Hello Gorgeous Human Being, 

If you are thinking of working with me, you might want to know a little about who I am and what matters to me.  

I really value honest and helpful conversations but that does not mean they are always easy to have. My top core values are fair, fun, honesty, kind and thoughtful.

Despite this I can sometimes find myself stuck. Difficult conversations are rarely fun at the time. When I am hurting sometimes I am more honest than I am kind. 

But probably the most challenging time for me is when I feel out of sorts and I can’t articulate what is wrong or what I want. 

 

Then I discovered coaching and in particular Clean Language and it was like a doorway to my mind was opened that had been closed for so long. It gave me access to parts of me that had not been heard or understood and the good news is that I am getting better and better and I like to think that will be something I will work on until the day I die. 

At first I used Clean Language to listen so that the other person got to know themselves better. It was great knowing by ‘just’ listening they were transforming their lives. 

That was until I started to get jealous. (I know, I know it is said that is not a good quality) and so that jealousy brought with it shame. 

On the outside people saw a kind and attentive listener but inside I was feeling and saying anything but kind things.  It was like  there were three of me. The person people thought I was,  the person I thought I was and the person I wanted to be.  I often projected myself as happy and confident but inside I felt a fraud. If I was given a compliment I couldn’t recognise myself as the person they said I was. 

When I was honest, it was often done in haste and frustration. Then I would berate myself. As a teenager I remember crying myself to sleep wishing I could have a personal transplant because my personality just didn’t seem to be okay. (With me or anyone else) 

Then I found work. It gave me a sense of purpose and belonging. It gave me somewhere I knew how to perform and get results. Then I became a parent and the juggling of home and work began. At the time of my first child I was also the main income provider for our family. I suffered with post natal depression and my mum didn’t talk to me for six months after my daughter was born. 

Despite this I pushed through and much of my success was driven by fear of failure or rejection. People often liked me because I was doing what they wanted and it was much later that I noticed how hard I found it to do anything that might upset someone else. 

I won Network Champion of the year in 2009, Business woman of the year in 2016 and Speaker of the year in 2017. But with each award I felt more and more of a fraud. (Hence no awards recently) Professionally I like to think I kept it together, but I now know that I was the shell of the person I had the potential to be.

I would find myself holding it together all day only to fall apart in private. This meant the people I loved the most only got to see me at my worst. Sadly it took a crisis for me to change and I hope by sharing my story I can help you either avoid a crisis or give you hope that you can gain clarity of what you want and the confidence to make it happen. 

Slimming World 2002
Slimming World 2002

Life has taken me on a colourful journey from part time shop assistant at a fruit and vegetable shop from the age of 14, to building society manager from 1987 to 2000. 

When I became a mum in 1995 it broke my heart to leave my little girl. I then had my son in 1998 and my daughter started school in 1999 and it was about this time, that I knew something had to change. 

I became self employed as a franchisee with Slimming World in November 1999 and by March 2000 I was earning enough to leave the building society altogether. 

Some family members struggled with the change. They saw security and status in the role of building society manager but I knew I needed more time with my little girl. 

I was often asked “When are you going to get a proper job?”

However for me I was happy. I was earning the same kind of income, the roles were similar in that I was helping people and I got more time with my children.

I loved my time at Slimming World and spent 7 happy years motivating change until one day I started to notice more and more clients coming back heavier than when they had started. I was noticing patterns and wondering what was the difference between those that got to target weight and stayed and those that didn’t. 

I was questioning if what I was doing enough and I started searching for answers. Around the same time I was also searching for answers within my marriage and failing to find them we separate in 2003. 

I met my now husband Mark in 2005 and we got married in 2008 after 3 years of many ups and downs of learning how to listen to and support our blended family of five children. 

Questioning the impact I was having at work impacted how I felt about myself and how I showed up at home and so confidence and motivation dwindled. 

In my search for solutions for my business and my clients, I came across coaching and in May 2006 I invested in a diploma in personal performance coaching. That course cost me £3000 and I went on to invest approximately £30,000 in my training over the next ten years. It turned out that there was more to coaching than ‘just’ listening.

I needed to be able to manage my own triggers and emotional responses in order not to be upset or react to what I heard. I had to learn to track patterns and be able to give evidence based feedback. I had to be able to identify progress and train my clients attention on what was working and what had or was changing.

Then in September 2006 my mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer and passed away that November. Despite only just starting my training it had a massive impact and allowed us to have some really life changing conversations. In those last few weeks I went from knowing intellectually I was loved to truly feeling loved. Then she was gone. I was all alone grieving the relationship we could have had, if only we had known how to change the way we listened. My mum had spend many years being unhappy because she had not acted on her dream to work and I had spent many years thinking she was disappointed and unhappy with me because I was a working mum. 

Fast Forward Mark has moved in and I am busy project managing our Wedding that is about to take place in August 2008.  It’s 18 months since my mum died and I collapse with exhaustion. I had buried my head in work to avoid ‘feeling’ the pain of losing mum. I had buried my head in busyness to avoid feeling how angry I was that no one had taught us how to listen to and trust ourselves sooner. If only I had known what I wanted and had confidence in myself, I would have shown up differently in my relationship with my mum.

In an attempt to push these feelings away, I was working 70 hours a week, 7 days a week and despite investing in the coaching diploma I was struggling to get it finished. 

Mum Temby 1960's

On that day in May 2008, Mark asked me what I wanted and I said “I want to be a stay at home mum.”

