Ben Okri, A Way of Being Free, 1997
I was in one of those in-between situations, needing to re-focus, be challenged and put order around what I was looking to do next.
Penny supported and challenged me to identify my strengths, hone my skill-set and challenge the space I was currently in regarding my career. Over the four sessions I had with Penny, I looked at opportunities in a different light, was able to more effectively align my strengths to the direction I was wanting to move in. This led to a role with GSK as Apprenticeship Vendor Manager.
My final session occurred three months into my new role and was a great opportunity for me to work with Penny to check and challenge my thoughts about the role, useful after the honeymoon period. It was this check and challenge role that I found particularly useful in our sessions. Without the intervention from Penny, I suspect I would still not have the focus or order I needed at the point I contacted her.
I would certainly use Penny in the future and recommend her services to a wider audience. Tim Buchanan Apprenticeship Vendor Manager GSK, December 2017
Penny has worked with The Art of Work as an Associate since 2013. She is highly valued as a member of our lead facilitation and coaching team. She is both highly qualified and experienced in her field. She is an executive coach and facilitator and one of our core team used for complex and sensitive assignments which require someone who can see beyond the presenting issue and calmly get to the root of problems and concerns. Penny is regularly commissioned by The Art of Work to undertake complex one to one coaching programmes for senior leaders and for managers across a range of sectors including Education, Motor, Travel and Local Authority. I would recommend her without reservation. Sandra Evans, Managing Director, The Art of Work Ltd. December 2016
As an external facilitator who specialises in strategy, I invited Penny to facilitate our first Board Away Day. Penny was very thoughtful in her approach and her intervention was vital for three reasons:
Penny is outstanding, creative, hard-working, an excellent facilitator and fantastic at building relationships. She brings a depth of knowledge and experience from the charity sector and the huge respect and admiration of everybody with whom she works. I would wholeheartedly recommend Penny. Sandeep Mahal, Director, Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, December 2016
I came to Penny on the recommendation of a friend who had had a very positive experience. I was at a careers crosswords and knew that changes were needed but was almost paralysed by the fear of making a mistake and also not sure enough of the right direction to take. I found Penny calm, quiet, thoughtful, measured and most of all a great listener and observer of body language. As our sessions progressed Penny correctly identified what made me ‘tick’ in ways I had not always noticed in myself; one particular discussion exposed some very old issues that were still festering and having a negative impact on my future plans Penny dealt with these with both empathy and total professionalism. I would recommend Penny without hesitation; the coaching has helped to positively move me forward. Helen Armour, Principal Lecturer, University of Westminster, Summer 2016
My confidence has grown so much over the past 12 months working with Penny. I have developed range in my management style to be more empowering for my staff. I listen more to them and I welcome their feedback. These days I even accept compliments! This has resulted in slower turnover of managers, who are staying in their posts longer. I found the coaching focused, motivating and enabling. The time for reflection in coaching sessions is so important, not only for developing one’s own resilience in a very demanding job – but also to keep on learning from experience – even as a very experienced leader and manager. Cecilia Ileyemi, Safeguarding Children’s Service Manager, Hertfordshire County Council, 2015
I started working with Penny just as I had moved into a new, more challenging role after several years in an area where I was experienced and established. Needless to say, I was keen to gain credibility in my new role quickly – but I was also a little lacking in confidence as I was way out of my comfort zone. Penny supported me not just in gaining the confidence I needed in the short term – but also in realising my potential for the longer term. Penny’s style is to listen and empathise whilst at the same time challenging almost without you even noticing. Her skill in reflecting back to me my own thoughts and observations with a positive and motivational spin was, I think, what really helped me to move up into the higher gear that I needed to be successful in my new role. Davina West, Fleet Business Development Manager, ŠKODA UK, November 2014
I have extensively changed my leadership approach following coaching with Penny. I reconnected with what is really important to me. I have found my energy and strengths which I had lost sight of. Where previously I might withdraw if I felt I wasn’t being heard, I now have the confidence and poise to ensure I am listened to and taken seriously. I feel more confident and more productive and ready to climb up the corporate ladder. Nduka Agada, Housing Executive, Camden Council
Penny worked with us in the 2016 Times Graduate Challenge. Her relaxed personal style meant she quickly engaged with the Graduates, which greatly facilitated the learning process. She displayed a sound understanding of the personality traits which impact upon business leadership and was adept at getting her points across in a clear and supportive fashion. Ambur expects to call on her professional services again in 2017. Tony Manos, Founder/Director, Ambur Ltd, operators of The Times Graduate Challenge, January 2017
Penny has been an enormous help to us during a period of rapid growth. Remote management and creating a powerful team ethic across the workforce has been a challenge. Penny’s approach has been extremely effective, including laying the groundwork for developing a coaching culture and supporting newly appointed managers in helping their teams to achieve better results. Her intervention at Arvon has made a massive difference. Ruth Borthwick, CEO and Artistic director, Arvon
I promised you when we finished our coaching that I would give you an update sooner or later. Well, here it is. You might remember we did an exercise where I wrote all the things I wanted in my life on post its and then said how close to achieving all that I was…and I pointed to the wall (i.e. the furthest away point in the room!). Well, since then we have sold our flat, bought a bigger place, reduced our mortgage substantially and I have resigned and am beginning to look for opportunities as a freelancer!! So all change, but all good. Thanks so much for your help in getting me (us!) there. Head of Fundraising and Communications, 2014
It’s a real pleasure having Penny as a coach. She has coached me through times of transition, but also through some subtle and more reflective moments, like when I was ready to make a personal leap forward. She challenged me to develop new ways of managing and leading people. Penny guided me to a point where I was more comfortable and able to think about how to share my thoughts and strategies with my team who were looking for greater support and direction. Penny has truly affected me at important points in my career. Sandy Mahal, Director, The Space, Summer 2014
I connected well with Penny from our first conversation and found her approachable, patient, caring and thoughtful. Her gentle but persistent questioning helped me to see things from a different perspective and to be more forgiving. The sessions with Penny gave me the time and space to think about things that had been worrying me and to see that I had the power to react to those things in a more positive way. I felt supported throughout the process and more confident and empowered in terms of both my professional and personal life by the end of it. Beverley Rowland, Programme Manager, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, 2014
My objective for coaching was to be clear about what was important in navigating the first 6 months in my new chief executive role. It included: prioritising my substantial workload, reflecting on the strengths I brought to my new work environment and managing work life balance. Penny’s coaching was empowering: it built my confidence. She has a reassuring presence and manner which meant she could challenge me. Geoff Brown, Chief Executive, Hertfordshire Healthwatch, 2013
Having decided to take the significant step of resigning from a job that I was not enjoying, Penny helped me to evaluate options for the critical next step in my career. This included considering the implications – both personal and professional – of either seeking another employed role or setting-up my own business. Penny’s style is supportive and warm, matched to an ability to ask carefully considered and incisive questions. She helped me greatly to better understand what’s important to me, providing a framework against which I have been able to plan my route forward. A hugely valuable process. Tim Pugh, CEO, Automotive Industry, Summer 2014
What’s the next step?
Penny runs her private practice in St Albans and London and is also available for telephone and Skype work. Get in touch to arrange a preliminary phone call.