I first became involved at the Leadership Trust in 1990 when I joined the team as a trainee Facilitator and Course Director. I had previously worked as a teacher of English and Drama and naively thought that my teaching skills would be easily transferable. Some of them were, but I needed to learn the essence of experiential learning with adults. Which is that the facilitator structures the learning experience and then assists the learner by questioning, prompting, challenging – but not by telling. As a teacher I felt at the centre of the learning process; it has taken me a long time to practise de-centring myself – getting out of the way of the learning.
When I became a Coach, I made a conscious decision to support women in business. Having worked mainly in all male teams, it felt lonely and I now know it needn’t have been. I felt I had to compete with other women, rather than support and encourage. I struggled to ask for help, rather than work out what I actually wanted help on and from who. I blamed the male environment without taking a look at me or finding support.
My niche is around Leadership and Personal Effectiveness. This means I have worked with people on confidence, handling conflict, resilience, decision making, communication challenges, building teams, managing up, influencing, leading and managing change, strategic management and performance management to name a few topics. I am happy to work with all levels of management.
When was the last time you saw something you wanted and you just went for it? When I see women that I’ve worked with get exactly what they want, I feel such joy. I know how challenging their path was and I can see the difference between the belief they had in themselves when they met me and the self-belief they have now. I learned a long time ago that such a powerful change doesn’t happen instantly. I’m not here to fix you, I’m not a magic pill or an elixir for life, I’m your climbing partner. Believing in yourself takes work and it is much easier to get there when you share. I will walk with you, I will be kind but I will not let you hide.
Thousands of people get the fantastic opportunity of a Leadership Trust course but for many the learning stops there. My coaching proposition is to walk alongside you as you return to apply your learning where it matters. With coaching support, the process of experiential learning can be continued beyond your course, enabling you to continue your leadership development at work.
During my attendance on the Leadership in Management programme in 2009, I was selected to be a coach, they saw the qualities that on reflection I know I had but didn’t see. I know and believe, from the coaching and mentoring I have received, and given, that as a coach I can help people by providing the opportunities to step off their (increasingly fast moving) train and pause, look at where they are, where they want, need to be, and come up with options that will help them to get there.
I have been coaching for over 30 years. I love getting to know people and working with them as they grow. I believe that coaching is primarily about helping you think – usually about something that isn’t the way you want it to be. The coach’s role is to support you in resolving it and move forward – or to start with, maybe just understanding better what the issue actually is! This should be a safe, enjoyable and challenging process for both of us.