- Increase their work and life satisfaction
- Achieve promotion to a more challenging role…and then do well in that role.
- Successfully navigate the first six months in a new role in a new organisation
- Improve relationships with key stakeholders
- Increase their sense of meaning in work
- Move from good to excellent performance
- Negotiate important individual or organisational outcomes
- Move to the next level in terms of leadership maturity and effectiveness
- Change career
Over the past thirty years, I have worked hard to gain a deep knowledge of human psychology, leadership development and career success. In the process I have developed some skills that can have a profound impact on my clients. This is my story (If you want a more traditional, short bio, you can find it here.)
I started my career as a junior doctor on a medical ward in a small hospital in Nottinghamshire, England. Many of my patients were ill with life threatening illnesses. Spending time with people who were so unwell taught me several important lessons:
- The best way to work out how to help someone is to be curious, ask good questions and then really attend to their answers.
- Never, ever smoke – really just don’t.
- Life is short. Every moment is precious. And it is the little moment to moment choices that we make that determine whether we have a life well spent.
The third insight – Every moment is precious – has had a major impact on my work. It is very important to me that I don’t waste people’s time. I make sure that I understand what my clients would like to get out of their interactions with me and then I aim to deliver those outcomes. When my career coaching clients find a role they love, I am thrilled. If step by step, session by session, my executive coaching clients become more the leaders they aspire to be. I am delighted. The time I spend with my clients needs to count.
After my first year in medicine, I decided to specialise in psychiatry. During my training as a psychiatrist, I learnt that a solution focussed approach helps people to recognise their strengths and quickly get moving towards their goals. I learnt that it isn’t helpful to look at behaviour in isolation, you have to consider the whole system and work out how to influence that system. I learnt how to help people to make challenging behaviour changes. I learnt the importance of compassion.
I became a consultant psychiatrist and led multi-disciplinary teams who were doing challenging work in difficult environments. I loved psychiatry but decided I wanted to use my skills in a different context, so, in 2002 I left psychiatry and moved into coaching.
I believe that the best interventions are based on science and supported by research so everything I do in my work is based on current high quality research in coaching, behavioural science, career development, leadership and management.
When I left psychiatry, I was aware that, although I knew a lot about how to help people who were struggling, I didn’t know enough about how to help people to thrive and flourish. So In 2003, I joined the Authentic Happiness Coaching program. I was lucky enough to be trained by Martin Seligman and other experts in the theory, assessments and exercises of Positive Psychology.
Early in my coaching career, I realised that, if I was to be truly effective, I needed to understand best practice in leadership, management and business. So I made contact with some excellent academics at QUT in the School of Business and started to combine my practical expertise with their academic knowledge. I have taught a range of courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate level at QUT and Griffith University.
I have been awarded the QUT Faculty of Business ‘Awesome Tutor Award’ in recognition of my ‘passion and enthusiasm in promoting and supporting student learning, the development of critical thought and ability to inspire students to achieve success.’ I have also been nominated for the QUT Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence.
More recently I became interested in applying mindfulness and values based action to the workplace. I trained extensively in Contextual Behavioral Science and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). These are empirically supported approaches to personal and professional development that combine mindfulness and values with some ground breaking psychological theories. ACT has been shown, in careful research, to be effective in improving emotional intelligence, motivation and performance whilst also decreasing anxiety and stress. I co-author a blog on using ACT in organisational settings. Our blog has been listed as one of the top 20 positive psychology blogs.
I now deliver training to other coaches on applying ACT to work-related coaching. I have also presented on coaching at a number of conferences including the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science World Conference.
What does this all this mean for you? That I have some hard won skills that could have a profound impact on your career. My experience in medicine and psychiatry and my work as both a leader and a university lecturer have given me a deep knowledge of human behaviour, career success, leadership and career change.
If you are looking for a coach and think we might be a good fit, send me an email telling me a little bit about yourself and what you are hoping to get out of coaching and we can have a conversation to see how I might be able to help you.