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A client story...find out more about 1-2-1 coaching

Updated: Nov 8, 2022

Amy Marshall, 45, is based in London and works as a Consultant in the renewable energy industry. I met Amy at a yoga retreat in late 2021. Amy had just left a job of seven years, following an intensive work period that left her feeling on the verge of burn out. When we met, Amy was on gardening leave and preparing to start her next role - one that would see her promoted and joining a new organisation. We spoke about what she was facing and after our conversations we ended up working together. Amy’s coaching sessions (six across six months) took place online, with contact and support in-between each session. Here is her coaching story…

The coaching process has given me the confidence and tools to be able to speak up for what I believe in and ask for what I need – in work and personally.

What led you to sign up to coaching?

I had a lot going on in my personal life at the same time as a very intensive work period; that was the trigger for me to make a change. I wouldn’t say I was burnt out but I was on the verge. I wanted to change how I showed up, so that it didn’t become a cyclical ‘work till you burn and then take a break’ situation. I wanted to utilise the time I had, while on gardening leave, to make sure I was taking positive behaviours forward into my new role - setting myself up to land well. I have worked with coaches before and have always found it to be valuable. It is very rare that you get the opportunity to set yourself up for a new role and challenge. I thought it would be remiss of me not to take this moment to do it properly and make sure that I was giving myself the right tools to make the change as positive, and as easy a transition, as possible.

Why Gemma?

We met at a yoga retreat and had some similarities in our personal journeys so I felt a personal connection. We talked about her style of coaching, and who she works with - she told me that she works with a lot of women and people who are mid-career. I have a five-year-old daughter – I am the sole bread winner, mother, and juggle a lot. That was one of the reasons for wanting to step back and take the time to think about where I’m going in my life. She also talked about working with people who are trying to avoid or dealing with burn out and transition. I felt I had a really good connection with Gemma.

Did you have some firm objectives on working together?

Yes, we explored the transition support piece and behind that I wanted to get into ‘how do I find and give myself the right tools to maintain work/life balance?’. Before we could get there I needed help to dig quite deeply into my personal values.

What did your sessions involve?

Gemma is excellent at responding in the moment. She is very flexible which is one of the reasons I like working with her. I also like having external accountability. She checks in in-between sessions with prompts for reflection and resources. I felt like I had six months of support rather than six sessions. That is quite unusual and not something I have had from coaches before.

What did the work between sessions involve?

It varied. I read a couple of books, but sometimes that can be a bit daunting in itself. I liked the resources that Gemma recommended - a blog, an exercise, an article, a YouTube video - they were easy to dip in and out of. Usually there was something between a session, even if a simple instruction to take time out to reflect on the work we were doing together. That was a very useful part of the process for me.

Did you discover anything about yourself that was a surprise?

The very first session we talked about leadership personas. I had a story in my head about my promotion and how I now had to show up as a leader. We discussed what beliefs about leaders I carry around. I thought I needed to slow down, be calmer and wise. I’m naturally a bit hyper and that doesn’t connect with my vision of what a senior leader looks like. Since coaching, and exploring these beliefs, I have been myself and it actually works at my new company, which is a nice discovery. I hadn’t realised that I carried around images of leaders whom I measured myself against - the wise old man. It’s so unhelpful because I actually don’t respond to that kind of leader. Why am I measuring myself against someone who isn’t meaningful for me? That was so powerful for me as I begin to build a new team. I can now show up authentically as me, with confidence, rather than carrying that image. You talk in theory about wanting to be congruent in your values and work life. With Gemma’s help, where I am in my personal life and landing in a supportive organisation, I now feel very well aligned personally and work wise.

Reflecting on your coaching journey, what difference has it made to you?

The coaching process has given me the confidence and tools to be able to speak up for what I believe in and ask for what I need – in work and personally.

What is Gemma like as a coach?

Gemma is authentic and shows up in her work. She’s also very open and warm as a person. It helps the relationship - you really feel like she cares. Gemma is committed to helping people through their coaching journey and that gives you the confidence to trust and go with it.

Will you work with Gemma again?

Yes. Our next adventure will be a weekend of coaching, where Gemma will support my friend and I to think about the next ten years of our lives. What do we want? What does it look like? Gemma was very open to it.

Would you recommend coaching with Gemma to others?

100%. I would be confident recommending Gemma to anyone - not just those who fit my demographic and situation. One of the things that was particularly good about my experience with Gemma was that she is very adaptive.

Has Amy's story resonated or inspired you to find out more about coaching? If so, I'd love to talk further. You can book a call with me, here.

Read more client stories, here.


Gemma Brown is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) accredited with the International Coach Federation (ICF). She works with individuals and teams thrive by helping them to elevate their authenticity, purpose and direction. Her belief is that when we confidently bring our whole selves to all areas of life, anything is possible. Transitions exist in both our personal and business life, and so often, the two fiercely overlap. Coaching with Gemma focuses on you as a whole, enabling you to identify your strengths, build confidence and to live a life with increased purpose and direction. Gemma works face to face with clients in the Cambridge area as well as via Zoom. For more about Gemma, visit her 'About' page or contact her directly.

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