In short, my professional experience, education and family legacy are what bolster my skills as a coach. I am also a member of the International Coaching Federation, the main accreditation body for coaches. This means that my training has been approved by the organisation and that I abide strictly by the ICF Code of ethics.
[see also: about Leslie V.]
My coaching is built on extensive professional experience as a trainer, educator, curriculum developer and workshop facilitator for businesses and universities in Australia, the US, Europe and Asia. In my most recent university role at Queensland University of Technology, I was a member of the Academic Board as the sole representative for the educators in my department. Before launching my private coaching practice, I spent years identifying the skill and performance gaps of students, educators, marketing personnel etc. and actively coaching them to success. Throughout that time, I also conducted many professional development workshops related to the use of ICT in language education and goal achievement. In a past role at RMIT Training/RMIT University in Melbourne, I designed and trained staff (domestically and abroad) in the use of an eLearning platform as part of the curriculum development team.
I hold a Master’s Degree in Applied Linguistics from the University of Newcastle. You may be familiar with the concept of NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming), a popular coaching method which focuses on how our use of verbal and non-verbal language impacts our beliefs and actions. Applied Linguistics is a far more in-depth approach to understanding the intricacies of human communication. Because of my deep connection with language, I do use NLP in my practice, but it is just ONE of the many tools in my coaching arsenal. One particular strength I’ve developed through my linguistics background is that I can immediately identify the best communication style to use with my clients that will lead to solid results!
I hold a Cert IV in Life Coaching from the Life Coaching Institute of Australia, which is a registered training organisation providing courses recognised and approved by the Australian government. The program comprised units of study focusing on methodologies used in coaching, psychology, counselling and other therapeutic practices. As part of my ongoing professional development, I regularly take part in practice sessions held alongside students of LCIA’s sister-school, the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors.
My immediate family members are all in helping professions. My father was a mentor throughout his engineering career and now runs his own engineering consultancy in the US. My sister has been a social worker for many years and is now making the transition to become a psychotherapist. My husband, former president of the Australian Parkour Association, has been a student and teacher of philosophy and now teaches Applied Positive Psychology. Our commitment to ongoing examination of the behaviours and perceptions of humans is so strong, in fact, that we named our daughter after the philosophical concept of Qualia: raw sensory perceptions held by individuals that cannot be measured from person to person (think ‘is your Red like my Red?’)
I work with you to build a tailored curriculum for living a more fulfilling life. My practice involves a lot more than telling you to ‘simply manifest your dreams!’ My practice is grounded in reality and when we work together, I will expect you to do the actual work required to meet your objectives. 🙂
First and foremost, I listen. I listen without judgement, assumptions or interruptions. I ask strategic questions of various types to help connect the dots between your words, ideas and behaviours in order to identify factors that may be blocking your progress in life or towards a particular goal. I also closely monitor your physical cues as you speak and reflect any useful observations back to you in a way only a trained outside observer can.
I use a variety of coaching approaches to help you identify barriers to your goal achievement and use this information to work with you to create a dynamic curriculum document to keep track of your progress. This curriculum includes action plans, supplementary materials and homework. Action plans are documents which outline the steps you will take over agreed-upon periods of time. For Vanguard package clients, I also utilise my demonstrated curriculum development skills to create a custom worksheet after each session, further facilitating your completion of tasks we’ve agreed upon .
I will check in with you between sessions to see how you are progressing. If you are not meeting your targets by the agreed-upon dates, I will work with you to get to the bottom of what is holding you back.
Are you just going to shout at me and tell me what to do like those self-help gurus I’ve seen in the media?
Absolutely not! My coaching methods do not involve breaking clients down to build them back up again. I do not have a goal of making you cry or hate yourself just to turn around and implant a belief that working with me is the only way for you to feel good about yourself again. This would be totally against my ethics and those of the International Coaching Federation.
I actively distance myself from ‘gurus’ or programs that operate in this way. These tactics cause me great concern because:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
– There is often inadequate screening of participants for underlying mental health concerns which may be exacerbated by these methods. This is also one of the reasons I took it upon myself to become certified in Mental Health First Aid . If someone comes to me exhibiting severe mental distress, I will provide them with the protection they need ahead of treatment by an appropriate medical/mental health professional.
– Ethical coaching does not involve bullying clients into following directives. It is a back and forth exchange wherein the coach should take the position of an active listener and questioner, not a lecturer or dominator. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
– Ethical coaching does not involve making a client dependent on the coach. Some programs do this to keep making money from clients, with repeated warnings that if you should not return to the program or ascend to the next level, you will be missing out on the ultimate enlightenment. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
That’s not me, folks! When my clients re-sign with me, it is because our relationship is still a fit. No bullying. No manipulation. No false urgency. Total transparency is my jam. Everyone is awesome in their own unique ways and my intention is to help clients recognise this within themselves so that they can call upon their internal and external resources to achieve any goal they desire 😁.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
If you don’t know what your goals are, you are in very good company! Many people who seek out coaching don’t know what it is they are lacking. Words like ‘stagnant’, ‘stuck’, ‘lost’, or ‘overwhelmed’ are often used by clients to describe their current situation. This is where I come in! See ‘what is it you actually do?’ for more info.
Watch my YouTube video on this subject here: Should you see a Life Coach or a Counselor?
While coaching and psychotherapy do have some common characteristics, they are quite different in practice. Rather than diagnosing mental health problems or working to heal from past trauma, coaching focuses on outlining action steps toward goal achievement. This means that most clients who seek out coaching are already at a suitable base level of functioning and simply wish to achieve ‘something more’ and get the most fulfilment they can out of life. It is not uncommon for clients to leave a coaching session feeling as if they have made more progress in one hour than they had in years of therapy or counselling.
