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Change - the Authentic Tea podcast with Fiona

As an accredited European Mentoring and Coaching Council master coach, Fiona shares her extensive experience and expertise in healthcare and behaviour change with medical and public health professionals.

Fiona is an executive coach and career counsellor as well as a trained mindfulness-based cognitive therapy teacher. Her background in Public Health allows her to support individuals to grow as leaders. With Fiona Day Consulting, Fiona helps leaders reach their potential and meet the challenges and demands of working in healthcare.

For Episode 23 of the Authentic Tea podcast, we are joined by Fiona.

Rach (00:00):

Today I am delighted to be joined by Fiona as an accredited European mentoring and coaching council, master coach. Fiona shares her extensive experience and expertise in healthcare and behavior change with medical and public health professionals. Dana is an executive coach and career counselor, and as well as mindfulness based cognitive therapy teacher her background in public health allows her to support individuals to grow and develop as leaders. With the end of day consulting Fiona is helping leaders to reach their potential and meet the challenges and demands of working in healthcare. Welcome Fiona.

Fiona (00:39):

Hi, Rach. Good morning. Great to be here.

Rach (00:41):

Thank you for joining us today. And I'm excited to chat more about what you're offering through your coaching and through the leadership counseling that you're doing. So maybe you could just explain a little bit, I know at the moment you're working a lot with leaders to transform health leadership. How did your own experience of leadership roles lead you to identify this as something that you wanted to pursue in your own career?

Fiona (01:06):

When I was a young medical student, I was part of a peer mentoring scheme. So, I've always been really interested in developmental approaches to how professionals grow and develop. And I did a psychology degree as part of my medical school and intercalated degree in psychology, which really rocked my world. I focused on the psychology, you know, the new science of positive psychology, which was the first course in the UK, which actually specialized in positive psychology in the very early 1990s. And it really rocked my world. It created the foundation for the rest of my career. So I was then attracted into public health because I was interested in systems change and leadership. So I've always been kind of really interested in that area. And then as my own career progressed, I became, you know, a consultant became an associate medical director and then managing large teams, managing people, you know, influencing at scale across large populations and across multiple organizations. I had to really focus hard on my own development to be effective in that context because obviously, you know, leadership is something that is the journey of a lifetime, but like yoga, you know, you never get there. It's not, you never kind of become tick a box and you're, you're there, it's something that you can always refine, improve, learn more about. And so as part of my own leadership development. I experienced executive coaching for myself as a leader to help me to, you know, lead larger and larger teams at scale to have influence particularly that when public health then moved into local government and the role changed a lot, you know, you were suddenly influencing politicians and, and working in a very different way. So my own experience of executive coaching then sort of fed my existing influence about interest in leadership and how that worked.

Fiona (03:06):

And so I, I realized actually after a period of time that I was spending a lot of time developing my own staff and that people were increasingly coming to me for mentoring, for leadership development. And then when I took on my associate medical director role, I had a lot of new GP leaders. So they were established GP partners, very skilled and experienced at running GP practices, but they didn't have the same set of leadership competencies that were needed to work in a system leadership role rather than within a practice. So I then became, you know, curious about, well, how could I be more effective in this role, myself in developing other people? And how could I really integrate all the you know, my previous experience and learning and to be really to add real value to these emerging leaders. So that's when I went and did the executive coaching training myself about seven years ago now, I think,

Rach (04:09):

Thank you. It's really great to hear how that's progressed over time. And I'd love to explore a little bit more about your own experience of the executive coaching, because that sounds like that was really a point where you started to realize everything else you've been doing was really coaching, just not in a formal way. Could you share a little bit about what that was like and what you saw change in you and the potential that you identified?

Fiona (04:34):

So I had mentoring as part of my registrar role, and then as a new consultant, it was actually a condition of my first consultant appointment. Because I was going from, I had experience of managing people, but on quite a small scale to suddenly managing a team of over 20 people. So one of the conditions of my appointment to that first consultant post was that I had professional mentoring as part of that. And actually the mentor that I worked with at that time was my previous boss from you know, the job where I had been a sort of senior registrar, but it wasn't quite still quite an informal relationship. It wasn't, as you know, there weren't, you know, in coaching and mentoring, when you do it at a professional level, like I do, it's very much within a context of a learning agreement contract between people. And so it wasn't as formalized as that, but it was, you know, that was, that really helps me to learn and grow. That was a much more of a, you know, somebody giving me the benefit of their expertise. I kind of much more of a mentoring relationship. So somebody guiding me using coaching techniques as well, but also guiding me. But then when I went on to do the aspiring director of public health program, that was the first time that I experienced executive coaching, which was much more a relationship of equals working together around my goals and the person that who was my executive coach at the time. It didn't from a medical law, public health background at all. She was just a really great coach and she, you know, asked the right kind of questions to help me to work out whether or not that was the career path that I wanted to follow for myself. And I realized oh actually, there's a, there's another methodology here, which is, you know, in the professional context, because my master's was in health promotion and health education back in the nineties. And you know, a lot of that around the behaviour science coupled with my psychology degree was around behaviour change. So, I, you know, I'm very, very strong, sort of, you know, academic theory background underpinning my coaching practice, but I realized that, you know, there were these roles of where you could become really skilled at coaching and mentoring. And that, that was, you know, there's additional training that you could do to do to do that. And you could really add value to highly skilled people who had to make career-related decisions or who wanted to be their best selves as a leader. So I, I learnt, well, I learnt that it was something that I knew that I was already really interested in because it had, you know, it had been very much alongside me every step of the way when I finished my masters, actually back in the nineties, I remember saying to my husband, actually, I want to do this thing, developing people, but I don't know what it is or, anyway, so I kind of carried on with my medical training, became a consultant.

