[Day in the Life of a Coach] Interview with ICA Coach, Lisa Wellington
(Blended Coach, AUSTRALIA)
Blending coaching and her expertise is a no-brainer for this extraordinary performance specialist.
ICA coach Lisa Wellington is a former executive with over 25 years experience in all aspects of people management. She has done it all and then some – implementing change initiatives, managing human resource functions, and designing and facilitating a broad spectrum of management programs in organisations of all sizes.
With a degree in Communication, post-graduate study in the neuroscience of leadership, and qualifications in coaching, recruitment, training, facilitation and multiple psychological tools, Lisa noticed she was “coaching’ others before it became the industry it is today. To play in this space, as Lisa says, she set out to learn more about coach training, choosing ICA as a result.
She now combines her coaching with leading edge research from fields such as neuroscience, accelerated learning, human motivation, neurolinguistic programming and peak performance to assistance people to move beyond their ‘best’ performance.
With a specialty in coaching women entrepreneurs, Lisa love working from her beach side home outside Sydney Australia as well as travelling worldwide for consulting and other services. But her health and well-being come first and this is what a day in the life of this coach begins with – meditation, exercise, and intention!
Interview with Merci Miglino
Merci: This is another Day in the Life of a Coach. I’m Merci Miglino,your host and I’m delighted today to be speaking with Lisa Wellington. I’m in New York and Lisa is just outside Sydney, Australia in a somewhat summery but rainy environment right now. But she does get to live near the beach folks. So take a moment and drink that in before we welcome Lisa. So thanks for making time for us out of your busy day Lisa.
Lisa: That’s all right Merci, it’s a pleasure to be here.
Merci: Yeah. It’s so great. That’s one thing about coaching. It’s a very global community and for many of us, we work with companies or individuals from all over. And we get to combine so many of the interests, passion and expertise that we have. Some of us are calling this blended coaching but I have to read this to people Lisa. “She calls herself an extraordinary performance specialist, or she’s known as that. Combining research, neuroscience in supporting why the coaching process works and how to best motivate others and inspire others. She uses accelerated learning techniques and human motivation, NLP, oh my gosh, peak performance, and all of this comes together to what she has to offer.” So is there any stone you have not turned over yet Lisa in this world? It seems that you’re enjoying all these eclectic ways to help folks.
Lisa: Well Merci, the more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know. So quite frankly, there is a world of things I’m yet to learn to my satisfaction. In fact I’m a continual student, I”ve always got some form of training on the go, and that’s apart from the fact that my library is so extensive. I have this whole floor to ceiling bookcase as well as on my online learning. Literally I have my own personal library apart from all the online learning that I do. I love learning if I can translate that to things that help other people, well that’s my particular calling in life I think.
Merci: And I know you have a pretty substantial background in change management, transformation. You’ve been senior consultant for a number of agencies and companies. So what made you decide to train as a coach? I mean you have quite a traditional kind of background in all these human resources or human services. So I’m curious. What was happening for you when you said, “Hey, I’d like to learn about coaching”.
Lisa: In fact it was a conscious decision. I fell into coaching and in fact I was already doing it before it became an industry. There were a lot of people like me working in the corporate world, mostly within organizations at that time and in the 80s, a lot of us were involved with developing others, whether it was, particularly in my case, leaders. And I became really curious with what makes a great leader. I was on the receiving end of what I thought personally was some not so great leadership, but then I was only a young kid on the block then, so what would I know? So it became a passion to then say, what are the really cool people out there who have access to University funding, what do they say about leadership? So I moved very much, in my 20’s into a leadership space, came to the notice of my organization, and then was promoted through the ranks, when I found myself in a senior executive role myself. So not only was I learning the theory, but I then had to live it. So one of the things that I found with my value was actually really valuing my people. And the traditional models of leadership back in the 80’s and 90’s was very male-oriented in terms of it was command and control and you tell people. Now that particular style didn’t sit that well for me. Yes I’m motivated and yes I have vision and foresight and those sorts of things, but I wanted people to come on the journey with me. So I was trying to find my place in the leadership world as well as supporting my people, so I moved then out of a senior executive role into a more sideways role which was helping organizations change. And at that time the industry was moving to outsourcing rather than having every service that you have in-house. You would then work with other organizations. So that took me to another level of human motivation. And at that time, the theory was then starting to be, that people had their own insight. And as I was then running a lot of programs to help people with how they managed change, leaders in how they led other people in change, I then realized that I was doing a combination of things. Development have moved from tell chalk and talk whiteboard OHP (Overhead Projector) kind of thing to more workshopping and brainstorming and drawing out of participants…their knowledge. So I then would design programs where we would have a bit of knowledge input, we’d have insight and interaction with all the people, but I then found it most effective, if I actually did what we called then one on one sessions, where I worked individually with the participants where we could tailor the knowledge. And I guess around that time, it was my style that was, rather than tell, it was, “Here’s a little bit of knowledge but then what does that mean for you? Let’s unpack it. Let’s look at it.” And that was the time where I went, okay I seem to be doing this a lot, I love it, and concurrently with this, this new industry is emerging. So I love it that much if I really want to stay and play in this space, maybe I better go and see what people are doing to be leading edge in it. And that’s how I researched the world to decide what qualification I was going to do and decided to do the ICA one.
Merci: I can really appreciate how your kind of life-long learner, like many of us are. And of course, the natural born curiosity about what makes people tick. How do they see the world? How do they apply information and knowledge? It really is, like what you said, you could do this forever and not know everything. People are so complex and it sounds like a holistic approach, which I’m sure gives you a variety of different clients, who do you typically work with?
