Every month, we spotlight one of our credible leadership coaches. This month, we invite you to learn more about leadership coach Heather.
Adopting a high challenge and high support coaching approach, Heather supports individuals and teams in being the best they can be by developing holistic relationships that combine mind, body, and spirit to provide balance and sustained growth.
Focusing on the importance of managing self before moving into managing others, taking advantage of Heather’s coaching skills enables clients to build a strong foundation of self-belief, confidence, emotional intelligence, resilience, focus and concentration, all of which are essential for personal effectiveness and high performance.
Taking a keen interest in growth mindset, mental strength and neuroscience, Heather is skilled at articulating vision and purpose, developing effective working relationships, developing resilience, and supporting learning.
Find out more about who Heather is as a coach, her approach to coaching, her superpower, and how she brings her expertise to our coaching team here.
Who Are You as a Leadership Coach?
This is such an interesting question and is often hard to articulate! I get a sense that I am a ‘catalyst’ first and a coach and mentor second.
I am very clear that my purpose in life is to use my energy, in conjunction with my wisdom and lived experience, to help others undertake personal transformation.
I have been developing my coaching style for well over 25 years – having been first introduced to coaching as a professional development tool when I was working as a Client Team Coach for the American company GE Finance in the late 1990s.
I continued to develop my coaching skills further, working as a leader within Operations and HR for several UK banks and building societies. In 2008, I obtained a professional qualification in Executive Coaching and Mentoring (ILM Level 7).
Since that date, I’ve worked exclusively as a professional coach, mentor, and leadership development consultant for clients all around the globe.
What Is Your Approach to Coaching?
I am all about creating a space where individuals feel safe and supported, as well as challenged - with grace and kindness - to think about the situations they bring into coaching from a fresh perspective.
People often talk about “the magic of coaching”, and it’s definitely a thing!
As a coach, it is important for me to do everything I can to develop a magical relationship so my client can share, be vulnerable and quickly begin to explore those uncomfortable places that are often the starting point of personal transformation.
Let me say, though, that it’s not always uncomfortable, as my sessions are often full of joy and laughter. As my clients begin to relax into the coaching process and working with me, you can almost see the release of the pressure that’s been building inside them. They often tell me they “feel lighter” and are more resourceful and less constrained with their decision-making, communications, and day-to-day practices.
The quote: “Take your work seriously, but never yourself,” is one that resonates hugely with me.
What’s Your Superpower, and What Are You Known For?
I ask clients this all the time! I am an accredited Strengthscope practitioner, so you’ll always find me exploring strengths first.
I build rapport quickly with my empathic listening superpower. Clients often tell me, “I’ve never told anyone that before!” I’m also highly creative and intuitive, which makes for an outstanding option for generating conversations with clients!
Finally, I am known for encouraging clients to take a holistic approach to their personal transformation. As a well-being practitioner, I understand how the bodily systems are vital in supporting the mind, so I will (when appropriate) bring to clients' attention topics such as balanced nutrition, sleep, non-sleep deep rest, and exercise to help them enhance and sustain their new mindset and behaviours.
Restorative practices such as Yoga Nidra, Red-Light Therapy, Tai Chi, Somatic Movement and Reflexology are some of the well-being practices coaching clients have introduced into their lives with excellent professional and personal benefits.
What Do You Like About Working With The Leadership Coaches?
I love being part of a team of highly professional and experienced individuals who are all at the top of their game. Surrounding yourself with people you admire and who inspire you is super important, as it keeps you motivated and wanting to continue growing and developing as a coach.
It’s a wonderfully diverse group of individuals with a range of different experiences and perspectives who all share and clearly demonstrate The Leadership Coaches' values and principles. That’s all down to the highly robust selection process that CEO Zoé has adopted from day one.
The coaching programmes I work on are all highly prestigious, and I am always well-briefed and supported as a coach. I appreciate that my insights and feedback are always sought and acted upon, which makes me feel incredibly valued and respected. I feel honoured to be a part of The Leadership Coaches.
How Do You Bring Your Expertise to What You Do With The Leadership Coaches?
I bring this through my 40-plus years of being in the workplace. There aren't many scenarios (professional and personal) that I haven't experienced either as a leader, coach, or mentor.
Having lived experience expertise helps me to build and develop the following:
Empathy and Understanding: When a coach has faced similar challenges, they are better equipped to understand the client's emotions, struggles, and perspectives.
Relatability: Clients often feel more comfortable and connected with a coach who has walked a similar path. Shared experiences create a sense of relatability, making it easier for clients to open up and trust the coach's approach.
Credibility: Lived experience adds a layer of credibility to a coach's expertise. Clients may be more likely to trust and respect a coach who has successfully navigated similar personal or professional challenges.
Problem-Solving Skills: Having faced and surmounted personal challenges, coaches with lived experience often develop strong problem-solving skills. They can draw on their own strategies for overcoming adversity and, where appropriate, share those techniques with clients.
Adaptability: Lived experience often involves adapting to change and learning from it. Coaches who have navigated various life transitions can help guide clients through their own changes with a deeper understanding of the process.
While my lived experience expertise is an asset for The Leadership Coaches, I know that it's important for me to continually develop my coaching skills, stay open to new perspectives, and recognise that every client is unique.
To help me do this, I am moving into new areas for my continuing professional coach development – primarily in the wellness and longevity space. This is becoming an exciting new area for coaches to work in. Plus, as I am now 60 and want to continue supporting people as a coach and mentor for at least another 20 years, I need to be a role model and be the divine light for others!