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Posts from the ‘Business & Transitions Coaching’ Category

Using a GPS mindset to navigate transitions and change


Great article focused on how to help yourself to develop a change resilient mindset

G- adopt a growth mindset eg this may feel uncomfortable for a while but I will learn and grow through making this change

P- link the change or transition to something purposeful or has meaning to you eg by sticking this out it helps me to build the lifestyle I want to live, help others or wider Society 

S- Make it social or get support from others to help you navigate change eg work with a coach, a mentor or others that may have experienced or are going through similar changes


Help Students Navigate Life’s Transitions With a Mindset GPS

What is important to you?

July 26th, 2019

Heather Johnston

purple dot_behavioural change and transitions

Working as an executive coach and an organisational development consultant these questions come up again and again. What do we value? What does success look like? How come what I used to love I don’t anymore- what next? What type of success drives me and why…Where should we be as a business? Why? How can we stop falling out as a team? How can I raise staff wellbeing

In our lives and work we are driven innately by what we value and the social context of what is around us. We may also be being influenced by our bodies’ and minds’ automatic wiring, pushing us towards and away from things and people that we desire and avoid. We react, make decisions and lead our lives by these implicit rules and behaviours. This is us on automatic pilot– our own personal intelligence that helps and guides us through life, so that we don’t have to stop and think every second to appraise what might be best. 

It is a complex web and who you talk to will focus on a different element of that web- driven by what is important or makes sense to them. Very simply, social psychologists and behavioural scientists may tell you that actually you have little agency and that your behaviour is determined by the context that you work and live within- social comparison and a desire to belong within groups being at play. Other specialisms of psychology will focus perhaps more on the individual level, your own personality perhaps, or common themes among people seeking out life satisfaction. Philosophers will come again at another angle exploring how do we know what is important to us? Challenging us to think about what matters and what doesn’t and why. 

So I invite you to consider a couple of things:

You may in fact be being driven by your social context and not actually what makes you happy…do your really want that degree, get married, promotion etc For a challenging look at these social memes that may be guiding you I invite you to read Paul Dolan’s latest book and have a look at this MOOC

Have you stopped to consider what really matters to you? What are your personal indicators for a good life?  The fields of positive psychology  and wellbeing try and measure this area using indicators such as satisfaction with life and psychological wellbeing. Looking at your own personal balance between eudaimonia (flourishing/fulfilling our potential) or what is purposeful to us and what makes us feel happy in the moment -our own personal pleasure (with thanks to Paul Dolan).

For some of us that are in the lucky position to have moved beyond pure survival, pleasure may be our key driver for others success and a good life is more about realising our potential, learning, growing and challenging ourselves. What is your balance? To explore this further I invite you to start being your own personal investigator- noticing in the moment when you feel good and not so good- is it when your ‘think’ you ‘should’ feel good, perhaps having a go at this self test for a few days. If you are struggling with a lack or purpose or meaning have a go at the test above and reflect on what is really important to you in your life? What challenge, change, learning or area of growth would bring you more fulfilment and/or what contexts (hobbies, workplace, communities) would support and enable this?

Interested in exploring this further both individually or as an organisation? Drop me a line 








Books on strengths based development


by Martin E. P. Seligman
Explains the four pillars of well-being--meaning and purpose, positive emotions, relationships, and accomplishment--placing emphasis on meaning and purpose as the most important for achieving a life of fulfillment.
Authentic Happiness
by Martin Seligman
'A practical map for a flourishing life' (Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence) In this groundbreaking, heart-lifting and deeply useful book, Martin Seligman, internationally esteemed psychologist and the father of Positive Psychology ...
by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
THE BESTSELLING CLASSIC ON 'FLOW' – THE KEY TO UNLOCKING MEANING, CREATIVITY, PEAK PERFORMANCE, AND TRUE HAPPINESS Legendary psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's famous investigations of "optimal experience" have revealed that what makes an ...
The Strengths Book
by Alex Linley
Realise your strengths and you'll be realising the best of you. Do you want to be confident, successful, and sustainably happy? Do you want to achieve your goals and enjoy beter realtionships? Leading strengths experts provide the evidence that ...
Average to A+
by Alex Linley
Who wants to be average? Nobody does, and yet few of us know our strengths clearly, or know how to make the most of them. Until now. Average to A+ is the seminal volume for identifying and maximising our strengths.. Written by an international ...

