Leadership Coaching2020-09-10T09:10:15+00:00

Leadership coaching.

When you’re a leader, how do you know if you’re getting it right? Are you focussing on the right things? Role modelling the right behaviours, having sufficient influence? And who do you turn to when you need to think things through?

This is where leadership coaching comes in. Here are four situations where you might need a coach.

Executive Sounding Board.

It can be lonely at the top. If you run an organisation who have you really got to confide in? Where do you go to get your ideas tested, to unravel knotty problems, to get a different perspective? Using a coach as a sounding board ensures that you block time in your diary to think about the important stuff, not just the urgent and the day-to-day. It keeps you accountable to yourself and ensures you don’t get too narrow in your thinking. I often use my go-to leadership model to help clients review what happens in their organisation and identify where to focus their effort and attention right now. Time and again what my clients tell me they value most is my ability to help them get to the heart of the matter.

Talk to me today about coaching as an executive sounding board.

Newly Appointed Leaders.

When you’ve just been appointed to a senior role, all eyes are on you. If you’re new to the organisation, what you do in the first weeks and months will set your reputation possibly for years. If you’ve been promoted from within, you’ll need to re-calibrate your relationships with people who used to be your peers and may need to shift people’s perceptions of you. Either situation is a challenge and one where a leadership coach can add real value. A developmental assessment can be a useful starting point, as it gives additional information into where your strengths and development areas might lie and uncovers any blind spots. In some cases, my clients already have this information as I assessed them as part of the selection process that got them the job. This three-part case study is a typical example.

Talk to me today about coaching for newly appointed leaders.

Aspiring Leaders.

If you’re at mid-career stage, looking to develop as a leader you might use coaching to work on specific skills, such as delegation, time management, business development or broadening your strategic perspective. But I’d also encourage you to look at who you really are and what kind of leader you’re going to be.

Nobody is good at all aspects of leadership, so work out where your greatest contribution will be. Are you a big picture strategist? Are you red hot at operational delivery, are you a fantastic relationship builder? How will you capitalise on these strengths, what level can you get your weaker areas up to and who do you need to work with to pick up on the bits where you’re never going to shine? A developmental assessment is a really useful way of exploring your potential.

Talk to me today about coaching for aspiring leaders.

Confidence and Emotional Issues.

Sometimes you need coaching because something is getting in the way of you performing at your best. Often that something is you. Maybe you have imposter syndrome. Perhaps you’re struggling with the pressure of your role. Maybe you can’t control your temper and it’s affecting your reputation. These are all issues where a business psychologist can bring a greater depth of understanding than a generic coach. It’s possible that we’ll talk about your personal life or your upbringing. But this is not therapy. The aim is to see how the legacy of your past is impacting on you now and to find strategies for dealing with it, not to keep exploring the past.

I am not a clinical psychologist and I know my professional boundaries; if I think you need support beyond what I can offer I’ll direct you to other sources. But these are rarely clinical issues, it’s entirely normal to have emotions at work and many, many people, including some very successful senior leaders have difficulty from time to time regulating their feelings while doing their job. It takes courage to admit it, and address it, and it can make all the difference. If you’re getting in your own way at work talk to me today about coaching for confidence and emotional problems.

Talk to me today about coaching for confidence and emotional problems.

Coaching FAQs.

You won’t have to, because I don’t give advice. You’re the expert on your job. You have the knowledge of your role, your organisation, yourself. What I bring is some psychological insight and a range of frameworks and models to help you think about your situation from different perspectives. My role is to provide a space for you to stop and reflect and to ask questions which challenge your thinking.  

Maybe, maybe not. It depends what you’ve come to coaching for. If you’re having sleepless nights before big presentations, or youre struggling to manage frustration at work, then your feelings might be a really important topic. If you want a sounding board to talk through the restructure of your business, they might never come up. If you seem to be Mr or Ms Ultra-Logic, I might challenge you on how you handle other peoples feelings which might lead to a discussion of your own emotional life. But I’m a business psychologist not a therapist. My aim is to help you to be as effective in your role as you can be.  

Coaching sessions generally last 1.5-2 hours. Typically, clients book either a block of sessions, say 6 or 10, spaced out at whatever intervals are most appropriate to them or they sign up for a monthly programme which includes one coaching session a month and a between session catch up call. Longer term clients sometimes opt for sessions at less frequent intervals, such as quarterly.

Increasingly online. I have worked effectively with clients in different parts of the world without meeting in person. I’m happy to meet in client offices or at a mutually convenient location such as a hotel lobby, or a quiet coffee shop. I am also a big fan of walking coaching. Many clients have found that walking and talking, particularly in nature, helps them free up their thinking.

Talk to me today about leadership coaching.

“Caroline provided some extremely helpful insights into my motivations and behaviour. She then went on to recommend some really useful exercises, and these have already been a great help in influencing my behaviour and attitudes.”

David Bryant, Area Supervisor, Andrews Property Group

“I received six coaching sessions from Caroline as part of an Innovate UK scheme and they were an extremely beneficial experience. Caroline is very good at encouraging reflection and getting you to put yourself in the shoes of others. She was very good at listening to real-life, practical issues I was facing, and asking the right questions to shed light on the situation and let me come up with a solution.”

Jonathan Raines, Mechanical Engineer, Open Bionics

“I have had three rounds of coaching with Caroline. I come back to her when I need a sounding board, as I really value the challenge and support she provides The leadership model she uses is an excellent framework and ensures I don’t miss anything.”

Andreas Weisheit, MD, Westfalen

“Working with Caroline helped me significantly in reflecting my business behaviour towards colleagues and our management. Having someone sitting (virtually) next to you and reflecting on your interactions with colleagues was definitely helpful and a gift for me.”

Andre Schneider, Head of Supply Chain Management, Westfalen

“I was coached by Caroline and found the experience absolutely invaluable. The way she prepared and followed through on each session ensured maximum benefit and reflection. She showed great insight in her questioning of me, and whilst probing was always incredibly kind.”

Alison Sturgess-Durden, Director, Mayden

“I had a series of coaching sessions with Caroline during my first year in a new Chief Executive post. The insights that she helped me gain have proved invaluable. It was a pleasure to work with Caroline. Whilst she never failed to challenge or push me – our sessions were draining – she also never failed to engage and enthuse me.”

Matthew Byrne, CEO, Westbank Community Health and Care

“Caroline has a wonderfully warm yet analytical approach to unteasing complex situations and team dynamics. Her insights helped me refine my own leadership approach – I wholeheartedly recommend working with her”

Eilis O’Donnell, Regional Cluster Manager, IntoUniversity

“I benefited from Caroline’s coaching for a short three-month period when I was changing employer and role. It was a tremendously useful experience, giving me a great deal of insight, and confidence to act on that insight”.

Neil Jacobs, Senior Strategy Adviser, UK Research and Innovation

“Caroline has proved a very effective leadership coach, giving me insights into myself that I would not have reached on my own. The Primary Colours model, which she uses as a basis for understanding and discussing issues, worked very well as it enabled me to focus on particular aspects of leadership and explore them further in relation to real issues”

Bryan Carroll, CEO Bristol Zoo (now retired)

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