Academi Wales

Llywodraeth Cymru
Welsh Government

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Coaching Conference 2020 - speakers

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Welcome to the All Wales Public Service Virtual Coaching Conference 2020.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter to get all the latest news! You can join the discussion at #OneWelshPublicService and #UnGwasanaethCyhoeddusCymru.

If you have any queries please contact us at

Programme for the day

The conference will begin at 09:15 and close at 16:00.

As coaches, our way of being in the coaching relationship will influence client outcomes as much as the tools, techniques and skills we deploy. By embodying moment by moment awareness in relationship, we can support our clients’ development both by creating psychological safety in the coaching session and by enabling deeper insights.

Relational mindfulness practice is a way of building our awareness and resilience in relational situations: it supports moment by moment awareness, in dialogue with another person, and allows experiential exploration of the nature of being human.

He has been called ‘the greatest leader that ever came on God’s earth, bar none’, yet he never led a team larger than 27 people, failed to achieve nearly every goal he set and, until recently, had been little remembered since his death in 1922. However, once you learn the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his remarkable Antarctic expedition of 1914, you’ll probably agree with those who extol his great leadership, coaching and team building abilities.

Drawing on this amazing and true story, Ian’s informative and inspirational workshop will shine a light on the critical importance of ‘true north’ leadership when coaching clients who are responding to the challenges, and maximising the opportunities, that emerge in times of adversity, uncertainty and change.

Questions for reflection

Pursuing Purpose with Passion

  • What is my purpose or ‘True North’ and what do I do each day that evidences that I pursue my purpose with passion?
  • In my personal and professional life, would those whom I lead say I was guided primarily by my watch or my compass?

Practicing Solid Values

  • What are the core values that underpin my sense of purpose?
  • How do I live these values in a consistent and authentic manner?

Leading with Heart

  • In what ways is my leadership ‘emotionally intelligent’?
  • How can I actively develop my ‘head and heart’ decision making?

Establishing Enduring Relationships

  • How does my leadership enhance the relationships within my team?
  • What important relationship(s) do I need to mend or give further time and attention to?

Demonstrating Self-discipline

  • How do I practise being an authentic and deliberately disciplined leader on a daily basis?
  • How would those around me describe my level of self-discipline and what evidence would they provide that I strive to be a ‘True North’ leader?

Positive psychology is a useful tool for us to maintain a good sense of mental wellbeing in everyday life, it becomes even more useful during times of uncertainty and adversity and can help us stay on the brighter side of things.

Join us for an interactive session as we run you through a number of simple and easily applicable exercises from the field of Positive Psychology. These can help you set a positive frame for a number of things, focusing on the positives around you and can protect against feeling overwhelmed by the negatives for yourself and others around you.

THE ART OF BEING BRILLIANT provides an antidote to the craziness of the modern world. The aim is to share some of the ‘secrets’ of Positive Psychology, focusing on learning new habits of thinking and behaviour that will sustain personal ‘brilliance’. It works because it’s simple, fun and is about the ‘whole you’ hence is applicable in and out of work.

Questions for reflection

  • Could you be happier even if nothing in the world around you changed?
  • Who’s the happiest person you know? Why do you think they’re so happy?
  • List 10 things you’re lucky to have, but take for granted

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Further reading

Academi Wales (2016) Coaching - Developing people for success in public service delivery, Sowing Seeds

Academi Wales (2018) Mindfulness - Using our personal resources for greater success, Sowing Seeds

Academi Wales (2019) Coaching Supervision - Developing your coaching style to bring out the best, Sowing Seeds

Bluckert, P (2019) A comprehensive guide to vertical development (Expand the Possible)

Cope, A (2020) How to Be a Well Being: Unofficial Rules to Live Every Day, Capstone

Donaldson-Feilder, E (2020) ‘Relational mindfulness: why the enthusiasm and what is it?’, Coaching at Work

Edmondson, A (2018) The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth, John Wiley & Sons

Frederickson, B (2013) Love 2.0, Finding Happiness and Health in Moments of Connection, Plume

George, B (2015) Discover Your True North – becoming an authentic leader, John Wiley & Sons

Kline, N (2002) Time to Think: Listening to Ignite the Human Mind, Cassell

Porges, S (2011) The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-Regulation

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Paul Schanzer

Director, Academi Wales
Paul has over 25 years’ experience in leadership development after joining NHS Wales as a development practitioner during the 1990s. Paul has worked in Academi Wales, Welsh Government since 2013. During this time, he has taken the lead on governance, executive and board level development across the public and third sectors in Wales.

Having developed senior team-assessment frameworks, for leaders, Paul is involved in enabling senior teams and boards. Helping them to identify the characteristics, approaches and strategies required for organisations to implement and sustain organisational high performance.
Paul has a particular interest in exploring concepts around individual, group and system dynamics and their impact on effective decision making at board level.

Following completion of the ‘Board Level Dynamics Programme’ with the Tavistock Institute, he contributed a case study chapter to ‘High Performing Boards – exploring the influence of unconscious behaviours for the Dynamics at Boardroom Level’ (A Tavistock Primer for Leaders, Coaches and Consultants), published in 2019 by Routledge.

