Richard Collins of Safeti Health, Safety & Environment is a man on a mission. His aim, no less, is to “break down the barriers to Health, Safety & Environment learning” and one of his strategies for achieving this is to “provide you with valuable, no-nonsense HSE content to help you learn, share and influence.”
Richard is well on his way to developing an impressive community through The Safeti Podcast where he boasts that “We bring together some of the brightest minds in the Health, Safety & Environment space to help you supercharge your knowledge, career or business”.
Needless to say then, that I was all the more flattered recently, to be invited by Richard to record a podcast on Coaching for safety for his site.
What surprised me about the experience of recording the podcast was this. The 5th anniversary of Coaching for safety achieving IOSH Approval earlier this year, provided an obvious opportunity for reflection; thinking back over the journey and in particular, the difficulties in the early days of practitioners not understanding what coaching is and not valuing soft skills. So I didn’t expect to be doing a great deal of reflecting quite so soon. Driven by Richard’s excellent questioning however, reflect I did.
Coaching for safety has undoubtedly changed my professional life profoundly. A traditional, systems-based practitioner for over 20-years, discovering the importance of ‘real’ coaching skills and developing what became IOSH Approved Coaching for safety provided a much-needed ‘shot in the arm’ and shoved my career onto an entirely unexpected path.
But Richard’s excellent question about what I thought an insightful question was, crystallised a couple of thoughts that I now realise had been tickling away at the back of my mind for a while. It was active listening skills that first lit the fire for me with coaching, but what now excites me I realise, is the search for really great questions; questions that open up a colleague or client’s perspective and allows them to think differently. And I realise that applies not only in work, but away from work also. Coaching for safety has profoundly changed my life, in and out of work.