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Having over 11 years of experience as a managing consultant across all industries, and specifically the automotive industry, Cheshire-based Diane Williams heads up Captura Coaching. Working mainly with organisational leaders to improve overall performance, she uses a combination of performance and resilience coaching tools and techniques and behavioural profiling and analysis. As a graduate of 2020’s Resilience Accreditation Programme, we are delighted to share her experience of training with the AoEC.
Having previously worked in management positions in the automotive industry, what led you to resilience coaching and the Resilience Accreditation programme?
I was looking for some interesting CPD and was looking through Coaching at Work magazine. I saw the AoEC advertisement for various courses and a one-day workshop in resilience coaching really appealed. I thought it was relevant and I thought the content would give a different perspective to my coaching. I was not planning on the full accreditation. I found Jenny and Alison’s approach so refreshing and I was asking so many questions of myself by the end of the day that I had made the decision to join the full programme before I completed my journey home. I could see immediately how the resilience work could enhance my coaching and give me additional skills to be more successful.
You did the programme during lockdown. What were some of the positives and challenges you experienced doing the programme virtually?
The first day was in London face-to-face, which I think was an advantage when we moved to virtual because we had already had the opportunity to meet everyone in person. The transition to Zoom however was seamless and I was positively surprised at how well we all connected and how successfully Jenny and Alison managed to transfer the programme. I also learnt valuable skills and gained the confidence to continue my own consultancy and coaching on-line too. The random nature of the allocation of breakout groups was the biggest positive for me because we got the opportunity to work with so many different people in the group, we really mixed. In my experience, in a face-to-face situation where you can choose your work groups, you have a tendency to stick to who you have already connected with and don’t often move out of that circle.
What does your coaching model look like and how has this evolved to include a resilience focus?
My coaching tends to be quite structured and often quite challenging, very goal focused. I use the resilience lens implicitly now in all the coaching work I do. I now have a different perspective on the connection between wellbeing and performance and I truly believe we have been able to accelerate and enhance my coachees’ progress by bringing the resilience toolkit into my programmes.
Tell us about your work at Captura Coaching and Captura Automotive. How are you using resilience coaching and who are you working with?
I had the opportunity during lockdown to work with a very busy group of senior managers in a logistics business who were coping with a huge amount of change. They were all working remotely and facing uncertainty in workload and customer demands. I was able therefore to practice resilience coaching with all of them. We created strategies to help them to pace themselves, manage their new working environments, create and implement new boundaries and successfully navigate the changes and challenges they were facing. It has been a rewarding experience on all sides. I am currently using the resilience toolkit in some professional development coaching where we are working simultaneously on behavioural change goals and performance targets.
Resilience coaching is also opening new doors for me too. I am about to launch a new brand, working in collaboration with a health and fitness professional who specialises in breathing techniques and core and postural strength. We are combining her skills and my resilience coaching, making that powerful link between mental and physical wellbeing.
What typically are the challenges or opportunities you have been asked to help clients with?
Those facing significant change from the impact of the pandemic. ‘Stuckness’ where clients should be progressing and weren’t and couldn’t see why. Individuals preparing for the next career milestone, where we have needed to build self-awareness and address professional development goals requiring substantial behavioural change. Senior teams that have lost their focus and ability to collaborate, where chimneys had formed and the emphasis had been on self-preservation.
Have you seen the need for coaching/resilience coaching change in any way as we have gone through the coronavirus pandemic?
Absolutely, I think the pandemic has brought more awareness to wellbeing and I think people in general now are more focussed on balance and fulfilment. The pandemic has forced huge change in a lot of businesses and those businesses have needed to adapt significantly and quickly to survive. Employee resilience and adaptability has played a huge part in this.
What kind of impact is resilience coaching having for those you are working with?
I have seen significant personal growth and have seen people able to unlock themselves when they were really quite stuck. I’ve worked with people to build their resilience first which has then given them the capacity to work on aspects of their professional performance that they hadn’t previously been able to address. It has been incredibly rewarding to observe how once they have addressed resilience, they are able to set goals for themselves that previously they felt were unattainable. Sometimes they even look different, their posture, complexion, demeanour can all change for the better.
What has your work as a coach taught you personally?
I honestly can’t tell you how much I have benefitted both personally and professionally from this process. I have totally rebooted myself since I started working with the Resilience Engine. I’m trying to rebalance my portfolio (a work in progress!) and promote myself better. Do what I enjoy more. I feel like I have undergone the coaching process myself and it has given me the belief and confidence in the methods and techniques to use them successfully with my clients.
What do you find most rewarding about your work as a coach?
Walking someone through the process and seeing them become more balanced and able to take on things they/we never would have thought possible.
An enormous thank you to Diane for sharing her inspiring story with us.
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