I am a leadership and professional development coach for professionals and small business owners. I work with people who share my belief that the better we understand ourselves the more fulfilled, effective and 'successful' we become. My clients are often in some kind of transition. They might be wanting to find a new professional direction, to set up a new business, or to take their business or leadership skills to the next level.
Most of my clients are very driven professionally, but also enlightened as to the need to nurture their whole selves and to be available to all those who need them. Identifying ways to improve work/life balance is therefore a key theme for many of my clients, be they wanting business coaching, leadership coaching, or career coaching.
I work mainly with individuals, but I also work successfully with business partnerships and small teams. I don’t provide business advice, I don’t profess to have a ‘winning formula’ – a la “follow these six simple steps to success”. I don’t believe life is that simple. What I do is very subtle, and very simple – and yet, extraordinarily powerful.
How coaching can help:
By allowing people to think out loud, reflecting back key themes, and asking the right questions at the right time, I help my clients to clarify their thinking and access inner knowledge or insights that they may not reach on their own. Where it feels relevant I use tried and tested tools and exercises to help clients access values and beliefs that might be hidden from view even to them. My coaching style has been described as warm, empathetic, and at the same time structured, rigorous, and transformational. My clients have described how working with me has helped increase their confidence in their own abilities and inner-wisdom, renewed their energy and passion for life, and enhanced their relationships with colleagues and family. See the Further Information section below for some of their testimonials.
How I work:
I usually work with clients over a period of six to twelve months. Sessions are between an hour to an hour and a half. I find a gap of 3-4 weeks between sessions is best for most clients, to allow time for reflection and any ‘homework’ in between sessions.
For local clients I offer coaching in my comfortable and dedicated office in Westbury on Trym. I have off-street parking and am 5 minute's walk from the No. 1 bus route. For clients who are further afield (or who would prefer not meet face to face) I offer coaching over the phone or by Skype, Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
My approach tends to be a mixture of structured conversation, and the use of specific tools and exercises, chosen according to the needs and preferred learning styles of my client. My intuition plays a large part in my work, and clients appreciate the extent to which my simple yet powerful questions stimulate deep awareness.
Training, qualifications & experience
Diploma in Professional Coaching Skills, awarded by Coaching Development Ltd. Accredited by the International Coach Federation at PCC level; Certificate in Systemic Team Coaching by the Association of Executive Coaches; Fundamentals Parts I & II of Systemic Coaching and Constellations.
UK International Coach Federation (ICF)
The International Coach Federation is the professional association for personal and business coaches worldwide.
Coaches can become accredited by the ICF, who have three grades of membership: Associate Certified Coach (ACC), Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and Master Certified Coach (MCC), with the different categories standing for different levels of training and experience. Master Certified Coach's have achieved a substantial level of training and experience.
Members of ICF are accountable to a professional code of ethics.
Areas of coaching I deal with
Free initial online session
I offer a free consultation by phone of 30 minutes, and a no-commitment intake session of 60 minutes at half price. Following this I offer packages of support over a set period of time, usually between 6 to 12 months. Packages of support include a set number of coaching conversations along with suggested reading, homework exercises, and ad-hoc support by phone where required.
When I work
I offer sessions between 8.30 and 18.00 Monday to Friday.
Working 1:1 with Sarah-Jane has been a real joy. She helped me tremendously when transitioning into my first management role and the time spent together felt not just valuable but vital. Her balance of providing me with practical information, tips or techniques while also allowing me to reflect and discover the answers within myself was really remarkable. Megan Bastable, “Communities in the Lead” Manager, North Camden Zone, March 2022
When I started working with Sarah-Jane I was feeling stuck in the moment, I wanted a few answers, I wanted to understand what are the directions I could go in. After the first fifteen minutes of the first call I understood that the format was not going to be me asking her a question and her giving me an answer. Rather it starts with taking a step back, to better understand your inceptives, your motivations. Coaching made me talk about things that make me feel uncomfortable, and things that I am very passionate about. Both were useful. Sarah-Jane is very good at bringing the focus back ot the problem statement and helping me break things down into bite sized pieces so I could tackle one thing at a time. Ruchi Mohanty, Regional Private Sector Specialist, UNDP Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, March 2022
Sarah-Jane made me feel very comfortable and safe but worked in a way that was very thought provoking, demonstrating her level of expertise and experience. My four biggest take-aways were:
- A realisation that I often experience anxiety about getting things right, leading to overwhelm and procrastination. I came to a place where I can recognise my strengths and how I complement the skills and experience of the CEO such that, together, we can be a formidable force!
- I became more comfortable with protecting my own time.
- A recognition that I need to continue to work on becoming more comfortable with NOT doing some stuff, giving more focus on what I CAN do rather than what I feel I should do.
