Me

I got lucky. A hard-core tendency for self-destruction brought me to my knees early. Turns out that’s a useful place to learn.

What I couldn’t see back then was the same thing that I regularly see with my clients – if you can’t clearly define the real problem, you’ll end up creating even more of them, and a fog of drama, noise and distraction that will keep you very busy as you waste your life. 

I’ve gone from being kicked out of biker parties to being welcomed into the C-Suite of some of the world’s most successful companies. My extreme behaviour wasn’t the problem – it was the solution.

For the past 20 years I’ve had the privilege of using what I learned for myself as I’ve taught, observed, coached and given feedback to hundreds of senior leaders and teams globally. I’ve given leadership master-classes in over 25 countries & helped senior teams and individuals to align on their purpose and values, resolve conflicts, execute strategy and accelerate performance. If you, your team and your organisation are ready to really learn what it takes to succeed – get in touch.

You

Executive coaching

What you’ll get from coaching with me:

  • Clarity – the human equivalent of an MRI scan from someone who’s observed thousands of successful people on the corporate field of play
  • Feedback – I’ll share my honest observations with you in a way that builds you up
  • A powerful ally – leading is a lonely journey. My clients know I’ve got their back
  • A rare quality of listening – a safe space to be your true self
  • Action bias – this isn’t therapy. It may be therapeutic, but I’m in the business of getting you better results
  • Ecosystem thinking – we’ll map out your particular system and plan how to amplify your impact
  • Political strategy – understanding where the power lies, and how to maximise yours
  • Evolution – you are either expanding or contracting. We’ll check for plateaus in your development
  • Rehearsal – we practice!   Hard conversations, big pitches, critical town halls. In a safe space, with immediate feedback, on everything from content to impact. Expect intensive debriefs!

Team coaching

“Only deliberate intent stops the urgent from ruining us”

I help teams to:

  • Articulate their compelling purpose & direction
  • Get deliberate & stay focused on what’s important
  • Be both productive & positive, valuing hearts as much as minds
  • Avoid mediocrity by protecting their deviants
  • Create the collective habits & structures of success
  • Avoid unhelpful groupthink, whilst creating deep loyalty to the cause
  • Suspend the pre-occupation with ‘doing’ for long enough to decide on the right things to do
  • Safely explore the edges around disagreements, conflicts, differences
  • Understand trust as their key resource and how to generate more of it
  • Get into dialogue v debate – having generative conversations
  • Get into ‘flow’ states so they can improvise & create at speed
  • Deliver results!

Training and Workshops

“We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.”  – Archilochos

I design and deliver learning simulations which:

  • Understand our core need for sense-making and how we learn through emotional engagement
  • Approximate as closely as possible the conditions people will be required to perform in
  • Break down the required performance so that busy people can actually learn
  • Practice the skills live, with feedback, in a psychologically safe environment
  • Hold the intensity & ensure enough ‘crucible’ moments to create the breakthroughs that drive next level performance
  • Ensure new skills are integrated by designing habit loops, environmental re-enforcement & a community of accountability
Masterclasses
  • Who do You Think You Are?
  • The Art & Science of Communication
  • Networking for Leaders
  • Personal Brand
  • Coaching Skills for Leaders

Facilitation

I’m regularly asked to facilitate both individuals and teams where difficulties have arisen, relationships are in jeopardy, or performance has stalled.

The job of the facilitator is to make things easier – to bring ease to difficult circumstances, so that new energy and new possibilities can be explored.  It means walking into the fire and supporting whatever needs to be burned away so that new growth & innovation can emerge.

Trouble in a team or a relationship can be a very useful portal to new levels of engagement & performance –  if worked with skilfully. Supporting all voices, all perspectives and making room for the marginalised allows new life and new potential to unfold, and next level performance to be achieved.

Sometimes a lack of trouble is the problem – things are too cosy, too safe, too nice. Cordial hypocrisy rules the day. I have a knack for creating useful trouble – and the skills to keep everyone safe when things get dangerous. I pay a forensic level of attention to the signals that the system is sending, and work with everyone involved to bring a new future into being.

Testimonials

“Paula is a great listener and has real presence; her authenticity is both calming and reassuring. She works with the most senior, and often the most challenging clients – and has experience that extends across all levels. She has a rare ability to create genuine and honest relationships – not just to understand context but to really build a connection. As an L&D professional I feel genuinely cared about – I know whatever happens with the project or relationships, no matter how complex, she will be able to make it work. That really sets her apart.”

Lida Da Sie Head Of Talent, Direct Line Group

Paula is a profound mentor and coach. She worked with me during an ‘interesting’ time in my career, and from the very first meeting helped me to re-evaluate and assess things from a very different perspective. Through her very clever, searching and self-awareness related questions, she help me crystalise my thoughts on my current position and helped me craft a future path that would help me achieve both my professional and personal goals. Now three years after our first meeting, and several sessions later, she has helped give me a renewed self-belief and I am delighted to have already achieved many of the goals, some of which I thought would be impossible.

