Coaching just got a 21st Century makeover, and it’s called Big Chats Little Chats

The BCLC PA-OFF model

Traditionally, when managers coach, they are sent on a course to learn how, and then deliver coaching in rigid, informal chunks, usually booked in diaries days or even weeks in advance. We know life doesn’t work this way. Coaching should fundamentally be an ongoing, fluid process, the success of which is dependent on how managers interact with their people. We recognise that great coaching should be delivered as a continuum, not incrementally. Using this philosophy, we have developed the PA-OFF model to define the type of chats managers should be having with their teams.


Chats should be defined by the person in front of you and their needs at that time, rather than by a coaching model you have been trained to follow.

Anyhow, anywhere

Teams no longer fit the traditional pattern of office-based attendance. Often, they are a blend of job-sharers, homeworkers and international personnel working virtually. As a consequence, we now communicate through a dizzying array of channels including Skype, Google Hangout and even WhatsApp. Essentially this has changed the way we speak to each other, and coaching needs to reflect this in order to work.

On demand

Traditionally, when someone needs coaching a session is booked in the diary. But this leads to time lapses during which problems may develop further, people may become demotivated and solutions may be found by someone else, leading to a lost learning opportunity. BCLC encourages a more flexible approach in which coaching gets to the root of the issue quickly and effectively.


Chats should always help people to move forward rather than look back with blame and regret. Too often, conversations with managers and leaders reflect on what has gone wrong in the past, rather than look forward to what can be done to put things right and learn from errors in the future.


Creating the right environment

People manager module
In this module we look at ways of using communication to allow individuals the space to think and problem-solve, thereby developing independence, confidence and competency. We look at language, frame of mind and questioning techniques. We also look at how to develop the right conditions in which to encourage open and honest conversations, which could include introducing an open-door policy and feedback channels through which teams can assess their managers.

FLIP It thinking to build resilience and optimism

People manager module
This module guides people in the art of recognising and challenging ‘wonky thinking’ and draws on elements of psychology and neuroscience. It helps people understand how to use focus to identify improvements that can be made, how to use language to create positive mindset, how to use imagination to develop strategies and how to use pattern-breaking to change negative behaviours. The FLIP It model is a toolkit for having conversations to move people forward and can be used in the moment and on-demand.

Growth mindset

People manager module
This module concentrates on how to build a growth mindset culture through conversations, reward and recognition. It covers subjects such as encouragement, risk-taking, metacognition development and self-directed learning.

Coaching programme FAQs

Who is it for?

BCLC is perfect for any organisation that requires an innovative, fresh new way to deliver coaching
It can be delivered to managers and leaders and also forms part of our management and leadership programmes.

How long will it last?

This is flexible depending on needs and budget, but usually each core module will be delivered in a one-day workshop.
Each module can be delivered in a full-day session and we also recommend an extra day or two for feedback, recap and reflection, depending on how many people are going through the programme.

How many people can it work for?

Capacity depends on the organisation’s needs and BCLC has been rolled out in large national organisations using a range of blended-learning methods.
However, in workshops we advise a maximum of 20 to enable effective discussion groups.

What measurements will we see?

We will work with you to identify target goals which we can then assess throughout the delivery process.
We can assess your in-house appraisal processes and use them to measure how people are having better conversations. We can also create a baseline survey with the people going through the programme at the start of the process and use this to plot progress. We are also able to run focus groups with the people who will be getting coached to identify how their experience changes.

How do we make this sustainable?

BCLC can be delivered in a blended learning approach through a range of channels including learning shorts, which are online three to four-minute videos covering the main elements of each module.
We can also produce cheat sheets which can be added to your intranet, along with other reference material. The programme also has guides with practical ways to start conversations, have quick chats and embed learning. We can also work with a team of champions to create expert BCLC coaches who can mentor and supervise managers and leaders. Champions can also be trained to deliver content to support learning going forward.

Nominations are open for the National Happiness Awards 2019

Laughology learning and development blogs

25 July 2019
Historically, business leaders and managers have b...
18 July 2019
A strange thing happened on ITV last week (I’m not...
11 July 2019
What IS Empathy?Put simply, empathy is understandi...
23 May 2019
What causes stress at work and how can coaching he...
16 May 2019
Mental health remains a taboo subject in many orga...
02 May 2019
Another marathon done. In the afterglow competitor...

Ask us a question

You can call us on 0844 800 1701, or use this form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
* Required field

Email me your regular Laughology bulletin
characters remaining


Sign up to our regular Laughology bulletin

Suite 869, Kemp House,
152 - 160 City Road,
London EC1V 2NX

T: 0844 800 1701
E: Laughology
F: 0208 337 9262