My programmes are ideally suited for mid-career, senior, and Executive level doctors and professionals who are ready to take action to improve their working lives and careers, and to succeed in their leadership roles.
My clients take themselves and their careers seriously; they may be struggling and yet are wholeheartedly committed to making a difference in the world, while taking care of themselves at the same time. They are usually at least in their late 30s when we work together.
My coaching programmes are always tailored to your own specific needs, and usually fall into three broad areas: career difficulties including career change; leadership and skills development; and improving work-life balance and wellbeing.
Leadership and Career Coaching is not psychological therapy or counselling for people with mental illness, and neither is it any form of medical care. It can be a viable alternative for people who may have thought of personal counselling to help to resolve a work-related situation. I integrate coaching approaches with career counselling and mentoring, for professionals who want to focus on the future and what they want to move towards, as well as to grow their sense of agency and autonomy.
I help you to understand yourself and to open up your thinking, rather than ‘telling you what to do’. I use a range of evidence based approaches from applied psychology, leadership development, and adult development theories to help you understand your needs with regards your career and working life, to make significant decisions, to grow professionally and to develop as a leader.
Coaching is often great fun and very rewarding, and it can also be hard work and demanding to work out what you really want in your life and your career, and to develop further as a leader. It may require considerable courage to take bold action and to make the changes you need. I will support you through the process, providing challenge and accountability as well as being alongside you every step of the way, helping you to find the confidence to experiment, reach your potential and create a new future for yourself.
As well as the contact time we have together, you will need around 2-4 hours of time between sessions to complete the actions we agree to help you to move forward.
You will want to check they are fully qualified to work with people at your own professional level (such as ‘ILM7 Executive Coaching and Mentoring’) and that they are a member of a professional coaching body such as the European Mentoring and Coaching Council.
A good Leadership and Career Coach will challenge you as well as support you, so you need to feel that they are an equal to you. You may also wish to be sure they have an evidence base to their practice so that you can have confidence in the theories underpinning their work and that they have a solid foundation in psychology and behaviour change. The level of professional and personal development I offer is significantly more than traditional careers advice.
You may want to check that they are registered as a Data Controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office and that they have a privacy and confidentiality statement. You may wish to be assured they have an up to date enhanced Disclosure and Barring Certificate, and that they are insured for personal and professional liability.
You will also want to be assured that they are in regular supervision with a qualified supervisor, 1 hour supervision per 20 hours coaching, and that they attend regular professional development to develop their own skills as a coach.
You may wish them to have insight into your professional sector or role, have worked at a similar professional level as you, or it may be that their skill as a Coach is more important to you than their experience of your industry.
There may be other factors which are important to you – take time to consider what you feel you would need from a Leadership and Career Coach to get the most out of the partnership.
Leadership and Skills Development
- I want to develop my skills as a leader/ as a female leader
- I need to develop a more conscious and present leadership style
- I would like to feel more confident in my role as a senior professional/ leader
- I want to be my personal best and accelerate my career
- I need to learn new skills such as prioritising, managing people, time management
- I’m feeling stuck – I want to work out where to go in my longer term career as my current role isn’t really working for me any more
- I need support to constructively manage a major career transition, redundancy, or change of direction
- Is this ‘it’? I want to prepare for a very long working life, I wish to learn how to be proactive about staying in work which energises and motivates me as I get older
- I need to take action in the short and longer term to future proof my career
- I am interested in exploring a new role but need to really think it through
- I am feeling out of touch with my work, I need to be more clear on what matters to me so that I can build my career on this
- I want to resolve a specific work issue or work relationship which I am struggling with
- I am returning to work after a career break or illness and have lost confidence, or am no longer sure if this is the right career for me
Work-life balance and resilience
- I want to balance my work and life more effectively
- I need support to make an effective return to work after a period of ill health
- I need to learn to look after myself better and to take action to take to prevent burnout, or to recover from burnout
- I want to learn how to pace and support myself for a long career ahead of me
- I wish to become more fulfilled/ re-energised in my working life
- I want to manage my work- related emotions more effectively
- I love my job but it’s just so difficult- I need help to stay well at work
The Career Consultation includes:
- Background to your current situation
- Your future aspirations
- What you would like to get out of the coaching partnership, ie start to clarify what success would look like for you
- About me and what you can expect from me
- What I would expect from you
- Practicalities (fees, dates, venue etc)
- Any questions you might have
If I feel that working together is not right for you at this time, I will help you to identify alternative options where possible.
