Entrepreneur Jonathan Shaw decided to transform his experience as a CEO and business owner into a coaching programme for teams and executives. Having experienced the highs and the lows of running a business and leading a team, Jon became an expert in the field. He understands the challenges teams face and brings his experience to the training he offers.
How did your personal experience in the business world lead you to start Coaching Minds?
I always had an interest in change management, people and organisational dynamics. About three years ago I decided to sign up with the Association of Coaching in London and to register for an extensive training programme in Cognitive Behavioural Coaching. Coaching Minds’ core competence and niche service offering focuses on cognitive behaviour, transformational coaching and performance coaching. We fulfil this coaching with both individuals and teams to help them achieve breakthrough.
Your fast-paced programme achieves results in just 12 weeks. How do you manage to be so effective in so little time?
Coaching is present and future focussed with a very agile goal-oriented approach that helps clients discover and immediately embark on their way forward. We can be effective in little time as breakthrough in itself can be achieved in a moment of time – a decision, an insight, a truth, or an understanding – and then life is never the same again. Therefore, being effective or performing higher at work is not time constrained but more of a mindset and insight.
What are some of the most common yet preventable challenges that teams run into?
There are many challenges that teams face, both internal and external. Yet common challenges are those created by a lack of psychological safety within the organisation. Psychological safety refers to team members being able to show and employ themselves without the fear of negative consequences on self-image, status or career. Without this the challenges can be numerous and might include conflict and tension, groupthink, under-delivering, lack of creativity, low engagement and lack of trust to mention a few.
Can you tell us about the most interesting experience you’ve had while coaching so far?
Coaching is done with total confidentiality, so I will hold back from mentioning specific experiences. I’m personally so engaged with my clients that whatever the transformation, whatever the change or the wins, is a fascinating, interesting and rewarding experience.
You have worked with teams in Malta as well as abroad. Do you notice any difference in the working culture between different countries? If so, how do you deal with that?
Differences in working culture exist everywhere. Even in Malta one finds different organisations that have totally opposing working cultures. This eventually boils down to the type of leadership and top management. When discussing coaching with organisations I primarily highlight the importance of coaching leaders and top management teams first. Getting this ‘strata’ right will then trigger off the right approach bottom-down.
What is your favourite location to work?
I can work anywhere, as long as it’s quiet.
How has Covid affected the way you work with teams and executives?
Organisations are realising the importance of allocating their reduced advertising budgets towards investing in their teams and people, so Covid has positively increased the interest in Coaching. However, it has also shifted some sessions to be held virtually and not in person. This is doable, but it does make it harder to connect and to embrace body language and the unspoken word – which for a coach is important to understand.
What are your plans or hopes for the future, both personally and professionally?
As clichéd as it might sound, life is a journey and I navigate through the various chapters and milestones trying to keep on moving forward and constantly evolve. I have plans but I don’t hope. My plan is a very high-level overview yet open to be flexible and adapt to the circumstances. The important thing is that I’m engaged and fulfilled with what I’m doing.
Finally – if you could give our readers one piece of advice, what would it be?
It’s not the problem or situation that matters, but the way we think about it. How we think determines how we feel, act or behave. So when you have an issue or situation, start by understanding and questioning how you are thinking about it. Only when you are thinking effectively can you start coming up with effective options and the way forward.
Are you curious about what Jon can do for you and your team? You can find his transformative coaching programme for teams and executives on www.coachingminds.eu.