It is not for the first time that I have coached school staff who genuinely feel ‘broken’. Physically exhausted, suffering from anxiety and feeling emotionally drained. On top of that, a complete sense of disconnect with the current set of values dominating school life and the rigorous improvement agenda. How does one keep up with this treadmill that causes such cognitive dissonance? Coaching is not intended as a “fix”. It is a mid to long term process to self manage change..but as a coach how do I manage to (a) engage enough with the person to ensure they feel heard and understood and yet (b) remain disengaged enough to avoid being drawn too far into their situation with them. Or in other words how do I empathise and convey empathy to a person whilst holding and retaining a healthy and useful degree of detachment.