That day I quit my job and for the first time since I was 14 I no longer had my ‘own’ money. The wedding plans kept me occupied and the time away on our honeymoon gave me time to reflect and when I got back I realised that I had asked for the wrong thing, what I really wanted was to be a good working mum. 

I got back and got my diploma finished and gained a distinction in December 2008 and launched Step by Step Listening. 

What I have learned since then is that ‘Coaching’ is just one kind of listening that we need when we are going through change.  The diploma got me started but life experience and feedback were needed to develop the skills to listen and not be impacted by everything I heard.

Then I came across Clean Language which transformed the way I coached for ever. It gave me access to parts of me that I did not know existed and it enabled me to listen to how I talked to and about myself and more importantly the impact of my words. 

It also gave me access to a community that would go onto to resource and support me to be the best coach and a pretty okay human being too. 

I decided to niche as a mums and daughter relationship coach and it wasn’t long before I discovered that listening alone was not enough. I went on to train in drama free conversations and learned conflict resolution skills. 

The more I listened the more I heard how much inner conflict the mums had. They felt under pressure with work and life and constantly felt like they were failing. Over time I found myself working with fathers of sons, mothers of sons,  husband and wives  and business partners. (although rarely together) The problem was always the same -‘time.’ Yes they were not happy and they were struggling to get heard and understood. Yes they wanted their behaviour or the behaviour of the other person to change. Yes they wanted things to be different. But it always came down to having time to think and plan how they would change their situation, response and or behaviour and taking the time to implement and act on their thoughts. The lack of time to think and reflect was always at the heart of the matter. It was in 2009 that I ran my very first Do, Delegate or Ditch workshop. In essence it was 2 hours to think about what they wanted to do more of, what they wanted to delegate and what they wanted to ditch. For many clarity was all they needed but finding the time to think and maintain clarity was at the heart of the problem. Understanding how they made decisions and what influenced changing their mind was all part of the process.

For those that were time poor Clean Language provided a time efficient way to unpack their thinking and make decisions.

I love the transformation that happens when someone gives themselves the gift of time to think. And I love that Clean Language can give you access to parts of you that you just cannot by sitting in silence listening to your own thoughts Something magical happens when another human listens, holds the space without judgement and reflects back what you have said. 

By 2012 I was running a successful coaching practice and I was loving getting emails sharing photos from a mums and daughter day out or a change in response when they had had the courage to have a conversation they had been putting off for sometime.Only at home my own life was falling apart. I had got so busy that I was in fact repeating the very same patterns and experiencing the very same problems many of my clients had presented with. My own daughter hated me, she was was self harming, taking drugs and drinking. She hated me so much she would rather live on the streets than live with me. I struggled for almost three years until one day I collapsed. 
Paige 5 months Old
I felt like I had nothing left to give. Being a good mum is one of the most important things to me. Instead of being pleased for my clients success I started to become resentful and jealous. Then I felt shame and guilt for feeling like that. The harder I tried the more my daughter pulled away. The more success my clients had the more I thought I was the problem and that my daughter would be better off without me. I remember telling my husband that I wanted to die. I could not face another day of feeling a failure.

Then my husband asked me what I would tell my clients to do. The one thing my clients had done that I had not. They had asked for help. They had me in their corner noticing change and progress when they lost sight of it. They had me reminding them of the difference they made, their patterns and their process. I had been too scared to ask for help in case it damaged my business reputation. That day with the support of my team, my husband and my mentors I started to take myself through the three foundation programmes we still run today. I got clarity of what I wanted to make happen. 

I started to gain confidence in what I wanted to do more of, what I wanted to delegate and what I needed to ditch.I also started to pay attention to what support and resources I needed and started to develop my network of support.I stepped back from the business and worked on my relationship with myself first and foremost whilst giving my daughter space to work on herself. (Always keeping in touch to let her know she was not alone)

 I am pleased to say that I now have an awesome relationship with her and my son. Not to mention my wonderful blended family that now includes our gorgeous grandchildren. It has not always been easy and yet without the listening skills I think it would have been impossible. 

To develop the support network I had to pay attention to my own process and my own patterns. I had to understand what I needed to be at my best and find the right people to ask for help. 

I came to understand that there was no one person that could do all the things I did, but a combination of them could.

I trained my husband to ask me “What I would like to have happen or what is working?” whenever I was complaining or putting myself down.

My team took me through the Do, delegate or ditch foundation course so that I had updated models of what I needed to work, learn and live at my best.

My mentors helped me track patterns and change the unhelpful ones over time.

I feel blessed to finally feel okay about being me. I now spend my time as a motivational speaker, author and coach determined that no one will ever be stuck at home shedding tears in private unable to ask for help.

Sometimes all the help we need is a good listener, capable of giving us the space and time to listen to and understand ourselves. Other times we need the detective who can help us collect the evidence and provide us with the clues that make sense of who we are and what works for us.

When I lose motivation (which is not often nowadays) I think of all the millions of people who might be where I was in 2012, crying tears in private feeling so alone and isolated who just don’t know how Clean Language can help you help yourself. I remember how low I was and how hopeless it all felt and the simple fact my husband asked me what I would tell my clients to do -changed everything. I knew in that moment which questions I needed him to ask. (Although he was not always great at listening without trying to help) Knowing which questions worked for me really did help. 

I now spend most of my time working with entrepreneurs, managers and parents who want to be better at managing themselves. If that is you, then myself and my team are here to help. Let’s chat. What have you got to lose apart from the problem?

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