A Selection of Testimonials and Feedback
CEO of a Hospice
I am currently the CEO of a busy Hospice in the South East and have been the CEO of a number of other organisations. I want to provide a testimonial to acknowledge the outstanding work that Paulina has led me through as a coach - personal and business coaching psychologist.
I have undertaken Executive Coaching in the past but when a colleague recommended Paulina I emailed her saying I was interested in “coaching or something” and after a few sessions I confirmed that I wanted to work in an exploratory rather than structured way. A decision that was, for me, a little scary! As a middle aged man I am quite set in my ways, in many respects because they have worked for me over many years.
I had been struggling from a 'communication blip' which attracted a complaint, and though the complaint may itself had no or little validity, the issue did relate to something I thought I could usefully work on and thus benefit from. However, I had no real idea on how to address the issues it all highlighted.
Paulina enabled me to explore various layers of the issues and to find workable answers. The layers included: the impact of my communication style. Strategies for dealing with difficult conversations and relationships, primarily at work. An in-depth understanding of myself and my reactions to having ‘my buttons pressed’. The impact of my early history and life. I began to unpack and to explore experiences and see the impact on my current patterns of behaviour and the shape I took.
Working with Paulina help me resolve long standing issues and to create new patterns for me to develop, that enabled me to move forward in a more personally satisfying and desirable way. This work has changed my life – a statement I don’t make lightly. The work had resulted in significant changes to me and so has changed my life. I have better, more meaningful, conversations with many people at work and in my life generally.
I am, as a result of this work, more resilient, better equipped to deal with issues and I am often responding to others with more compassion and openness. I came to realise and use the importance and impact of boundaries; seeing they can be about all sorts of things and now I don’t take them for granted.
I feel the work with Paulina has given me many ‘gems’ that I can simply remember and recall from the work and I can use when appropriate. I was struck by this work being, for Paulina, like the air that she breathes. She makes it appear effortless and that allowed me to find new forms and shapes that define me better. It has been of great value and I know it will continue to be of value to me and all of those in my life.
January 2016 for work undertaking in 2013
“Identifying and realising how I approach work, has really helped me realise how I can better present myself. I learned to identify my skill base, which means I am much more aware of my ability....learning in small steps was really useful. Increased understanding helps me approach clients in a way I feel happier and more confident with and that is much more effective for my business. Time management has given me very practical benefits I am much better at setting boundaries. The benefit spills out into my personal life too.”
Paulina has been my life coach during a very stressful period. Intelligent, professional, skilful, discreet as only the really experienced can be; responsive and thoughtful.
I look forward to our sessions. I know I will gain insight, direction and calm; as well as a set of tools to navigate through the vagaries of an intense work and family life.
For me, I see Paulina as someone bestowed with magic, skilful and gifted, deep and compassionate. Talented at charting the human mind and heart. She is generous and nurturing, intelligent and discreet. Our meetings help guide me, help me recognise the patterns amongst the chaos of life, for what they are and not for what they appear to be.
I come away from our sessions, emboldened, invigorated and enriched and I am so grateful.
And just to finish - I find the way Paulina lives her own life an inspiration. The world is truly as wonderful as you want it to be!
2012 to 2016, work continuing.
Personal Client, Victoria, 2013 to 2016, ongoing.
Working with Paulina has been absolutely essential in developing my life, dreams and goals. I have no doubt at all that I would still be wondering loose and lost out there had I not stumbled across her on my journey. I now know exactly what I am meant to be doing and with her support and guidance I am doing it! I will be forever grateful for the help I have received and will most definitely be a lifelong client. Victoria .
Family Work: A West London Family (1) 2015
I can talk with my husband in a different, more understanding way, and I share appreciations with him. I am SO very proud of him opening up and participating in the sessions. I don’t get so frustrated and he is therefore not feeling so het up. I am trying to change the way I look at things, and I can see his point of view more. We’re not picking on each other anymore. The Daily Temperature reading (a communication structure) is helping me, I am more aware of how I speak with him and I am more understanding and patient.
It is so nice to have had someone who can word things differently/see things in a different light, it really helps to have someone to bounce back something to you in a different way. Sometimes I am in a situation thats trying me, and I hear a different perspective and I say “Thats Paulina”.
Slowing down lessens my frustration. This is a massive transferable benefit: a big part of being less impatient and het up. I hope it will transfer to other things and help with reducing my anger still more.
