practice and research. He will also outline preliminary findings from a quasi-experimental coaching trial conducted within a large Australian organisation (n=100). The discussion of these findings will focus on three hypothesised antecedents of employee engagement (psychological need support, psychological need satisfaction, autonomous motivation) and the impact of coaching on these core SDT variables.

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Prof Reinhard Stelter

Professor, Sport and Coaching Psychology, University of Copenhagen,  and Visiting Professor, Copenhagen Business School (Master of Public Governance).

Third generation coaching – reconstructing dialogues through collaborative practice and a focus on values.

As a consequence of rapid societal changes third generation coaching goes beyond earlier coaching practices by emphasizing a focus on identity, values and ethical reflections and by integrating the experiential and subjective-existential dimension with the relational, narrative and discursive.

Third generation coaching is - beside others - inspired by narrative-collaborative practice, positive psychology, philosophy and ethics. Intertwined with the social and cultural conditions of late modern society, problematic experiences or events are reframed by unfolding alterative narratives, on ethical reflections and on the process of co-creation between coach and coachee(s).

This workshop will provide an excellent opportunity to explore this new approach to coaching psychology in theory and practice. Participants will also experience Third Generation Coaching in small exercises, group work and through a demonstration session. Finally, participants are invited to reflect on practical applications for their own coaching practice.

Main objectives of the workshop:

  • Integrate coaching practice as part of changes in society.
  • Become aware of the three generations or fundamental perspectives of coaching.
  • Become familiar with the basic principles of Third Generation Coaching.
  • Apply these principles to one’s own coaching practice.

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Doug Strycharczyk

CEO AQR International.


Claudine Rowlands

Director, AQR International

Mental Toughness – a new measure of resilience and performance of Leaders.

Mental toughness has been researched and measured in sport and the military for several years now. Now there is a new psychometric tool that can measure a leader’s mental toughness.

The research behind mental toughness is based on the ability of developing high performance, resilience under pressure and positive behaviours that help a leaders overall well-being. Mental Toughness is a narrow personality trait which describes an aspect of mind-set important in all coaching activity. Originally defined by Peter Clough, professor of Applied Psychology at MMU, UK, it is the attribute which describes how people approach and respond to stressors, pressure and challenge and achieve being “the best that they can be” and wellbeing.  It embraces resilience but adds factors which resonate with positive psychology. The MTQ48 is a valid and reliable normative psychometric measure which is widely used by coaches for diagnosis; design of interventions and support and for evaluation of change.

This session will cover:

  • What is mental toughness – the 4Cs – how it can be assessed – why do this.
  • Its applications in coaching and leadership/people development – and for coaches themselves
  • Developing mental toughness & the benefits of so doing.

Delivered for the practitioner, delegates will also have the opportunity to complete the MTQ48 measure free of charge.


  • Clough PJ and Strycharczyk D Developing Mental Toughness Improving Performance, Wellbeing and Positive Behaviour in others (2012):. Kogan Page, Philadelphia
  • Strycharczyk D and Elvin C Developing Resilient Organisations (2014): Kogan Page, Philadelphia
  • Strycharczyk D and Clough PJ Developing Mental Toughness in young people for the 21st Century (2014): Karnac UK
  • Association for Coaching and  Passmore J, Psychometrics in Coaching: Using Psychological and Psychometric Tools for Development (2012): Kogan Page, Philadelphia.

Randal Tame

Adjunct lecturer in management, Macquarie Graduate School of Management and Doctoral student, University of Queensland.

The Social Identity Approach to Leadership

Following from Prof Michael Platow's keynote, this session discusses the practical implications of social identity and self categorisation for leadership, intergroup relations, intergroup conflict, influence, negotiation, social change, motivation and stereotyping. In addition to explaining the leadership process, the social identity approach describes when and what social identities will become self defining. It provides a model of the interaction between the environment and the perceiver. Because of this, the new psychology of leadership provides insight into who in any particular situation is likely be in a position of leadership, and how people can position themselves as a leader.

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Tammy Turner

Director, Professional Standards, International Coaching Federation (ICF) Australasia.

Continuing Supervision – an essential component for consistent Coaching Excellence.

Best practice coaching requires moment-by-moment evaluation of emerging client needs, insight into inter-personal and intra-personal psychology, consideration of context and its reinterpretation by the client, adapting implementation strategies, as well as in the moment self-awareness. Best practice coaching it would seem is a recipe for juggling!

This session will explore the value of continuing supervision in delivering more consistent coaching excellence. Continuing supervision explores and contributes to a coach’s insight, familiarity and competence in supporting best practice coaching. It is arguably a significant step beyond the more compliance and/or technique-focussed practice of traditional supervision.

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Vicki V. Vandaveer

Excellence in Professional Practice of Coaching Psychology:  Competency Models, Reductionism and Emergence

As we strive to build a strong practice and science of Coaching Psychology, and as we who practice coaching psychology seek to continually improve our skills and outcomes, it is natural to study and try to determine what "excellence" in the practice of coaching psychology is and how we can achieve it.  
Over the past decade a number of coaching competency studies have been conducted and subsequent coaching competency models have been developed.  In fact, The Society of Consulting Psychology and the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology - divisions of the American Psychological Association, have just completed such a (rigorous) study, and we are in the process of developing a competency model of the core (fundamental) knowledges, skills, and personal characteristics that are foundational for beginning to prepare for doing executive coaching.  

As we have diligently applied our well-honed scientific skills to this effort, we are very much aware of the limitations of such reductionism in trying to really understand such a complex and dynamic process -- every case of which is unique (coach, coachee, context, demand characteristics and all of the various interactions - just to name a few key variables).  

Nevertheless, when a graduate student who wishes to know how to begin to prepare him- or her-self for practicing executive coaching -- or a psychologist who wishes to migrate their practice to doing coaching -- asks what is required, it seems that a foundational model of basic knowledge and skills is a useful (admittedly insufficient, but useful).

In this highly interactive workshop, Dr. Vandaveer will

  • share the results of the SCP and SIOP study - and compare the results with similar studies conducted elsewhere;
  • discuss with participants some of the effects of reductionism on the phenomena being studied; and
  • suggest the possibility that application of some aspects of complexity theory (including the concept of "emergence") may help with furthering our understanding of "excellence" in coaching psychology

(i.e., without experiencing the effect of our study of the phenomena actually changing the nature of the thing we are studying - and certainly falling short of explaining "excellence").  
A case example will be provided for workshop participants to analyze in light of our discussion and insights from Prof David Lane's keynote presentation.

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