2015 is most certainly the year of the Life Coach. In the modern day world where we’re constantly faced with work and life pressures, slotting in some ‘me’ time to get professional help across careers, relationships and emotional wellbeing, is becoming synonymous with taking control of your life and living life to the full.
That’s why today’s #MondayInspiration Q&A comes from an incredibly inspiring woman, Dionne Edwards. Dionne is a Life Coach, Executive Careers Coach and Master NLP Practitioner from South London. She’s also a Motivational Speaker and all round entrepreneur.
Here’s our Q&A, get ready to be inspired!
Over to you Dionne…
Hi Dionne. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m originally from Bristol but have been living in London for about nine years now and absolutely love the vibrancy of the city. I’m currently living between my home in West Dulwich and my partner’s home in Battersea. I’ve been coaching individuals for over 20 years now, initially as a Senior Manager, working within Blue Chip Corporate companies, but I officially completed my life coaching studies in 2006. This swiftly followed by completing both my NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) Practitioner and Master NLP Practitioner qualifications.
What is your typical day like?
Every day is different but a typical day for me starts with a little meditation to centre myself. I then either work from home and deliver coaching sessions via phone or Skype or I’ll head into offices based in central London close to St Pauls Cathedral where I meet clients for face to face sessions.
I also like to devote some time each day to writing and developing articles which I publish online through my website and LinkedIn. I sometimes also write for the International Lifestyle Magazine.
Currently I’m also developing some careers workshops for people who want to get that promotion, change jobs or totally change their careers. As well as life coaching seminars, they will focus on managing stress, finding balance and achieving any personal and professional goals. I’ll also be running a life coaching retreat next year in Jamaica!
What do you like most about your job?
I love working independently and empowering clients to make a difference in their lives. I love being the catalyst that gets them thinking differently, taking action and building their confidence. The greatest joy for me is simply when someone says ‘thank you – you made such a difference’!
Life coaching and career coaching is a popular topic at the moment – why do you think more people are turning to life coaches for help?
I think we live in a society where we ‘expect’ to be able to do and achieve EVERYTHING and do all of it right now. It creates overwhelm and stress and that becomes difficult to handle. Life Coaching helps you to get everything in perspective and work out your priorities as well as helping you to identify and change patterns of behaviour which may not serve you well.
Careers Coaching has become more popular as we now all move around more in our careers and indeed many people are now exploring self-employment and having at least one career change. Career Coaching helps individulas to hone their skills to market themselves effectively through their CV and job interviews. It’s also valuable when evaluating your skills and strengths to identify what your options are for a career and how to make that happen.
Life Coaching or Careers Coaching is really an investment in yourself to be your ‘best self’, live authentically and achieve your goals. In other words to ‘Get On And Live!’
Do you think career paths are more changeable these days? If so, why?
Absolutely! It’s the age of the Portfolio Career where many people are having more than one business or have a mix of employed and self-employed work. It’s all about multiple streams of income and being able to pursue a variety of passions and explore different avenues. I fit into this category as I work independently as a life and careers coach but I also work as an associate for two of the largest Career
Management Companies in the UK. They provide executive career coaching and outplacement support to individuals who are going through redundancy. AND I own a hotel.
Phew! That’s a lot! What do you think is the biggest challenge in the world of employment these days?
For my clients it’s about how they differentiate themselves from everyone else. I talk to my clients about seeing themselves as a brand and work with them to develop that brand and market themselves effectively through their CV, networking and job searching.
For those clients who want career progression, I also provide career management services which look at short, medium and long term plans for their overall career and that can include identifying what they need to do in their current role to ensure they are gaining the experience and skills they need to tale that next step up the career ladder. This is a more strategy based coaching.
What are some of the most common issues people come to you for help with?
There are a huge variety of subjects I help my clients tackle, but some of the most common are:
- Confidence Building
- Time Management – at work or managing the balance of work and home
- Improving a difficult relationship with a work colleague, manager or spouse
- Developing Leadership Skills
- Career Development/ Growth
- Handling Redundancy
- Making the move from employed to self-employed
What advice would you give someone looking to go to a life coach?
There are 3 core things:
- What qualifications do they have?
- Can they provide you with testimonials?
- Are they willing to offer you a brief consultation to understand a bit more about you and allow you to get to learn a little more about them before you commit to your sessions.
What do you like doing when you’re not working?
I’m an avid cinema goer – my favourite cinema is an independent cinema in Barnes called Olympic Studios. There are only three screens seating about 30 – 40 people in each, but they have great big comfy chairs and lots of room, so people can walk past you easily to get to their seat rather than you squeezing through – it’s heaven.
I like jogging / walking on Clapham Common – even when I feel lazy, a walk through the Common is great, especially as it has a couple of lakes with ducks, swans and geese. I think being close to nature is important. It grounds you and soothes the soul.
We rarely do a Q&A on OSL without asking people what their top foodie places are. What are your favourite London restaurants?
At the moment, I love:
- The Breakfast Club in Battersea, London – for those lazy Sundays when you want a great breakfast or brunch
- Rodizio Rico in Notting Hill – a great Brazilian buffet with lots of fresh and interesting salads to go with all the meat.
- The Lobster at Altitude, London sky restaurant – you have absolutely amazing views of the city in great loft style surroundings
Finally, what are the Top 3 life mantras you swear by?
- You only live once so feel the fear and do it anyway.
- Treat people as you always wish to be treated.
- Always do your best, what you plant now you will harvest later.
Huge thanks to Dionne for taking part in this Q&A for Oh So London. If you’d like to find out more about Dionne and her services just give her a call on 07899 801118 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find out more on her website GetOnAndLive.co.uk.
Until next time x