How can coaching help?


Clients can come to coaching for many reasons and benefit from the personalised nature that a coaching session can bring. Clients find the main benefits of working with a coach are:

  • Greater clarity over personal strengths and weaknesses
  • Improved confidence
  • Having a safe confidential place to talk through concerns objectively and bounce ideas
  • Accountability and follow up to do the things they said they would
  • Non judgemental support
  • Achieving personal goals

Read more

Coaching Testimonials


I have a good job and a stable family life, however I felt I’d lost control over my career path and I’d had recently lost my father to cancer. I was struggling to stand back and think about what I really wanted to do with my career. Heather helped me by using several different methods to look into my motivators, my strengths and what it was I actually wanted. Heather helped me find a way to use my own bias for taking practical steps to work out what to do next. In short I found the small number of sessions extremely useful in getting me to think clearly and to take action. I feel I am regaining a bit of control. Mark, HR

Thank you for all help with clarifying my priorities and future plans. I found our sessions hugely empowering. Senior Teacher

Heather coached me over a 2.5 year period through a career transition into a leadership role and returning to work after having my first child. Her support has been invaluable during this time. Heathers style is relaxed and informal putting you at ease straight away. She is able to navigate any topic required with the greatest of ease moving seamlessly from one learning to another providing tools and resources with the best fit for each individuals learning style. Joanne, Project Manager

Heather guided me through a number of exercises so that I was able to take stock of my career to date, to assess what I needed from a job and also to define what I was good at and enjoyed doing. However what I valued most was being able to talk to her about my career and what I want to do, and this has enabled me to view the future with less fear and more optimism. Whatever direction my career takes, I know that I can discuss any issues with Heather and receive support and advice. Simon, Project Manager

I am in a much better place than I was when we met and I can not thank you enough.  I feel that I can stand with the best of them again and feel that I deserve to. Tracy, Finance Professional

I feel that I have been able to make a more positive contribution to the strategic direction of the organization, and have gained greater confidence in my views. Heather is very personable and professional, and I have valued her input in my ongoing development. Bryan, Transport

Heather has consistently given me timely and appropriate support during a period when I was experiencing change and wanted to make a number of decisions.  Her support has very often been insightful and just what I needed in several situations. Andrew, Procurement

I have been working with Heather for some months now and so many elements of my life have been affected by the coaching process in such a positive way.    Having someone completely disconnected from your work and personal life, and in an entirely confidential situation, really allows you to share your character and what makes you, you.    My objective at the outset of the coaching programme was to develop in my role but in a way that was truly authentic to my character and values, and I believe that Heather has shaped our sessions and work together over the past months and really helped me along the road to achieving that.  I have already, and would to continue to recommend Heather as a coach to my colleagues. Helen, Procurement

It made me take a look at bad habits I had picked up, the way I am perceived and also what inspires me and motivates me. It has definitely made me think about the sort of job I want in the future and how best to present myself. Jo, Communications & PR

During the course of my employment as Head of Learning, EMEA, at JPMorgan, I worked with Heather on a number of initiatives and clearly got to know her very well.   Heather coached a number of individuals at JPMorgan, including myself, and was excellent.  The coaching Heather gave me ultimately resulted in me moving role.  I have since asked Heather to facilitate team workshops for me around motivation and career goals and aspirations. Brenda, Investment Banking

Using a combination of one-to-one interviews, personal profiling tools and tailored background reading, Heather has enabled me identify key professional strengths and personal goals to draw up a career development plan which will match the lifestyle choices I am aiming for.  By working with me to pinpoint how I operate, areas of work and development that I enjoy / prefer and what I want to work towards, Heather has been able to channel my choices for the future into manageable steps and realistic targets. Esther, Operations Management