Lisa: I guess one of the things that I love about coaching approach and my background is I can work with a range of clients, it’s now who I choose to support in that way. I’ve worked with everything from big multi-nationals through to defence services to government organizations and small entrepreneurial start-ups. I love all of them in different ways. The area that I’m predominantly working in these days is I really really love supporting entrepreneurial women. I really feel women in business or women striving to create a fantastic life for their family and community, they have so much to offer that hasn’t really truly been tapped into yet. So my niche I guess is I make available for entrepreneurial women what classically has only been available to big business and a lot of money in the past. So that’s where my passion is, I really love bringing the best that normally a lot of money has bought previously to people who are really trying to make a difference in their life and in the world.
Merci: Great mission. Totally. And I think women will continue to be at the forefront of this kind of change. Human relations. We definitely bring a (I’m not saying a better at all) but I think a kind of perspective and approach that the world really needs now and I love that you’ve connected that to women in business. So what’s a typical day looks like for you Lisa? Is there a typical day?
Lisa: The typical day is that it’s not typically corporate anymore. And it took me a number of years to get to this point. But I made a conscious choice to move out of burnout mode. As a senior executive, particularly Australia and New Zealand, we have big distances to travel, I would classically put in 80 hour 100 hour weeks and have a lot of responsibility and lose sleep and I guess lived the normal corporate life. I was quite successful in living the normal corporate model and doing it in a very driven way, I would get more results than most people, faster, quicker and more effectively, the whole thing, which is fantastic. I just got to the point where I went, there’s gotta be more to life than just putting all my time, effort and energy into my work. So now, everyday, I feel so blessed, that I created the opportunity to sit by the beach, and work with people throughout the world. So each day now is different. And it’s how I choose it to be, so I structure my time in a way that I do a combination of individual coaching with women, and I coach women who are just in the startup phase of their business. I coach women who are actually currently employed, but are feeling that there’s more to their life and they don’t know what it is, so I work with them in that space. And I also work with senior executives still holistically in a consulting way, so I will run workshops, take them offsite, we’ll have conversations and delve deeply into what do they want, where is the company going, what are the future trends? And then we create road maps for themselves and their business. But particularly within that it’s about getting clear on what does the future hold and do they have the capability to be able to maximize what’s possible in the future. For a lot of people, they’re fantastic at what they do now, but in order to step into how quickly the way the world is changing, the marketplace, people actually need to grow and learn some new techniques. So I then do the inner work with them. So basically, I can be one day travelling to a location in Australia, other times, I’m about to head to the US. I’d be doing some work over there for a week and in Canada for two weeks.
Merci: Ah. Wonderful.
Lisa: So I will tend to group my overseas travel for face to face time, and then in between time, I do a lot on the internet and via Skype. So technology has really been the thing that’s given me the freedom to have everyday being different.
Merci: And it’s really has given us the opportunity to touch so many lives. It’s just phenomenal to me. It never ceases to amaze me that I am sitting in New York talking with Lisa in Australia, and having profound connections. Technology I think has really boosted coaching and has made it more accessible. And it is a draw for many of us who have been in the rigor and performance treadmill kind of world. I always say, that was great until it wasn’t. That’s exactly how it felt. I loved it. I liked everything about it but then, is this all there is a really profound question.
Lisa: I felt there wasn’t. One of the core things that is consistent in each of my day is, I have a morning routine. And very much, this is about looking after my health and me and my clarity on staying on path and purpose. So before I engage with the world, I do my meditating and I clear my energy and I really focus and revisit my intentions for the day. Get my energy up, get my clarity, feel really centered and balanced, do my exercise, and then I’m into the day. And I find, if I maintain that, which I didn’t do when I was in corporate, I had people literally at me from the minute I got up.
Merci: Yes. Right.
Lisa: That then, makes the most profound difference.
Merci: Yeah. I confirm that from my point of view as well. Oh goodness. So my final question, because I suspect we could keep on talking. But my final question Lisa is, if you could tell our listeners one thing about coaching, what will it be?
Lisa: For me, coaching is an invaluable skill set and it can be transferred across pretty much every sector of interest that you have. So for me, it would be probably, I imbue the approach of coaching, holding space for someone for them to unpack what is truth for them. That for me is the power of coaching and I use that as an approach in absolutely everything that I do. So whether I am going into an organization, to help people come through a change process, whether I’m working with somebody individually, I’m really curious about helping them unpack what is their truth in this situation. No I’m not saying that it is the only truth or it is THE truth.
Lisa: From the clarity, the point of power for anybody is getting clear on, “What are you thinking?”, “What are you feeling?”, “What is this meaning for you?” And then once people have that, you can then help them with their journey. Sometimes it’s more unpacking their inner journey, but other times, in my area, people hire me to actually increase skills sets as well. In which case, we’ll then add some additional knowledge, then we also use a coaching approach to help them unpack, what does this mean for me, how do I then embody it?. So for me coaching just underpins absolutely everything that I do and even in my charity and my personal work, sort of the sitting back and allowing people the space, has been one of the greatest things that I think I’ve learned and then I apply in each of those aspects of my life.
Merci: Beautifully said. Well thank you so much Lisa for taking time out of your busy but relaxing beach side life to talk to us for a Day in the Life of a Coach.
Lisa: Thank you Merci. It’s such a pleasure to be back here. I really really enjoyed my time doing my qualification and I’d certainly encourage people to be doing it with this organization, the way that they do it. So I thank you for allowing me to come back.
Merci: Thank you.
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