Politics and Coaching with David Clutterbuck

Mar 20, 2020

Getting down and dirty: Coaches ignore politics at their peril

Politics plays a major role in every part of our lives. Although as coaches we like to see ourselves as above the murk of political intrigue, the reality is that we cannot avoid politics (with a small “p”), whether it is in helping our clients navigate through the complexities of organizational loyalties, the rivalries between professional bodies, or how we position our own coaching practice versus those of competitors. If we want to be authentic, we can’t be political. Yet we can’t survive without being politically aware and politically astute. So, what does this mean for us in how we manage ourselves and our client relationships? And in how we help clients remain authentic in sometimes toxic organizational environments? What political dilemmas do coaches commonly encounter and what challenges do these provide for us? In this pre-summit webinar, we shall explore all these questions and more.


  • Some practical ways of framing politics for yourself and your clients
  • Insights into client motivations and ability to be self-honest
  • An opportunity to reflect on your own approach and practice


  • What is a political dilemma?
  • How do the mental models of politicians differ from others’?
  • Is politics (small p) in the top teams of corporations really that different from Politics (big P) in government and opposition?
  • How do you recognize politics at play?
  • The coach as the power behind the throne — if all power corrupts, do coaches become corrupted by association?
  • The critical difference between being political and being politically aware
  • What role can coaches play in helping politicians and leaders in politicized environments be self-honest and make ethical decisions?
  • Can politicians coach and mentor each other?
  • What lessons and pitfalls are there for coaches in the concept of expediency?
  • The ameliorating effective of a bloody-minded executive (Long live Sir Humphrey!) What are the challenges for supervisors, working with coaches whose clients work in a political environment?
  • This will not be a presentation of research, nor an overview of good practice. Rather, I seek to develop with participants an agenda for exploring this fascinating topic, so that coaches can make a deeper impact on politics, both within client organizations and more widely.


Nishmita D'Souza
Nishmita D'Souza


Nishmita D'Souza is Marketing Coordinator at Coacharya. She is a firm believer that the key to development is education and awareness. She is also an illustrator by hobby. Follow her on Instagram using the handle: @damsel.in.a.doodle

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