I have previously commissioned Shaun Lincoln when I was Principal at John Ruskin VIth Form College. The College was assessed by Ofsted in March 2010 as Inadequate (grade 4) with few strengths and serious cultural issues of staff blaming students for their poor results and progress. The impact of Shaun’s work with first the managers and then wider staff body was immediate in that it lifted what was then a negative critical and blame culture into what developed into a positive can do attitude adopted by all. The Colleges dramatic climb through the Ofsted gradings was culminated in 2013 when the College was awarded an overall Outstanding (Grade 1). Shaun continued to provide skills and coaching support to the management team to ensure that standards and the culture was consistent in stretching the organisation, its staff and students to even higher performance and results.
In 2015 I moved as Principal and Chief Executive to a larger General Further Education College in Luton who had in the previous months received arguably the worst ever inspection report in England. Barnfield College was once an outstanding College but had fallen from this position during a period of troubled leadership, and in November 2014 received and Inadequate rating (Grade 4) with no strengths from Ofsted. Again Shaun’s impact with managers and staff was immediate in lifting the culture of the staff to a more positive can do attitude. In March 2016 the College was reinspected by Ofsted and awarded a whole grade improvement across all areas to Requires Improvement’ (grade 3). The lead inspector who had been tracking the Colleges improvement commented to me that staff were positive and proactive in their outlook which bode well for future improvements at the College. Shaun continues to support the College and is delivering a range of day long workshops as well as executive coaching to the senior team.
– Tim Eyton-Jones, Barnfield College
The Sheffield College has worked with Shaun Lincoln for a number of years in order to develop a coaching culture. This started with management groups and also extends to how we work with our students. However, the original focus on management has been the most impactful in the short term. Trying to embed a culture of solution-focussed coaching has been a cornerstone of our culture change programme and staff have benefitted from this approach to 1:1 conversations. Empowering others to manage their own improvement actions, understanding how to tackle difficult conversations and being given good insight into delegation processes and practical tips on eg ‘Have you got a minute?’ requests have all helped managers to become more proficient in what they do, leading the College forward. Of all the management training programmes we have put in place over the years, this has been the most warmly received and the one referred to the most in subsequent discussions and conversations between managers. The Insights wheel and behavioural preferences with which Shaun starts his programme has had long-lasting impact on how we work with each other and collaborate and is regularly referred to. So convinced are we by this approach that the concept of a coaching model has now been extended to our Teaching Observation model, which uses a coaching wheel to drive forward improvements.
Shaun Lincoln’s skill as a facilitator are such that the College has engaged with him for a prolonged period of time and has become a better place to work and learn as a result.
– Heather Smith, Sheffield College
Mr Shaun Lincoln has been supporting the management tiers of the college since 2012(?). The college achieved the grading of ‘good’ in the Ofsted inspection in 2011 but with some work still to be completed on creating a culture of ‘teaching and learning’. The college executive team made a decision to improve the skills of all levels of the management team to support performance management. As part of this process the ‘Insights’ model was used by Mr Lincoln to support :
1. The Executive Team through team and individual coaching to ensure they were able to lead the process well
2. The Senior Management Team to enhance their skills of performance management with useful coaching techniques and also provide coaching support
3. Most recently the Programme Management Team (third tier managers) on the technique of using action learning sets.
The programme was to change the college culture into a stronger solutions focussed institution. Using Mr Lincoln’s techniques the management team have become stronger and the team have now:
• Set meaningful targets at appraisal and monitor them providing better support or continuous development and learning
• Had more honest and open conversations with staff about performance leading to improved achievements
• Been prepared to work with HR where supportive processes have failed to ensure staff are managed through a formal process.
Overall this has lead to the culture of the institution changing to be far more reflective and problem solving. The college volunteered to be part of an Ofsted Pilot in 2015 which demonstrated the improved confidence of the management team. During the pilot the inspection team noted the improved emphasis on performance management and subsequent improvements on teaching and learning. The college was then formally inspected in 2016 where the inspection team found improvement in these areas.
Using the techniques, Insights profiles and training provided by Mr Lincoln, has helped the management team of Westminster Kingsway College gain the confidence and skills to achieve improvements in achievement rates for learners and create a more stable and expert teaching and support staff.
