How did you get started as a communications coach?
I have been coaching people in communications for years, which involves working with people to identify their challenges and coming up with a plan to solve them. This can be in the form of a long-term plan to work on a deeper issue, or a one-off session to practice a speech.
I originally trained as a teacher and my whole career previous to this was in education and higher education, as well as working in the theatre. This led very naturally into my current job, as all of my experience was based on conveying information, being a clear communicator, and engaging an audience. I set up my own communications coaching business about 5 years ago now, and thoroughly enjoy every day of it!
What are your specialisms?
I don’t see my specialism as within a specific industry or job role, but as the approach I take to my work.
I look at each client’s individual situation, why they have chosen to seek out a communications coach, and get as engaged as possible. Submerging myself within the context of their working life and the challenges they face allows me to tailor a unique and effective program for that one person to overcome what they want to work on.
If anything another specialism I feel that I have is working with people who suffer from anxiety or nerves. As a child, I was extremely shy to the point where I would hide behind my mother’s skirts, but once I started my working life I overcame this to become a strong and confident communicator. This gives me a good sense of empathy, as well as walking proof for my anxious clients that you definitely can manage and deal with it.
What is your favourite thing about communications coaching?
Definitely the people. Working with different people from all kinds of areas, learning about what they do, the responsibilities they have, and the pressures they have gives me insight into a range of industries. There is nothing better than helping someone identify a problem, put in a plan, and see that plan through to be a success.
What does a typical day of work as a communications coach look like for you?
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed my daily working life in several ways. Prior to this, I was doing regular workshops for groups of people. Now, I find myself on zoom doing one-to-one’s.
What interests you about becoming a mentor?
It seems like a great idea – why not?! I am always looking for new ways to meet interesting people and solve their problems. Networking with the other mentors would also be a great opportunity to learn from others as well as hope they might be able to learn from me.
What do you think the next big thing will be in your industry?
I think the pandemic and the way it has affected people has made some big changes in workplace communication, along with the challenges of working remotely. Rather than finding it a drag and seeing it as an obstacle, I think it’s exciting as it has thrown ways of working up in the air. Previous systems don’t work anymore so we’ve all got to reflect and look at something new.
We’ve had to deal so much in the past year or two with things like fake news and powerful social media platforms. I think that because of this, people are ready for something different. Emotional intelligence needs to be the bedrock of any system out there so that we have empathy and awareness with all the individuals that we work with.
People are ready for trust and authenticity to come back into every level of life, which includes in the workplace. For me as a communications coach, I think that it will become even more important for a leader to be able to communicate with authenticity so that their employees will trust them.