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Emma Higginson-Smith

Professional Certificate in Executive Coaching

Emma, how did you come to be on the Henley Professional Certificate in Coaching?

‘I had always wanted to develop my formal education in coaching, and had heard positive things about Henley in executive circles. I wanted to challenge myself and make sure that I was delivering my coaching practice in the right way. Having missed the open day through work commitments, I spoke to the team directly and found them really helpful. Owing to the cost commitment, it was important for me that the course would deliver the value and weight I was seeking.’

So while you embarked on the programme well-prepared, were there any surprises?

‘Yes. My work as a lobbyist and strategy advisor has taught me to read people and situations, and to respond in an astute, perceptive and systematic manner, with a purpose in mind. I had always aspired to achieve clarity in every meeting, in every contract. I was used to offering a non-judgmental environment to the person in front of me. I would adapt to the situation, modify my behaviour and, in doing so, achieve a successful outcome. It wasn’t long before I came across a monumental change in thinking. The Henley approach to coaching was totally different, encouraging each of us to develop our individual self-acceptance, and to coach as ourselves.’

What were the other highlights for you?

‘The tutors – Alison and Tracy – were extremely insightful and inspiring, and the programme added a whole new layer of granularity to my coaching capability. The whole Henley team provided such long lasting support and I made great connections within our cohort – we have had several meet-ups since the programme and I’m sure we’ll continue to do so.

'The integration of the tools and techniques with the reflective elements has definitely accelerated my own development, and understanding the Gestalt technique and the importance of active listening have had a profound impact.’

How else have you changed?

‘The programme has had so many layers of impact. My confidence as a coach has grown; friends and family have seen a more self-accepting persona. I had to make a big decision in my personal life recently involving a relocation with my family. I am pleased to say I used one of the techniques – the force field analysis – to assist us with this decision.’

What advice would you offer to anyone thinking of enrolling on the programme?

‘My advice would be that if you want to add depth and breadth to your coaching, and are open-minded about your own development, Henley is the place for you. No other coaching courses that I am aware of compare to it.

'Henley’s tutors are exceptional, and the setting is conducive to powerful learning and interaction. The pace is well engineered, and the content of the programme provides a very good balance between theory and practice. I gained more from the course than I could possibly have imagined.’

Find out more about the Professional Certificate in Executive Coaching