This is not to imply that coaching is a superior approach for everyone. It is simply an illustration of the fact that it is possible for a helping relationship to be mismatched due to a lack of connection or understanding between the two parties involved. In short, sometimes you may think you need a therapist when what you really need is a coach! As a skilled coach, however, I will always refer you to a qualified therapist if your needs are beyond the scope of what coaching offers.
Yes. You can trust that anything you tell me will be kept strictly confidential. I will not share any details of our coaching sessions with anyone. Not your relatives, not your employer, or anyone else. To do so would be a violation of my own ethics as well as those of the International Coaching Federation, of which I am a member.
The only time I would break confidentiality is in the event that you tell me that you are planning to kill yourself or hurt someone else, or if I were subpoenaed by a court. In these situations, I would communicate my concerns to the appropriate authorities or provide any information required by law.
My general preference is to avoid voice-only coaching sessions unless we already have a an established coaching relationship. This is because I only want to give my clients my best work, which can only be done if we can see each other’s faces. So much communication is lost when body language cues are not available. With phone sessions, it may also be necessary to take additional steps to ensure good audio. Background noise is often a greater issue when relying solely on sound for communication. Phone coaching also invites distractions which can be avoided when video calling is used.
All that said, I will happily answer any initial questions you have about my services over the phone. I will also check in with you by phone between sessions if you prefer this method over video calling.
For online sessions, I use Zoom as a standard platform. That said, if your preferred platform is different, I am happy to oblige.
I do more than just coach you. I work with you to build a personal curriculum to live a more fulfilling life! Therefore, to get the most benefit out of my services, it is important to commit to an ongoing coaching relationship. You can see a breakdown of available coaching packages and pricing here.
The minimum period for my standard coaching packages is 4 months. Each package differs in the number and frequency of coaching sessions included as well as additional support offered.
I offer payment plans using Payadvantage.com, so you can get started on your journey and pay in fortnightly, monthly, or quarterly installments.
If you would like to customise a package to suit your needs (length of time, specific outcome, group coaching, etc) we can discuss this further.
Absolutely! In fact, I do not accept any form of payment without first conducting a free initial consultation.
In order to determine whether or not my services match your needs, it is essential to have a mutual understanding of what it is you hope to get out of coaching. I can answer your questions over the phone or online (Skype/Zoom), or we can arrange to meet at my office (Teneriffe, QLD) for a free initial consultation.
I hold sessions online and face-to-face at 91 Commercial Rd. Teneriffe, QLD
You can use my online booking form to choose a session that suits you. You will be able to choose an online or in-person session through the form. If booking an online session, you will automatically receive a Zoom link.
If the listed times do not suit you, you can submit an appointment request and we can arrange a time that works for you.
Also feel free to call/SMS me at +61491101424 to request an appointment or ask any questions you may have.
No, but you can refer them to me! I do not engage in ambush coaching or interventions. That means that whoever I work with must be a willing participant in the process and not someone who has been brought to see me against their will.
Parents please note: If you wish for your child to work with me, I will gladly talk to both of you about how I may be able to help them. However, if you do decide to enlist my services for your child after this initial discussion, they will be the ones I will cater to. In other words, it is important for you to understand and be comfortable with the fact that it is your child and not yourself who will become my client and be protected by my confidentiality policy. This understanding is crucial to encourage your child to speak openly and gain the most benefit from the coaching relationship.
I am certified in Mental Health First Aid. However, my services are not mental health services.
If you come to me for help and show signs of a serious mental illness or suicidal thoughts, I will refer you to an appropriate medical/mental health professional. It would be incompatible with my ethics and those of the International Coaching Federation to work with clients who are in danger of harming themselves or others. If, after a review by a mental health professional, it is determined (in writing) that coaching would be a helpful supplement to other treatment, then I will gladly work with you.
Please be wary of any coach (or anyone, for that matter) who tries to tell you that you can simply ‘live, laugh, love’ or ‘manifest’ your way out of a severe mental crisis.
I offer both in-person and online sessions.
in-person: We will meet at my private office at 91 Commercial Rd. Teneriffe, QLD. This is a quiet space, perfectly set up to speak openly and intimately about potentially challenging topics. This is not a room in my home, it is a space solely dedicated to coaching my face-to-face clients. I don’t hold sessions at cafes or similar, where we might be distracted by the noise of other patrons*. Meeting in public places also puts confidentiality at risk. When there is even a perceived risk of someone overhearing our conversation, it may be uncomfortable to make yourself vulnerable and share your intimate thoughts.
For me, it is extremely important that your information remain private. Anything you say in a session will not be shared with any other group or individual. The only time I would have to break confidentiality would be if you tell me that you are planning on hurting yourself, another person, or an animal. See also: Will everything I say remain confidential?
online: Are you in some far-away land but still want to work together? Or maybe you are in Brisbane, but you wish to fit sessions into a busy work/childcare/study schedule. Well, the good news is that I also conduct many coaching sessions via Zoom! If you have another video-calling platform with which you are more comfortable, I’m happy to adjust.
Now, you might be thinking, ‘Well, that’s all well and good, Leslie, but doesn’t everyone coach online these days? What’s the big deal?‘ I’m glad you asked! My online coaching is more than just a standard video call. My professional background includes extensive experience in training university educators in the use of online platforms and internet communication tools to connect with students and communities across the globe. In terms of what can go wrong on a video call, I’ve seen it all, and I’m always prepared with a backup plan in the face of technical issues so that none of your time is wasted trying to sort things out. More importantly, however, I know how to make the most out of a video session and the features available on Zoom.
Remember, whether you want to meet in-person or online, your first session is free. So, there’s nothing to lose and so much to gain!
*I do offer tea or coffee at every session, so don’t despair 😉