Thursday, May 23, 2013

The English Queen as Mentor/Coach

Last night I started watching the ABC series ‘Our Queen’ and what really struck me was the part about how the Queen gives a weekly audience to the Prime Minister. At these meetings she has a right and a duty to express her views on Government matters. If either The Queen or the Prime Minister are not available to meet, then they will speak by telephone.

This sounds to me like face-to-face and phone mentor/coaching.  

This special relationship The Queen has with the Prime Minister, the senior political figure in the British Government occurs regardless of their political party. As the constitutional monarch, The Queen remains politically neutral and she retains the ability to give a regular audience to a Prime Minister during his or her term of office. 

These meetings, as with all communications between The Queen and her Government, remain strictly confidential. Having expressed her views, The Queen abides by the advice of her ministers. 

This aligns to the practices of the mentor/coach (The Queen) and the client (The Prime Minister) this one-on-one confidential relationship built on trust and respect. The mentor/coach’s role, is to facilitate a conversation in which there is a flow from one stage to another, and ultimately from general problem to specific solution(s). To ‘Do’ Coaching is to facilitate a process of learning and achievement. As a facilitator, a coach oversees, advises, and manages the process of learning and of gaining results.  They are responsible for directing the structure, and focusing the conversation to support client learning and achievement.

Mentor/Coaches can seek permission and offer ‘advice’ and the client; in this case the Prime Minister makes the decision on what actions they will take.  Let us image some of the coaching questions used by The Queen, they could be: non-judgmental; open; contextual; challenging; exploratory; compassionate, option generating; encouraging deeper thinking and reflection, timely and without an agenda.

So you may be wondering - who has The Queen mentor/coached during her reign?
  • Winston Churchill 1951-55
  • Sir Anthony Eden 1955-57
  • Harold Macmillan 1957-63
  • Sir Alec Douglas-Home 1963-64
  • Harold Wilson 1964-70 and 1974-76
  • Edward Heath 1970-74
  • James Callaghan 1976-79
  • Margaret Thatcher 1979-90
  • John Major 1990-97
  • Tony Blair 1997-2007
  • Gordon Brown 2007-2010
  • David Cameron from 2010
For a conversation on mentor/coaching contact

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