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Women’s Peer Coaching Group

 

Personal and Professional Development

for Women. Next group starts in 2024. Stay tuned.

We need more women in leadership. And yet we are struggling to get there.

Capable, strong women are losing out on opportunities 

As women become more senior in organisations they can find themselves increasingly isolated. As many organisations struggle to achieve gender balance, senior women will often be in a minority in meetings.

Coupled with this, complexity and challenge are ever present in senior leadership. Herminia Ibarra describes senior leaders as experiencing an authenticity paradox – how to be both authentic and contextually relevant. This can be more challenging for women in leadership.

Join a small group of women, at a similar stage in your career, to explore how to lead well in the presence of these challenges and to move to your next level of career and leadership.

These groups, facilitated by Jean Balfour, will run for 6-months and meet for 2-hours each month. Members bring their own topics for discussion and with a structured process will work towards gaining insights and creating actions. The group provides an opportunity to build a support network with women across sectors and locations. 

Why peer coaching?

 

Peer coaching groups create a safe environment to enable exploration of issues where there is no ‘cut and dry’ answer and to help create plans for action. Hearing others stories helps us learn about our own stories, and learning from insights people have into our stories is powerful. 

Participants discuss topics relating to business challenges or strategy, personal development, career questions, how to overcome workplace bias or how to lead during times of crisis.

Why Jean?

Jean ran her first women’s assertiveness training in the 1990’s. Since then she has been coaching and training senior women to support them in achieving their career goals whilst enjoying their working lives. She has seen many women reach CEO and executive committee positions with some becoming chairperson of the board. She has also worked with women who have chosen different paths, entrepreneurship or choosing to be a full time caregiver. Her focus is on helping each woman find the best career path for her at this stage of her life. 

Jean has run women’s leadership programmes in financial services, the public sector, health care and open access programmes. 

Jean is a Master Certified Coach – with deep coaching experience in 1 to 1 and group coaching. She runs a coach training company and has been a senior leader herself and member of the executive committee of a large organisation.

One of the women’s group Jean started is still meeting 23 years on – find your own community and support by joining one of her groups today. 

Membership Pathway

This Programme includes:

  • 30 minute call with Jean Balfour to explore goals for the group
  • 6 x 2 hour group coaching sessions
  • Teaching on topics on leadership and career development
  • 2 x 1-to-1 coaching sessions (fee option 2)
  • Reading suggestions
  • Weekly journaling prompts
  • Private whatsapp group
  • Access to a community for sharing and connecting with women across all the groups

Members:

Members of the group will be women leaders or aspiring leaders. The members of each group will be carefully matched to reflect similar career stages and to ensure there is no commercial conflict. This will enable participants to share their opportunities and challenges in a safe and confidential environment.

Each group is strictly limited to 8 participants

    How will the programme run?

    Each session will include

    • A topic of focus agreed in advance by the group. Jean will provide input on the topic and questions to stimulate conversation.
    • Individual time in the ‘hot seat’. 2  – 3 participants in each session will bring a challenge to the group for coaching and guidance. With the group’s help we will help the member think it through. This will be supported by a structured coaching process and guided by Jean.

    Between sessions there will be further opportunity to connect in our community as well as reading suggestions and journaling prompts. 

    All our programmes are run virtually using Zoom. We require all participants to be on camera during live workshops/groups. We suggest you are working from a computer and are in a confidential setting.

    The times and dates of the meeting will be agreed by group members at the first meeting. 

    Benefits of Joining

     

    • Increased confidence in succeeding in leadership
    • Building a peer network 
    • Receive feedback on strategies and plans
    • Ability to share challenges and opportunities and receive feedback
    • Gaining diverse perspectives on similar issues
    • Shared learning and personal growth
    • Building of skill in key areas
    • Goal setting and mutual accountability

    Membership Investment

    Learn more

     

    Jean will be hosting one more online information session before applications close. Register here to join in and learn more or ask questions. If you are unable to this information session please feel free to contact us, we are happy to help!

    What it’s like to work with Jean

    There are several dimensions in working at a very senior management level which make for a very complex career pathway.  The sense of isolation felt at Director Level is very real. Jean became a sounding board and source of support for me during times of uncertainty. I was able to dissect problems and issues in an objective, analytical manner, taking the sting out of what sometimes felt like a personal crisis and realigning it with the bigger picture.  Jean provided a safe place to test thoughts and aspirations in relation to a number of challenging restructures and reorganisations.