The work with us has been a godsend. I saw a lightbulb going on in my husband’s head. It’s been great to have things put in such a way that my husband can understand too.
I was going to give it three sessions, but I am glad we stuck at it. I am so glad you have come into our lives. It is as clear as a bell that if we (me and my husband) are better, then things are better for our daughter.
Family Work: A West London Family (2) 2015
As a family: the atmosphere is better and more settled.
New ways of communicating has really helped and as a couple this helped us get through a sticky patch.
Mother: The work has helped me learn to recognise how my anger may impact the kids, and I have learned tools to contain and handle my anger.
8 year old daughter: is happier, no longer tearfully talks about wanting not to live, is actively wanting to manage her feelings and manages her anger and jealousy better, has a better relationship with her little sister . She is handling friendship issues more confidently and without distress.
Father; has identified ways to re-balance strength in the family.
From the mother of an 8 year old child
Thank you so much for meeting with me and giving me an update on the sessions you did with Sofia and the work you did with the girls. I am happy to say that Sofia greatly benefited from her time with you and the tools you have provided her with to certain situations. Sofia has continued to be stonge and assertive.
Paulina Slater, provided me with regular coaching throughout a very difficult and challenging time for the organisation and project. As a new manager, I was challenged to see my role and various difficulties as opportunities for personal growth and development and through her mentoring and coaching, I have been able to develop effective and practical strategies that have enabled me to succeed as a manager. I would recommend the work that she provides to any manager feeling under pressure and stress. A highly effective and well worth the money coaching programme!
Thanks for your support and patience and I wish you and your family a wonderful Xmas and prosperous New Year.
Project Manager, 2009
Paulina listens and understands and without colluding shows huge empathy. I feel stronger.
Personal Client, working by phone from New Zealand
"When recently engaged in a very difficult task, Paulina provided sound, consistent and concise coaching support.
Her technique was to bring into focus what was essentially important, provide clear, non prescriptive feedback. This was delivered with the utmost compassion and clarity.
I have no doubt that her support assisted me to stay focused and move beyond the impasse I had reached with my work."
Personal Client, Ashdown Forest, Sussex, 2009
"With gentle yet encouraging support, Paulina empowered me to weave my own journey (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) in the forest. When uncomfortable feelings made me want to bolt she challenged me to confront them and we looked at the scene in more detail post walk. At the same time there were some truly awakening moments and I was left with a sense of calm and quiet which allowed me the room to connect with myself and answer the questions that came up.
I would definitely recommend a personal coaching session with Paulina. In fact, I think it should be mandatory!"
Computer Technics Ltd. 2011/2012
"With perceptive observation and encouragement, Paulina helped me develop essential personal skills in life and business."
Guilford Borough Council
"(I have gained)... more focus on the method and process and value of coaching as a competence in the roles we carry out.They (the team) seem more composed, calm and reflective. An overriding positive view prevails. Reflections on working relationships and where the good points lie and an impartial observer looking into our working relationships and advising has worked for me."
Head of Environmental Health and Licensing Services
We found the assistance and professional approach from Paulina really valuable, as well as her currently updating and advice.
The outcome is a significantly better performance and well being of our employee.
Lisbet Steen, Vice President of Human Resources 2013
G4S Secure Solutions
I would like to recommend Paulina Slater after the one to one coaching I have undertaken with her for the twelve months ending September 2009.
As part of the annual appraisal process I identified two areas with my line manager which would benefit from one to one coaching. After an initial meeting with Paulina we agreed that twelve sessions spread out over a period of a year would be an effective way to develop my ability to handle uncertainty with inner stability and develop mature, authentic leadership skills for use in current and future roles.
By setting clear objectives, and reviewing them throughout the coaching process, the whole experience has been a positive one with tangible benefits becoming even more apparent in the second half of the year. I have developed an improved resilience during the year which has manifested itself in a number of ways including an appreciation by colleagues of me now working calmly under extreme pressure and no periods of sickness absence.
I have found Paulina’s perspective on situations helpful and been able to weigh up her guidance along with other factors before reaching conclusions which I own and am confortable with. Her relaxed style has made it easy to be honest and get quickly to the heart of issues and causes.
Throughout the year I have developed a higher level of physical and mental self-awareness which has contributed to a more balanced life with lower stress levels. I feel a greater sense of empowerment at work and now have a really positive and productive working relationship with my line manager and other colleagues so the whole team has really benefitted from the process.
