What do you love about coaching?
People! I have been fascinated by people since I can remember, which is what led me to take my
degree in psychology. I love spending time with people and am constantly amazed by the
uniqueness of us all and the strength of humans. I am increasingly interested in the differences and similarities between us all, our strengths and what makes us fulfilled and gives us purpose. I am lucky to work with people from all over the world, in different industries and that means I get to
experience huge variety in my work. I love supporting my clients to achieve better things for
themselves and watching them grow in to the best version of themselves. I like to create a safe
space for my clients to work out the best way to benefit from coaching: whilst many are happy to
be coached face to face or via Zoom, I also have clients who prefer us to walk whilst coaching,
using the external environment to support their thinking.
I am always amazed by the dynamics of working in a group and the results that can be achieved
through group coaching. We all learn so much from each other and this can be seen with such
clarity in small group coaching sessions.
Whilst my clients often want to work on the here and now and achieving goals in their lives, many
are starting to explore their spiritual selves, something that resonates with me and I’ve recently started a 7-8 year course to qualify as an Existential Analysis and Logotherapy
psychotherapist. This allows me to support clients in their search for life’s meaning and their purpose.
How do you unwind?
I love being outside and unwinding for me needs to involve nature! Whether that is walking my dog, lying in the garden and staring at the sky, or, my unwinding-activity of choice, swimming. I love swimming outdoors, especially in the sea. The repetitive nature of swimming, especially for long distances in the sea, is the most calm I can be! Last year I swam the English channel in a relay and strangely that was one of the most peaceful experiences of my life, so much so that I am training for a solo channel swim in 2023!
I also love spending time with friends and with my 3 teenagers (when they’re not pushing the boundaries!!) and I make time to travel whenever I can, often combining work trips with mini breaks!
What inspired you to work with CTG?
I love Brad’s approach to coaching and learning. He works with the whole person, rather than just the work persona, this is something I feel passionately about. I love the fact that CTG is a global company, I have learnt so much from working with clients from around the world and CTG allows me to continue to work with a diverse group of fascinating people!
Polly Downes is an experienced Executive Coach who coaches senior level executives from a variety of industries internationally. From individuals looking to achieve life goals or find true happiness, to large scale corporations looking to get the best out of their people, Polly ignites passion and energy into every relationship.
Polly is devoted to enabling her clients to become the best person that they can be. Honouring their ability to come up with the best answer for themselves she quickly builds trust and rapport with her clients, allowing them to explore their thoughts and their way of being; she encourages her clients to take risks, to think differently & to explore their ‘whole self’, not just their ‘work self’.
Polly is a challenging coach which results in transformational and life changing moments for her clients. Through working with Polly, clients find clarity in their thinking, purpose and happiness. Polly believes that one of the greatest benefits of coaching is self-reflection; she builds the safe, still place for her clients to be able to to self reflect:
“We cannot see our reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see”. (Taoist proverb).
As well as working with individuals, Polly’s recent clients have included: Linked In, Microsoft, American Express, ITN news, Zone Digital, The Royal National Theatre, National Air Traffic Control & Vogue as well as working on a pro bono basis for The Big Issue.
Before becoming a coach, Polly worked in relationship and strategic solution roles for Dow Jones Newswires and the FT.com. She stood as Vice Chair of Governors in an inner-city London school for over ten years.
Polly is a PCC accredited coach with the ICF; she is qualified to deliver EQi 2.0 & 360 psychometric, as well as Coaching Skills for Families. She is a Team and Group Coach as well as a 1:1 executive coach. Polly is Psychologies Magazine ‘Coach of the Month’ October 2020 and a regular panelist on Psychologies.tv weekly webinar.
Polly chats to Brad on Episode 38 of The Lockdown Sessions.