Limina’s client mix is around 80% academics (mainly from Australian and New Zealand universities) plus 20% professionals from other walks of life.
Janet has successfully coached early-, mid- and late-career academic clients across the range of disciplines from natural and applied sciences to humanities, arts and social sciences and professional fields (law, business, medicine and allied health).
Her non-academic clients have included practising lawyers, designers, writers and publishers, management consultants, government scientists, small business owners, full-time parents and founders of technology and social enterprise startups.
If you are someone whose work involves intellectual and/or creative challenge and you are committed to doing it well, but without losing sight of other things that matter to you, you will likely find Janet a good fit.
I’d recommend Janet for writing and research – she writes so well, I would have no problem taking her advice in that area – and also organisation, self-management, professional development. All the stuff you hear academics wrestling with and fretting and worrying about, Janet has the credibility to help. She’s one of us. — Academic
I didn’t know whether, if someone was unfamiliar with the way that [creative industries] work, I would need to fill in that information. … I guess what stopped me worrying was first and foremost you need to have a connection with whoever you’re going to have coaching with. I found it really easy to talk to Janet and we got along from the first conversation like we’d known each other for about 10 years. That makes all the difference, and people should definitely make their decision based on that. — Designer
I think what impressed me the most was that I work in a field that is foreign to [Janet] and in an organisational structure that she hasn’t had direct experience with. She picked up a lot of the jargon and the specificities of my circumstances really, really quickly, which meant that she was able to discuss them more specifically. I felt that made the whole coaching experience more valuable. — Management consultant
Common reasons for clients to seek coaching include wanting to make a change (e.g. of job, workplace or career); facing a specific challenge (e.g. completing a major project or stepping into a more senior position); dealing with unexpected or involuntary change (e.g. health issues, relationship changes, loss of employment); and integrating work with self-care, family and other commitments.
For many clients, a combination of factors are at play. Often people have a long-term desire to improve something in their personal or professional lives, but this doesn’t become a high priority for action until something urgent or concrete comes along and precipitates a commitment to change. Both the underlying/longer-term and immediate/concrete objectives usually become part of the person’s overall coaching agenda.
I was at a crossroads in my career. I’d been investigating by myself a number of ideas and different things that I was interested in. It was two-pronged: partly to do with my existing job and the difficulties I was having there, trying to advance or move in the direction I wanted to head within that role and could see that coming to an end; and also pursuing these other directions that I was interested in. — Designer
Coaching is both:
- a formal conversation (best described as a focused, professionally facilitated meeting with yourself); and
- an ongoing relationship with someone who is dedicated to supporting your progress towards your chosen objectives.
It was revelatory. That sounds like a big word, but Janet helped me make a major shift in perspective in myself. I’ve never really made that shift before. There was something in her technique that enabled me to make that shift when other times I might have been more resistant or afraid. – Academic (Head of School)
Although coaching has elements in common with other occupations such as consulting, teaching and counselling, it has its own distinctive set of core principles. According to UK coach Jenny Rogers, they are:
- Coaching is about change and action.
- Coaching addresses the whole person.
- The client sets the agenda.
- The coach and client are equals.
- The client has the resources to resolve his or her own problems.
- The coach’s role is to develop the client’s resourcefulness through skillful questioning, challenge and support.
Janet helped me see what the different steps were, to work my way through them and get the outcome I wanted. She helped me to see pathways. She didn’t ever give solutions, but she enabled me to recognise how I was feeling and how that might be stopping me from doing something. She also was really helpful in giving me small strategies around noticing when I’m overloaded and unable to see the wood for the trees… – providing techniques to see what I could do differently, to find where I wanted to go. – Academic (Head of School)
The pre-eminent international coaching standards organisation is the International Coach Federation (ICF). According to the ICF definition of coaching, a coach honours the client as the expert in his or her life and work and treats every client as creative, resourceful and whole. Standing on this foundation, the coach’s responsibility is to:
- Discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve;
- Encourage client self-discovery;
- Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies; and
- Hold the client responsible and accountable.
What I like most about working with Janet is she allows me to say, ‘This is what I need, this is where I’m going.’ One of the reservations I’ve always had about mentoring as distinct from coaching is that I am really resistant to being told to do things the way that has worked for someone else. Whereas as Janet always says, I’m the expert on me, so she helps me to be the best I can instead of telling me what I should do. — Academic (senior lecturer)
Many clients experience it as challenging at first to be invited and expected to set their own agenda. The first few sessions can be a time of adjustment to being in the ‘driver’s seat’ and deciding exactly where to focus the coaching. However, one of the greatest rewards that coaching offers is the experience of cultivating and coming to rely on your own judgement and intuition within a safe, supportive relationship.