Communications and Initial Coaching Skills Training
In 2007/2008 PwC Serbia commissioned Paulina Slater (then Sims) to run a series of intense trainings to support the integration of Performance Coaching and Development (PC&D) in the region. The brief was to develop communications and initial coaching skills.
The programme comprised three groups with a total of 29 management level participants each taking a two day group training followed by 2 one-one telephone training sessions. Participants were asked to form coaching pairs or triads and practice between calls, and their experienced was processed in the one-one training calls. Informal consultancy was included throughout the package.
The benefits include:
1)Participants went through a robust and sustainable training in the development of initial coaching skills which strongly supported the development of a coaching culture.
2) Participants developed a deeper self awareness about how they manage themselves. This is important because participants now manage their teams more carefully and skilfully, which has a direct benefit to the business. It gives us distinctiveness in the marketplace.
3) A major focus in the office is communications. The training helped start improved two-way communication between staff.
4) The individual practice and theory telephone sessions impacted the office. Individuals were able to hear feedback, raise their personal difficulties in private and practice their coaching skills with one-one attention. Better coaching skills and communication skills leaked into the culture, and supports PC&D.
5) The 29 people are much more aware of their skills, their impact, and what they need to improve, which was a good result.
6) For the second two groups, we incorporated the GROW model which was being introduced across the wider region, and so the training was successfully integrated with PwC CEE.
Mildreth Angelo, Senior Manager | Human Capital | PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting d.o.o., Serbia
Paulina helped support me over a three-year period, initially helping me deal with pressure whilst making important career and personal decisions.
We had a flexible structure that suited me with Paulina suggesting options for arrangements that would benefit the work, and then listening to my preferences and adjusting the programme accordingly. The programme was therefore tailor-made for my needs in terms of frequency, scope and method of input.
The phone-coaching worked very well for my needs. Paulina chivied me along, challenged me, and helped to keep me focused and recognise the progress that I made. She helped me keep a track of the progress and learning that we had made over time.
It was an advantage to work with someone who had a knowledge of my company and region, and so could empathise with my circumstances, but who was external, so could have an independent and informed perspective and give appropriate support and challenge.
I now recognise potential stress-triggers better, so that hectic situations are not so de-railing. I have learned to take a broader perspective that helps me stay balanced and enriched, and recognise the benefit of breaks to ensure that I get a balance of rest and non-work stimulation. Rationalising my work-load balance and variety of tasks has helped me ensure that unexpected events are less likely to get me down. I have appreciated better the advantage of fair work boundaries which has helped me put things in perspective.
I liked the balance of working on personal and professional issues, many of which were strongly connected. This helped me understand the whole picture better, which motivated me to focus on and use interventions more effectively.
I am now more patient and understanding with colleagues and more junior staff, which makes for easier and more effective working relationships and reduces office pressure.
I benefited from working long-term and developmentally, learning first-hand that though there are some short-term strategies that help, some issues need a longer-term developmental approach to be effective. A quick fix may look attractive but may not fully address the underlying development need.
Stress Management and Authentic Leadership Programme PwC C&EE
Two examples of participant experience of a programme with its heart in nature with ongoing coaching as a development tool.
Both participants were senior managers while particpating in the programme and were promoted to director just afterwards.
"I am really grateful for the whole thing, even though I wasn’t at all keen at first. This is the first time I see the benefits of this kind of training in my life: It reached parts other trainings don’t reach!
The duration was a key point, otherwise the work gets forgotten.
Also, its important as the relationships develop over time, so feedback gets more apposite/useful and I can hear it better.
I am able to reflect on self and process as well as on feedback from others, and learn from this rather than have to rely so much on external professionals. So the learning sustains itself.
It came at the right time, looking for opportunity to think about myself a little bit and take time, so the core being away from phones and in nature, though a bit painful!, was a vital point. (It) enabled me to see more clearly and put words to things already in my mind.
Short term learnings, include stress management techniques and (as well as them than being important in themselves) the fact that I try to use them helps me identify the moment when stress occurs, helps me take a more pro active approach and manage stress. I take stress home much less.
Long term, I am able to review perspective and goals fruitfully, both personal and professional.
Work is as busy, or more so, than when the programme began. Therefore a really good platform for assessment: from speedy to well paced, handling self and stress/workload well so suffering from over-whelm much less, prioritizing well-being over old patterns and taking responsibility for creating own stress (without denying the huge impact of the workload and complexity of work).