– Kim Caplin, Westminster Kingsway College
John Ruskin College has used coaching as part of an integrated line management, professional development and performance management system. Managers use coaching extensively to help develop skills where a need is identified by line managers or by teachers themselves. The College has trained all the senior and middle management team with teachers so that teachers have access to coaching from ‘expert’ colleagues to develop their own practice as well as “fierce conversations” to improve a practice or performance. Staff also peer coach one another. Tangible benefits of coaching have been teacher confidence and staff ability to tackle problems for themselves and the Use of coaching to increase Responsibility with accountability leading to improvements in learner outcomes and staff performance.
– Mohammed Ramzan, John Ruskin College
Shaun Lincoln has been working with the College of West Anglia for almost 10 years now and during that time has been involved in a range of different development activities.
When the College decided to adopt a coaching culture to support professional development, Shaun was involved right from the start. This included agreeing a framework to be adopted, set up activities with senior managers, training coaches and providing refresher training to those people to keep coaching alive. He has also worked very successfully with the College in coaching individual managers who were struggling for different reasons – we have seen 100% success with these. Coaching is embedded now with managers and supervisors and has now been extended to all levels of the College. It has been great to have another string to our performance management bow and Shaun’s knowledge and experience in this area have been clearly seen in his delivery.
The College has developed in-house talent management programmes for different groups aimed at preparing staff for the next level. Shaun has been part of this process over the past few years through delivering the INSIGHTS Discovery process to each group. This starts as a questionnaire which the individual completes. Shaun produces a full report on each individual from this profiling them in a very original and scarily accurate way. He then works with the group to understand and grow from their own profile and how to work with those whose profile is different to theirs. Feedback from those taking part has been extremely positive and this part of the programme is considered by participants to be one of the most popular and useful sections.
Senior Leadership Training Programme
As well as using the INSIGHTS Discovery programme with our College leadership team, Shaun has delivered a number of individual workshops each to a theme which has been very well received.
Shaun is flexible, quickly grasps the nature of the business and is not afraid to challenge preconceived ideas or traditionally held views. He does it in a way which usually causes individuals to reflect rather than argue. An example of his flexibility was his involvement a year or so ago with a whole College training day where he was one of only 2 external trainers brought in to deliver on a set theme of Improving Communications. He delivered a 45 minute workshop entitled “Working Together” 6 times during the day to groups of 25-30 staff and was widely praised for his style and content including by some members of staff who had previously been sceptical about the value of the day. Based on the work that Shaun has done with this College we would highly recommend him.
– David Pomfret, College of West Anglia
I first met Shaun when I was part of a solution focused training programme as a middle manager. The programme was something brand new and was skills orientated proving highly effective for a range of different individuals and experience in the group. The solution focused approach struck a chord and became a key asset in the organisations development plan but also my own skillset and approach working with my teams. When I joined a new organisation in a senior leadership role, it was evident that a leadership development programme would benefit both the senior leadership team and the middle manager group and it was an easy decision to work with Shaun again. Shaun is careful to tailor a programme to the needs of the organisation to ensure a bespoke approach and establishes excellent rapports with the participants quickly ensuring buy in and open honest contributions. Shaun’s style is unique and his passion for leadership underpins all sessions in a way that you in very safe and skilled hands. The impact is big and Shaun offers excellent guidance on how to capitalise on that momentum and sustain that positive impact for the future.
– Adrianne Chapman, Assistant Principal, The BRIT School
Shaun Lincolns’ reputation as an effective leadership coach precedes him. His is highly experienced and always professional in his approach but the highest accolade is for his effectiveness. Good coaching brings about a visible improvement in performance. However effective coaching brings about a sustained subliminal change in the attitudes, actions and behaviours of the person who is being coached, they make a paradigm shift. Shaun achieves this admirably.
– Lesley Shepperson, Assistant Principal Quality & Learning Enhancement
I have been working with Shaun for a couple of years now. He keeps up to date with the latest management thinking and makes good, practical use of it in the training interventions he devises. He has a positive, can do, solutions focussed attitude and is very adept at listening to what the customer wants then providing something even better. I know that Shaun’s approach has been instrumental in the success of our current management development programme which has led to greater staff engagement. I would highly recommend to others that they work with him whether he is developing, delivering or both so they can enjoy the same reliability, innovation and customer focus we have experienced.
– Chris Bean, Senior Learning and Development Manager, Acas
Shaun is without question the most effective trainer I have ever been in a room with. He creates an energy that is infectious and carries you through the day. His training is not overburdened with theory, but instead he sets challenging group tasks and pushes grown- ups to think and work together effectively. It is rare for training sessions to be memorable months or even years later, but Shaun’s are. I could not recommend him highly enough.
– Chris Glennie, Assistant Director, Marketing, LSN