Meet the Trainer – Ian Clarke

Meet the Trainer – Ian Clarke

This month we spoke with Ian Clarke as part of our Meet the Trainer series, where we catch up with one of our trainers to talk about what courses they deliver and the insights they’ve gained. Ian has public and private sector experience in clinical nursing, academia, and senior managerial roles in government departments.

He has always been passionate about self-development and has supported the development of others through education, supervision, mentorship, and coaching. We spoke to him specifically about the Coaching Course he facilitates, designed to teach leaders how to manage cognitive diversity in the workforce. Have a read below to find out more!

You can also watch a short clip of our talk with Ian below:

Thanks for speaking with me today, Ian. Could you give a brief overview of what sessions you facilitate for Miad Healthcare?

I facilitate a cross range of sessions from legal and ethical issues to communication, active listening, education, supervision, and appraisals. I also now run coaching programmes specifically related to understanding who’s in front of you and how to deal with them.

Could you walk me through the Coaching programme? 

The coaching programme is an accredited and approved programme through the Association for Coaching. It’s run over several sessions where medical or healthcare staff get exposed to different coaching techniques. They undertake a psychometric assessment, whether Miro or Mindsonar, and we explore how they communicate and how people might comprehend them.

There’s also a small assessment at the end that is a reflective piece around coaching somebody within the hospital. It’s quite an intense programme, and it’s run over a short period, but the great thing about it is they get some excellent leadership communication skills and a coaching qualification.

What are some examples of the coaching techniques that are taught in the course? 

There is a standard grow model for coaching techniques, but we adapt it to start off with Igrow, which is looking at the issue first before centring on the goal or the outcome that somebody wants. We then reflect on the barriers, such as “what stops somebody progressing,” and look at the options or the possibilities and choices moving forward. What are the steps they’re going to take in? What are the actions that you’re going to do? We’ve also got other aspects like corridor coaching, which is a 5-10 minute conversation where we keep the centre of learning with the coachee.

We also look at the walking edit where one might be wandering down the corridor with somebody. This is when we use the walking edit to help somebody develop or change their mind. We also look at some key aspects of decoding people. In areas where we use psychometrics, we can also monitor or watch what people do. We can use conversational decoding, where we ask key questions and listen out for language patterns, which we find really useful to understand coachees.

Our mantra is if we can meet somebody at their bus stop, get onto that bus, then we can go on a journey together. It’s that journey of being able to open somebody’s eyes to new possibilities and new insights.

Is there a common question or issue that people tend to ask in the sessions? 

When we facilitate, it’s not a chalk and talk; we encourage active learning and participation. I think the most common question that comes up is, “how do I deal with a difficult person X or difficult person Y.” We first try to get some more information around what they’re talking about because it’s very easy to broad-brush everybody. Still, we end up finding out it’s not about the communication but rather the comprehension. What are you doing to help that person understand what you’re saying? We talk to coachees about the different styles of communication someone might use or how the conflict might be coming from what you are saying.

If you’d like to check out some of our courses, head to to have a look.