Rachel is a developmental coach and educator, dividing her time equally between private coaching clients and a part time senior lectureship in veterinary education at The Royal Veterinary College (RVC). Having started out life as a scientist, researching and teaching animal locomotion, Rachel slowly but surely became more interested in the learners than the learning. Seven years spent in academic development at the RVC cemented this feeling and Rachel subsequently enrolled in a coaching training programme at The University of Hertfordshire in the hope of being more useful to her ‘learners in need’. Realising she needed to create time and space to continue her coaching journey, Rachel left her full-time role at RVC to focus on a PGDip in Coaching and Mentoring Practice at Oxford Brookes University. Fast-forward four years and Rachel is still fascinated by learning and challenge and feels lucky to be able to combine her passions for people, conversation and learning in her personal and professional life.
The veterinary workplace is a dynamically complex and challenging environment and therefore requires its people to operate under almost constant stretch. Stretch is required for continued professional development but, under certain conditions, can do the opposite and slow learning down, negatively impacting well-being. Coaching approaches help people remain open to learning under stretch, are solutions-focussed and are about empowering people to make decisions that better align personal and professional values and goals. For coaching approaches to work well, managers and leaders must first understand and attend to their own needs, creating a stable base from which they themselves can function well. Managers and leaders adopting coaching approaches create environments that enable their whole team to perform well, achieving their full potential and successfully balancing personal and professional wellbeing.