As a child I was fascinated by the world around me, so would observe and record my experiences by drawing and painting from nature, faces and figures. I was also very attuned to seeing and creating imaginary figures from forms that trees, marks, or patterns suggested to me. Later, as an art student, I was delighted to learn, that Leonardo’s advice to his students was to create from such sources; this experience is called Pareidolia.
Making and thinking about art has taught me many things that relate and inform my approaches to coaching:
- Looking at things from different perspectives
- Putting other things aside – and focusing
- Improvising and adjusting work-in-progress: making mistakes, correcting, erasing, starting again, discovering and recovering…
- Sometimes having to let something go
- Deciding when its best to leave something and come back to it at a later date with a fresh view
- Working through blocks or self imposed boundaries
- Learning by copying or referencing others and then allowing that learning to evolve and grow until it becomes your own
- Giving yourself deadlines – and sticking to them
I was drawn to hypnotherapy and cognitive therapies as a powerful way of developing our holistic ability to transform ourselves.
If I work with you as a coach, we will NOT be doing therapy. But many of the skills and techniques I learned as a therapist are also useful in a coaching context:
- Being clear in your intentions and objectives
- Building confidence
- Enhancing performance and communication skills
- Dealing with pressure
- Strengthening your self image
- Enhancing learning and creativity
I discovered a love of acting when I was young; I would make up stories for my younger cousins and act out the characters. Later the bug really grabbed me when I played Potiphar’s wife, a go-go dancer and the back end of a camel, in our Primary School production of Joseph and the Technicolor Dream-coat!
I have improvised and devised comedy on the Comedy Fringe circuit and have enjoyed performing a broad range of roles including a number of Shakespearean heroines, nurses, nuns and neurotics. Other roles include drug-addicted mothers, warrior Queens and French courtesans. I have also had fun exploring cross gender casting in classical productions.
I had the opportunity to cover and perform a spectacular role as Maria Callas at the Vaudeville Theatre production of ‘Master Class’, and have had the pleasure of working with the warm and wonderful Judy Dench at the Wyndham’s Theatre.
I have found that playing other people and characters on stage has offered me the opportunity to transform.
Many of the lessons I learned from acting apply directly to the challenges my clients face, in the ‘performance of their lives’, such as:
- Observing how people interact, which involves gaining insight into your own as well as others motivations and objectives
- This also involves understanding of context, subtext and inner (often critical) dialogue
- Observing body language; such as character traits, habitual behaviours and gestures, what this indicates and how it can help you in gaining positive outcomes
- Learning to be more empathetic to another’s point of view
- Allowing for collaboration, humour and playfulness
- Developing scenarios for role-play through creative improvisation
- Understanding the nature of status and how it impacts on your communication with others and your performance.
- Writing scripts for Presentations
- Getting the most from preparing for and making an impact during interviews, presentations and talking in public
- The discipline of repetition and memory when preparing to perform
- Adapting to changes in expectations and circumstances and still being on top form
- Feeling more comfortable in your body. Gaining more awareness of your physical presence and focus
- Minimising stress and calming nerves
- Dealing with concerns to do with; confidence, fears and blocks
- Learning to appreciate the value of success and failure or rejection
- Learning to become more resilient and determined to achieve your goals
- Letting your self experience a sense of transformation by ‘being in the moment’
To see how I can use all my experience to help you, please click here.