Coaching, workshops, conferences

Who we are

John Coleman

John Coleman


  • Degree in History from University of East Anglia
  • Studied at London Business School (1990/91)
  • MA in Coaching and Mentoring from Oxford Brookes
  • Fellow of CIPD
  • Trained as a Counsellor at CWR

Employment history

  • Management Trainee for Plessey Communications (1984-6)
  • Worked in training and consultancy since 1986
  • Went onto to found Cygnet Business Development (1989) and become MD
  • Founded Plover 2003
  • Worked as Programme Coach on Oxford University’s MBA (2004 – 2011)

About me

I think I’ve been involved with several thousand people in my career so far. Our library has about the same number of books, so I like to think that between the books and the people I’ve developed a balanced set of perspectives, experiences and skills. My clients have ranged from CEOs to directors and managers, to sports people, to doctors, nurses, pastors, and MBA students. I’ve mainly worked with high or solid or high performers wanting to experience greater heights, but I have also worked with the bruised and battered who needed some fast and practical help.

My approach to coaching, counselling and training is always to seek the good, see the good, affirm and build up. I do a lot of listening to stories, hurts and hopes, dreams and doubts, beliefs, perspectives and goals. However, I do want to provide feedback, insight and challenge. I do not believe in self-help alone as a path to flourishing. I believe that we all need some outside help, guidance and support at times, which is where I can help as a coach. Wherever possible I also like to involve clients in training activities, mixing with others who want to develop and reading programmes. Avril and I have an extensive library of articles that we have written on topics related to flourishing which we send out to clients.

My approach to coaching, counselling and training is always to seek the good, see the good, affirm and build up.

I want my work to help people flourish more in the long-term. For me this means helping people develop further external skills like communication and relationship skills, but also internal skills such as managing personal emotions, developing and using constructive beliefs. I particularly want to see people: succeed in their jobs and enjoy them; fully engage with life and with others; develop rich emotional lives; build robust and generous identities and work through difficult experiences and transitions in life and work.

I have a strong Christian faith and am involved with my local church, though much of my work has been with people who have a very different view on life. I love walking and engaging with the natural beauty around us here on the edge of the Cotswolds. I love watching cricket and rugby, reading, having great conversations with friends about things that matter, and playing the guitar. I have two wonderful grown up children, and an equally wonderful son-in-law, and enjoy seeing them and their friends build lives of flourishing.

"I've worked with John over the past 8 yrs and found him to be consistently and genuinely helpful. In a world where management consultancy is rightly treated with some scepticism, John's qualities, mixing perceptiveness with pragmatism, an ability to listen with an uncompromisingly honest directness, is all the more precious to me for being so rare." Ziyad Marar, Deputy Managing Director and Publishing Director, SAGE Publications