Academics and other professionals who are both willing to reach out for advice and practised at trusting themselves are particularly well set up to be successful and happy in their work, long past the end of the coaching engagement.
What I thought was going to happen when I went to see Janet was that she would flap down from heaven like a guardian coach angel and she’d be like, ‘You Are A Gemini And You Should Be A Publicist’, or something like that. I actually wanted someone to solve all my problems for me and just give me the answer. But seeing Janet is an education in identifying your own needs and goals. It’s a constant challenge to do that, but in doing it you will take on your own fears and do things you didn’t think you could do — and thus gain confidence and be able to deal with all the other things you didn’t realise were holding you back. — Digital manager
I’ll hear her voice in my head when I’m going to do something scary or trying to work out how to tackle something. I’ll think ‘what would Janet say?’ And so her services will continue even after we stop the coaching sessions. — Academic (lecturer)
For more information about coaching, please visit the pre-eminent international coaching standards organisation, the International Coach Federation (ICF).
For more information about what it is like to work with Janet, please get in touch to arrange your free initial consultation. Because coaching is 100% confidential, many of the clients who provided comments for this website are not identified by name (those who are gave explicit permission). However, you are welcome to request a referral to a recent client for more information after you have spoken with Janet.
Janet’s clients consistently report solid progress towards their chosen objectives, plus an increase in self-confidence, self-awareness and efficacy.
I’ve had an extremely good outcome, one I couldn’t have ever hoped for. Specifically what happened was I followed up a new opportunity: I pursued that and made it happen. Now I’m in a new job that fits better with my skills…. So I feel this amazing sense of relief and joy. — Academic (head of school)
I’ve had more than 100% progress. I got out of the bad situation and there was no financial disadvantage – in fact, the exact opposite. [Just] a few days ago, I signed a contract – a nice, good, long-term, lucrative contract – … using the exact skills that I had discovered I needed in order to stay employable into the future. And then… I was headhunted by this international company in my original industry. Too many good things have happened, it’s almost too good to be true. And I have to track all that back to [coaching with] Janet. — Digital manager
You get a much greater awareness of your own work practices and habits. And then there is the feel-good factor. Before starting the coaching I was really feeling like I was battling uphill and everybody else was so much more capable. Now I’m feeling really good about myself professionally, and that is just enormously worthwhile. — Academic (senior lecturer)
I feel much more certain about my place in my work life, and about work in my life. … I am stronger about putting some boundaries around things I don’t want to do at work. I feel more confident about doing the things I feel I need to do, both in terms of making work tolerable at the moment and also looking for a way out…. Janet’s helped me reprioritise things, think about how to handle things, take charge for myself, see that there are possibilities. It has absolutely improved my self-confidence in general. — Academic (professor, ex-head of school)
I’m super-excited doing this new project that I’ve started…. [I]t’s been an amazing ride, but I think the start of all that journey was the coaching period that I did with Janet. [It] was a fantastic start to what has been a really brilliant year. — Designer
I would not have finished my book had it not been for Janet. … I submitted the manuscript two days before my promotion interview and I ended up being promoted. So it’s a success story. I would never, ever have managed to finish a book in the same year that I was going through all that [disruption at work] without her. — Academic (senior lecturer)
A 2013 meta-analysis of existing studies on the effectiveness of coaching in organisational contexts was published in the Journal of Positive Psychology. The study found that performance coaching delivered by professionally trained external coaches does have significant positive outcomes. These include:
- Performance/skills (job-specific or needed for organisational effectiveness)
- Wellbeing (reduced depression/stress/anxiety/burnout)
- Coping (self-efficacy, mindfulness)
- Work attitudes (e.g. job and career satisfaction, organisational commitment)
- Goal-directed self-regulation
In the academic context, according to online higher education career hub Vitae, coaching is increasingly common in higher education and research institutions among academics faced with heavy workloads, intense competition for grants and jobs and a rapidly changing work environment.
Universities in Australia, the UK and elsewhere now use coaching to:
- Improve job and career satisfaction and organisational commitment;
- Deliver advanced skills development and career planning assistance;
- Enhance core aspects of academic practice such as teaching and writing;
- Support high quality research design and project completion;
- Develop emerging and current leaders; and
- Increase academic staff wellbeing, engagement and retention.
Ready for the next step? Get in touch for a free, no-obligation initial consultation.