Hannah Wilson portrait

Hannah Wilson

It is no surprise that I am a fan of coaching. Coaching has been transformational in supporting me in navigating my journey.

When I was an unhappy Deputy Headteacher I was coached by Carol Jones and Viv Grant. Both helped me get clear on my values, my purpose and helped me communicate my frustration. Moreover, they helped me be intentional about my next steps.

As a busy and very stretched Headteacher I was coached by Eve Warren and Nikki Armytage-Foy. Both helped me process the immensity of the role. Eve helped me focus on my strategic leadership as my job starting a new school was so operational. Nikki helped me focus on me and what I needed to be healthy, happy and fulfilled.

I made sure that my own SLT had access to coaching too. We had training with Fierce Conversations and Graydin, and we had a pool of coaches around our teams to support us on our leadership journeys, personally and professionally, individually and collectively.

Accrediting with Resilient Leaders Elements as I set up my own business accelerated my strategic thinking and goal-setting. I loved the practical and reflective tools that RLE and then Colour-Me Profiling enabled me to put in my growing toolkit of strategies to support my own coaching clients.

I then started my ICF certification journey with the Co-active Institute and I am finishing it with the Teleos Leadership Institute, at the same time as certifying with the British School of Coaching on their ILM L4 Executive Coaching and Mentoring Certificate. As I collated my coaching journey including coaching hours, clients and CPD over the last few years for one of my assessments it made me realise a few things about my experience of coaching:

Coaching is an investment
You need to invest time, energy, finance and resource to be coached and to be trained to coach. I have self-financed most of my journey as it has been about me, in my own time getting clear on different aspects of my life.

Coaching is a cultural commitment
We committed to creating a coaching culture as a school so everyone was trained and developed the skills and language to have courageous conversations. Through me DEI work I am thinking more and more about how coaching is the tool that organisations need to make changes to how inclusive they are as workplaces.

Coaching is about listening
I have definitely become a better listener as a coach. I hear what is being said, how it is being said but also what is not being said. The more I coach the less I say, the more powerful the questions are that I ask.

Coaching is a reflective practice
Yes the coaching session is where most of the action happens. But the mind is activated in the session and the thinking, talking and journaling continue beyond it. I encourage my busy school leaders to be coached from home, at the end of the day/ week so they can give themselves some processing time following the session.

Coaching is important, but so is mentoring
I find the hierarchy between these two support mechanisms an interesting one. In education mentoring is for those starting their careers and coaching is for those progressing up the ladder. Lots of people come to me for coaching when they really need mentoring – especially when they are new to role.

So as my coaching journey continues in 2023, what am I hoping to achieve?

I trained in 2021 with Resilient Leaders Elements & C-me Colour Profiling.

I trained in 2022 with Co-Active Training Institute & Teleos Leadership Institute.

In 2023 I will achieve my ILM Level 7 in Executive Coaching and Mentoring and I will certify with ICF.

In 2021 I coached 60 people, I coached for 265 hours and I trained to coach for 85 hours.

In 2022 I coached 35 people, I coached for 135 hours and I trained to coach for 155 hours.

In 2023 I want to coach less people more and do less training to apply the learning I have experienced.

I am also keen to build the bridge between my Leadership Development Consultancy, Coaching and Training and my advocacy through Diverse Educators. For me coaching is the gamechanger for the individual leaders I work with but also for the organisations I am supporting so systemic coaching for cultural transformation is the goal for my future coaching practice.