Coach of the Month – Angela Hackett

The Way Consulting is among the most successful training, facilitation and development companies in the UK. Offering a unique approach to improved performance and outcomes.

They work from the premis that excellent personal performance is the greatest indicator of business success.

As experts in both business life solutions and personal life solutions they work to sharpen personal performance to enable clients to perform in a manner that delivers exceptional results.

We are delighted to welcome founder Angela Hackett not only as Coach of the Month but as an ambassoder at the3rdi magazine!
After nearly eighteen years of counselling, coaching and training I find myself in my most comfortable professional fit yet. I work with high potential people, and by high potential I mean people, particularly business women, hungry for success. I work with individuals and teams and I know a good day when it ends with me feeling tired and satisfied and with a strange disbelief that I am well paid to do something that so engages and energises me.

I co founded The Way Consulting with my partner Larry Watson in 2003 when it became clear that we had evolved a brand of personal development and training that was changing lives. Individually we were achieving great results; together we formed a formidable team.

My original career as a civil servant lead me to the world of Human Resources. However, HR left me deeply unsatisfied feeling that there was too much process and not enough intuition. When just as I turned thirty I lost both my parents and became a mother I knew it was time to take charge of my destiny and make some profound changes. I spent the next few years devouring all manner of human study. I gained a Diploma in psychodynamic counselling, working hundreds of hours of clinical practice to hone my abilities. And continued on through cognitive behavioural therapy, trauma, stress management and training, looking back I see the coach in me evolving. A coach whose deep understanding of human nature was able to provide deep security, ability to challenge and the clinical understanding to keep clients safe.

Over the years the natural development of The Way Consulting allowed me to follow my passion, and my best fit, working with individuals, particularly women in business, to really allow them to create their confident self and realise and release their potential.

As a coach there is absolutely nothing as exhilarating as watching a client physically change, as they undoubtedly do, and to witness their successes. A client used the expression that they felt they had been rebooted after our work together, that so many of the internal dialogues and unhelpful behaviours had been challenged and laid to rest there was the chance to start again with a clean slate.

I know that any piece of training or development is rendered worthless if it is not readily transferable to real life and the ethos of my work is that it forms the foundation building block to enable the client to begin to construct a future model and preferred direction. In challenging some deeper beliefs and not just following a coaching system there is real potential to change lives for the better. This is a great time to be a woman in business, yes there are still hurdles to be jumped, glass ceilings to be shattered, glass cliffs to trapeze over but as the fastest growing group of decision makers we absolutely must get our own houses in order.

Too many women have been encouraged from childhood not to put their own needs and desires to the forefront of their lives. Often women are culturally and historically trained to provide a supporting rather than leading role. Encouraged to make others the priority their own drive for personal satisfaction professionally and personally is undermined, encouraged to believe that the only way for personal fulfilment is through partners and children; never self.

It is essential not to become side tracked into believing that a woman, with the often attendant roles of care giver and family linchpin, should not step forward and succeed in the professional arena. It has been established, for example, that the most successful boards worldwide are those where women play a strong role. Success continues to increase in direct relation to each additional woman per board. And contradicting the long held belief that women are risk averse, and therefore unlikely to push companies to excellence, we now know that women are not risk averse but actually risk aware. It is now accepted that having women on boards enhances board effectiveness and that women bring different perspectives that help drive new insights, whilst they create a more collaborative and reflective atmosphere.

I often ask people “what is it that you want?” I purposefully avoid clarifying this question in the first instance. Women find it the hardest to state clearly their desires and aspirations in direct reference to their own lives. Invariably offering the unspecific broad view; not quite a desire for ‘world peace’ but not far off. Are women really wired differently or is this conditioning? The question ‘what do you want’ is often met by confusion; ‘I want what you want’. This is not an indication of female weakness but that in providing for others, women are increasingly encouraged to put others needs to the forefront and not to demand greater recognition of their, often untapped, talents.

The figurative glass ceiling is often constructed by the women themselves. This may seem like an uncomfortable observation but if accepted offers the opportunity to make real difference for oneself rather than acceptance of being at the mercy of other people’s ideals of how women should ‘be’. Soft perhaps? Endlessly accommodating? Happy to be the supporting role in all aspects of life?

There comes a time to offer oneself permission to succeed by discovering one’s own aspirations beyond solely fulfilling the desires of other’s. The challenge is to find their own stepping up point, to be able to reflect on previously held beliefs about their various roles that they may have accepted and to consider what particular areas of are most relevant and ready for development.

My coaching style always begins with the story of the client. How did they get to where they are and where do they want to get to, modesty at this point usually rears its head and so we review, looking for true potential and push that boundary further. I also search for the hunger to succeed, in whatever terms chosen, as I know that without the hunger to succeed nothing will change. It does not matter how many sessions we work through, how many books you read, courses you undertake and workshops you attend, without hunger the effects will be transitory.

My core training as a counsellor allows me to understand the uncomfortable truth that often pain is the catalyst for change. Only when it become too uncomfortable to stay where you are will you make the changes necessary to progress. I use a similar content of work for my coaching clients as I do for the workshops I run for women and look to achieve, at the very least, the following outcomes;

* To raise awareness of the impact of unconscious behaviour and it’s cost in personal performance and professional impact
* Increase awareness of various aspects of communication; words used, inflection, tone, body language, facial expression, eye contact
* To increase awareness, and perhaps challenge long held messages and beliefs that are historical and outdated.
* To begin to construct a future model and preferred direction.

It is often the case that women have been encouraged to think small. In the formation of a bigger life view individuals can assess what changes can be undertaken to build confidence towards greater achievement. Acceptance that more than previously considered is not only possible but probable, with the right support and belief system in place.

Angela Hackett 2010
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