About Us


Our History

How we started.
Our motives

Our Philosophy

Why we do what we do.
Our thinking

Our Inspiration

The thinking behind our training.

Our History

Phil and Rosemary Gould began developing their Skills with People course in the late 1970s, and have specialised in it ever since. Alex (their son) joined in 2005.

Phil and Rosemary have now retired from running groups, however they still maintain an active role behind the scenes. All the group sessions are now run by Alex.

Skills with People is a highly personalised course of coaching and training in communication skills. We're based near London. We run the course regularly both in Bedford UK, and online through Zoom Meetings. Thousands of managers and professional people have been through our hands.

Our approach appeals to those who are not easily satisfied by standard management training courses.  Clients benefit from the precise behavioural diagnosis we offer, and they find our coaching supportive and encouraging.

The communication skills we teach have a powerful and transforming simplicity.  This course has been picked out many times as a "high spot" among UK management training courses.

We're a family training team of three

Alex Gould

Alex Gould has a BSc in Psychology.
He's a psychosynthesis counsellor and an NLP master practitioner.
 He has been running the "Skills with People" training course since 2005.
Previously he worked as a salesman and ran a counselling practice.

Phil Gould

Phil Gould has a BA in philosophy.
A long time ago he was running a training department in a publishing company.

Rosemary Gould

Rosemary Gould has a MA in educational administration.
A long time ago she was a teacher specialising in dyslexia.

Meet Alex

Our Philosophy

Why we do what we do

We believe nothing matters more to managers than the quality of their relationships with people. That’s why our life's work has been to create a course that helps them do this really well. (Of course the way people connect with one-another matters to everyone and not just to managers, but it's because their careers depend on it so much and they're therefore so motivated to develop new skills that we find it particularly rewarding working with managers.) 

We believe what works best in winning people's cooperation is a combination of honesty and generosity because these are the qualities more than any other that create an atmosphere of mutual respect, understanding and trust. That's why we focus on the skills that will help you develop these qualities. 

We believe the main obstacle that'll make it difficult for you to change your approach is old mental habits. That's why we take a lot of trouble to help you spot and unlearn the habits that are getting in your way.

We believe that though changing your approach to people isn't easy, the motivation to do it comes from the feedback you receive. That's why all the feedback you get on the course is non-judgemental, factual, and helpful in a specific and practical way. This course is not about what kind of person you are. It's not about changing your character or personality. It's about the way you behave, in other words, what you say and do and the effect you have on others.That you can change.

We believe the real test of training is whether you can hold on to new skills under pressure back at work. That's why we provide a large amount of practice and coaching, including coaching when you're back at work after the training.

It's hugely rewarding for us to see managers' confidence increase when they're able to handle challenging situations and difficult conversations more successfully. We love helping you communicate successfully.

Our Inspiration

The sources of our thinking in developing this course

The course expresses the ideas we've developed together over a period of 40 years. We're especially grateful to our clients because they've taught us how to help them not only learn the skills, but also unlearn the mental and behavioural habits that get in the way. Their enthusiasm to put what they learn to the test and their feedback about what works and what they find difficult helps us continually learn and develop what we teach.  

Our understanding of the two crucial skills has been profoundly shaped by Carl Rogers, the pioneering psychologist. His open-minded and generous-hearted way of tuning in to the feelings of others we see as the essence of empathy. And his honest and genuine way of admitting his own feelings we see as the essence of assertiveness.  These two ingredients, he believed, can have a beneficial effect on any relationship, and form the core of our training.

Our appreciation of why these skills are so beneficial comes from our interest in psycho-therapy, counselling, and the subject of ‘emotional intelligence’. The heart of the matter, it seems to us, is that when people suppress feelings they bottle them up and store them as tension. Emotional tension that cannot be released is harmful. As well as being physically harmful it locks people into a defensive and irrational state of mind and damages relationships. The great benefit of the simple communication skill-set we teach is that it helps people let off steam, release tension, recover their rational faculties, heal their relationships and be more successful at work. It helps them outside work, too.

Get Started Now

Free exploratory coaching session

The first session is free so you're not committing yourself until you're sure this training is relevant for you. You will also learn something practical you can use right away that'll help you handle a difficult situation more successfully at work.

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