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Liz Walker & Brigid Russell

Fit for the future – an internal and external perspective on coaching for well-being

Theme: Organisation
Area: Coaching
Type: Workshop
Style: Mainly Experiential

Session on Wednesday, Apr 11, 15:25
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healthcare organisations experience increasing complexity, uncertainty and pressure. This puts their personal resilience and working relationships under strain. The workshop co-presenters will share internal and external perspectives on using internal coaching creatively to develop leaders’ personal well-being as well as organisational resilience. Fit for the Future captures the essence of the development of an internal coach bank in a medium-sized (7,000 staff) healthcare provider in the National Health Service in Scotland. As a constructive response to the increasing incidence of ‘burn out’, stress and inter-personal conflict, leaders are encouraged to self-refer for coaching as one way of supporting them to build their resilience. At the heart of the session is the case study of this creative coaching approach. We will bring the story alive through the perspectives of coaching clients, coach bank lead, sponsors of coaching and the external coach supervisor. As lead coach and supervisor, we will share our ongoing conversation through supervision about the boundaries, possibilities and potential impact of internal coaching across the system. Throughout the workshop, we will invite participants to reflect on how this case study relates to their own experiences of internal coaching in a complex system.


Liz Walker is a coach and coach supervisor in a medium-sized (7,000 staff) healthcare organisation in Scotland. Firstly pursuing a career in nursing, her passion for staff development is now fulfilled within a role in organisational development where she is the coaching lead/coach supervisor for the organisation’s internal coach bank. Her role allows her to work with coaching clients from across the organisation, at all levels, to reach their full potential. Liz has been at the forefront of the shift from more traditional coaching for career progression to working with staff members who seek coaching due to stress, burn out or relationship difficulties with colleagues. This valuable intervention helps prevent staff members needing to take prolonged sickness absence. She also works with people before they return to work from sick leave to surface the issues that have contributed to their ill health and thus enabling them to return to work with strategies to allow them to thrive and be fit and resilient for the future. Liz is very committed to her ongoing development as a coach and contributes actively to the development of internal coaching across the NHS Scotland through her connections to coaching colleagues across Scotland.

Brigid Russell is an executive coach and organisation development consultant based in Scotland who works with a range of individuals and teams across both private and public sector organisations in the UK. She has extensive experience over the past 20 years of working with senior teams and leaders on improving organisational, team and personal effectiveness. She is passionate about the impact of coaching in enabling individuals to realise their potential and in supporting organisations to develop their capacity to deliver strategic aims. She is particularly interested in working with leaders in the context of complexity and ambiguity and is keen to keep her coaching, supervision and leadership development practice current and relevant. She has practiced as a coach for around fifteen years and is currently developing her coaching supervision practice. Brigid has developed her coaching approach through undertaking the Advanced and Master Practitioner Diplomas in Executive Coaching with the Academy of Executive Coaching. By way of making a contribution to the field of coaching, Brigid became the Director for Scotland & International Relations in EMCC UK in April 2016, a role she fulfills in a voluntary capacity.

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