I wasn’t really sure what to expect from my coaching sessions and was certainly a little apprehensive, if not actually a little sceptical. However, they have been hugely significant and the best investment I have made in my own development in years. Valerie helped me to see to understand properly the real issues I was facing and where and how my leadership needs to develop. She has a wealth of diverse experience to use to explore different techniques and approaches to get to the heart of things. Her session are a good mix of challenge and encouragement and are always lively. The sessions gave me such a good insight into myself, my preferences and my underlying motivations – many that I had not really understood before and certainly never said out loud! Some of the ways that Valerie suggested I framed things opened me up to a new way of thinking about issues – in a couple of cases these were total game-changers in terms of my perspective on them. Sessions with Valerie can be challenging at times but I have to admit also very good fun! Give it a go, you’ll see what I mean…
I came to Valerie with a vague idea that I needed help. At an intuitive level I knew that I did not have the tools needed to be able to lead in a highly political, international environment. I met with other coaches but I felt Valerie was the right fit for me. She has a personable but professional manner which is backed up with an air of gravitas that you can only get from having a true depth of experience and knowledge. The fact that Valerie is not from the same industrial sector as myself helped, as she could offer a fresh perspective to the challenges I faced. Valerie helped me to understand myself, gave me a framework for understanding others, provided a crash course in leadership, team management, strategy and organisational culture. I could see that each time I worked with Valerie my confidence and my skills grew. I was not the only one, my colleagues also recognised this too and as a result my work responsibilities have increased. I am now making a real impact. I feel I have the tools now to succeed, whereas before I felt I was floundering. I can’t thank Valerie enough for the support and guidance she has provided in coaching me and I hope to continue to work with her in the years to come.
Valerie has been my trusted personal coach since 2015, through a series of roles, several of which she was instrumental in helping me to obtain. Most recently Valerie facilitated the development of our new strategy with the Met Office executive team, alongside a series of team development sessions which have delivered lasting impact on the team dynamic, skills and behaviours. Her expertise and empathy combine to give her credibility with all levels of leaders. It’s equally clear that she has walked the walk herself, but also is deeply expert in the theory she deploys. With her support and guidance we delivered more, and at a higher pace, than we had believed possible at the outset.
I have know Valerie for over twelve years as a coach, trainer and inspirational motivator of all that she meets. She is able to work with people both at the top of their profession and those aspiring to get there. Both practical and authentic, with an ability to use tools to assist she is able to get the most reluctant of participants to take part, learn and grow. As well as coaching myself, Valerie has coached a number of my colleagues both in preparation for new roles, but also when a new lease of life is required. Their view along with mine is ‘that you can walk in with the burdens of the world and walk out a few hours later, both sorted, feeling lighter and with a spring your step ready to face a new day’.
As a trainer, I have worked with Valerie for ten years, on a Ward Managers leadership development programme, meeting over 180 participants in that time. Valerie has provided for them a ‘top team’ executive programme which has met their needs and enabled them to tackle their tough and demanding roles in new ways plus giving many the confidence to progress in their careers. Many have achieved Deputy Director level acknowledging that ‘it was the best course I have ever done’ and ‘without it I would not have had the guts to go for the next level’.
As a speaker and inspirational motivator, Valerie has an energy when she presents which connects with all. She enables groups to tackle the most baffling of problems through a gentle, challenging, novel and unique approach. She is academic and uses research based evidence alongside practical applications, always testing and trying new approaches and ensuring that all are engaged. She demonstrates to all that learning, growth and development can be an enjoyable and uplifting experience, that all ask for more.
Valerie’s warm approach instils confidence and self-belief. This combined with her extensive experience and sound practical advice makes Valerie an excellent coach to work with.
Valerie designs leadership development programmes for corporate leaders and those with potential to move into leadership roles. Each programme is tailored to meet organisational need and they consistently offer challenge, new thinking, and practical support to help the participants to a new level of understanding and skill. She’s also meticulous at reviewing content and ensuring continuous improvement.
Valerie is a highly effective coach for both individuals and for groups. She brings a wealth of professional experience and coaching intimacy That I and her coachees, rate very highly. She has never failed to make an impact.
Valerie is very knowledgeable. Whatever the issue she helps me to understand it by asking great questions and referencing relevant research. I always feel safe to explore and well supported. Valerie is insightful, thought provoking and challenging.
Working with Valerie is a privilege , fun and a true delight. Whenever I am designing or creating leadership / OD / team based working programmes (for public and independent sectors ), she is the first person I think about, as I know she will add real value by challenging and stimulating thinking and perspectives in a creative, but meaningful way.
She has a unique skill in delivering sessions / inputs that are full of energy and fun , but are grounded and reflect the very best of contemporary practice. Her sessions always relate brilliantly to audiences at all levels of organisations and their work , and unfailingly evaluate amazingly, with people taking tangible things away that will
Impact positively on them, their team or organisation. Her approach , style , portfolio of work, knowledge and experiences come together to truly create the most skilled consultant practitioner I know.
I love working with her as I learn so much.
Valerie is an outstanding executive coach, who successfully combines deep professional expertise with a common sense, made-to-measure approach. Her wise advice, broad experience and ability to challenge (with warmth and good humour!) have been instrumental in helping me achieve a key career transition. Above all she understands the context I operate within and always ensures her guidance is practical and realistic.
I have had the privilege of working with Valerie over a period of about a year, and have found the process transformational. She used a range of techniques for helping me take an objective view of my strengths and weaknesses, then enabled me to take practical steps to work on both. Taking the time out to focus on my development has been hugely valuable. She has helped my confidence grow, which has in turn contributed to career progression. Her breadth of knowledge of leadership styles and psychological methods is a powerful combination. I would definitely recommend her!
Valerie has a number of skills which make her exceptional in her field, having witnessed these over many years of working together. Firstly she has the ability to look beneath the surface of a presenting issue and accurately assess a situation which may elude many. Having done this, she uses those insights to design interventions that achieve an impact greater than most. She can ‘hold a room’ with her knowledge and style but she is equally exceptional one to one, as evidenced by her success as an Executive coach. She is both courageous and challenging in a very positive way enabling her to tease out issues that might otherwise remain under the surface and facilitates both groups and individuals to move towards effective solutions with an elegant ease. Overall I believe Valerie is one of the most talented people I have worked with and someone whom I admire greatly.
Watching Valerie deliver a leadership programme is like attending a master-class. She’s credible with the most senior leaders and flexible enough to engage the more tentative rising stars. She delivers leadership theories in a grounded and practical way that takes full account of the complexities and challenges of real life. She has been a leader as well as an academic and it makes her credible and realistic. Intelligence and intuition combine to make her lightening quick to pick up themes and concerns and provide useful and appropriate feedback in the moment.
When I was Head of L&D in a large Govt Department, Valerie was the coach most senior people wanted. They heard from their peers how she’d transformed their thinking or approach and they demanded the chance to experience it too.