Thankyou for your help and advice and for supporting me on my journey back to reality! I appreciate everything you’ve done. Sandy, Mental Health

Heather’s coaching helped me to establish and reach personal and professional improvement goals and objectives. Furthermore, Heather’s coaching skills were very effective in helping me to make difficult decisions by consulting with me and asking the right questions to enable me to feel comfortable with the decisions I was taking. I would highly recommend working with Heather Johnston as a coach. My experience of working with Heather has had a positive impact on my self awareness, on writing ambitious development objectives, and overall on improving my potential both personally and professionally. Lara, Investment Banking

Supervision for Coaches and Development Professionals

Supervision is a place where a living profession breathes and learns….supervision can be a very important part of taking care of oneself, staying open to new learning, and an indispensable part of the coach’s ongoing self-development, self-awareness and commitment to learning.
Hawkins and Shohet


Having undertaken my coach training in 2004, and coached for many years and trained others to coach,  I wanted to push my skills further and to offer others a peer to peer learning relationship and the support and challenge needed to enhance your practice as either an internal or external coach, a L&D or OD consultant or anyone working in a helping profession. This can involve supervision related to your client work; where you are in your own development journey or reflecting on the impact of your work on the wider system you are working within.

I bring a unique combination of skills to my work as a Coach and Supervisor, melding the analytical thought of business skills thinking through my early career, with creative approaches and thinking combined with a solid foundations in reflection and mindfulness and cognitive behavioural coaching supported by an active interest and practice in the latest offerings in strengths based positive psychology and compassion based approaches. This is underpinned with my Supervision training focused around the seven eyed model with Robert Shohet and Joan Wilmot at CSTD.

“Heather is a great supervisor.  She is calm, empathetic and practical.  I feel like she understands the issues and challenges my thinking in a non-judgemental way.  Heather’s contribution has helped me build on my coaching offering”


I have a wonderfully rewarding peer supervision relationship with Vicky Palethorpe who is also a supervisor, counsellor, mindfulness and compassion practitioner and coach.


I offer different rates depending on the nature of my clients and am very happy to have a ‘chemistry’ session to explore if I might be the right supervisor for you.

For Organisations my rate will be my organisational coaching rate with a 10% discount if you book 3 sessions. Please contact me to explore. As a cost effective and in some ways richer alternative I also can offer group supervision for groups of up to 6 coaches.

For those that work independently my rate is tiered, determined by your billing rates and income, and my rate is detailed below with a further 10% discount if you book 3 sessions

For those working mainly as

Organisational and Executive Coaches £85

Private Coaches/ small business coaches £50 per hour

Life coaches  £40 per hour

I offer virtual sessions or face to face sessions and always start with a face to face session where at all possible. I use an interactive virtual classroom platform which enables us to use an interactive whiteboard and share slides, videos and documents if needed as part of the session.  If you are looking for face to face sessions then travel charges will also apply depending on where you are based.

Got some questions?  Then please do get in touch to explore on 07801 246113 or via email


Case Studies- Twinings



I coached a number of people over a 4 year period at Twinings. Covering those in more senior roles and those that were transitioning into manager roles. Each coachee had a tailored programme based on 3 way contracting for objective setting over a number of months with often a follow up/ refresh session after an appropriate length of time. I worked with people in procurement, marketing and finance. A common theme was that each person was transitioning, often being promoted or changing job roles and need some tailored support to help them flourish in their new roles. Some of this work also included some outplacement and maternity coaching.


I worked closely with the wider procurement department designing a stakeholder engagement awayday focused on flexing communication styles and communicating complex information concisely.  

Walking and the Outdoors


For me being close to nature and getting outdoors is more than just physical exercise. It feeds me- both in terms of inspiration for my art work but also just as importantly it gives me much needed moments of mindfulness. It is also proven that getting outdoors or green exercise is incredibly good for our wellbeing

Hear more about what I have to say about walking in this short podcast I recently recorded.