Fiona (07:32):

So it feels like I've kind of gone back to a lot of different things. And so my experience of executive coaching enabled me to then start to integrate all my different interests into something that was really unique to me, but really played to my own strengths so that I could really offer high impact interventions to senior doctors, medical and public health leaders, to help them to improve outcomes at scale, reduce health inequalities, but also to, you know, to be the best leaders that they can be and also to help them with their career. So separately, I trained as a career counselor as well, to help people who are feeling stuck, which is actually really very common. And you know, anybody who's younger than a few years off retirement will probably have a multi-stage career. You know, that kind of idea of three years of three, three stages in your professional life of education employment for 30, 40 years in the same job or the same career and retirement, that model is rapidly going out of the window. We can see that, you know, lots of senior professionals they've got to the next stage in their career. And then they wonder, well, where do I go from here? So yeah. So it's about being able add value to people at that stage.

Rach (08:57):

It's fascinating how it, your description sounds like you've come full circle. I love that, that there's, there's clearly been a thread the whole time through your career, even though, like you say, you've experienced different elements that clinical, and then the public health working as a public health consultant, getting to that very high-level role where you then also identified that you wanted to carry on and move again. So it's really great to hear. And I, this is part of the reason that I'd like to share people's stories, because like you say, so many people can feel stuck at some point and yet identifying maybe those values, all those things that can drive you, I think allows people to find those opportunities and those openings.

Fiona (09:40):

Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

Rach (09:42):

And throughout all of your career, you've retained that level of accreditation and you've now continued that on into your mentoring or coaching. Can you explain a little bit why that's been important to you to retain that?

Fiona (09:59):

Well, I knew, you know, coaching's a little bit like the Wild West, you know, it's an unregulated profession. It's there are a lot of people who call themselves coaches and because, you know, like I think like all interventions can do harm and some can do good. I think it's the same for coaching. So I think it is really important to have a professional infrastructure, not for every coach, you know, some sports coaches, et cetera. There's a lot of people doing some really great work that don't need that level of infrastructure behind them. But for me, I suppose I really wanted my own coaching career to be as professional as my medical career that, you know, that just really mattered to me both in terms of my accountability and, and feeling that I'm part of a system that holds me accountable so that I can be above the line and be safe in my practice and, and also to help my clients to have confidence that somebody is you know, I have to go through the equivalent of a revalidation and appraisal process in coaching.

Fiona (11:03):

Obviously the European mentoring and coaching council doesn't have the same legal statutory basis as the general medical council does, but, you know, but it's, it's getting there and then maybe over time it will have, it will move to be, you know, have more power as a regulator. So that, yeah, so that was really important to me because I think, you know, if you're going to work at the kind of level that I'm working at, you need to be able to meet people as an equal because coaching is about being an equal. So I have clients who are chief executives. I have clients who are medical directors, directors of public health leaders in general practice and in primary care. And part of being able to meet them as an equal and look them in the eye and say, you know, I am an expert in my field and you're an expert in your field. And we, we meet at that place of being of two experts working together, having that professional rigor behind me is really important to me.

Rach (11:59):

But also do you think that accountability also leads into how you sort of bridge the two different worlds? So I can see some parallels with yoga because yoga also comes from a world where there are some associations and organizations developing standards, but there are also lots of unregulated practice. And I find in my own approach to it that I'd like to use as much as possible, the evidence where it exists and to demonstrate that to people, particularly people who are coming from a science background or who are coming from a healthcare background where so much of their work is evidence-driven. I obviously talking to you, we're bound to talk about public health. Cause that's one of our commonalities, but I think for me, it's also been very important to try and bridge that gap and to show where there is evidence and to try and use that, to be able to demonstrate that we're not just picking interventions out of the air that and saying, this is going to work for you, but there, there is a process behind it. Do you also feel that we have a responsibility to contribute to that evidence. And how do you think we can both use the evidence that exists, but also add to it in the practices that we share with people?

Fiona (13:08):

Yeah. So as part of being a master coach for the EMCC, the European mentoring and coaching council, you are required to contribute to the development of the profession. So I do that in a number of different ways, which, but one of the ways that I particularly do it is about the knowledge exchange, which is knowledge into practice. So making sure that the knowledge and theory, which is out there is also disseminated to the EMCC members. So yeah, that's totally important to me and I'm really committed to that. And as well, you know, I'm also contributing to the evidence and that, you know, I'm pleased to be able to tell you that I I'm just in the process of publishing actually a case series of 34 clients, who I have been able to show a statistically significant improvement in their validated wellbeing scores before and after an average of 5.4 sessions with me.

