What is coaching? I’ve heard it say that it’s something that can help you “unlock your potential”. I like to think it’s more about giving you space to shift your perspective. Sometimes, you need someone to ask the right question at the right time, without judgment, to allow you to see more clearly where things stand. This is true of your professional life, of course, but also of your personal life – coaching can apply to both.
Coaching isn’t therapy or counselling. It is very much solution-focused. It’s about defining an objective, and then identifying a way to get there. A good coach will listen and ask questions, but also be prepared to challenge you, to help you think about things differently.
Why I coach
My first experience being coached wasn’t a very productive one. I never managed to create the right chemistry with my coach, and in the end I didn’t find it useful at all. This isn’t a reflection on the coach’s quality: a coaching relationship is deeply individual. Looking back, I should have probably moved on earlier.
It took me over ten years to try again. And that time, it worked. The work I did with my coach over the course of a few years was truly transformative. I learned and grew and suddenly this concept of unlocking potential wasn’t theoretical but absolutely true.
One of the things I learnt about myself through coaching is how much I enjoy working with people and help them develop. This is something I have done throughout my career, as a manager, as a mentor, and now as a coach. (My sisters say that’s because I like to give advice about everything all the time. But what do they know? Nothing, that’s what!)
How I coach
Find out more about the power of stories:
I spend my entire childhood lost in stories. I read voraciously, and I watched everything I could on TV. In a world that I had very little control over, stories became the imaginary place that fed me the emotional connections I needed. To give you a sense of how strong this emotional bond was: I remember…
When I decided to formalise my coaching practice, I went back to school, and learnt a lot about tools and techniques, ethics and values. My training is a brilliant foundation which I use a lot.
But I didn’t become a coach from nothing. I come to coaching after after a 20-year career in media, and I took media and storytelling with me on this journey.
My core belief is that stories are the centre of our experience of leadership – whether it is the narrative we tell ourselves, the stories we tell others, or how we listen to other people’s stories. Great leaders are always great storytellers: from Greta Thunberg to Nelson Mandela, from Winston Churchill to Megan Rapinoe, it is through stories, images, narratives – not facts and figures – that the most inspiring people we know succeed in energising us and driving us to action.
My coaching centres around understanding and refining our stories – whether it is to develop a more mature leadership style, to settle in a new role, to understand other perspectives or to deliver complex messages and presentations more confidently. I call it Story-Led Coaching. Check out my blog for examples of how it may apply to some of challenges you face.
Can I help you?
I work in different ways with different people – from very intense bursts where we meet every week and work on a specific task or goal, to ongoing relationships where we have monthly sessions to refine and adapt. I can work with teams, or prepare you for a big public engagement, or I can be a life coach and work with you on finding the right balance in your everyday life. I work in French and English, in person or via Zoom. I can help you think about work problems, or life concerns, or a bit of both.
Expect our sessions to be peppered with movie, TV and pop culture references. What would Beyonce do? is a genuine strategic question that I ask regularly.
What doesn’t change is my focus on you – your story, your goals, your narrative to yourself and others.
The question is this: can I help you? Am I the best person to take you on this journey? Let’s find out!