Meet the Coach: Jane Woods
Jane Woods is a business and life coach in Swanage and online
What attracted you to become a coach?
In 2017 I started working with a sales performance coach and realised you’re never to old to learn or improve what you’re doing. Together with my coach we went on to create a personal development programme for my business unit which is still having an impact today.
I love supporting people to reach their potential, to help them see what they’re truly capable of and achieve the things that really matter in their lives.
Where did you train?
I trained with the British School of Coaching for accreditation as an Institute of Leadership & Management Level 5 Coach and I studied with Jackie Stavros and Cheri Torres to become a Conversations Worth Having/Appreciative Inquiry Trainer. I’m also Brene Brown Dare to Lead trained.
What kind of coaching do you offer?
1:1 and group coaching which takes place virtually or face to face. Inspired by a 'Nature as co-Facilitator' course I also really enjoy coaching outdoors.
Collaboration, trust, confidence, resilience and emotional wellbeing are the areas I specialise in.
How does your type of coaching help people with emotional wellbeing and collaboration?
Focusing on signature strengths, exploring values, establishing boundaries and setting goals helps to boost resilience, inner resourcefulness and strengthen our emotional core.
Many of my clients, including NHS staff and those recovering from cancer, are examples of how this focus has improved communication and collaboration for them.
Training with Jackie Stavros, author of The Thin Book of SOAR, has influenced my strengths-based approach to strategic conversations.
What sort of coaching clients do you usually see?
All sorts! Many of my clients are NHS staff and I also see clients in the private sector. I’m also a cancer coach for Cancer Support UK and for the Youth Cancer Trust.
Do you ever suggest books or other materials to clients?
No one size fits all which is why I like to refer to a variety of coaching, leadership and wellbeing practices.
However, books I recommend are: Conversations Worth Having by Jackie Stavros and Cheri Torres, Dare to Lead by Brene Brown, Rebel Ideas by Matthew Syed and Think Like a Tree by Sarah Spencer.
What do you like about being a coach?
What I love about coaching is helping people explore their potential and inner resourcefulness, to see life from a different perspective and achieve goals in the areas of their life that really matter. It’s the “a-ha” moments when a client discovers or learns something new about themselves or a solution that moves them forward to where they want to be.
On a geeky level, I’m fascinated by what makes people tick and the neuroscience of how our brains work!
Exploring clients’ strengths and what they do uniquely well can be very rewarding, as well as understanding the importance our values play in the everyday decisions and life-changing moments in our lives. It’s always lovely to hear when clients have progressed into new roles or achieved a breakthrough in their life.
What is less pleasant?
Sometimes, clients are not ready to explore why they’re getting in the way of their own progress and this can mean taking a look in the mirror which can be uncomfortable. So, we have to agree that coaching may not be right for them right now.
As coaches, we also have to look at ourselves in the mirror regularly and that can sometimes be uncomfortable too! It’s often in those uncomfortable moments that we learn the most.
What is one life lesson you try to live by?
No challenge, no change. Change is inevitable, just look at the world we’re currently living in. As Darwin said, it’s not survival of the fittest but survival of the most adaptable. Some of the most uncomfortable decisions in my own life have led to wonderful things. I also believe that everyone deserves the chance to reach their potential. Whether it’s fear of public speaking or having that difficult conversation, sometimes, stepping out of our comfort zone can lead to real change.
What do you wish people knew about coaching?
We are whole human beings born with all the resources we need. We just need to unlock them. Coaching should be a positive experience with enough stretch to, sometimes, help you achieve more than you thought possible.
It’s a bit like giving your mind a workout at the gym and I often liken coaching to doing a Couch to 5K – it’s about moving you forward to where you want to go.
Do you have a favourite client testimonial or particular success story?
It’s difficult to choose a favourite so I’ve sneakily chosen two:
“The coaching experience with Jane was very positive and I felt that she understood my issues and wanted to actively work with me on them. Jane quickly turned the issues into goals that I could expect to achieve in the six sessions and this helped me to focus. We reviewed the goals on the last session and it was possible to see the progress I had made during our time together. Jane was friendly, open, engaging and really encouraging. She helped me to see what my skills and abilities are, to separate thoughts from facts and to let go of what was not serving me.” - NHS Head of Digital Transformation
“Jane was incredible, very genuine and able to guide everything so well. Very knowledgeable and I have never felt so comfortable and relaxed with a therapist/coach like I was with her. Very inspiring."