Releasing potential in individuals, teams & organisations

I’m passionate about using my knowledge and skills to help people and organisations to be the best that they can be… curious?!

Why not take a moment to browse below and if you are interested in finding out more about Coaching, the Myers-Briggs personality assessment (MBTI) or any of the Personal and Team Development Workshops, I’d be delighted to chat with you!

Ruth McLaren Consulting

Established in June 2012

It grew out of the vision I’d held for many years to find a way of drawing together all the learning & development opportunities I’d had throughout my own career and “bottle them” into my dream job!  What is that “dream job”?! Well, I’m driven by the belief that every one of us has potential … I’ve worked with some amazing leaders who have seen potential in me and helped me to realise it (thank you!!) but that’s not everyone’s experience. So my “dream job” is one where I can use all my skills and knowledge to inspire, motivate and support individuals and teams to reach their own potential.

As an independent Coach, Facilitator & MBTI Practitioner, the most rewarding part of my job is the opportunity to work closely with such a wide range of people from all walks of life and from a whole variety of organisations! Whether it be NHS, charities, local councils, universities, small independent businesses, private sector, chief executives, directors, medical/nursing staff, youth leaders, ministers, church leaders or private clients…. It has been an incredible journey and a privilege to support so many individuals and teams so far!

If you’re interested in finding out more about my previous career and qualifications follow the link below

Coaching

“Coaching is the art of facilitating the performance, learning and development of another” – Myles Downey, Effective Coaching

The International Institute of Coaching (IIC) describes personal coaching as “a collaborative relationship, solution-focussed, results-oriented, systematic and enlightening process in which the coach facilitates the growth of the client in many areas of their personal life.”   The IIC describes corporate/business or team coaching in a similar way but emphasises “the specific remit of the coach is to work with an employee to achieve improved business results, improved business performance and/or operational effectiveness.”

I focus on coaching for improved performance either on an individual or team level.  I use a professional coaching framework known as the GROW model, and also base my approach on Tim Gallwey’s concept of:

Potential minus Interference is equal to Performance (P – I = P)

“Interference” comes in many forms… my role as a coach is to help you minimise the interference that is standing in the way of you realising your full potential and enhancing your performance.

I offer one-to-one and team coaching to support clients in their personal and/or professional lives.  If you can answer “Yes” to the following points, then coaching may well be the perfect option to support you in achieving what you’d like to achieve!

  • You are serious about making changes
  • You are prepared to accept feedback
  • You are willing to try new ideas
  • You are willing to acknowledge thoughts, feelings and actions that are proving self-defeating
  • Where your employer is funding the coaching programme, you recognise the value they are investing in your personal development

I will always develop a package of coaching based on your individual needs, incorporating a range of professional tools and techniques as appropriate (ie: MBTI). I am committed to creating a safe and confidential environment in which clients can deepen their understanding of self, and explore the challenges and opportunities surrounding their goals.  By actively listening and asking searching questions, I will challenge limiting beliefs, build confidence and self-esteem, and help clients discover the answers for themselves…. finding answers from within means that a client is far more likely to take ownership over the solutions and the results.  Further information is available to download in “The Coaching Experience : What you need to know”.  I am fully committed to The Coaching Academy’s “Code of Ethics” which you can download below.

Testimonials

Ruth’s talents as a leadership coach lie in her warm and engaging personality, integrity, passion and vision, which allowed me to reveal and unravel my inner fears and weaknesses as I embarked on a new role in my career, and enabled me to develop a deepened sense of self-awareness. By gently pushing me beyond my comfort level, Ruth has led me to a greater understanding of my own actions, and those of others, and guided me to improve my relationships with people, professionally and personally. I feel equipped with skills and strategies to tackle the new roles in my career and, more importantly, the confidence to believe I can achieve my goals. I truly feel that this has been a life-changing experience and will continue to strive to be the best person I can be.

Consultant Paediatric Oncologist

I can’t quite believe that in just two coaching sessions we got as far as we did! Thanks to your skill at guiding me through my thoughts, I’ve been able to reflect on some deeply personal ideas in a way that has helped me have a much clearer view of myself professionally, but about my personal life. I didn’t expect that at all, but I know those two sessions are going to be fundamental for me for years to come, like part of the foundations of a new way of working and being.

