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‘A problem shared is problem halved’ 

During this unsettling time, the People and OD Team can offer colleagues support by arranging one-to-one conversations with colleagues from our internal network of experienced coaches and mentors. 

These confidential, typically one-off conversations, to be held virtually online, are an opportunity to discuss current challenges. This could include challenges around working as part of a remote team, strategies to help maintain good levels of wellbeing whilst working remotely or perhaps a conversation around balancing work and family commitments.  Our trained coaches and mentors will act as an objective sounding board, listening and asking questions to help you identify a meaningful way forward.

To request a conversation with a colleague from our network, or to find out more, please contact us at As part of a request and to assist with the matching process, please consider what you would like to focus on and share with us any specific current challenges or goals that you would like to discuss as part of the conversation.

We can all benefit from time to reflect on our current roles and responsibilities and consider our future direction, career path and what we need to do for our own personal development and fulfilment.

As part of our commitment to you, we are able to offer one-to-one coaching support to colleagues. Coaching can be of particular benefit to those who have undergone organisational change; are new to our University or a role; or simply want to maximise performance. Our University has a network of internal workplace coaches who are able to offer coaching as a facilitative process.

Here you can find out more about coaching, how you might benefit from coaching and the process involved.

Interested? Please email the People and OD Team on to express your interest in coaching and for more information.

Coaching Story

Caroline Bligh shares her experience of coaching
Plus Icon What is Coaching?

Coaching enables colleagues to develop their thinking and expertise in order to enhance their performance. Our internally-trained pool of coaches draw on a range of methods and techniques to support colleagues in exploring practical ways to develop their performance beyond its current position. Coaching is non-directive and the coach will ask relevant questions to help you find your own solutions, rather than providing you with the answers.

It is a partnership in which both parties are committed to your advancement. It is important that you feel comfortable in this relationship and that a high level of trust is established. The coaching process is all about asking questions, to help challenge perceptions and belief systems, at work and in life, and to enable different ways forward to achieve a goal.

But don't just take our word for it. This article by Katie Denyer (Executive and Leadership coach) explains the 5 things she wishes everyone knew about coaching. 

Plus Icon How will I benefit?

The coaching focuses on topics and challenges chosen by you that have an impact on your ability to fulfil your role and responsibilities effectively. Your coach will guide and focus you, offering stimulation and challenge and, perhaps most importantly, high expectations. Coaching gives you an ideal opportunity to reflect, raise self-awareness and set your own direction. As the focus of coaching is enhanced performance there are also benefits for the wider organisation.

Plus Icon How does coaching work?

After expressing interest, we will send you a ‘coaching contract’ document, which asks you for some objectives for the coaching. There will then be a matchmaking process whereby you will be offered a coach from a different faculty or service from your own, taking into account any potential conflict of interest. You might also be matched with a coach from the NHS or Leeds City Council, who we have a coaching partnership with.

Typical coaching relationships last for four to six sessions over four to six months, though sometimes one session with a coach is sufficient, particularly before a job application or interview.

Following your sessions you will be asked to revisit your coaching contract in order to evaluate the process. This evaluation process is crucial, giving you a chance to fully reflect and evaluate the impact the coaching has had. You will be asked for your feedback straight after your coaching ends and again after a three-month period to assess the transfer of learning into the workplace and how any changes have been embedded and to identify any further development needs you may have.

Please refer to the Coaching Process for details of the full process.

Plus Icon Career Coaching

Did you know that our University offers colleagues access to career coaching? Any colleague can request a career coach, which can be of particular benefit to those of you who have undergone or are about to undergo a process of organisational change; or you simply want to work out where to go next in your career! We have both internal coaches, and coaches from Leeds City Council and Leeds NHS Trusts, all of whom have undergone ten months of intense training to equip them with the skills to coach effectively.

Our coaching is non-directive, so your coach won't tell you what to do, but will act as a sounding board and ask you some useful questions to encourage you to think about things in a different way. You will define the agenda for your coaching.

All we ask is that you set some coaching goals prior to your coaching, which clarifies what you hope to get out of it, and re-visit these after your coaching has finished to evaluate the impact of the coaching.

For further information please contact us at

Meet some of our Coaches

Katie Cliff Right Arrow

Employer Engagement Consultant

I have a background in HR and more specifically have developed my specialism in recruitment and development.  This is driven by my passion for supporting individuals to grow, develop and fulfil their potential.  I have worked across a range of different sectors including not-for-profit, manufacturing, retail and professional services.  Here at Leeds Beckett, I work as part of our Employer Engagement Team, connecting our student and graduate talent with employers and supporting them as they progress their own career journeys.

I am an ILM qualified coach and have previously managed a team of internal coaches.  The coaching programme here at Leeds Beckett is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who wants to challenge themselves to be the best that they can be, and to do so in a supportive environment.  Look forward to supporting you to reach your goals!


Dr Faye Didymus Right Arrow

Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology

I qualified as a workplace coach in 2014 and have been coaching at Leeds Beckett University since then. My first degree was in sport and exercise science and I then went on to study sport and exercise psychology at doctoral level.

Qualifying as a workplace coach was a natural progression and the role complements my day to day work as a senior lecturer and as an applied practitioner. Coaching is one of the most fulfilling aspects of my role and it is a pleasure to watch coachees develop in the time that we have together.

Mary Strode Right Arrow

Principal Consultant

I qualified as a coach in May 2013 and have been regularly coaching since, in schools and with health and local authority staff.  In my role and working with school leaders, I’m fortunate to be able to utilise coaching on so many levels.  I also deliver training to organisations on embedding a coaching culture and on enabling staff to utilise coaching effectively within their role.

I love to coach and see this as a privilege.  Trust and ownership are crucial to coaching and it is tremendously rewarding to be part of a process that enables and empowers others to become more self-aware and efficacious.  A key value of mine is learning, development and growth and I regularly attend coaching-led training and network events including supervision to reflect and further develop my own coaching knowledge and skills.

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