Interested in building the outdoors-creatively and mindfully, into your learning and development programs? Do get in touch.

I sometimes include walking in my coaching work with clients (this can be in cities too, indoors and outdoors) so please do contact me to find out more at or ring me on 07801 246113

Art and Creativity


As well as a Coach and a Facilitator, I am also an Artist. You can see more of my work at

I am particularly interested in the link between the arts and creativity and their link in developing meaningfulness within people’s lives, innovation,  helping people’s wellbeing and dealing with stress. The arts are a useful way of helping people process emotions and work with complex issues in a non verbal way. They can be playful and fun! (and hard work…)

In this way they can be used both by individual’s in their daily lives to give pleasure and joy and can also be used within teams and in organisations to build connections, develop creativity and innovation and determine future goals and direction. As they say a picture paints a 1000 words….

Lets use the ‘other side’ of our brains!




Mindtrip’s approach is performance and life focused, creative and flexible. Our aim is to help you find your inner navigator and ensure you have the tools to ride the waves of change. This is achieved through a range of people and organisational development interventions- find out more on my what we do page. 

To deliver this we work through a number of perspectives: 

positive neuroplasticity and psychology: There is currently a burgeoning amount of research in positive psychology that is practically helpful for working with individuals, teams and organisations to explore

  • How you can become more fulfilled day to day, to increases happiness and a sense of wellbeing
  • Understanding what your strengths are and how these can be put to best use
  • How managers within organisations can create flourishing environments that facilitate individuals wellbeing while at the same time prospering economically
  • Start to train to your minds to take in the good

developmental psychology: This approach explores the way that individuals make sense of the world and themselves in it. It explores how we make meaning and is particularly useful in helping Leaders look at their development to date in both a horizontal and a vertical change context. To find out more about this perspective and how it relates to leadership development there is an interesting Harvard Business Review article by David Rooke and Bill Torbert who Heather trained with.

Creativity: we are all creative, although many of us will deny this! By finding ways to build a creative outlook in life we can boost our performance and our wellbeing. Ever wondered why we have our best ideas when we are most relaxed?

compassion and self compassion: many of us, particularly those that work within the helping professions don’t spend enough time looking after ourselves. To use the metaphor of the aircraft safety briefing- do you put your own oxygen mask on first before helping others? By spending time exploring the areas of kindness and compassion we can start to build an internal safety jacket to keep ourselves afloat in times of stress and change and nourish ourselves so as to ward off burnout. See more in a blog i wrote about compassion

mindfulness: mindfulness is a way of paying attention, of being deeply attuned to yourself, your environment and those around you.  The key benefits of taking a more mindful approach to work and life are that it enables an individual over time to:

  • become more aware of the present moment and to be more acceptant and resourceful in time of stress
  • to help people to focus and concentrate, giving people greater attention and allowing for greater creativity
  • become more socially and emotionally aware, building more understanding in our relationships with others

mindtrip use’s the principles of these techniques to help us deal with constant change, ambiguity and complexity in the modern life. At an individual level, mindfulness practices can help people develop greater awareness, acceptance and choice within their lives. Interested to find out more about mindfulness? Please take a look at my mindfulness pages. 

cognitive behavioural coaching (CBC) : This is a foundation to my work. Cognitive behavioural coaching (CBC) uses solutions focused and problem solving techniques to help clients to get clearer about their intentions and start to realign their life and work based on these. The CBC philosophy centres on the fact that ‘the way we react to events is largely determined by our view of them, not by the events themselves’. CB coaching does not seek to give people the answers to their problems or difficulties, rather, through a collaborative process called guided discovery, helps people to reach their own conclusions and solutions. (Neenan & Palmer, Stress News, July 2001) CBC is particularly useful in helping clients to overcome blocks, improve performance, reduce stress, build confidence and increase emotional resilience. To find out more about CBC please read the following article by Michael Neenan and Stephen Palmer at the Centre for Coaching where Heather trained.


To find out more about what we can do for you please do drop me a line at