Getting to know FlexCoach Kathryn Donaldson
1.What is your career history?
Originally from the UK, I spent 10 years at US Investment Bank Morgan Stanley, initially as a consultant before being promoted to Vice President leading the Technology Training Team. I subsequently led the Graduate Development Program and New Employee Learning & Development. Whilst leading the Technology Training Team, it was a proud moment when the team won a First Choice Award for excellence in client service. In 2009 I studied an Executive Coaching Diploma that paved the way for me to begin coaching and develop a portfolio career affording flexibility around my young family. I consulted for Barclays Corporate, first as Interim Head of Learning & Development, then as a Consultant Project Manager for the Chief Operating Officer. At the same time, I began working as a Career Coach for leading UK Consultants Position Ignition. I relocated to Brisbane in 2013 and became one of Australia’s first Gallup Certified Strengths Coaches. In 2015 I launched Growing Talent, and I now enjoy partnering with clients to help them realize their career and life goals.
2.What was your motivation to become a coach?
I’ve always had a fascination with performance, and how individuality impacts drive and the ability to achieve goals. As a child I experienced success as an athlete under the guidance of an inspirational coach who has unfortunately since passed away. He was skilled at understanding what motivated me, and his coaching helped me to build confidence and a belief that winning was possible. As I look back I realize what a difference his coaching made not only to me but also to many others. This experience helped me to appreciate the impact of a good coach and piqued my interest in personal development.
3.Do you have any particular areas of coaching expertise?
As a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, I adopt a strengths development approach in much of my work. What I love about strengths coaching is that it focuses on developing our innate talents rather than our weaknesses. It’s such a positive approach to development and works on developing what is right with people not what is wrong. Research shows that our greatest opportunity for growth, engagement and performance improvement is through a strengths development approach. I work with individuals at all levels of their career to cultivate self-awareness, and build the confidence, and capability to take the steps needed to define and achieve success.
4.What do you love most about coaching?
I just love helping, it’s a real privilege to partner with my clients. Every person is unique, I might be guiding a client to define and set a plan to achieve goals, or posing a question that sparks a light bulb moment! These are magical moments that can potentially lead to a lifetime of positive change. It’s wonderful to be able to contribute.
5.How do you define success?
I think success is personal and means something different to each of us. For me success means living a life with passion and purpose, and making a positive difference in the lives of those around me - my family, my friends and of course my clients. One of my core values is growth, so I feel successful when I am pushing the boundaries to continually learn and grow through life’s experiences. It’s important for everyone to take the time to reflect on what success means to them personally, only then can you put in place an actionable plan to achieve it.
6.What is your vision for women in the workplace?
I would like every woman to have the opportunity to achieve her career potential. I think so many women compromise and feel frustration and wonder about what they may have