How did I get here?
I trained as a Business Psychologist and went straight into a graduate scheme at a psychometrics and talent management firm. That was a brilliant grounding in all things consulting, training, coaching and geeky stats!
I learnt how psychometric tests are built, and how to use them in all aspects of the employee lifecycle, and I discovered my love of facilitation and coaching. A few years later, I was having an integrity crisis: here I was advising mega businesses on how to do things I had never implemented myself.
How to run a leadership development programme, how to improve your recruitment process, how to shift the management culture…. I knew the theories and tools, but had never actually embedded them myself.
I coach, train, consult and speak on personal effectiveness, people management and leadership.
That covers a broad range of things, from relationship-building and difficult conversations, to being inclusive and recruiting more objectively. As a business psychologist, my focus is on bringing research and best practice insights to life at work.
In other words, getting super pragmatic. Now as a writer too, I am sharing the most useful tips and tools I’ve picked up over the past 20 years, to help people think more effectively and achieve the things they set out to do.
My in-house experience
And so, I made the move in-house, taking a role to manage a new talent program for a company of four brands and over 19,000 staff.
In my time there, I led projects on performance management, executive coaching, culture change, aligning learning across brands, improving talent mobility, developing business partners, assessing and developing future leaders… it was just the experience I needed to test out what I knew. A baptism of fire!
Now I had the experience I needed to be a more effective consultant, I returned to my first love. The joy of working with different businesses every day, learning how they tick and finding ways to make good practice land.
I say good practice, because I rarely find that best practice fits. We’ll explore it together, seeing how best practice has worked in other firms and what is feasible, then usually take the aspects that are most useful and easily adapted to fit here, in this particular business and culture.
It is this process of learning and researching, so that I know what I’m talking about, then sharing that with clients, exploring what works and finding a way to embed something useful, that I love. Whether that’s an organisation-wide project or a 1:1 coaching conversation.
Over the past ten years at Totem, I have built a client list I am so proud of, including KFC, Dyson, Specsavers, Discovery, Kantar, Royal London, and various global law firms and banks.
As Your Coach
I blend coaching, mentoring and being a sounding board, according to what you need in each meeting, and in each moment of that meeting. That means you’ll be listened to, heard, given space to reflect, asked questions to challenge your thinking, and if useful, I’ll share ideas with you too. The important question to start with is, what do you want to gain from coaching? Find out more at work with me.
"Helen has a lovely down to earth approach and is always very patient with us. Our business is fast paced and Helen recognises this and adapts to change quickly to match our requirements. Always professional but also enjoys a giggle with us too."
Retail HR Director
"Helen is the calm you need in the eye of the storm. Always there to listen, understand, be a great sounding board and then respond with action. She is incredibly pragmatic and supportive – everything you want from a consultant and a coach."
Global Head of TA
"Helen is an outstanding coach. She cuts right through the noise and asks those crucial questions that make you leave the session with the answers and direction you were hoping to find. I would highly recommend working with her."
Founder of Dance Like Nobody’s Watching
"Helen cuts through to the core of an issue and helps anyone work through to a solution. That inspires great confidence in us working with the her and her team, as we can see that Helen understands our business and has credibility at all levels."
Director of Talent Acquisition Kantar