Welcome to Wood Not Trees Coaching. My name is Chris Wood and I am dedicated to helping leaders and teams find clarity of thought and purpose, so that they move forward with renewed confidence. Clarity and confidence are essential ingredients for success in business - and for life fulfilment. My bespoke executive coaching and mentoring services are designed to ensure that clarity and confidence are your trusted partners, rather than distant and seldom-seen cousins.
I believe that we all have an innate desire to grow and move forward, and that executive coaching can help by facilitating learning, development and improved performance.
I believe that at its best, executive coaching is a unique and creative collaboration, designed to figure out the best way ahead. Coaching isn’t about telling, or even suggesting. Coaching is about empowerment, so that people can find their own way to move forward. Coaching is very often about career development, performance and progression. It can also be about so much more than that – helping you to find new ways of facing the challenges that life keeps throwing your way, so that you can move forward as a professional while growing as a person.
The outcomes of my work tend to be increased clarity and reinforced confidence, which crystalise as we go through two distinct phases: discovery and development.
Discovery means understanding the complex dynamics of a situation – whether it’s unpicking thoughts and feelings so that we can figure out what’s really going on inside, or gaining insight and perspective about a business situation.
Development means creating and deploying strategies to bring greater personal growth, business success and life fulfilment.
I am a person-centred, humanistic coach which means that my intention is to nurture the growth instinct that we all possess, but which can get buried beneath the daily patterns of career and life. My work is also influenced by Humanism, Gestalt, Transactional Analysis, NLP, Mindfulness and Positive Psychology.
I started my coaching practice in 2013, qualifying with a Professional Certificate in Coaching from Henley Business School. I have subsequently earned accreditation as a Senior Practitioner with the European Mentoring and Coaching Council. I am studying for an MSc in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology at the University of East London and I am a member of the Association for Coaching. I am trained to Master level in the healing art of Reiki, which has an indirect influence on my work.
My previous career was in public relations, where I worked my way up from graduate trainee to managing director. For nearly 20 years I held board-level positions at blue chip consultancies including Ketchum, Burson Marsteller and Cake and I currently hold two non-executive directorships.
I like to walk my dog in Epping Forest while reflecting on the world of coaching and mentoring. On the way back from my walks I let my thoughts wander to the fortunes of Stoke City FC, try to remember the words of the latest song we’re learning at choir and wonder if the weekend temperature is likely to suit the fair-weather cyclist within.
"Coaching isn’t about telling, or even suggesting. Coaching is about empowerment, so that people can find their own way to move forward."
What I’ll put into the partnership is: my professional expertise as an accredited coach (I’m a Senior Practitioner with the European Mentoring and Coaching Council); anything relevant from my corporate experience; anything relevant from my studies for an MSc in Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology; my awareness of energy flows (I’m a Master of Reiki); my undivided attention and focus; my honesty, my optimism, my pragmatism and at times, my sense of humour.
Partnerships are a two-way thing, of course, and there are some things that you’ll need to contribute, too. The fundamentals are: items that you want to discuss; a willingness to change; your focus and attention. These might at different times need to be leavened with: your honesty, your perseverance, your reflections, your open-mindedness, your humility, and your pluck.
What sort of things might we work on? The short answer is: whatever you bring that I can help with. I work with leaders to enhance or rediscover clarity and confidence. To help them be at their best, more of the time. This tends to cover challenges such as: assertiveness; delegation; imposter syndrome; inter-personal relationships; leadership style; motivation; prioritisation; purpose; self-belief; well-being and work-life balance.
My work with teams focuses on establishing authentic connection and communication between team members and greater clarity around the dynamics of the system within which it operates. Thereafter, my role tends to become more about facilitation, as the experience and talents of the team come to the fore to shape the team’s future.
The shape of the team coaching programme will be determined in consultation with you and your team, and tailored to your unique situation. It is very likely that individual coaching about the changing environment of the team will accompany the collective work.
Presentation skills coaching
With my flexible Hold the Room programme, I help individuals and teams to hone their skills so that they can do just that: hold the room, whether it’s for a business pitch or a public speaking engagement to hundreds of people.
With experienced presenters, I maintain a coaching approach. There might be a need to gently brush up on some technical issues, but very often the need is more to overcome self-limiting beliefs about their own capabilities as a presenter. We work together to develop a more authentic speaking presence.
With less experienced speakers, there might be more of an emphasis on training, as we develop a greater confidence in the nuts and bolts of presenting. Here though, a coaching element remains as we contemplate the unavoidable truth that when presenting, your audience might well be looking at you!
New leaders: growing in to the role
Communication & listening skills
Personal strengths development
All workshops are developed in response to specific client briefs and I would be happy to have an initial conversation about your particular needs.