(A) greater sense of perspective strongly present, and (is) clearly of practical benefit in managing work/self.
Noticeable changes in grounded-ness: aware of “negative” patterns and the impact on oneself and have achieved a balance between acknowledging that the patterns will always be there to some extend but have increasing ability to handle oneself successfully, so fear of going into stressful behaviour is less, experiencing the stressful behaviour is less, and coping with it when it occurs in much more successful.
Also able to acknowledge that I often have a fearful expectation of outcomes, but now able to put this fear to one side and not let it hurt me.
Managing self/stress, not offloading stress to others, and continuing to work on this, communicating more openly with others and wanting to invest time in developing new staff. Am succeeding in staying patient and controlling anger, and not scaring people!
Partner appreciated me by recommending the programme to me. This motivated me.
Having an external facilitator helped so I felt confident to share more deeply (which enables deeper change).
Programme was about developing my self-awareness, and then using this to develop myself.
One example is that I used the feedback on walking as a metaphor for my anxiety….and through reflection… applied this to real life work examples and worked through these myself and in the coaching sessions. Now I deal with anxiety well on the whole. Some examples: speaking in public and speaking with high level leadership, dealing with high level conflict, prep for director panel, starting new projects.
I would like the xxx programme ideally once a year as part of my ongoing professional development.
I appreciated the support going through work related issues, which effected my personal life a lot, I was able to assess impact and learn from it to change.
I pushed my self confidence, you (my coach) and PwC are asking me to pay attention, I want and can do something about it, which I did. It was so much about my confidence….I always had low confidence, usually it was other people who did things, now it is often me. I take risks, faces opposition & do it, but strategically. I have the impact I want to have on others.
I always knew there was something to attend to but never paid attention to it, now I go deep when I need to attend to something in myself. Listening to myself and (my coach) in coaching helped develop this more in each session.
I also learned a lot about other people, taking people away in nature can reveal a lot about personality. Logistically this a good way of dong things, better than classroom.
I lived through/experienced the programme rather than just did it. A great idea, an excellent way of doing something, it makes a difference.
I showed everyone I do have skills valued by the firm, which was great for me.
I can influence people……growing into those shoes! The programme helped a lot; I show this daily.
(I am) part of a culture change to improve communications, coherence and team-work in the office. We have to rely on each other, and the people at the top influence the culture change a lot, and I am part of this, and have seen this recognised by the PwC QR team. (Quality Review).
There is strength in having an open approach rather than defensiveness, as illustrated in my approach to the QR team, in leading others along the same road. Leadership skills I have developed are now undertaken with ease. Eg. role modelling, being visible, taking strategic risk and evaluating risk as Igo along
Now identify with top management/leadership, filling shoes with ease.
Walking the talk!
Qualitative Research Programme on Stress and follow up Work Support Counselling and Coaching
I have experience of Paulina’s work as co-researcher on a major study of work/life flexibility aimed at enhancing wellbeing within our offices in Central and Eastern Europe, as a facilitator/ coach on 2 management development workshops, and as a coach to senior personnel to director and partner level.
The research project involved in-depth one-to-one interviews with some 40 managers and senior managers across Eastern Europe. Paulina worked with me on designing the research process, conducting interviews, interpreting the data and coming up with findings and recommendations. She greatly helped me organise and plan the research process, which was logistically ambitious, involving 8 different European countries.
She quickly established credibility and rapport with the research participants. This, together with her gravitas, enabled her to influence some of our most senior and challenging people to take part in the research process She provided me with a different and refreshing perspective on many of the organisational issues we were exploring, which we subsequently integrated into our findings.
Paulina quickly developed trusting relationships with those she was coaching and demonstrated an ability to work with people at depth. She proved herself to be a very skilful people developer who is good at helping people gain insights and reframe the way in which they approach their issues, finding solutions for themselves.
My experience of working with Paulina is that she is a value added consulting resource who challenges her clients appropriately and balances this with the right level of support."
Regional Leader, Learning & Development
Central & Eastern Europe & CIS
ABB Lutech Resources Limited
"Paulina is a very approachable Consultant, a good listener and was quick to understand the dynamics of our company. She approached the work in a very professional manner, providing good practical advice and I would have no hesitation in working with Paulina again in the future."