Welcome to my virtual home, a coach by the sea who works with lots of different people in different places, face to face and over the phone. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and join me to explore here what coaching actually is, how it might work for you and some stories from the front line.
My take on coaching? I’ve been coaching leaders, teams and humans for over 25 years. In that time, my perspective has changed and so has the way I coach. I no longer draw a red line between ‘business’ and ‘life’ coaching because I’ve learned that the kind of unique human we are has much more to do with how we tackle things than the situation we’re in. I’ve evolved from needing to hang tight to a structure, and risk imposing it on my coachees, to having the depth and breadth of experience to start from exactly where you are.
I measure my progress as a coach by the moments when you can’t give me an automatic answer to a question because it tells me you’re thinking fresh and independently. My performance is about you feeling heard, the questions I ask and the extent to which you feel you have gained insight and options that you did not have before we started working together. My goal as a coach is to not just to enable you to be crystal clear about what you want and your path to getting it, but also that you learn to self-coach as we go and carry that forward as a transferable skill for yourself and others.
And who am I? The ‘what’ of who I am as a coach is about my credentials and competence. I have a Masters in Advanced Executive Coaching and an ILM Level 7 Certificate in Executive Coaching & Leadership Mentoring. I am certified in a range of psychometric tools such as MBti Step I/II and Firo-B that can help people consider their style and strengths in a different way. I started my career in Organisational Development at British Airways, before working as a management consultant for two well-known consultancy firms and then setting up my own business 20 years ago. This means I have many years’ experience of working with senior leaders and teams, and naturally bring a strategic change view to my business coaching. I have worked on most continents and with almost every business sector including the public sector, as well as individual men and women outside their work environment. It is not my first rodeo….and I am an unusually good coach, much better than I was even ten years ago.
Coaching is a partnership, a shared dance between you and me, so it’s reasonable that who I am matters just as much as where you are in making something good. Credentials and competence are necessary but not sufficient; the kind of coach I am is a function of my own life experience and values. I’ve grown from being a curly-haired only child of an aircraft engineer and a nurse living in different countries, through being academically smart and conventionally ambitious to a point in my life where I have suffered enough ups and downs to be more at home in my own skin. I value choices, honesty, kindness, respect and the delight of real solutions made in the messy spaces of life. I enjoy the opportunity that coaching gives me to appreciate the diversity of individuals and my chance to learn as I listen. I am good at untangling skeins, open-minded in my questions, straightforward in my challenges to invite you to look through a different window and highly flexible in how I work.
I tread lightly if you have invited me into your world and take professional confidentiality seriously. I treasure seeing those ‘aha’ moments when I feel that my knowledge and experience might have given someone else choices and a route map that make a tangible difference. And I like good coffee, cats, very high heels, my allotment, roses, opera, sunshine and the sound of the sea in Suffolk where I live and am sometimes lucky enough to coach too.