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Higher Education

Trust   Support   Challenge   Change

I work with many universities including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Imperial College, Kings College, Leeds, Southampton, Sydney and University College London, as well as coaching researchers at universities across Europe.

My clients include:

 

  • Academics exploring their transition into and within Full Professor roles

  • Directors and teams within a variety of Professional Services

  • Researchers in under-represented groups in Higher Education

  • Fellowship and senior fellowship holders

  • My clients have been in subject areas as diverse as STEM, Social science, Humanities, and Business Studies

'We spend all day everyday with people very similar to us. We can get trapped in the same thought patterns and negative thinking as each other. Coaching let me challenge my own assumptions and thoughts; my mind feels more free’

 

Here is a sample of bespoke coaching programmes delivered recently.

1.  Early Career Researcher Coaching at a Russell Group University

I have created & led a coaching programme to Early Career Researchers supported by the UKRI Research Culture funding.  This pilot project, delivered in 2022, was so successful that a larger coaching programme was commissioned for 2023 and into 2024.  It has involved 50 coachees so far.  Their feedback has been a powerful endorsement of the value of coaching to this community of researchers, offering something that is simply not available in all their other development opportunities.  Their experience confirms a more general observation about coaching in Universities offering something unique alongside the mentoring opportunities that are more readily available.  All of my coachees, say they never had a safe space to explore their thinking prior to being coached, whereas they were rich in opportunity to talk about their work.

The diversity of coaching themes that came to the fore (see the graphics below, the first one showing the tehmes that came up) illustrated the benefits of coaching to personal and professional development.  On a number of occasions academic coachee’s comment 'I have never been asked these sort of questions before.'  For them it was challenging, and led to feelings of vulnerability.  It was a testament to their courage and willingness to experiment that they quickly discovered the benefit of a coaching conversation, and made best use of the opportunity they had to benefit from them.

'Coaching can only have positive outcomes for the faculty and staff. The opportunity to talk to an independent coach has been invaluable to me, especially around career development and focus.'

 

 

 

2.  Develop from Within:  Self-awareness for Personal and Professional Development

Over the years I have run this pair of workshops with groups of academics in specific subject groups.  More recently, I have adapted it for mixed groups of academics, from all levels of experience, and across all subjects.  We come together in groups of between 6 to 8 and share experience about behaviour preferences in the workplace and how they might be moving us forward, or holding us back.  The discussion is structured around each participant's Lumina Spark behaviour preference profile with the workshops first bringing the Spark model to life, and then encouraging discussion within the group in a coaching space that is built on confidentiality, mutual trust, challenge and support.

This is not typical professional development territory and it takes courage, commitment and an open mind to get the most from it.  'Get the most from it' is exactly what participants have done, each taking their own unique self-learning from the workshops.

'This was a really good set of workshops, and more people in the University should do this training.  I understand myself better and my strengths and weaknesses.  I will not always think an attribute is negative or positive but view it in the context of the situation I’m in and what’s needed.'

3.  Group Career Coaching for Independent Research Fellows

I was commissioned to devise a series of workshops for a number of Russell Group universities in London.  The focus was to explore Career Development.  I chose to do so through the lens of Self-Awareness.  Using three face-to-face and one virtual session we explored values, strengths, behaviour preferences, roles and habits.  The experience was a powerful one for the participants, and one with benefits applicable in their present and possible future careers.   

'I am very glad that I have joined your coaching sessions. Your coaching brought me to think deeply as if I were an observer of myself. This caused some stress though, LOL. However, this really helped me to face my roles, objectives, feelings and thoughts. I do not have a great vocabulary set that I can draw from to express how much your coaching is appreciated. "Thanks!" is all I can say.'

These are a subset of the resources shared between sessions to encourage self-reflection which then fuelled discussions when we met.

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