(NHS Research Manager, Yorkshire)

I have found my coaching sessions with Ruth extremely helpful.   She has the unique ability to get to the root of the problem and helps you work towards a solution and develop a ‘better’ version of yourself.  Ruth works in partnership with you and helps you develop various tools to equip you for the future.  I have realised that there are no ‘magic’ solutions to challenges in life.  Everything you need is already within you.  Ruth helps you locate and develop those personal resources to overcome challenges in your own way. After every session, I always felt better and clearer about how to approach the future. Everyone should have the opportunity to work with Ruth!

(Senior Manager, NHS Bristol)

Ruth coached me through the writing of an application for an NHS leadership programme. She was able to quickly grasp what I needed and skilfully help me to articulate the essence of my leadership and management style in a way that was genuine and real.  Through coaching with Ruth she has enabled me to gain a far greater understanding of the impact of ‘change’ on me personally as well as teams and organisations.  I was able to make sense of what was going on, my role within it and my goals.  She helped me to understand my place, my values and regain a sense of purpose and self-worth at a very difficult time of transition and uncertainty.  I had many ‘light bulb’ moments.  Many ‘penny dropping’ moments.

(Senior Research Manager, NHS)

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is the world’s most popular personality assessment “tool”, and is used extensively across private and public sector organisations, as well as by individuals. It provides a robust foundation for life-long personal development, using a constructive, flexible and liberating framework for understanding individual differences and strengths.

Insights from MBTI reveal how we see and interact with the world, our motivations and the motivations of others. This creates a strong foundation for personal growth and development, underpinning enhanced personal effectiveness.

MBTI provides an excellent basis to support individuals who may be undertaking a series of coaching sessions, and is also highly effective when used as part of a team’s development “journey”. I offer one-to-one or group MBTI feedback sessions…. have a browse at the MBTI Step I and Step II leaflets for more detail on what the “tool” can offer you or your organisation.

Testimonials

Using MBTI Step II as a platform, Ruth facilitated a programme of development for our senior leadership team.  Over a series of three two-day workshops Ruth was able to work in depth with each manager as well as facilitating some enlightening group work that gave us all an enhanced self-awareness.  It also brought us greater understanding of our strengths and weaknesses as a team that has had a lasting benefit in how we work together.  This has guided our decision making especially when recruiting new staff with fresh skills sets.

MBTI Step II provides an excellent platform for leadership development.  Ruth is skilful and adaptable in her planning and delivery.  She is highly perceptive and can respond quickly to the needs of the group and is confident in allowing the group to explore ideas and be creative whilst not losing sight of the main agenda.  The sessions were highly motivating and left us feeling confident and positive at a time of great uncertainty.  Ruth helped us to see that good leaders have to know themselves, value themselves and show that they genuinely value others.

Senior Research Manager, NHS Bristol

I engaged Ruth to facilitate a teambuilding programme for my staff.  Using MBTI Step I, she was able to carefully steer the mixed ability groups to a much better understanding of themselves and their colleagues.  She brought the subject alive in an engaging yet relaxed  and highly participative series of sessions that saw the team share a mutual understanding and sense of purpose.

(NHS Research Network Manager, Cheltenham)

Ruth’s approach enabled our new management team to explore, understand and appreciate our individual ways of working (using MBTI Step II).  By challenging us to consider how we would apply this increased awareness to real situations, Ruth helped us build a framework which continues to shape our organisation and enable individuals and teams to flourish.

Our session with Ruth was inspiring and educational at the same time. She was great in facilitating our discussions and consistently asked the right thought-provoking questions throughout the 2-day session. I would definitely work with her again and recommend her services to anyone looking to do some team building or team development.

Ruth was a real pleasure to work with.  She is incredibly knowledgeable about MBTI and really brought the session to life by providing real-life examples of its application from her previous experience.  I believe we are in a much better place as a team as a result of Ruth’s guidance.

(Senior Management Team, National Cancer Research Institute, London)

Development Workshops

Team Development

 

“Team Development” is about supporting members of a team to become more than the sum of their individual parts, enabling individuals with complementary skills to achieve a common purpose.

As a starting point for team development, I recommend the use of MBTI (see MBTI section for further details).  By truly understanding ourselves, our own learning ‘journey’ can begin…. and by understanding others, our relationships in our personal and working lives can be transformed.  MBTI Step II is particularly effective in a team environment in terms of providing in-depth insights into the different preferences and styles of individual team members.

