Meet Rachel and Lucile, our WoMo coaching partners:
Rachel Morris - Motion Learning: Maternity Coaching
WoMo Rachel Morris is a mother of two young children and a highly esteemed Maternity Coach with over 15 years' experience. Rachel helps women as they try to juggle pregnancy, work and the looming prospect of an addition to the family. It’s a challenge she has experienced first-hand.
Rachel works with women in a range of roles, typically involving management. She supports them before, during and after their maternity leave. Typically these women leave a work landscape behind that will change during the time they are off. They also enter a period of great personal uncertainty which challenges them in a completely different way.
It’s not surprising that women feel less confident, certain and in control during these times and that is where coaching plays a massive part. Rachel provides a sounding board, an experienced professional voice which offers guidance, reassurance, ideas and helps identify solutions during this time of uncertainty.
Common WoMo 'themes'
I don't want to leave my job and I'm concerned about handing it over to someone else
- Am I going to be as good at my job having had time off?
Will people view me differently or see me as less credible?
I've lost confidence
How on earth can I be good at being a mother, a professional and a partner all at the same time?
I left the workplace with one 'life' and have returned with a very different one, this is hard to get my head around!
My workplace has changed drastically during the time I was away
Will I still be viewed as being committed to my work if I need to leave bang on 5pm for nursery collection?
Do I have the ‘right’ to be considered for that next promotion at this stage in my life? What if I take time off to have another child soon?
Why is maternity coaching important for organisations?
The number of amazing, talented women lost to businesses before, during or after their maternity leave is astonishing. And yet, it seems this population is one that has historically been ignored and forgotten.
Rachel is seeing an awakening across businesses to the significance of this ‘lost population’. A realisation that women who spent year upon year focussing on their professions before having a family still want to have a career after having one.
There are all sorts of reasons maternity coaching can benefit organisations. A lot of talent is lost when maternity leavers don’t return, so any organisation looking to retain their talent should undoubtedly think of this option. Often even those who ‘return’ feel displaced, and immediately question whether it remains the right place for them. They question lots, including whether they are still ‘entitled’ to try for upcoming promotions having been out for a period of time; whether they are fully contributing if they have to leave at a fixed time… The list of questions is really quite long.
At the same time organisations are recognising their duty of care for the employees, and supporting and promoting the wellbeing of employees is a business responsibility.
When organisations demonstrate that they care, and show that they value individuals, those individuals are willing to work even harder for the organisation on their return.
What does it involve?
Rachel supports clients over a series of 6 conversations. Typically these would take place in the months leading up to maternity leave, as you prepare to come back, and during the first few months back in work.
Sessions are led by the individual however, common areas include:
- Letting go, even if only temporarily
- Handing over to your maternity cover
- Retaining your confidence – recognising that you might be different, but still as good, if not better than you ever were
- Balancing your new work-life priorities – juggling better than you’ve every juggled before
- Dealing with other’s reactions to your new approach
- Controlling your own mind and the space it requires
- Communicating your mid and long terms goals and aspirations
Overall the sessions are about supporting the individual, and giving them the chance to face their workload and working environment with confidence and reassurance.
The coaching is uncomplicated, completely open, honest, non-judgemental and supportive. She takes an outcome focused approach, agreeing the “road map” – where you’re heading, the areas you want to cover, and what you want to get out of the process.
Rachel has an extensive coaching client list which includes leading professionals at:
- Channel 4;
- Harvey Nichols;
- The White Company; and
Lucile Knight - Coaching for career-loving parents
You have managed to go on maternity leave, come back and find your feet again in your new role as a career-loving mother. Well done! What happens next?
As a working parent, the pressure is constantly on, and trying to make it all work can be incredibly overwhelming and stressful. You now want to keep your career progressing, all the while ensuring a sustainable routine that won’t leave you all burnt-out in three months. You want to design a life where you, your partner and kids are all flourishing.
Lucile Knight’s mission is to help working parents create their ideal physical and emotional environment to allow them and their family to thrive.
Lucile believes nurturing a harmonious family life can rhyme with leading a fulfilling career. Work and family life are not two opposites which cannot be reconciled, but instead they feed off each other. A mother of two herself, she is passionate about personal growth and enabling individuals to develop their full potential.
During your sessions with Lucile, you will delve into your objectives, challenges and options. She will help you create a tailored action plan and will support you as you achieve your goals. She works with you, for you and at your own pace. Lucile creates a confidential, non-judgemental and honest space to help you get to the heart of your challenges.
Lucile’s coaching style is a healthy mix of pragmatism and emotional work, combining high energy levels with contagious enthusiasm. She will challenge you to step back and consider all of your options so that you can make fundamental changes and achieve your ideal work-life balance.
Three dimensions to an ideal work/life balance
There is no "one size fits all" when it comes to lifestyles. Finding your unique equilibrium in life means taking a good look at everything in it: your thoughts, desires and beliefs, your behaviours, and the people who truly matter. Fine tuning the three dimensions of your life will enable you to shape what you want it to be.
While you set the agenda of the coaching sessions, here are some examples of areas that coaching with Lucile can help you with:
1. Letting go of:
- Harsh self-judgement
- Limiting beliefs holding you back
- Self-imposed and counterproductive guilt
- Feelings of only reacting to events
- Overwhelming dilemmas
- Potential burn-out risks
- A daily family routine that works for everyone involved - yourself, your partner, your kids and your team at work
- Your ideal childcare solution
- A career progression to fit your ambition
- The perfect role at work
3. Making the most of:
- Your time and your conflicting priorities
- Your energy levels and where to use them
- Your relationships and the expectations you set with the people in your life
- Challenging conversations at home and at work