Caroline Quaife

Hi, I’m Caroline.  I really enjoy being part of our Staff College community with our shared values of inclusivity, learning and growth and enabling others. I value our shared approach here, enabling people to move beyond blocks to a renewed sense of positive purpose and wellbeing.

I started my career as a psychological counsellor, then over 30 years ago I became an internal coach whilst working in Senior OD/HR roles in private and public sector organisations. This included working under a DCS supporting a joined-up values-based approach for children, young people and families. Continuing that blend of support and challenge so people can make intentional choices about their life and be better able to support Children and Young People is what is dear to me here in Staff College.

During my time in Childrens Services I became fascinated by the question of how to support leaders working across partnerships and undergoing through complex change. Leadership having such a huge impact on how children and young people were supported – or not. Currently I find that leaders and staff are experiencing hugely challenging times, with stress becoming the everyday norm. The challenges are getting more complex, bigger and bigger.

My experience is that there are two big differentiators between high and low success in leading large complex change. Firstly, a leader’s ability to be mindful, to regulate ones’ own response, to come off autopilot and have a wider range of responses. Secondly, building one’s capacity to perceive the world through a systemic lens. Being able to look beneath obvious experience and see the deeper and wider structures underneath.

These two threads have influenced my subsequent personal growth and training. To improve my own and other’s ability to ‘come off autopilot’ I trained in somatic coaching.  Here I have found the power of using and aligning all our intelligences – physical, emotional as well as cognitive intelligence. Being a somatic coach enables me to support those who are ‘stuck in their heads’ and find ways from thoughts circling round and feeling stuck, to deep and sustainable change. For myself it has increased my ability to come back to a more centred place when I make mistakes or get upset. This has increased my sense of self-compassion and my compassion for others. I share my love of this approach through the somatic development programmes which I facilitate for coaches and leaders.

To deepen my understanding of systemic approaches I am currently training in Family Systems Constellations. It’s a powerful approach both with individual clients and with teams who have a sense of ‘carrying too much including what doesn’t quite belong to them’.  Through physically mapping the system, what has been so ‘weighty’ for so long, starts to shift.  It brings new understanding and space after a long time of stuckness for the next steps to come with positive movement – not just busy actions.

In this time of increasing global uncertainty with its emotional impact on us and those we work with, having such strong tools and approaches gives me a sense of purpose for something greater than ourselves.

When not working with clients I can be found outdoors walking my dog, wild swimming, climbing or biking. I am currently walking the Anglesey coastal path in stages and next May I am walking the Cape Wrath trail (and feeling a bit daunted by this at the moment).

Please do connect with me on LinkedIn or contact me for a coffee as I love talking coaching with fellow coaches.