- I now have a useful process for regular self-reflection
Soye Briggs, COO of the Winch, North London, August 2021
From the coaching I had had, I have learnt to create boundaries within the workplace and outside. I am managing my feelings a lot better and am able to express myself more clearly and respectfully. It was a new experience for me in the workplace and it was one that I enjoyed (and I didn’t think I would). Senior leader from Community Based Organisation in Camden, August 2021
Through coaching with Sarah-Jane I identified steps to put in place in the medium to long term in order to progress my career, and also some very pragmatic and practical steps to help me with present issues, such as how best to deal with under-performing staff. She is very clear in her communication and was able to help me make sense of my own thinking. Her positive spirit combined with her at times uncomfortable questions were empowering and made me realise I can do it! She is a very enabling leadership coach” (Anna Trolle-Lindgren, Senior Programme Officer, FAO, September 2019)
Working with Sarah-Jane was an incredibly positive experience. She was supportive but challenging, well measured, and had a good feel for how and when to push and challenge me and when not to. The sessions were very well structured and well-paced. Working with Sarah-Jane never felt overwhelming, and yet I really valued how she helped me break things down into manageable chunks and concrete action points, to which she held me accountable. (Phillipa Brown, freelance international development professional, September 2019)
“I just wanted to write and let you know that I have been appointed as a new board member onto IOD PARC’s board of directors. Many thanks for spending some time in our final coaching session helping me think about how I could frame my application and working on my confidence to do it” (feedback from young aspirational professional in an international development consultancy, 2017).
“I was amazed at how Sarah-Jane was able to help me to come to my own realisations as to how to approach the challenge in a way that worked for me and was natural to me by simply asking questions and developing ideas with me”. (Newly promoted member of Senior Leadership Team).
“I approached Sarah-Jane to help me take stock of my career and to provide space to help reflect on my strengths and areas to build on. She took time to explore my own needs and put together a bespoke programme that provided a sense of both progression and flexibility as my circumstances changed. Sarah-Jane is a good listener, but not afraid to challenge or to take risks. Not all the sessions were easy, but I always came away with a feeling that I had discovered a new perspective (Ivan Kent, deputy director of an INGO, June 2017)”
feel I now have a really clear idea of what stops me moving forward, what helps me move forward, what I need to do, how I need to be with myself, and the sort of realism that I need to bring to the process. (Sarah Bayne, independent consultant, November 2018, after working with me for 8 sessions).
Sarah-Jane's coaching style is very open, supportive yet gently challenging. Through her skilful questioning and summarising back, she allowed me to create a lot of awareness around the issues that I was working on and to identify tangible next steps that allowed me to move forward. (Eli Lefterova, Manager in tertiary education college, April 2016)
I had coaching with Sarah-Jane at a time when I was faced with many challenges in my work, some I was aware were coming up, others I was not and most that I had not dealt with before. Her support, focus and approach to helping me to resolve my own challenges and issues was invaluable at that time. I learnt a lot about how to approach a task or challenge, to work out what my own stumbling points were, break it down and then take a new methodical approach that is natural to myself. This is something that I can now apply to work or life challenges even though my coaching package has ended. I would very highly recommend coaching with Sarah-Jane. (Rachael Fay, Accounts and Office Manager, Treework Environmental Practice, February 2016)
Sarah-Jane has been a very effective coach for me, helping me to learn about myself and change how I think and behave as a result in some very personal and vulnerable areas. She is very at ease with personally transformative work, staying with, holding, challenging and supporting - within a strong and alive contract. (Caroline Sharley, Director of a consultancy company, June 2015)
Sarah-Jane has the ability to manage whatever the client wants to work on whether it is task oriented or creating awareness at a deeper level, with her insightful questions, listening skills and genuine care towards the client and the coaching process. (Amarjot Bhogal, Personal Change and Resilience Specialist, January 2015)
Working with Sarah-Jane on a practical topic brought up many realisations about how I operate and the beliefs that hold me back. It’s hard to underestimate the effects of the work we did together as their ripples are still being felt.(Angela Davenport, Women’s Business Coach and Retreat Leader)
Sarah-Jane was very thoughtful and well organised and I achieved all my coaching objectives. In addition Sarah-Jane provided me with valuable insights. I particularly appreciated a creative exercise she offered and the care she took to reflect on our time together coupled with her coaching drive.(Louise Beckett, Communication Skills consultant, September 2014)
Sarah-Jane acted as a mentor and coach for me over the course of a year during which I was leading a particularly complex assignment. I found her to be very professional throughout. She would always be prepared for our sessions and have useful advice (when mentoring) or questions (when coaching) which would help me work out the way forward. Particular ways in which she helped me related to how best to manage relationships with, and communicate with, both my team members and the client. (Rachel Percy, agricultural innovation, extension and development specialist, February 2015)