James Chisholm – A profile of a coach

1. Tell us a little about when and how you became a coach.

After many years in increasingly senior corporate leadership roles, I made a career change that was ultimately very difficult for me personally. So I took a break from my full-time executive career and began some coaching work in the latter part of 2019. This has become my main career focus as I have found it to be very fulfilling. It almost feels like my coaching career has taken the element of leadership that I always enjoyed the most and made it the main part of my working life.

2. What do you love about what you do and why do you do it?

I love the connection with my clients in a relationship which can help them draw on their own experience and capabilities in deliberate and creative ways to make their working and broader lives more rewarding. Witnessing the progress my clients make in their lives is incredibly enjoyable!

3. What was your work experience before you started coaching and how does this experience make you a better coach?

My work experience is in general management in organisations such as Honeywell, Spotless and The Plenary Group. For many years this involved working across countries and cultures with diverse groups of people. Listening to people to truly understand their thoughts and behaviours was essential in these positions. This skill is clearly critical in my work as a coach. Additionally, my leadership roles were very attuned to identifying, attracting, developing and retaining talented people. This involved coaching and mentoring many different people in a wide range of circumstances. I also believe that the struggles in the tough stages of my career are rich in learnings, particularly as I help clients navigate their own challenges.

4. Why have you joined Peeplcoach as a Master Coach?

I was extremely fortunate to have had a great deal of leadership development in my senior leadership roles (including executive coaching). However, I was always frustrated with the small number of people who could ever be placed in such programs due to a ‘one size fits all’ model of coaching, which was far too expensive to provide to many layers of leadership. I was attracted to Peeplcoach as it directly resolves that frustration with highly effective, appropriate and affordable coaching for all levels of leadership, from supervisor to CEO.

5. What motto do you live by?

I don’t live by a motto!

6. What impact do you think coaching can have on a coachee?

Without being too grandiose about it, I actually know from being coached and from coaching others that the impact can be profound and positive, both personally and professionally. Having an independent, empathetic, experienced and qualified listener and supporter is a valuable gift for those willing to invest their time, thoughts and emotions into a coaching relationship.

7. If you could give your coachees one piece of advice that would make them better leaders and more successful in their careers, what would that be?

To quote my executive coach from many years ago: ‘People will put up with almost any amount of “what” if they understand the “why” behind it.’

8. What are your qualifications? Years of experience? Industry background?

I studied psychology many years ago in my first degree, then moved into a corporate leadership career for the next 25 years whilst completing a Masters of Commerce. More recently I completed my accreditation in Life Styles Inventory (LSI) and am enrolled in an executive coaching course.