Friday, January 19, 2018

What clients say about working with Tony and Toni

toni tonyimage1a    toni tonyimage2a

It's over three years now that I've known and worked with Toni as my coach - originally we met up for an initial few sessions but the rapport that I felt from the very start was enough for me to request HR to continue funding the coaching work.

I can't deny an initial trepidation - after all, I had to feel able to 'let go' with my coach and Toni certainly provided an environment where that could happen. I loved Toni's style from the outset. She's everything that a coach should be: open, interested and inquiring at the beginning, creating a situation which allowed me to open up and offload baggage which was barring me from making progress. She permitted this for a time before gently starting to steer me towards addressing not what I saw as problems but what I actually wanted from the relationship. I love her direct and straight-talking style. Too often I see and hear the coaches, particularly in the leadership/executive field, who pander to the coachee's own sense of self-importance...not Toni though! She knows how to bypass the boardroom jargon and self-aggrandisement to get to the nub of the issue! She's direct without being rude, and forceful without being over-bearing. This makes sure she moves the sessions onward to get to the decision-making point where I needed to be. Reflecting now, I know that I must have frustrated the hell out of her as I kept re-visiting the problem, enjoying a good wallow before trying to climb back out and look at my goals again, but she was infinitely patient and allowed me that time to look back, then re-adjust my view once again and turn back to the hard work of looking at what I could do next to move me to achieving the goals. My feeling on Toni's strength in this area is once again that she built such a strong rapport at the outset, she could get away with a sometimes forceful approach to ensure that the sessions stay on process and that I got what I want out of them. So whilst the relationship-building is definitely what struck me most about my work with Toni, it would be wrong of me not to talk about her huge knowledge in the field of psychology and how effectively she brought that to bear with me and my goals. I can only go with the cliched-but-accurate definition of her knowledge as 'encyclopaedic', and I am completely in awe of her ability to pick out the theories that might be effective in defining or tackling the issues that I brought to our sessions.

Senior Project Manager

My reason for seeking coaching was to identify the key ‘triggers’ in my broader business and stakeholder engagements in order that I could better identify their characteristics and manage them more effectively.  I selected Toni from six coaches following a review of resumés and telephone interviews, based on my assessment of her style: clear, concise, challenging and direct. This worked well for me since I wanted to understand some underlying behaviours for which I needed ‘prompting and probing’ to expose. The results were very positive. We relatively quickly identified areas to focus upon and at the end of each session left having made clear progress. The end result met all my goals: triggers and likely environmental factors that would affect these were identified; strategies to manage these effectively were defined; and I was left feeling more in control of my future. Toni is very personable, open, insightful and overall very easy to engage with and I would recommend her to anyone seeking to gain real insights and feel the need for a direct approach for coaching.

Head of Solution Design Authority

My team and myself have benefitted from being more focussed on delivering the company vision. I have a better understanding of what qualities leaders need to demonstrate to improve performance and how to coach this in my own team. The most enjoyable part of the coaching has been the ability to quickly develop a relaxed rapport with the coach so I felt I could bring out my weaknesses without any judgement. Support and challenge was balanced and helped with the coach challenging me to address my own gaps.

Head of Safety

The coaching helped me focus more on delivery to deadlines, including less rework through better clarity of expectations. Tony has a good style, causing me to reflect on my own style of leadership.

PB – Head of Business Management

I enjoyed the coaching as it was much better for me to identify my own weaknesses and think about how I could improve them rather than just be taught methods which wouldn’t necessarily work for my style of leadership or personality. This will result in improvements in delivery for myself and my team. I found initial coaching uncomfortable but in a good way. The discussions forced me to admit areas of weakness and therefore prompted me to do something about them. Tony was friendly and seemed genuinely interested in what we do. He provided the right level of prompting to help me achieve improvements.

Head of Health Services

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