If we agree to work together then we will set a date for the first session. I send you a copy of our contract which ensures a safe and confidential relationship which works well for both of us, and send you your invoice and your full welcome pack. This includes everything you need to get started (such as exercises and questions to help you to prepare for our work together) in order for us to finalise your coaching goals in your first session.
Mentoring is a developmental process where a more experienced person shares their knowledge with a less experienced person through a series of conversations. The Mentor may share their perspective on what they did in a similar situation, for example, or tell you what they think you should do in this situation.
Coaching is a more equal relationship than mentoring, where the Coach supports the Client to identify his or her own solutions wherever possible, through encouraging greater self awareness, improved self-management and increased self-efficacy. Coaching is achieved through a series of open, honest, direct conversations, with an emphasis on gaining clarity of thinking, taking action and developing skills – as well as through the Coach providing objectivity and support. I use specific evidence based interventions in coaching to support my Clients to achieve lasting change.
Career Counselling is not personal counselling, but uses counselling skills in the context of setting career direction. It usually involves specific career related exercises and, whilst personalised to you, involves a more structured four step approach.
I am uniquely qualified and experienced: to ILM7 level in both Mentoring and Executive Coaching, and have used both methods for over 20 years; and I am accredited and licensed in a specific careers counselling method. I integrate all three approaches in my work to suit your specific needs. Wherever possible I mainly use coaching approaches over mentoring as I believe in developing people’s own sense of agency and autonomy; I draw upon a more structured careers counselling approach for clients whose focus is to seek clarity on their future career direction.
I am highly trained in a range of methods and models. One of the main theoretical models which I use in my coaching practice is the leading edge ‘third wave’ applied psychology ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Training, pronounced ‘act’). ACT’s focus is on enabling people to live lives based on their personal values: helping people to find meaning, purpose and satisfaction in their lives, and taking action in line with what matters most to us personally, despite the difficult thoughts, feelings and urges which arise for us all in relation to our careers, leadership, career changes and working life in general. There are now over 250 Randomised Control Trials of ACT of which many relate to its use in the workplace. Please see here for a list of recent references supporting the use of ACT in the workplace setting.
I also draw on my theoretical knowledge and practical skills in prevention and early intervention with ‘positive psychology’ (experience dependent neuroplasticity; mindfulness based cognitive approaches), adult development theory, complexity and systems theory, and compassion focused approaches. I also draw on communication theories such as non-violent communication, transactional analysis (TA), and motivational interviewing; and also the science of occupational and workplace health improvement, as well as my knowledge and experience of system-wide, organisational, and team leadership theory and practice including transformational leadership and leading in complexity and ambiguity.
If you are currently off sick from work, or unwell, please do let me know. I may still be able to work with you, however I will always ask you to discuss with your responsible clinician whether career coaching is an appropriate contribution to your recovery at this point in time. I am a coach not a clinician in this relationship.
Coaching has been proven in research meta-analyses to significantly increase the success of returning to work after a period of mental ill-health. I am highly skilled at helping to keep professionals in work and in supporting them to successfully return to the work following a period of absence.
I don’t offer full personality profiling and full psychometric testing, I find that this is rarely useful for mid-career and senior professionals, instead I use other tools to help you to develop insight into yourself and your impact on others.
We meet either in person for our coaching sessions or by Skype which is equally effective and suits many busy professionals. For face-to-face coaching we would normally meet in my office in Chapel Allerton, north Leeds, and I offer Skype based coaching to clients across the UK and Internationally – I have recently had a client in New Zealand!
