Pamela Milne:After gaining my degree in Economics from the University of London, I started my career in magazine publishing and then spent a large part of my employed life in the Health Service in management and people development positions.
Moving on to the Wellcome Foundation Limited (now GSK), I gained experience of working with international senior managers flying in from all over the world to attend team development events to training the people who put the tablets into the packets. I was also part of a development team which trained a whole production site in effective team skills.
During this time I became very interested in how people learn and develop and undertook a Masters Degree in Change Agent Skills and Strategies at the University of Surrey. Leaving the organisation to set up Solutions Unlimited in 1993, as well as running management and people skills programmes, I undertook a wide range of outplacement work. This involves helping people facing redundancy to refocus their lives after what was usually a major blow to their careers and their self esteem. Working with many prestigious organisations, I also set up and ran long term career centres for Nestle UK, Clarks Shoes, Pharmacia and Upjohn and London Electricity (now EDF Energy).
Then one day when coaching was in its infancy, a client invited me to become one of the coaches on an innovative coaching programme.
Luckily I really enjoyed working with my clients and they enjoyed working with me. As a result I coached many of them for a number of years. It was this unique opportunity to see how people developed their people skills over a long period of time that led me to identify the process called the continuum of interpersonal skills. First I used it to track their progress and then I used it to preempt and anticipate the next level of skill my client would need. To do this I designed a range of step by step approaches which my clients could use to safely and awarely develop the skills of assertiveness, influencing, negotiation, conciliation, taking a stand and making peace.
I wrote The People Skills Revolution after a long term coaching client challenged me to write it as my own development opportunity. This book sets out the continuum of interpersonal skills approach which underpins my work. The concepts have been tried and tested wth a wide range of clients over a number of years. The People Skills Revolution was published by Global Professional Publishing in 2011 who also published the Handbook in 2013.