Born and raised in London, one of seven boys. My fascination with people and psychology stems from childhood. Dad had alcohol and gambling addictions, and the family was also impacted by drug addiction. At an early age, I learned how to read the emotional temperature in a room, and sense the feelings of others. Skills I strongly believe help make me a more effective coach.
My first experience of coaching was as a client, after experiencing career burnout. I didn't know where to go or what to do, but being able to talk with someone who listened, free from bias and unsolicited advice, helped me shift the ruminating swirl of thoughts and feelings out of my head and into the world, enabling me to identify possibilities, assess the options and decide how best to move forwards.
As a result, I left a 15 year career to return to full-time education, where I studied and re-skilled to become a coaching psychologist and researcher.
My coaching style is predominantly non-directive, but will challenge, when appropriate, to stimulate new insights, personal reflection, and / or raise awareness of "blind spots", including unhelpful patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
I believe we learn about ourselves by learning about others. One of my core values:
"Celebrate your uniqueness, and value the differences of others".
I have an optimistic view of life and human beings, and encourage people to be themselves, hence the attraction to Positive Psychology, with its focus on human potential and developing the myriad strengths and resources we already possess.
Character Strengths are a cornerstone of Positive Psychology, and a highly effective wellbeing / personal development intervention I often integrate into coaching sessions with clients. These are my top 5 Character Strengths (taken from the VIA survey*):
Liking to laugh and tease; bringing smiles to other people; seeing the light side; making (not necessarily telling) jokes.
Letting one's accomplishments speak for themselves; not regarding oneself as more special than one is.
3: Social intelligence
Being aware of the motives/feelings of others and oneself; knowing what to do to fit into different social situations; knowing what makes other people tick.
Speaking the truth but more broadly presenting oneself in a genuine way and acting in a sincere way; being without pretense; taking responsibility for one's feelings and actions.
Doing favours and good deeds for others; helping them; taking care of them.
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*Would you like to learn your Character Strengths? Complete the free survey at the VIA (Values in Action) research institute. The survey is the result of one of the largest psychology research projects ever undertaken, and has high statistical robustness and reliability.