All my coaching sessions are both reflective and action orientated and are usually 90 minutes long. I am flexible according to your own needs, however the minimum commitment is 4 sessions. Session frequency varies according to your needs; sessions are usually 3-4 weeks apart especially for the first few sessions, and can be more frequent for people seeking a complete change of career under time pressure. I currently offer programmes in blocks of 4 or 6 sessions. Leadership coaching is usually around 12 sessions over a year.
I support you to set your own goals for each session, and at the end of each session we agree actions for you to take forward to complete before the next session. I ask for your feedback following each session to consolidate your learning.
In between sessions you put your agreed actions into practice, and start to make the changes you want to see in your life and career. All my coaching programmes include access to the resources section of my website, and my evidence-based career worksheets to complete between sessions on topics specifically relating to your needs.
At the final session we review your learning over our coaching relationship, and develop plans to enable you to move forwards into the future with greater meaning, purpose, satisfaction and wellbeing in your career and working life.
If you are wanting to explore a complete career change I will usually suggest a specific, more structured career counselling programme, I will discuss this with you in the Career Consultation.
Many of my clients choose to continue to have additional sessions as their career progresses over time, either immediately after our initial sessions, or at some point in the future. We would always work within a contract and a framework of your own goals, and would regularly update your goals to reflect your current circumstances and context.
I am happy to answer any further questions regarding your privacy and confidentiality, please see my Privacy and Confidentiality Statement for a more information.
Our coaching partnership is based on a high level of trust, and I bring my full professional skills and experience to support and champion you in your professional life. I offer you a level of challenge which is appropriate to your needs, and I am an objective, independent professional for you to be accountable to. In addition, in some ways, a coaching partnership is similar to a Continuing Professional Development course which is wholly tailored to you and your unique and specific career and domestic needs.
I will discuss my fees with you at the Career Consultation once I am confident that I can help you. Many people wish to have further regular or ad-hoc sessions as their career progresses after their initial block of sessions.
There are no hidden costs. Many people are able to count their coaching sessions as Professional Expenses (CPD) for tax purposes and I can give you a CPD certificate. Many employers will pay for leadership and career coaching from an independent provider such as myself to support their more senior staff. Our contract describes the full terms and conditions, please ask me for a draft contract if you would like to see this.
All sessions are paid in advance. I will send you or your employer an invoice for each block of sessions which is paid electronically, and you then will receive an email receipt as confirmation of your payment.
Before our first session, we will have already had a half hour Consultation to discuss the coaching relationship and to agree the practicalities including: time and date; duration; location/ videoconferencing platform. I will have sent you exercises to complete and return before our first session to help you to identify your coaching goals, ie what you want to achieve from working with me.
Coaching sessions are essentially a series of conversations to help you to move forwards towards your career goals. The first session involves getting to know you, your context and what you have learned so far; subsequent sessions are much more future focused in terms of where you are going and how you are going to get there.
At the start of our first session, I will always check with you if you have any questions or concerns. We will then review the exercises you have completed before the first session and we will use them to finalise your coaching goals, so that we can both be really clear what you need to get out of our coaching partnership.
We will then start to work on your goals and moving you forwards into the future, whether they relate to developing your leadership skills and style further, improving your wellbeing at work, or making career changes and planning your career. Each coaching session is always bespoke to your own specific needs.
During each coaching session, we identify ‘actions’ for you to complete before the next session, such as conversations with people, reflective exercises; I will summarise these with you at the end of the session and I will email them to you afterwards. Between-session actions are always an invitation for you to help you to move closer towards your goals; as a guide they may take around an hour a week. Before we close the session, we’ll briefly review the session, and agree the date of the next session.
Please bring a pen and paper with you to the session, perhaps in a special folder if you like. After the session, I will email you with the actions we agreed, the date of the next session and any resources you need. I will also send you a session evaluation email so you can reflect, and also to help you to prepare for the next session.
In our second and subsequent sessions, we’ll check whether your overarching goals remain the same. We’ll also briefly touch on the last session, discuss progress since we last met, review the actions you have completed, and identify a session goal to focus on, aligned to your coaching goals. In this way we are constantly moving towards improving your career and working life, so that you leave each session feeling clear, energised and excited to be moving forwards!