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Exclusive Interview With Suki Collins ‒ Business Coach/Executive Coach

Suki Collins is a leading Business Coach and an accredited Executive Coach. She has had over 20 years of experience at the senior HR management level. She practices a coaching style of management and has seen the difference coaching can make to an individual, a team, and the organization. On an organization level, she was responsible for establishing a Medical School in the United Kingdom. Currently, the School is in the top 5 Medical Schools in the UK. She coached senior leadership to utilize HR tools for ensuring performance and foster a culture of continuous improvement.

Equity, Diversity, Inclusivity (EDI), and belonging are at the heart of everything Suki does.

Suki is the Founder/Director of Pebbles Coaching and Wellbeing Consultancy, established in 2020. Her company aims to provide coaching to individuals, teams, and organizations, leveraging the insight of over two decades’ senior management experience within two top Universities and extensive executive coaching experience.

Suki is passionate about new challenges, has a positive outlook on life, and this is carried through everything she does. She strongly believes that a positive mindset can take her through any challenges she faces in life.

Suki’s mission: spread the word about the positive impact of coaching.

Suki Collins, Business Coach/Executive Coach

Who is Suki? What makes who Suki is?

You asked me who Suki Collins is, what makes me wake up in the morning and embrace the day ahead?

Marcus Aurelius said, ‘When you arise in the morning think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive ’, I have always felt this way when I get up in the morning. I do not know what my day is going to bring, it is both a surprise, a privilege and fun.

I live in Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom, one of the most beautiful places in Wales.

“An ugly, lovely town..., sprawling…by the side of a long and splendid curving shore. This sea-town was my world.” Dylan Thomas.

We live 15 miles from the Brecon Beacons, a National Park. I live with my mum, husband and three fur babies.

I have had my share of disappointments and successes in my life, what I value most is kindness and caring for your fellow man, I mean man in the human being sense and the world around us. We often forget how we are all connected in this Universe. We are all on this journey together and is it important to surround yourself with the right people with the correct values.

I graduated with a Science degree and proceeded to do my PhD with Glaxo – on Modelling, unfortunately, this was not for me, I love people and I was missing seeing people, so I had to give this up. After this, I had a successful career in Finance before moving to an amazing career in Human Resources. This is where I learned to deal with people and amassed most of the wonderful skills I have today. I even learnt to coach, a concept which still baffles people.

I am lucky to have a portfolio career; I work part-time at a Higher Education Establishment as a Staff Engagement Officer and as an Executive Coach, I also enjoy coaching our part-time MBA students. I am also a Founder/Director of a company, Pebbles Coaching, where I work as an Executive Coach as well as a Business coach. I created my company to get the positive message of the impact of coaching to as many people as possible. I love both my careers; they complement each other well.

What is your biggest achievement to date?

The one I am proud to date is the establishment of a Medical School. I was headhunted to establish a Medical School from its conception because of my previous experience as a Human Resources Manager within an existing Medical School. I had to think outside the box as there was a lot invested in the new School and I know that we could not afford to fail.

The Senior Leadership Team including myself drew up a ten-year strategic plan which supported the growth of the Medical School and the associated Health Boards. Currently, the School is in the top five Medical Schools in the United Kingdom. I introduced demographic and cognitive diversity into the School and coached the senior leadership to utilise the available Human Resources tools for ensuring performance and fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

What is your proudest moment in 2021?

The proudest moment in 2021 was when I was given the BRAINZ 500 Global Awards, I know that this is a prestigious list of top entrepreneurs and influential leaders who are recognised for their entrepreneurial success. I was so proud to see my name on the list. I felt privileged and honoured, thank you BRAINZ magazine.

What motivates you?

I have a positive outlook on life, my glass is always half full. I think people around me motivate me, I am surrounded by some amazing people. The people who work with me, my colleagues, my stakeholders including my clients, my friends, and my family. Every day is a blessing, I am very lucky.

I have a set morning routine that gets me ready to face each day. I get up between 4.30 am and 5.30 am every day. I meditate for 10 -15 minutes each day, keep a gratitude journal, and read positive affirmations for the day before I go down to feed and spend some quality time with my fur babies. How could I not be motivated if I have this every day?

Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution – Maya Angelou.

This quote my Maya is one of my favourites, if you are not frightened, you will face each day as a new day and embrace each day.

Maya was an inspirational person, and she inspires me every day.

What is it that you do for your clients?

I coach my clients so they can be the best version of themselves. I try to get them to reflect and grow and transform. I listen to and facilitate their growth. I also like to make sure that the transformation they go through is sustainable and is reflected in all parts of their life, I offer what is called Systemic Coaching. Systemic coaching goes beyond the individual, it considers all the stakeholders the individual interacts with and the effect is very powerful if it is done properly. The transformation is sustainable, and it reverberates every day of their life, both personal and professional.

Nietzsche’s quote fits in nicely with my philosophy on coaching, “with the help of favourable measures great individuals might be reared who would be both different from and higher than those here to fore have owed their existence to mere chance”. He talks about the individual having the opportunity and the intervention to make a change and become the best version of themselves.

I called my company Pebbles because it is all about pebbles, steppingstones, we must take one step at a time and create ripples to produce a transformational change to reach our destination.

Who should hire/work with you?

I work with C-Suite leaders, we all need good listeners, especially at the top of your game, it is difficult to vent your frustration and to have a sounding board – this is where I come in as your coach.

I love working with leaders in STEM(M) (Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine and Maths), this is my background. I seem to attract mostly female leaders and enjoy seeing them getting promoted after having coaching with me and once they are promoted, I work with them to become great leaders in their field. We are still underrepresented in this sector, and we need to encourage more females to come forward.

I also work with the senior leaders on their leadership team – I love the way the team comes together to perform as one team, I do not like to create teams who become yes people, I like to create teams who challenge the status quo and become innovative.

What is your big goal? Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

I want Pebbles to be one of the recognised names in coaching. I always wanted a Non-Executive Role- preferably in a pharmaceutical company, possibly having two in ten years. I also want to have a team of three people who look after all the administration and the social media allowing me to concentrate on my coaching, which I love.

How do you unwind?

I love reading and having a coffee and a chat with my friends. I also enjoy watching foreign-language films. I go for walks with my husband and friends, provided the weather is lovely.

Another of Maya’s quotes comes to mind – If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?

It is important to be kind to yourself, this is so important for me as a coach. Coaching can be exhilarating as well as draining, therefore it is important to have downtime.

Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

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