It’s encouraging to know that people who know me, including guests on previous trips, have been very encouraging about my training as a life coach. Feedback has been positive, with the most common reply being “Oh, you’d be good at that”! I have always engaged with personal development, and have been inspired by many different people. See some of the life experience that I’ve had which informs my coaching:
As a tour leader with Oak Hall, I was focused upon my guests, their experience, and, as a Christian company, provided worship sessions which often offered a bit of my life experience, my life lessons. This encouraged guests to talk to me about their own experiences (active listening is a key skill), and we often found that the time out on that holiday provided rest, some perspective, and a chance to move forward. Particular skills required as a tour leader are flexibility, enthusiasm, engagement, community generation, and problem-solving.
I believe that, whether you believe in God or not, we’re all here for a higher purpose. In studying for (and completing, against some interesting challenges) a PhD, I have gained many tools for self-motivation, an ability to focus on both the bigger picture and the specific task in hand. The specific subject of my PhD was Second World War posters, specifically from a cultural/historical perspective, but drew out elements of motivation, identity-formation, community and group engagement.
Making Things Happen
Once the goals and parameters have been established, I make those things happen that I say will happen. Establishing the goals is what takes the time, and I have drawn upon the experiences of my own life coaching sessions in order to establish my current goals and therefore my focus for that specific time period. In balancing the competing demands of my PhD and paid work to support the PhD, I acquired excellent time management skills and a great tool-box for this, and have provided training sessions for others in time management (and therefore energy conservation).
Felt the Fear and Done It Anyway
Susan Jeffers was a great inspiration whilst I was in a job which I knew was totally wrong, and hadn’t lived up to the job description. She helped me to recognise that there are choices in this life, and that where I was ‘stuck’ was not the only place I needed to be. I felt the fear of leaving a secure, reasonably well-paid job, took a risk on not following the safe career path towards academia that I had been following, and decided to fulfil my dream of travelling around the world, investing my redundancy monies in experimenting with things that I wouldn’t necessarily have felt confident in doing, including throwing myself out of a plane, and learning to scuba dive. I’ve experimented, and continue to experiment, facing the challenges one at a time!
I am passionate about building self-awareness, self-development, and expanding the horizons of life. I am always keen to learn more. When lecturing at University, I see it as a two-way process… I may have more experience, but there’s always more to learn! As a lecturer I run seminars, encouraging full group interaction, and also provide constructive criticism and feedback to my students, allowing them to move forward and develop the appropriate skills in their subject. I receive positive feedback from my students as to the way I interact with them, and as to the kind of advice I give them. I have many different interests, and am always keen to dip a toe in. My interests, although widely varied, tend to focus around people, personal development, learning and teaching, community, group facilitation, communication, training, and information provision.
I am always particularly interested in personality tests, and understanding how both myself and others tick, and how that makes a difference to the way that we engage with the world around us, and with others. In my first year at University I studied Psychology.
Own Self Development
Life is a journey (and each stage starts with a single step), upon which we constantly learn and leave ourselves open to challenges and opportunities for change.I am an exceptionally fast reader, taking on board a lot of information. Along the way, with the experience I have had in various careers, I have developed an extensive toolkit, which I’d love to share with you.
Specific Expertise in the Business World
- Specific knowledge of academia, the public sector, particularly education, and the charitable sector, particularly Christian organisations.
- Extensive online experience, both in terms of research (search skills) and provision of information. See my portfolio of work.
- I have provided advice in a number of ways, particularly to small businesses in Winchester who desire a small website. We focus on what their business wants to achieve, identify the target audience, design the site, and work together to produce the best site within a budget.
- Project management in an academic context
I have moved on from saying that I am “too honest” and “too nice”, and have decided that these are positive traits which I can put to good use. I will be genuine with you, and patient as we look to move forward together. I want to energise, empower and enable you!