Karl Havard Head of GFT’s Google Alliance

Paula has a wealth of experience across a diverse set of industries and client groups. She is able to respond in the moment and be flexible to the needs of the client, drawing on that wealth of experience. She is thought provoking and challenging in a respectful and appropriate way that enables leaders and HR partners to really stretch and develop their capabilities. A true partner, she works with you to find solutions and brings lots of ideas to the table.

Wendy James Leadership, Learning, Talent & Diversity Director, BT

I have worked with Paula for a number of years across different organisations.  Her skill as a facilitator and coach, both working with senior teams and with senior individuals, has never failed to impress me and she delivers results time after time.  Her ability to connect through her own authenticity and to create the right environment for the necessary tough conversations to flow is a hallmark of her work.  It is also at the heart of why she has proved an invaluable sounding board to me personally over the years.

Mark Chapman General Counsel & Society Secretary - Nationwide Building Society

I have been coached by Paula for a couple of years now and her support has been at the heart of both my personal and professional development. Whilst helping me on many aspects of my development, Paula has helped me with a number of difficult situations which have always resulted with me achieving better outcomes than I would have done without her support. In terms of style and approach, Paula finds a great balance of challenging me and my thinking, keeping sessions light hearted and fun and balancing the short and long term goals I have. I would thoroughly recommend Paula as a coach, she’s made an incredible difference to me.

Simon Collier Partner, PA Consulting

If you are looking for a compassionate perceptive team coach who builds on a wealth of real-life and corporate experience to deliver meaningful change, speak to Paula.

I’ve worked with Paula with executive teams in different FTSE 100 corporates where she has taken time to understand and clarify objectives, personalities and effective influencing styles to deliver impactful sessions and ignite meaningful change.

If you want someone friendly and polite who will allow you to avoid the tough conversations and blockers that are preventing you from succeeding, perhaps Paula is not your best option. But know that she will challenge in a safe way where everyone feels valued and part of the solution.

I look forward to the next opportunity to work with Paula.

Sophie Schwass Regional COO - Clifford Chance

I worked with Paula Boyle in an executive coaching capacity during my time at Barclays Bank in London. I have had a few coaches over the years but none were as effective as Paula. She has a unique style that sees her obtain an in-depth understanding of you as a person as well as an executive, allowing her to tailor her approach to you as an individual. She comfortably moves between providing encouragement/advice as well as some “tough-love” when that is appropriate.

I recall a dinner gathering of Barclays senior leadership group (circa top 100 executives) when a number of us were discussing our executive coaches. It wasn’t surprising to hear several of my colleagues were also raving fans of Paula – and none of us knew that Paula was their coach as well as our own! I would highly recommend Paula as an executive coach.

Steve Weston Co-founder and CEO - Volt Bank

I have experience of working with Paula from my time at the Private Bank at Barclays, both with executive coaching for members of the leadership team as well as in cross-cultural leadership group settings. Her in-depth understanding of the business, culture & environment enabled rapid and tangible progress to be made, something often missing in terms of demonstrable ROI from such activity.

Her executive coaching skills were of immense value to those she coached, rapidly building levels of trust and supporting senior leaders through significant business transitions and challenges.

In the team environment, Paula is able to go beyond facilitation to push executive teams to a higher bar for high performance, both in terms of their own behaviours as well as for their broader teams. Much of this is achieved through encouraging leadership teams to find their own workable solutions, but some is achieved through Paula’s direct style and ‘radical candour’.

Imogen Scott People & Capability Business Partner | Mastercard

May I, once again, express my sincere thanks for the support you gave the BAB Women’s conference yesterday. I loved your master class and the messaging about getting out of the kitchen and into the dining room, I certainly will!  We are just starting to go through the feedback and are really delighted with the response thus far, which has been overwhelmingly positive. Comments have included: “Invaluable insights and top tips that I will use and follow up on. Feel inspired!” “I have come away with new confidence and determination” One of the most impactful seminars I have attended recently” Thank you for your contribution in making the morning such a success.

BAB Womens Conference

I have been working with Paula for seven years now. She is the most wonderful listener and has helped me countless times to make sense of the challenges and issues I have faced. She is compassionate but honest, never failing to “hold up the mirror”. Her guidance has been incredibly powerful, and freed me up to make much bolder decisions, which ultimately catapulted my career forward. My sessions with Paula always leave me energised, clearer and more motivated. I would not miss them.

Jenny Geary CRO/COO ASTO UK, Santander Digital bank. Author of How to be a Chief Operating Officer: 16 Disciplines for Success

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with Paula for the past 7 years, both as a course facilitator and coach. During my time at BP and at Barclays. She’s worked at multiple levels in the organisation, and I particularly relied on her with our most senior leaders. As an example she coached the CEO of one of our major business areas through a difficult transition process for him personally and for the organisation as a whole.

I find that Paula has two particularly strong qualities as a senior level coach: first she’s highly flexible and adaptive to the environment, and able to strongly link with the business context and reality, and second she’s very honest and direct, with high levels of empathy.

It has been a pleasure working with Paula and I highly recommend her as a coach to senior leaders.

Celia Berenguer Chief Learning Officer - Sanofi

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