‘Relationships change us, reveal us, evoke more from us. Only when we join with others do our gifts become visible, even to ourselves’
M Wheatley &
Executive Coaching: one-to-one and teams
Having spent over 25 years in business, I understand the joy and pain. So whether you are a leading a programme of change, would love a more cohesive team, or want to understand what divides and unites people in relationship to your business culture, then get in touch.
Together we’ll create a programme that is meaningful, gets the results you want, and takes people with you.
Executive coaching is a highly relational process between two people and the themes explored can be expansive. Clients tell me that what they value most is the opportunity to think about issues that are important to them - time that would otherwise be spent head down, doing stuff.
They say coaching pays them back tenfold both in terms of what they learn about themselves and the choices available to them as a result.
Programmes are individually tailored and then contracted for in partnership with a commissioning organisation and client. I then work with my client (or clients), typically in blocks of 6 sessions over a 4-6 months period. Sessions may be face to face or via video call.
"Coaching isn’t about finding solutions, it’s about making sense of what we already know"
Coaching topics include:
Awareness and impact (self and others)
Beliefs and personal values
Career and role transition
Emotional intelligence, influence and empathy
Stress and overwhelm
Our relationship with energy
Shadow side and defences
What is our shadow side?
Our shadow side is home to our blind spots and the side of our character that others see that we do not, or the side we see but choose to ignore or don’t know what to do about. In a nutshell, it’s about how others experience you which makes it a great topic for anything to do with personal brand. It’s like asking yourself: What do I leave behind when I’m not there? What would I hear people saying?
I will help you identify the parts of your character that trip you up (by the way, it’s fine we all have defences because they have all served a purpose at some point) but better the devil you know I say. By working in this way you will become adept at seeing situations from many perspectives. You will find yourself becoming more aware and more creative about the choices you have and the changes you want to make. This concept can be adapted to team brand and team identity.
My work with teams is focussed on interpersonal relationships, role and power. I am fascinated by culture and what teams create – sometimes unintentionally - and this stems from the years I spent as a leader and member of many multi-cultural teams.
I typically work with groups of around 8, but they may be larger. However, I much prefer the intimacy of smaller groups where these dynamics can be more easily felt. This builds trust, leading to better outcomes as members get to know one another and, appreciate and embrace individual difference.
"If I had one wish for business, it would be to make teams popular again. Yes, good old fashioned teams are the missing and vital secret ingredient. The power of the collective, it’s the only way to help businesses flourish and grow."
Team coaching assignments can be one-off events or programme based, dependent on need. All events are co-created with my clients and designed around the topics outlined below, either exploring a single theme, or a blend of two or more. I work with teams at all stages of development, from formation to adjournment (endings).
Coaching topics include:
Action learning is an excellent way for teams to tackle complex issues or disputes, particularly where there is no right or wrong answer. We also know that unresolved issues result in conflict which can diminish team effectiveness. The beauty of action learning is that it is enquiry based where everyone at the table is given a voice. This means that judgement and personal opinion are suspended so that new thinking and new ideas can be explored collectively.
This is a relational process which helps teams to understand that it is not about being right or wrong, rather what it takes to create a good collective experience - something that cannot be achieved working alone or in cliques - irrespective of status and role.
The results? Better decision making, more consensus and commitment, and clarity about a way forward. Think of action learning as being the catalyst for creating a group mind.
Bespoke team and leadership surveys
These surveys are co-designed with a business or senior leader usually following a merger or re-structure, and where the leadership has changed. They are an excellent way of identifying and clarifying the key issues present so that the team feels better equipped to free themselves up and move forward. I also create surveys which explore the relational challenges between leadership and membership. The focus here is the membership’s view of leadership – a kind of inverse 360º
Creating high performance
I have long believed that high performance in teams takes time and effort, and so the focus of my approach is what the team can do to help itself. Too often teams find themselves caught up in politics, heresay, and the influence of the wider system and a number of micro-cultures.
I have developed a number of exercises that teams can explore with a focus on what can be done to improve team brand and effectiveness.
"I am a big advocate in coaching, and I have an excellent high performing team. This has been achieved through the team wanting to be winners and being open to new experiences. Karen has coached various members of my team, and I strongly believe this has helped create the type of environment that a lot of people dream of and strive for. Karen is ‘pragmatic’ and ‘real’ in terms of understanding the world in which we live and work. I would highly recommend her."
Donna Johnston, Global Advisory Learning Leader, Ernst & Young
"I have been lucky enough to have been able to work with Karen for the past couple of years. During that time Karen’s coaching has helped me to develop my confidence and unlock new experiences. She asks the right questions to lead me to decisions whilst helping me focus and prioritise. Karen’s coaching style is open, supportive and very effective. She is incredibly intuitive and a wonderful listener whilst keeping an eye on actions. After each session with Karen I always come away feeling ‘lighter’ and more energised – for me this is because I have the space, time and Karen’s attention which help me sort through my thoughts and feelings. Thank you Karen."
Tina Fawcett, Learning & Talent Design Solutions, Global Advisory, Ernst & Young
"I had the good fortune of having Karen as a coach during my Exec MBA at Henley Business School. She is objective, balanced, trustworthy and knowledgeable to name but a few of her attributes. She has helped me find clarity in some of life's obscurities. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her."
Tom Goddard, Fin Tech, Trade & Working Capital Specialist, American Express
"Karen was my coach throughout my MBA at Henley. She was a fantastic coach and helped me deal with issues from setting my personal vision, dealing with personal change and tackling challenging conversations/issues. Her approach is relaxed which helps build rapport quickly. The other strength Karen has is recognising when you need direction. She made some sensible recommendations for me."
Karen Power, Head of Finance Change, Specsavers
"As part of Henley Business School's management programme, I was given an opportunity to be coached by Karen. She has one of those pleasant personalities which brings you at ease instantly. Her coaching style is unique and driven by compassion and deep listening. She comes with very good solutions to help individuals to really listen to internal dialogue and help find solutions. I will highly recommend Karen as coach for corporates or for an individual".
H Joshi, Executive MBA Student
"I am pleased to recommend Karen for offering the experience of 'Executive coaching'. Straightening out some of my complex thoughts on career progression by active listening and supporting all the way through my MBA journey are some memorable life lessons. Karen is considerate, trust worthy and genuinely cares to the challenges discussed. Good luck Karen."
Simanand Gandhi Jeyaraj, Consultant, Utilities Sector.