Each Team Development Workshop is tailored to the needs of the client and is dependent on the issues confronting the team at any given time. Previous clients have worked with me prior to major restructuring within their organisation, focusing on supporting the team through “change”; others may choose to hold a workshop as a way of supporting newly established teams; mature teams may use the opportunity to look deeper into their decision-making styles, conflict management, or how they communicate as an organisation.

I’ve already talked about P – I = P in the coaching session above…. It is just as important when it comes to Team Development!! The level of ‘Interference’ within a team or group will vary depending on the number of individuals involved, the relationship between the individuals, communication styles and general team/group dynamics. Using coaching and facilitation techniques, I work with individual team members, and with the team as a whole, to help identify the ‘Interference’ and eradicate it as much as possible, supporting the team to ‘Perform’ at their best, using their combined ‘Potential’.  In other words, to achieve their goals!  Here’s what some of my clients have said about their Team Development “experience”!

 

Presenting a more confident “YOU”

 

I have been “treading the boards” for around 25 years, appearing in a range of plays, musicals and educational/training videos across Scotland.  Everything learned from the craft of stage appearances has given me invaluable insights in the day-to-day “stage” that we can find ourselves on both in our personal and professional lives.  You’d be surprised at the number of transferable skills there are from the world of “acting” to the roles that we “play” in life! If you’re interested in heightening your own “performance” or just generally building self-confidence in how you present yourself, perhaps the “Presenting a more confident YOU” workshop would be a good starting place!

Previous clients have used their learning from this workshop to give them more confidence with job interviews, pitching for investment funding, giving presentations or speeches, chairing meetings, promoting their own businesses.

Testimonials

This week I have two great opportunities to try out the advice you gave me about how I carry myself when I feel that bungee-cord of self-deprecation pulling me back. I’ll now be giving a very different style of presentation to the one I would have given before we spoke. I’m taking a risk with myself, having the confidence to present my way of thinking, not wondering what they want me to be, because that’s what I want them to see. It’ll be professional, confident, full of ideas and pictures, images and if I get it right it’ll leave them wanting more.  On the day I’ll be trying out the preparation routine we talked about so I’m ready to go.  And you know what? I actually feel the sort of nerves you feel before you go on stage, which takes me back to my school days! Normally I’d be nervous of whether they would like me, but I know my script. I know the atmosphere I want to create. I know what I want to do. Thank you Ruth… you’ve done a very good thing for me and I’ll always be grateful.

(NHS Research Manager, Yorkshire)

Our department undertook a Team Building day with Ruth. Overall the team thoroughly enjoyed the experience & the in-depth knowledge that Ruth was able to offer to such a wide & varied group of personalities. Most staff were very apprehensive of attending a ‘team building’ day but to their surprise found the day to be informative, fun & worthwhile.

(The Christie School of Oncology, Christie Hospital, Manchester)

I found the presentation tips Ruth gave to us on the workshop were invaluable. I will certainly be acting upon them.   Her advice to me regarding my height, and how to see it as a massive positive when presenting, gave me a confidence boost.   Her idea that I would be able to present in a commanding fashion, using my height to hold an audience, made me feel inspired that I could do it! I do seem to have developed a new drive to succeed this year, setting goals I intend to achieve, and I feel this is due in no small part to Ruth’s course.

(Clinical Trials Administrator, Royal Oldham Hospital)

I found the presentation skills section of the course to be quite enlightening, whether you consider yourself shy beyond measure or a natural confident speaker I was surprised by how much difference even a few nuances can make, or how things I’d never considered can have quite a large impact on an intended audience. I myself have never struggled with speaking and presenting, however even in this brief workshop I picked up some excellent tips and ideas that will allow me to improve and refine my presentation skills. It is certainly a course I would like to attend in a more fully realised version.

(Data Manager, Castle Hospital, Hull)

Many thanks for your work yesterday, I thought it was excellent. I found your sessions really interesting and enlightening, I believe the businesses did too. I am sure you will have helped improve their presentations for next week and potentially increased their chance of success. Well done. I hope we can work together again in the future.

(Business Growth Advisor, Perth & Kinross Council: The Angel’s Share – growing business together)

I just wanted to say thanks for your help … my “pitch” to the group of potential Business Investors at The Angel’s Share session went really well and I was very happy with my presentation – the trick of leaving the nervous “me” in the seat worked well!  I felt much more confident and self-assured after the session last week. I’m meeting one of the investors about mentoring, which is what I was really after. Thanks again and great to have met you.

(Small Business Owner, Perthshire)

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Ruth McLaren Consulting