I was working as an equine veterinary surgeon and although I really enjoyed my clinical work, I knew I had skills that I wasn't using. Having gone into the profession with a primary interest in animals, I had become more and more interested in the people I met and what drove their expectations and behaviours.
What brought you to coaching?
I was working as an equine veterinary surgeon and although I really enjoyed my clinical work, I knew I had skills that I wasn’t using. Having gone into the profession with a primary interest in animals, I had become more and more interested in the people I met and what drove their expectations and behaviours.
My husband (also a vet) and I have lost ten friends and colleagues to suicide, and know many more with poor mental health or wellbeing. These sobering experiences fuelled my passion and determination to do something positive for the people in the profession that I love. Ultimately we have one life; my aim is to help support, empower and inspire others to get the most out of their lives. Coaching makes this possible.
What drew you to The Coaching Academy?
I found The Coaching Academy online and attended their two-day foundation course in London to see what coaching involved. I remember thinking, "This all just totally makes sense. Imagine if others had access to these tools, it would make such a difference." The excellent training and the levels of support and warmth from the trainers encouraged me to sign up for my personal performance diploma. The more I have done with The Coaching Academy, the more these qualities have been in evidence - standards are incredibly high, the support of the team is invaluable and I have met life long friends.
What did you find most interesting to learn?
Where do I start? Everything! If forced to choose, it's probably discovering the sheer power of our minds. As individuals we don’t have to be controlled by our environment or by the people around us. Learning tools to retake control and get what we want to from our lives and careers, how we can reframe situations to turn negatives into positives, when externally nothing has actually changed. The power of setting goals and taking actions. Ultimately the power of coaching - everyone can benefit from the process no matter who you are or what you do.
What was the most rewarding part of the training / journey?
Undoubtedly it was seeing my own progress and development as I learned and practised the new skill of coaching.
Which bits did you enjoy the most?
I really enjoyed the whole journey. Heading off to Latimer was great, meeting up with friends I had met on previous accreditation days, learning new tools and techniques and implementing them in coaching sessions. Seeing the results in my clients makes it all worthwhile.
How did the qualification slot in with your current life?
The qualification process is very flexible, which really worked for me as, like many of us, I have a busy schedule of work and young children (they were 4 and 2 when I started!) I knew I wanted to get the qualification as soon as possible and managed to get my diploma six months after starting the course. It involved some early mornings, late nights and some weekends - but I was motivated and absolutely loved learning again, so in a way it felt rather indulgent. I learned a lot about myself along the way and used many of the coaching techniques to enhance my own performance.
What is your coaching niche and why did you choose it?
90% of my work is within the veterinary profession, where I run a popular 1-on-1 coaching programme across the UK. I have tailored my approach specifically for veterinary practices, working on skill set and run resilience, along with stress management and communications training. I’m also a strategic health and wellbeing consultant, helping to build resilient, sustainable, high performing teams for both small and large corporate practices. All my clients are high achieving professionals - outside the veterinary world I work with doctors, nurses, dentists and accountants. I'm also a coach for the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust and a motivational speaker at industry events. I really love the variety of my role and the people I work with - I feel privileged to say that it doesn’t often feel like work!
How did it feel to win the Life Coach of the Year Award?
It was a wonderfully unexpected honour to win Life coach of the year 2015. I am very proud and feel very privileged to do a job that I absolutely love, so receiving an award for it felt amazing and made me feel like I must be doing OK! It's always nice to have external validation, but I have to say that the best bit is the feedback from my clients. Making a positive, practical and lasting difference to the lives and careers of those I work with is the greatest reward, and it motivates me on a daily basis.
What difference has the award made to your life and business?
External recognition is always nice to add to your CV, but the main benefit for me, working in a profession where coaching isn’t the norm, has been the validation from a respected international body, bringing my work to the attention of a wider audience.
What is your favourite coaching question?
If you had a magic wand and could do anything, what would you do?
What do you enjoy most about being a coach?
I love working with people and find them totally fascinating and inspiring. I love the variety of my job, and the most rewarding part is making a difference to others, empowering those I work with to take action, to overcome their fears and realise opportunities and possibilities.
What are your top tips for people who are looking at coaching?
No matter what stage you are at, dare to dream and believe in yourself. It's important to understand what you want from your coaching journey so seek the inspiration that you need, surround yourself with positive people and always choose a positive attitude - life is so much better looking out from a positive perspective. And if you are standing at the edge of the precipice, unsure whether to make the leap or run away, look up, look out and make that first step. You never know where the journey may take you.
Many books have been written on the subject of productivity, but in my experience the basics always boil down to the following seven points. If you want to learn some simple ways to be more productive read on...