• Madeleine Bonser

Spotlight on Claire Cahill

At Spotlight, we’ve had the opportunity to speak to Claire Cahill, Award-Winning Executive Confidence and Leadership Coach at Accendo Coaching & Training, who told us about how coaching transformed her life.

Tell Us About Yourself

I worked for the world’s largest Building Society for 29 years, where I spent 50% of my career in the branch network in a leadership role and the remaining 50% of my career in contact centres where I worked my way into a Senior Leader role.

It was in the contact centre that I became a published author by sharing my experience of taking a team of disengaged employees on a journey of self-discovery.

It was in Feb 2019 that I took a 6-week loyalty sabbatical to focus on my business resulting in me taking the final leap of faith, resigning with no redundancy, no payout and no plan, just passion, enthusiasm and fire to succeed.

When Did You Set Up Accendo Coaching And Training?

Following a confidence crisis in 2011, after the birth of my second son, I decided that no one had a magic wand to fix my situation and I had to take responsibility and accountability for my own happiness. This is when I decided to embark on my own journey of self-discovery and coaching transformed my life.

My family are the driving force in all I do and the reason I get out of bed each morning with a spring in my step, determined to demonstrate that life is what you make of it. Stepping outside your comfort zone daily and doing the impossible truly demonstrates the reality that impossible actually is I’m possible.

I set up Accendo Coaching & Training in October 2012 after qualifying with Distinction as a personal performance coach and later qualifying with Distinction as a corporate and executive coach. Accendo is the Latin for ignite and that’s what I do when I work with teams & individuals. I ignite their potential to be their best self and play to strengths and that’s the best part of my job.

Do You Have Any Advice For People Starting Their Careers?

  1. Have a DISC personality profile completed to identify your strengths that can be captured with confidence in your CV and social media platforms – This is something that I complete with all of my clients during the 1st interaction with them so I can get to know them in minutes rather than months.

  2. Build relationships with people who can influence your career and who will give you open, honest feedback that supports your continued growth.

  3. Journal daily about what’s gone well and why things haven’t gone so well, what are the lessons learnt, document 5 things that you are grateful for and set a daily goal remembering to celebrate success

  4. Invest in a coach who can be your trusted guide – they will create a safe space for you to be open and honest about your challenges and will push you outside your comfort zone to achieve success.

Do You Have Any Advice For Team Leaders?

  1. Reach out to work shadow someone who is already in a leadership position and ask them to mentor you.

  2. Observe leaders, the good, the bad and the ugly whether that in your workplace, in the media, on youtube and capture what you like and dislike about them. Consider what skills you already demonstrate, what you would like to develop and what you would like to change. When you’re managing a team, you’ll want to build a close working relationship with your team, so this is a very important step in determining what kind of leader you want to be.

  3. Enrol on a leadership programme and then implement the learning daily, don’t just file the material in a drawer never to surface again. This will help you to communicate effectively with your team and will help you to develop your communication style to match that of your team – remember one size doesn’t fit all.

What Does The Future Look Like For You?

I’m currently getting my ‘Ignite Your Potential’ workshop CPD accredited which means I’ll be able to provide individuals and teams with certificates of attendance that will also count towards credits for your continued professional development.

With the current pandemic, I’ve moved everything online and not allowed it to be a barrier to the success of myself or my business. This has resulted in me having to be creative in my training delivery, I’ve already been able to try new things and learn from my experiences.

Any Advice For Working During Covid-19?

When working through the pandemic, it’s important to have cameras on during virtual meetings. This will allow you to read body language and imagine if they were in a room with you, and they were disengaged, not participating or in their shell, what would you do? Apply this to the virtual setting.

Listen to the tone of someone’s voice – do they sound engaged and motivated or disengaged and unmotivated. Don’t be afraid to have the emotive conversation about how they are feeling.

Employee engagement is a key to success for individuals and teams especially during the Covid-19 pandemic when people have had to adjust very quickly with change and working from home. Effectively communicating with your team is vital and developing the skills to do this effectively whilst working remotely will be the difference in the performance of individuals and teams. So it’s important to have weekly check-ins with your team that are purely to check on their wellbeing and have a bit of fun, encourage laughter and to share the positives.

Since this pandemic started. I’ve had a mastermind group where I’ve been able to be vulnerable, share my challenges and explore possible solutions in a safe environment where there is no judgement and appropriate challenge.

If you enjoyed this blog find more just like it here. Check out Claire’s Twitter here or Linked In page here, to learn more about her.

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