I recently completed a 6 month Executive Coaching Gold Programme with Sandra and I wanted to take the opportunity to share my experience, and to recommend this programme to anyone thinking about having coaching sessions. I must admit when I was first approached with the idea of having some coaching I was a little unsure, I felt that this would be seen as a weakness, what would my colleagues and Board think? Would this look like I was not capable of undertaking my role as CEO? However I decided to take the plunge and investigate further, and it was one of the best decisions I have taken. I felt Sandra was a really easy person to relate to and her way of working fitted into my busy schedule.

The first face to face meeting at the start was very useful in setting out a productive plan and vision, on where I personally wanted to be as well as my aspirations for my organisation. Regular Skype chats fitted in with my diary commitments, and again helped me to focus on what we had previously discussed and what I needed to achieve by our next meeting. The operational on-line tools that I had access to with this programme were excellent and I am still using them now. At the end of the programme when I looked back on where I was 6 months ago I am amazed. I definitely feel that having the coaching with Sandra made sense of the chaos that surrounds a newly appointed executives. It enabled me to really take a step back and look at the bigger picture, and how to achieve my goals.

I know this sounds simple, but when you are pushing yourself to be everything to everyone, it helps to discuss things through (in a non judgemental setting) and actually allow yourself thinking time. My biggest acknowledgement of the difference that this coaching has had on me, was during my appraisal when the change in my decision making, management style and confidence were highlighted.

One of the comments I received back was that "I was the most inspirational leader they had ever worked with" - to receive feedback like that from my colleagues was priceless.

Paula Chadwick

Having worked in retail, wholesale, and hospitality, for thirty years, I wasn’t entirely sure what development Sandra’s coaching would bring for me, this year.

I was initially introduced to Sandra, by my Group HR Director, in early 2014.

Our first meeting was extremely informal, and Sandra spent time, listening, and diagnosing, my career to date, and where I saw my personal challenges to be. She also spent time with my line manager, and HR Director.

Most importantly, she truly helped me to be decisive about what my future aspirations actually were, and by when I wanted to achieve them.

We contracted on ‘what’ our relationship would look like, and I was crystal clear about the level of time, work and output, that I would need to deliver.

Using a variety of models, I have worked through what my mission, vision, values, and career goals are. I have also found opportunities to better use my existing network, and further build, and grow, an external, and varied network, outside my own organisation.

I have been encouraged, and at times, forced, to come completely out of my comfort zone; challenging my own thought processes, and approach, to varying situations and obstacles.

Having been a little sceptical, at the outset, about what this coaching experience would bring, I find myself, one year on, to be a much more productive leader, and have true confidence in my own abilities.

Something, which, historically, I would have lacked confidence in.

I have now achieved my first career goal, promotion, within the time frame that we agreed, and the focus, and learnings’, that I have had, with Sandra, have definitely been a huge contributing factor in this.

As I move on to my next challenge, I am clear that I will continue to work with Sandra, and would highly recommend her to any individual looking to push their leadership to the next level.

Elaine Wrigley, Head of Retail, New Look

“It is the best self-development support I’ve experienced in my career, and is an opportunity to be grabbed with both hands. To get the most out of it you must approach it with an open mind, and be completely honest with yourself. It can be mentally and emotionally testing to tackle challenging topics, but, if you put the effort in, you will reap huge benefits.”

Natalie Taylor, Head of Marketing, Matalan.

“The very first time I spoke to Sandra, I felt frustrated, stuck, and just at the end of my tether in my career. I was close to believing I didn’t have what it takes.

Within the first 30 minutes I had been speaking with Sandra, I felt embraced by her positive energy and I knew it would be the right step to work with her.

Sandra used her many skills, her knowledge, her experience and her sensitivity to help me see what I am made of again and reflect on my achievements, see them in an objective way and be certain about my strengths and key skills. Using tailored exercises and coaching sessions, combined with her empathy, Sandra supported me in taking the next step on my career path.

Working with Sandra was at my pace, challenging and always fun. After each session I felt better than before. I am stronger, more assertive and most of all I am positive and good to myself again.

If I would get to go back and got to choose again, I wouldn’t hesitate and sign up for the Career Coaching with Sandra again. It has changed my view on myself in such a positive way, that it’s easy for me to recommend Sandra to anyone would like to get un-stuck. Thank you Sandra”

Kathleen Grossman, Power Alstom

“The time spent with Sandra over the last few months have been rewarding and extremely useful. She has been able to support me in finding my strengths, helping me identify and work towards having a work-life balance. She has helped me in identifying my career goals and aspirations. She is extremely supportive, inspiring and motivating. The tools and techniques that she has used to coach me have been unique and simple and one must put the effort in completing these to thoroughly understand oneself. Her style of coaching is informal, challenging and riveting, yet there is an element of fun involved.”

Sunaina Prabhu, Senior Consultant, SMS, Hong Kong

“The time I have spent with Sandra over the last few months has transformed the way I think and the way I work.  Striking just the right balance between challenging and supporting, Sandra effectively deployed some great tools and techniques in helping me consider my career in a way I’ve never dreamed of.  I found our sessions hugely motivating and inspiring.”

Catherine Prasad, Senior Project Manager, The National Trust.

Sandra is an excellent and highly skilled Coach.  The time I spent with her was extremely useful and rewarding. She has enabled me to develop strategies that continue to influence my work practice. Over the months I worked with Sandra, I developed skills in assertiveness, managing meetings and communicating effectively. Importantly, I also gained insight into factors that were holding me back in my career and how to overcome these. Sandra was great at helping me to reflect on my skills and future career goals. Her positive attitude is inspiring and motivating. I strongly recommend Sandra to anyone who wishes to progress in their career.

Dr Sharon Wray, University of Huddersfield

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