Coaching Story – Lisa Windle

How did you first hear about us?

I worked at Wirral Council during my journey and through coaching with Rachel and joined Wirral council in 2015. It was a completely different role to what I had undertaken before because it was a completely different culture, different behaviors, different pace, and much more risk-averse… So utterly different to what I’ve been used to. That aside, I just come out of an 18-year relationship; I changed my job and partner and my home. So, it was a very, very difficult time for me personally. I really got my head down and got into work.

Unfortunately for me, the senior leadership team around me were very different from what I was used to dealing with, and I struggled. I was really starting to feel unhappy in my role and asked whether this new job was actually the job for me. I called the Head of HR and shared that I was miserable. I was unhappy with several things. How things were working, just generally the leadership team that I was part of, and I didn’t feel I sat comfortably there.

I felt that I couldn’t continue. It was then that the Head of Hr said they were going to offer me some coaching and mentoring support. So I thought, okay, you know what? I’m going to give this a go, and I was introduced to Rachel.

What type of support were you looking for?

I didn’t feel like I had any techniques that I could sort of pull out in my back pocket! I’ve always been a really, really confident person. I’ve never been afraid to take on challenges, and I almost felt I was starting to feel suffocated.

When I first started, it was almost a wish list of the things that I wanted to change, and it was in the conversations that Rachel, through her skill and her expertise, drew these out.

What was your first conversation with us like?

God, it was so emotional.

I walked through Rachel’s front door, and I just got a feel for Rachel straight away. I felt comfortable with her. It wasn’t a particularly positive reason that I met Rachel, and I was a little bit apprehensive at first. If I recall the first day that I met Rachel, I think I walked in, and I just based out crying. I guess I just felt completely overwhelmed.

I suppose I just needed somebody who was utterly independent to listen to me.

Somebody I could talk to who could give me a view that was not part of the organisation. Somebody, I could be frank and open with. Somebody, I could get that feedback as to whether I was paranoid or where my concerns justified. Somebody to talk to who has no agenda, who would listen and be completely honest with me… hopefully to help me start making positive steps forward. I wasn’t really sure what they were going to be.

"I Can’t Thank Rachel Enough For The Imprint That She’s Left. It Is Life-Changing For Me.."

God help Rachel! I don’t know how I left her on the first day, but what I did know was that I wanted to go back. I really thought this is going to help me.

I suppose for Rachel… It must have been a little bit of a – wow, this tornadoes just walked through my door, and everything just come out all at once at a breakneck speed. But what I remember about Rachel was she just listened. She didn’t interrupt me. She didn’t try to stop me, and I think I was there with her for a few hours, but it just seemed to all go so quickly.

It just felt like this release and walking away and having this terrible headache. But it was a headache that I almost welcomed. It was as if (as Rachel referred to in future meetings) my bucket had been drained, and I had filled it with all of these negatives, and it was just this release.


How was Coaching useful for you?

One of the first and most valuable conversations that Rachel had with me was my choices and the control that I have within certain situations. It was a delightful conversation, but the power of that conversation is something that I reflect upon every single day.

Fast forward to September this year, and in my new job, I’ve actually been able to hit the ground running. I’ve taken a number of the coaching techniques that Rachel shared with me. I’ve used those already in a brand new organisation, and they’ve already been embraced. I became much more aware of how I could protect and manage my own well-being and mental resilience. Rachel got me on the road of really thinking about the things that make you feel good.


What were some of the outcomes of your investment in Coaching?

There’s never a time when I don’t go back and to my resources. There’s never a time when I can’t find something that helps me take something forward. I genuinely do call upon those practical techniques daily.

Rachel didn’t just do this for me. I managed 350 staff. Her coaching, techniques, knowledge, and approach through the one-to-one sessions and her time invested didn’t just make a difference to me. That made a difference to a considerable amount of people, and the ripple effect was huge.

Would you engage a Coach again?

Yes! I can’t thank Rachel enough for the imprint that she’s left is life-changing for me. She just knows what to say, and what I really really respect about Rachel is her honesty. She will deliver things that you may not want to hear. She will put them in a way that you don’t feel it’s being given to you negatively. For example, I always remember one of the conversations with Rachel. She said to me, “this isn’t all about you, Lisa”, and… you know when you’re sort of taken aback at first? And then you think you know what, you’re absolutely right.

So Rachel will be really authentic with you. She’ll be honest. Rachel can’t change the world for you but can certainly give you the tools, tips and ideas to get your own mind thinking in the right way. She doesn’t give you the answers. You will be provoked to find the answers yourself, which is quite unique. I often find it difficult to talk about Rachel without getting this huge massive lump in my throat because of the value she has added. She really is quite special.

What do you think was the biggest change for you as a result of your coaching conversations with us?

I just can’t put it into words; really, she just gave me back the confidence that I’d lost. It’s just changed my life completely. I’m now in a really, really happy relationship. I’m married to somebody I never would have dreamt I’d meet, and my relationship with my daughter has blossomed. She has pretty complex needs, so she does struggle with her well-being, and I’ve been able to share some of the learning from Rachel with Jess.

I saw a group coach simultaneously as I was seeing Rachel as part of my department management team and comparing the two – they were worlds apart. So I’ve had other coaches and approaches that I can compare the conversation company to.