Time for a change?
I became a Life Coach after an extensive career in managing and leading teams in the rail industry. After many years in an industry that I was proud to be a part of, I came to the realisation that what I really liked about my role was helping and developing people. I was lucky to receive coaching myself and decided to make changes in my life. Now I have industry-recognised accreditation for coaching from both the Institute of Leadership and Management and the Coaching Academy, and I coach people full time. I'm passionate about helping people make a positive difference in their lives.
If you feel ready to arrange your free intial session then please get in touch using the button above.
However, if you want to know more about me you can
watch some of my coaching videos on Youtube...
...or you can read my coaching and leadership blogs...
...or you can read on:
I grew up in Barnet in North London and now live a few miles further north in Hertfordshire. I am married, I don’t have any children but I do have two cats.
My main passion after coaching is travelling. With my wife I have been to over 50 countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas. From my travels I have realised that the media can give a very misleading impression of a place, and almost everywhere that we have been we have received hospitality and a warm welcome. People are predominantly the same everywhere, just wanting to make a living and care for their loved ones. I have also discovered that when you can see the big picture things look different, that taking a risk can feel frightening or intimidating but the outcome can lead to feelings of satisfaction and achievement and that when you hear what people have to say you can learn things of real value. I have met people living in what we would regard as poverty who are happy, satisfied and proud of their achievements, people who will share what little they have with complete strangers.
These experiences have helped me as a coach and I use them to help and encourage my clients. We are all capable of things beyond our self-imposed limits, we just need to believe in ourselves.
Career and achievements
There was a joke going round about 10 years ago that you know you are living in the noughties when you have done 7 different jobs for 5 different employers but still sit at the same desk. Having worked in the Railway industry for 38 years I can really identify with that. Change has always happened regularly in the railway and the pace of change has accelerated dramatically over the last 15 years. To keep going and keep delivering something to be proud of in the face of endless reorganisation and restructuring required a very particular type of resilience and inner focus.
I always worked behind the scenes in engineering roles, but the greatest challenge of my career came in the aftermath of the tragic Hatfield derailment in October 2000. In the days after the accident severe speed restrictions were applied all over the network and a very limited service was operated, leading to severe overcrowding at stations with hundreds of passengers unable to get on a train at all. I felt that the industry that I had always been proud of needed me, so I decided to step out of my comfort zone and volunteered to work as a ‘customer information assistant’ at 2 London stations.
I saw this role as basically cannon fodder and steeled myself to endure verbal abuse and anger from passengers as I did whatever I could to keep them informed of what was happening. Even the staff had very little information, but I shared what I had and tried my best to help out in any way I could. And I did not receive even one tiny bit of abuse, in fact the emotion I mainly encountered was sympathy! Families with children and luggage who had been waiting for hours and faced awful journeys on slow, overcrowded trains through the night felt sorry for me. It was a humbling and yet uplifting experience. Once again it reinforced to me that people are amazing.
What has coaching ever done for me?
I first learned about coaching in 2009 and it proved to me that my innate approach to management and leadership (people basically) was fundamentally sound. As I came to understand the real power of coaching I started using a ‘coach approach’ in every situation at work; I talked less, asked more questions and listened to the answers.
As a manager my team had always seen me as a one-stop solution shop for their problems, but taking a coach approach I encouraged them to find their own solutions. I didn’t shirk my responsibilities, just allowed the members of my team the space to take ownership of their challenges, offer options and be part of the final outcome. Over time this increased the sense of teamwork and mutual respect within the team and made us more successful and resilient.
I came to realise that it was this aspect of my job that I enjoyed the most, seeing people in my team gain confidence, grow and develop. I signed up to the Coaching Academy and started on the Diploma in Personal Performance Coaching and also persuaded my employer to send me on an Accredited Workplace Coach Programme in association with the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM.)
In August 2013 I finally left the rail industry to set up my own life-coaching practice to be able to focus on making a real difference to people who need clarity and focus to help them achieve their goals and aspirations.
My personal Coach Approach
From my experience of working with clients it is clear to me that the thing they really want is for somebody to listen to them. I find that the first step in building trust is to prove that I am prepared to listen to what they have to say without criticising them or judging them. I believe that if people have a lot of stuff going around in their heads they need to get it all out on the table before they can be in a position to move on. And moving on is precisely where a great coach can assist because coaching is about giving you the time to focus on your goals and take charge of changing your life. Once you begin to see and feel the positive results you are achieving for yourself you can forget about the negatives and look to the future.
My career has been in engineering, sometimes in challenging roles, and those challenges have all helped me to grow as a person. Therefore I believe in challenging my clients to face up to difficult issues. I won’t discuss a topic that my client really does not want to talk about, but if I think it is holding them back I will ask them to reconsider.
I consider humour to be a useful and powerful tool, I have used it successfully throughout my career and I use it in coaching. I think laughter can be a great release and if I can get a client to laugh about something that they previously found oppressive in their life, then I know they are really moving on. Total confidentiality between client and coach is obviously part of the deal. When I was coaching people at work who had been referred by their managers I would always consider my contract to be with the client and not the business.
So what next…
I offer a free initial consultation lasting 30 minutes, which enables us to get to know each other and decide if we want to work together. If you would like to arrange your free session to discuss your goals you can contact me using the button below.