The Four Pillars

The model outlines the main elements of effective interaction with others, provides a diagnostic tool to allow participants to establish how they respond to people and situations, and introduces techniques that may be used to increase levels of trust and partnership with others.


Bringing an authentic self to one’s interactions with others and sustaining a high degree of focus, energy and openness towards others.

The quality of attention that a coach brings to others is an essential part of building a trusting relationship. Truly ‘being present’ for someone takes time and effort, but when you demonstrate the gift of your presence, you communicate just how important something is to you.

Three critical factors determine to a great extent the presence a coach is able to muster and maintain in any give interaction with others. These factors are:

  1. Focus – the attention the coach brings to the moment
  2. Openness – the receptivity of heart and mind the coach brings to the moment
  3. Energy – the physical emotional vigour the coach brings to the moment.

You can use the above as an assessment tool by using a 1- 10 scale.


Accurate, timely and candid sharing of personal thoughts and feelings and organisational information that can or does impact on performance and working relationships.


The disposition to seek after another’s perspective, stemming from a recognition and acknowledgement of the other as a source of value, wisdom and insight and unique experience.


Consistency and reliability of the follow through demonstrated by the fulfilment of promises made to others.

Six Presence Killers

Listed below are a number of scenarios that are commonplace in a work situation and result in ineffective interactions.

Pragmatic verbal and non-verbal solutions are offered to address the negative impact of these exchanges:

  1. Assuming the exit position – giving the impression you are about to leave
  2. Offering ‘only’ time – using expressions such as “I can only spare 5 minutes”
  3. Two timing – not being honest with your coachee
  4. The democracy of interruptions – taking phone calls
  5. Pseudo presence – trying to give the impression that you are there and/or listening
  6. Filtering – listening for specific areas that give you an opportunity to interrupt, listening for rather than listening to

(Based on Concepts of Coaching; a Guide for Managers by Peter Hill, ISBN 1 902475 23 2)

We believe that coaching is a specific skill like no other. It is not the same, for instance, as delivering a time management programme. Our longest running coaching skills programme has trained managers in the public, private and charity sector since 2003. Recognition by the Association for Coaching since 2006 shows that it’s a programme that can be relied upon to deliver in-depth coaching skills to first line and middle managers. If you’d like to find out more about this and our other coaching skills programmes, contact me now for further information.


6 years ago : Apr 14, 2016

By Julia Menaul