Shereen Williams MBE OStJ

Chief Executive, Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales
Shereen Williams is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales. Prior to taking up this role in January 2019, she worked in local government for nearly a decade. As a local government officer, she worked across Newport and Monmouthshire Local Authorities as the Connected Communities Manager and was responsible for the delivery of strategic priorities including Migration, VAWDASV, Welsh Language, Equalities and Community Cohesion.

Over the past 15 years, she has volunteered in numerous roles in the Third Sector as well as for statutory bodies and is currently a trustee of St John Ambulance Cymru and the Institute of Welsh Affairs. She is also school governor and a serving magistrate in Gwent.

For her work in the Third Sector, Shereen was presented with the Uthman Dan Fodio Award for Excellence in Community Development at the UK Muslim News Awards in 2009 and the Welsh Government Recognising Achievement Award for services to Community Cohesion. In 2017 she was awarded an honorary MBE for community service and in 2018 she was recognised by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) in their Influential Leaders Challenge, which honours notable international alumni from AACSB-accredited business schools. In February 2020, she was made an Officer of the Order of St John.

Dr Emma Donaldson-Feilder C.Psychol. AFBPS

Director, Affinity Coaching and Supervision
Emma Donaldson-Feilder is a Registered Occupational Psychologist, Coaching Psychologist, Coach Supervisor and Relational Mindfulness Teacher with a love of reflective learning and development. Emma’s varied professional portfolio includes teaching relational mindfulness, providing individual and group supervision to coaches and other professionals, coaching for senior managers and executives, consultancy to organisations and teams, research, writing, public policy, and presenting.

In 2019, Emma completed a Professional Doctorate exploring the potential for mindfulness and relational mindfulness to support leaders and managers to develop their leadership capability. This highlighted the importance of coaches and Learning & Development professionals embodying the qualities they aim to facilitate in their clients. It has naturally led Emma to develop a suite of relational mindfulness programmes, which have generated particular interest in the coaching community.

Emma is Director of Affinity Coaching and Supervision, a coaching psychology consultancy providing workplace coaching, together with supervision for coaches and other professionals. She is also Founding Director of Affinity Health at Work, a specialist research group and consultancy with particular expertise in helping employers and managers improve employee health and wellbeing, largely through enhancing leadership, people management and organisational culture. The book that she co-wrote, Preventing stress in organisations: how to develop positive managers, was published by Wiley-Blackwell and won ‘Best Practitioner Text’ in the British Psychological Society book awards.

Emma takes a values-led, integrative and evidence-based approach, drawing on her own and others’ research, plus relevant practical models, to support effective outcomes for clients. She also draws on the insights offered by her previous career in international relations and communications, her long-standing meditation practice and her experience of life events, to inform and enrich her teaching, coaching and supervision.

Ian Govier

Academi Wales
Ian’s professional background is in nursing, education and leadership development. With twenty years of multi-sector facilitation, coaching and mentoring experience, Ian has a successful track record of working with individuals and multi-professional teams to create and build relationships that produce effective results and purposeful change.

He is an active member of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council, as well as the UK Association for Coaching, and has presented many innovative papers on leadership, coaching and mentoring at a variety of UK and European Conferences. Ian works part-time for Academi Wales, Welsh Government and also runs a training and consultancy business; he is recognised for adopting a knowledgeable, creative and values-based approach to personal, professional and organisational development.

Ross Storr

Academi Wales
Ross is Leadership & Development Business Manager at Academi Wales and manages the day to day running of their main portfolio of leadership development courses and interventions.

He has been working in the public sector for over 15 years and has a background in HR and Learning and Development roles in National and Local Government. He is an experienced facilitator, enjoys helping people be their best and is a member of the European Network for Positive Psychology, he has worked with a large number of public/third sector organisations helping implement practices from the field of positive psychology, aiming to improve their services for staff and citizens of Wales.

Dr Andy Cope

Art of Brilliance
Andy is a qualified teacher, wellbeing expert and ‘recovering academic’. His Loughborough University PhD was 12 years in the making and he revels in the irony that his thesis on human flourishing actually ended up making him miserable.

The reward for grinding out his PhD is that Andy gets to call himself a ‘Doctor of Happiness’. Don’t worry, he’s socially aware enough to understand that it’s a terribly cheesy title, but a notch above the socially unacceptable alternative, ‘Doctor Feelgood’.

In a nutshell, Andy is exactly the opposite of all the other doctors you’ve ever encountered. While they’ve been trained to work out what’s wrong with you, Andy is focused on the total opposite; what’s right with you, what makes you come alive and how can you be at your best more often.

The good doctor is lucky enough to work with some very large businesses, including DHL, Kelloggs, Hewlett Packard, Astra Zeneca, Lego, Nationwide and UEFA. Recently, he has tailored his workshops to meet the needs of children and teachers and now delivers to audiences from age 8 upwards!

Andy’s books are frequently on the best-sellers list. ‘The Art of Being Brilliant’, ‘Shine’, ‘The Little Book of Emotional Intelligence’ and ‘Zest’ have all topped the personal development charts. ‘Happiness Route Map’ was nominated as The Independent’s best self-help book of the year. He’s not done yet; 2020 sees the publication of ‘How to be a Well Being’ and ‘A Girl’s Guide to Being Fearless’.

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