    Jean offered an objective and supportive place for discussions both during and after a difficult period.  As a result I was able to regain my resilience and energy in order to move forward.

    Jean challenged and encouraged me to firstly, broaden my thinking (think the unthinkable) and then to focus on what I wanted

    – Managing Director

    As a coach, Jean is excellent. Since the sessions began, I have found that I am better able to deal with the issues that I identified as problem areas. Jean’s style is to make me speak about the issue and then think critically. She does not offer me readymade solutions but helps me to examine the underlying aspects – Jean often throws back my own questions at me and asks me to give my thoughts, reasoning, impressions etc. This has led to a lot of reflection and has facilitated more self awareness – I see why those issues bother me and the answers/solutions are often mine. Therefore, the changes as I make them are meaningful and very positive.
    It has led to a huge increase in my self-confidence and also it has made me reach solutions to problems that I thought were insurmountable.
    She offers me insight, information and even explanations of certain behaviour patterns (“parent-child-adult”) that help me understand better the situations I am dealing with.
    Perhaps one of the most valuable aspects of coaching with Jean has been that I feel empowered and give my best in my work and in my personal life. 

    – Senior Leader

    My time with Jean has guided me to address and resolve short term crises in a timely fashion which otherwise would almost certainly have grown into unresolveable issues. Jean’s advice has enabled me to grow and develop productive relationships with my colleagues, some of whom I would never have been able to understand and find triggers to bond with without Jean’s support.

    Our discussions have prompted a lot of self understanding (and subsequent self reflection) on my part, which has made me more confident about the person I now am and made me more focused on where I want to get to career-wise.

    Jean’s guidance has made me better understand my own trigger points and develop appropriate responses to impending stressful or difficult situations. The resulting confidence has meant that I am more comfortable pushing myself out of my comfort zone than ever before, and this has opened up new and bigger opportunities to develop productive relationships and deliver meaningful objectives.

    The resulting confidence has also made me better able to compromise –  I am now clearer about where the priorities in my personality type should be, and hence I find it easier to let go of less important things. It turns out work is less stressful and emotionally draining when you can do that! Who knew?!

    Our work together has made me realise that I do have a value in the workplace when I feel sometimes like I am juggling a zillion things and doing all of them badly (or at least, not up to my own slightly obsessively exacting standards) – even though being a mum is the biggest thing that has happened to me, Jean helped me realise that neither that nor my daughter define who I am or who I want to be.

    – Senior Executive

    Coaching gave me focussed insight into my own specific leadership issues. It was great to have an opportunity to have tailored advice and support in challenging situations. Coaching was just that – enabling me to perform at a higher level and fulfil my potential Coaching has made a demonstrable difference in the way I interact with my team, and in the way my team interacts with others. ean is a great coach – she listens, understands, and importantly, tells it how it is.

    After a coaching session, I always came away feeling more in balance, and ready to tackle the next big challenge.

    – Clinical Academic Surgeon

    Coaching gave me focussed insight into my own specific leadership issues. It was great to have an opportunity to have tailored advice and support in challenging situations. Coaching was just that – enabling me to perform at a higher level and fulfil my potential Coaching has made a demonstrable difference in the way I interact with my team, and in the way my team interacts with others. ean is a great coach – she listens, understands, and importantly, tells it how it is.

    After a coaching session, I always came away feeling more in balance, and ready to tackle the next big challenge.

    – Clinical Academic Surgeon

    Jean was really great, very measured and clear in her approach with me.

    I think, for the first time I realized that I hadn’t really addressed my achilles heel but merely but it a box and shelved. I probably still do to a certain extent but now I am aware that I do it. 

    Looking at the different behaviours was really important. I hadn’t seen that before so being able to acknowledge that and then see what direction I would need to take to manage helped. It allowed me to recognise behaviour and then to plan.

     Although we met a number of times I was able to see over time – almost the dawning! – how this had had an effect on me. I’m not saying that I will always be able to be in control but I do feel that I have the knowledge that will enable me to bring situations into control.

    – Senior Leader

    Jean has a remarkable way of asking just the right questions and helping me clarify ideas in my mind

    – Hospital Clinician

    Jean provided effective and much appreciated guidance in my career transition process. She was an insightful listener, who understood to help me cut through the complexity of my situation. She competently pointed out the different levels of decision making and respective underlying conflicts involved and held up a mirror that allowed me to see my situation and options more clearly.

    – Director, Financial Services

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