Posts filed under ‘Coaching advice’

You’ll Never Catch a Dog By Chasing It.


The Mindskills Approach to Coaching

By Wilfred S G Archer PhD; Chartered MCIPD; MIOSH; GHR(Reg)

Recently, as I thought about the problem of gaining people’s consensus and commitment to behavioural change, a story came to mind. I grew up in a small Ayrshire town and my main pet was a wise old German Shepherd bitch called Tina. When my elder brother and I were old enough we were allowed to take the old girl for walks.

One summer’s day, my father asked my brother and me to take Tina down the field and to be quick as we were going into town. We got down the field and let her run around for about five minutes then shouted “Tina, time to go home now. Come, get your leash on. Come on girl.” She looked up for a second then lowered her head and carried on sniffing around the bushes. She had decided that she was happy doing what she wanted and didn’t want to go home and anyway we were just kids so we could be ignored. We called again but this time with extreme authority, you know the type that only an eight year old kid can have, only to be ignored again. “We had better go and get her” my brother said ” ‘cos we’re going to be late if we stand around shouting any longer.” As we approached her, she, without looking up, walked away. So we sped up and as we did, so did she. We got faster and faster, and so did she. We were a picture, running through the field chasing and screaming after this dog but she was having none of it. Keeping just far enough out of reach so we couldn’t catch her. Exhausted we sat down on the grass. We looked at our watches and remembered my dad’s words. Half an hour had passed. We were in trouble. What were we going to do? We looked up and we could see the silhouette of my dad coming over the brow of the hill. “Now we are for it” my brother said. Expecting the worse, we began to cry and by the time my dad reached us we were sobbing. Through our tears we blubbered our excuses “She wouldn’t come when we shouted her. Honest we’ve been trying for ages but she just wouldn’t listen.” A large grin shot across his face. “You’ll never catch a dog by chasing it” he laughed in his broad Yorkshire voice. “If you want to get her to do what you want you have to make ‘what you want’ more interesting than what she is doing. You will need to lead her not follow her. Now call her to get her attention and run towards home. She will follow, nothing is surer.” We called her and without waiting ran towards home. Dad was right, Tina lifted her head, saw us running away and shot after us. I have no idea what was going through her mind but she started galloping after us, caught us, past us and was home before us.

So how does this apply to you?
The whole world is just like my old dog. They are totally focused on their lives and no matter how much you need them to listen they are engrossed in their own world.  It could be potential customers, clients, employees, managers or family. 

You could be advertising, running training, holding meetings, or even standing in the middle of the room screaming your head off at some aberrant teenager.  And you might just as well be talking to yourself. 

No One Is Listening and it is pointless blaming them because – guess what? They are not listening.

The Solution –  You need to Get Their Attention and To Follow Your Lead, otherwise you will be watching the world go round – a mere observer while others get there before you or just ignore you.   

The Mindskills Approach to Coaching helps you develop the Knowledge, Skills and Competencies to be the architect of your world and your life. 

“Where do I start?”  I hear you ask. 

To find Out How The Mindskills Approach can help you – For a Trial (No Cost/No Obligation) Coaching Session.

  Contact me on to arrange a chat. 

Wilf Archer   Blog:


July 20, 2009 at 8:27 pm Leave a comment

The Secrets of Change

Someone once said that the definition of madness is doing the same things in the same way and expecting different results. If you are not happy where you are at right now then change what you are doing. This isn’t rocket science, you know. Do you remember when you were at school. Laws were absolute. Teacher said x+y=c and that was that. The problem is that life isn’t full of absolutes. Everything changes and if you don’t keep pace then you become obsolete.

I don’t want to sound harsh but I need to be blunt. If you are suffering from client drought, or business is beginning to drop off then that is nature’s way of letting you know:

“You had better start changing, because the world has moved on!”

Everyone wants to change and improve, but few understand how the process actually works. When you know the secrets to controlling motivation, like a light switch you can turn it on and off at will. Just imagine what your life would be like if you knew how to get and stay motivated at a moment’s notice for as long as you wished. It would be an amazing life, to say the least.

It’s decision time. You can continue hoping things will get better or, with our help, you can start the improvement process today.

You can download the 70 Points of Change here. Change-Points

Email me:

Wilf Archer is one of the UKs top coaches. He is the only Mindskills Therapist and Competence Coach n the UK who holds Two Royal Charters.

April 16, 2009 at 4:34 pm Leave a comment

The Mindskills Coaching Phenomenon

The Mindskills approach to professional health coaching is about returning the power back to the individual.  It is an unfortunate fact that as we have become more and more advanced in our technology we have relinquished more and more control over to others.  We wish and we want but sit back waiting for others to provide.  Often unable to do anything to attain our dreams simply because we have forgotten how. 

I was talking with a Coach the other day and was dumbfounded by their description as to what they do for their clients. 

Quote: “I help them achieve their Financial, Relationship, Health, Career, etc. goals by making them accountable and responsible.  I call them weekly and by doing so they feel obliged and often guilty for not performing their agreed targets and operations.”

My response was to ask what exactly he brought to the partnership.  What experience he could offer in case his clients were unable through their lack of personal experiences? What skills, techniques or tactics could he brings to those clients who are struggling? 

His response was even more flabbergasting: 

Quote: “I don’t need to bring anything.  Mohamed Ali the worlds greatest ever boxer had a coach who wasn’t a patch on the skills that Mohamed possessed.  Every sportsman and woman have coaches who are not as skilled in their performance as those who are their clients.  My clients bring their own set of skills and expertise.  All I do is help them discover them.”

Please excuse me but that is BS.  Yes every professional sportsman and woman has a coach that draws the best from them but these coaches are trained to see the details of the sport.  They can spot idiosyncrasies and draw conclusions because they have studied in minute details what is required.  Yes an inexperienced coach can give something to the mix but they are extremely limited in how far they can support the client. 

A great coach is like the spotter in a ships crows nest. He/She can look ahead to where the captain of the ship is sailing and provide direction so that obstacles are avoided not encountered.

If you want a coach that not only walks the talk but can also mentor you then give me a call or drop me an email.  

or visit my website:

PS. I use a technique called the T.A.C.T.I.C. Model.

August 14, 2008 at 7:29 pm Leave a comment

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