Chris Grady, 25 January 2015

I called this session to explore the value/use/availability of coaching and mentoring for

creatives. Grateful for a lively conversation with the following:

Jonathan Carr, Bridget Hanley, Anna Mors, Stan Walton, Kitty Martin, Isaac

Acheampong (coach), Sue Appleby (and butterfly coach…Amy Golding), Caley


We explored the differences between coaching (asking questions, working with the

worried well towards goals), mentoring (giving advice, usually someone experienced in

your field) and therapy (looking backwards at a stuck place or part of previous life).

There appear to be few coaches known who specialise in the arts and creative

practitioners (Amy / Newcastle, and Nicky Raby, Rachel Stevens & Alison Goldie /

London are known to me…please add your names if you are a qualified coach in this

field, Thanks)

Should everyone have a coach. ? - no, but many people in business find it useful. A

number of small companies and artists are including mentor/coaching support in their

GFA arts council applications and budgets.

You can coach yourself - and most of the tools are online and available for anyone.

The advantages of having a coach seemed to be a) a person who asks the right

challenging question to unlock something and b) someone who is holding you to

account for tasks and direction of travel.

Two training areas were mentioned Deb Barnard of RD 1st and The Coaching

Academy (who run a regular FREE 2 day coaching course in London)

We touched on some of the tools of coaching GROW model - goal, reality, options, will

do. and the Wheel of Life.

Exploring mentors the feelings were:

a) It would be great if there were accessible programmes to offer mentors for

companies/individual creatives (only the Oval House mentor and CGO Surgeries

known to the group).

b) Someone who is a couple of years further along the journey as a producer/director

or whatever field you are in can be really helpful to highlight some of the challenges.

c) An old grey beard can also be helpful because of the range of experience and

contacts they may have.

d) SOLT/Stage One and TMA have a mentor programme for producers/managers,

Clore offers mentors for its fellows, some of the MA and training programmes offer


e) Be excellent if the new Directors association also looked at this for its members

when the new CEO is appointed.

We then talked about some specific personal projects and mentor/coaching support

which might be useful.

Also touched on the Group Coaching possibilities where a gathering of creatives can

spend 2hrs working in private on their own topic/challenge led by a single coach

Session came to a nice rounded end with us all having learned a little more. Thanks



[email protected]


directors, coaching, CPD, Producers, mentoring, Directors, Mentoring, producers