It is ideally suited for mid-career and senior Doctors and Professionals who want to take action to improve their working lives and careers, to succeed as a leader, or who are returning to work after a career break or illness.
Coaching goals are always tailored to your own specific needs, and usually fall into three broad areas: career changes including a new career; leadership and skills development; and improving work-life balance and resilience.
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 counselling to help to resolve a work-related situation, and it is an alternative for more traditional structured careers advice for adults 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 do not usually give advice such as what I think you ought to do with your career decisions, though I do support you to open up your thinking and I do challenge you where it is helpful. I may teach you some self-care and wellbeing skills, and share items of information which I believe would be useful to you. I do use cutting edge applied psychology to support your development such as clarifying what matters most to you, what your skills and interests are, learning to be present, and how to take career-related action despite difficult thoughts and emotions.
Coaching can be fun and rewarding, and it can also be hard work and demanding to work out what you really want in your career, and to make the changes you need. I will support you through the process, walking alongside you, and helping you to manage the anxiety and doubt that come with career related decisions. As well as the contact time we have together, you will need time between sessions to prepare and to put your agreed actions into practice.
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 they need to be 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 theory underpinning their work. The level of professional and personal development I offer is much more than traditional careers advice/ career counselling.
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
After you first contact me, we would have a free, confidential, no obligation Career Consultation on the phone or by Skype. This is essentially an informal chat to find out whether coaching with me is right for you at this time, and for you to ask any questions, and usually lasts around 30 minutes.
The Career Consultation includes:
- What you would like to get out of the coaching relationship, ie start to clarify what outcomes you want to achieve
- About me and what you can expect from me
- What to expect during career coaching
- Practicalities (ie which programme is right for you, frequency, venues etc)
- Any questions you might have
If I feel that coaching is not right for you at this time I will tell you during the Career Consultation, and I will help you to identify alternative options where possible.
Once we have agreed on the right programme for you, we would plan the date of the first session, this is usually around a week after the Career Consultation. You will need time to prepare for the first session and I will give you tools to help you to prepare for the session, and to help you to get clear on what you want from the coaching relationship.
We ‘contract’ the partnership before or at the start of the first session, in order to ensure a safe and confidential relationship which works well for both of us.
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. Coaching is a more equal developmental process, 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 am qualified to ILM7 level in both Mentoring and Executive Coaching, and have used both methods for over 20 years. I do use both approaches in my work, however I mainly use coaching approaches rather than mentoring as I believe in developing people’s own sense of agency and autonomy. I do use a more mentoring approach when this is appropriate, and I can draw on both two approaches to better meet your needs.
The main theoretical model which I use in my coaching practice for both leadership and careers related goals is the leading edge ‘third wave’ applied psychology ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Training, pronounced ACT). ACT’s focus is values-based action: 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 200 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). 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.
If you are currently off sick from work, 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. As a Coach, I would not be your responsible clinician, and we would need to be explicit my role as Coach.
I have experience of helping to keep people in work, and of supporting people to successfully return to the workplace as part of their recovery. Indeed, 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 don’t do full personality profiling and full psychometric testing, but I work with others who do. This is usually only needed if an employer wishes to have a full personality assessment for a member of staff in difficulty.
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 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. I usually ask new clients to commit to 6 hours of coaching, this is usually through four sessions of 90 minutes each. I am flexible according to your own needs, though most clients will have their sessions every 3-4 weeks, ie 6 hours spread over a 3-4 month period. 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 ensure I am meeting your needs.
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 identify an action plan for you 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 make a complete career change I may suggest a specific, structured 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 straight after our initial 6 hours, or at some point in the future. We would always work within a framework set by your own goals, and would regularly update them to meet your current circumstances and context.
I am registered as a Data Controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office for data protection purposes. I keep the minimum of notes, and store them securely until 5 years after our relationship has ended in line with my insurance policy requirements. I do not share your data with any third party.
All client information is kept securely. If it has been collected electronically it is kept on password protected devices or on secure cloud based servers; or for paper notes of client sessions, the data is kept in a locked filing cabinet. You can unsubscribe from my client newsletter at any time and can ask for a copy of any notes or records held by me and I will respond within 28 days.
I collect anonymised information on the use of my website and social media sites in order to understand my clients’ needs better. I collect outcome data on my clients progress before, during and after coaching, this is anonymised.
I understand that discretion and confidentiality are extremely important to my clients and I take great care to provide a safe and confidential service within the limits of the law. In line with my professional accountability ethics, if I have concerns about your or someone else’s welfare I will discuss this with you in the first instance and I will agree a course of action with you. I will always make every effort to discuss any concerns with you in person or by phone, and will only contact another party as a last resort in extreme circumstances, and even then on an anonymous basis if at all possible.
In my coaching supervision, I will use your first name only if I am discussing you with my supervisor.
I also abide by the European Mentoring and Coaching Council’s code of ethics, and the Advertising Standards Authority’s Guidance on the use of Testimonials.
I am happy to answer any further questions regarding your privacy and confidentiality, please see my Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.
I don’t charge VAT and there are no hidden costs. Many people are able to count their coaching sessions as Professional Expenses for tax purposes and I can give you a CPD certificate.
Although we would usually commit to a minimum of 6 hours of working together, you essentially pay-as-you go. I send you an invoice for each session which you pay in advance of the session, you can cancel our agreement at any point with seven days’ notice from your next session.
Before our first session, we will have already had a half hour Consultation 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 have achieved from working with me.
Coaching sessions are essentially a series of conversations to help you to move forwards towards your coaching goals. 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 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 that is to develop your leadership skills and style further, improve your wellbeing at work, or to make career changes and plan your career. Each coaching session is bespoke to your own specific needs.
During the 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. We’ll briefly review the session, and agree the date of the next session, before we close.
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 workbooks you need. I will also send you a session evaluation email so you can reflect and prepare for the next session.
In our second and subsequent sessions, we’ll briefly touch on the last session, discuss progress and any blocks 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 energised and excited to be moving forwards!