Fiona (14:06):

So that's using the short-form Warwick Edinburgh wellbeing scale. So I think that's the first time that, that there is published evidence of impact. Obviously it's not a randomized control multicenter global trial. However, you know, I've discussed it with a former colleague that I was a PhD co-supervisor with, who's a professor of health psychology. And he says, you know, even though it's just a case series of before and after of a highly motivated group of people, it is in itself, you know, the significance is significant. Don't underplay the fact, cause it could have been that I found no impact or I could have found a negative impact. But yeah, so I'm really pleased about that, but I'm writing that up, not just as a, you know, not just as the case series, but I'm also making it into a, well, how can you as a coach develop your own approach to measuring impact and outcomes because you know, the first thing any client wants to know really is, are you any good? And, and how do you know that you're any good? So, you know, I measure my impact in lots of different ways, but one of them is that outcome than if it just feels really great to be able to, to kind of have a kind of tangible actually, you know, I can see the impact and that's really rewarding as well.

Rach (15:23):

That's fantastic. So I really look forward to reading it actually, because I think you're right, that we, it's great to be able to evaluate ourselves and evaluate our services, but also be able to share that so that other people can do a similar approach, think about what they're doing and the impact and impact is really what we're hoping to achieve by supporting other people. So it's really, it's wonderful to hear that you've been able to get to that point where you're able to publish something.

Fiona (15:51):

Yeah. Thank you. The other thing connected to that is actually, you know, very few of my clients actually have improving wellbeing as their specific goal that they want to work on. For most people, it is about leadership development or it's about getting clear about their career, or it might be about improving their work-life balance might also be something that they want to work on, but it is really interesting that the well-being outcomes do improve as part of that, because it's particularly the I feel optimistic about the future dimension and I feel able to make my mind up about things dimension, where I see the most change within that within the outcome measures.

Rach (16:31):

Oh, that's fascinating. Do you think that that clarity is something that people seek, but they don't necessarily think it's going to change? So I think we'd all, we'd all say, Oh, I'd love to know what's going to happen. I'd love to be able to look in, you know, see where my career is going. So the clarity is something that we all want, but maybe people never think that they're going to reach that. I guess some of it's about taking back, maybe control, feeling like you're in control of a situation, or you mentioned about feeling stuck. So I suppose the opposite of that is actually acknowledging where you are and knowing where you're going to move to and taking control of that yourself.

Fiona (17:12):

Yeah. And I find that a lot of people it's actually it's helping them to have a language to use to understand what they need, which is the thing that's missing for them. So I use, you know, these variety of different evidence-based career counseling exercises to help people to get clear. And, and we do that through being able to articulate exactly what people need. And then once they're clear about what they need, then it's easy to see what the options are or to negotiate within a current role. And then to to move forward from there.

Rach (17:45):

Do you think that you were always clear in your career as to what you needed and where you were heading? Big question. Sorry.

Fiona (17:56):

That's a great question. No, I don't think that at all in the early stages of my career, I was, you know, doing the obvious next thing. So, you know, good at science liked people, be a doctor. Actually not, I wasn't really that interested in, in medical school I'm I liked the people side of things, but I was always getting into trouble for not, you know, writing down the doses of medication or whatever. I was always interested in people. And, but I didn't want to do psychiatry or my experience of psychiatry that I had in Edinburgh in the nineties was very, very medical. It wasn't a, it's probably moved on a lot since then, but it didn't kind of resonate with me, which would perhaps would have been an obvious fit for me. And I did think that's what I wanted to do after my psychology degree.

Fiona (18:45):

And I nearly actually didn't go back into medicine after my psychology degree, you know, I got to first, I was offered a PhD and, you know, part of me looks back and thinks, Oh, I could have gone off down a different path at that point. But as a junior doctor, my, you know, my first house officer job, I was leading a workplace health promotion intervention across the whole trust. And I loved working in that way. So I thought, well, how do I do more of that? I really liked systems leadership and, you know, working in prevention. What's why people just coming in and out. I went back and worked at the the same ward where I'd been a house officer a year later, I was covering a shift, you know, doing an extra shift for some reason. And I knew a third of the patients on the ward.

Fiona (19:29):

And that really struck me like what is happening here, looking through their notes, talking to them. They were just in and out and in and out. So that then led to public health, you know, and I had a great career in public health. I had 20 years in public health, but by the time that I left, I was starting to do things for the second, third, fourth time, different areas. Things were moving on, but population health management or obviously, you know, the, what the NHS and the public health system is totally committed to at the moment I was doing that back in 1995 in my elective. So I kind of been there, done that, laid the infrastructure, but now I can do the thing that only I can do because I needed to have had the career that I've had to be able to do the kind of work that I do now.

Fiona (20:17):

So now it wasn't entirely planned. I knew when public health moved into local government, I had concerns about whether that was really where I wanted to spend my future. So I did some career related, you know, some career counseling at that time to figure out actually what I wanted to do. So I trained as a executive coach. I trained as a mindfulness-based cognitive therapy teacher and I trained as an occupational physician. And I figured, well, one of those is going to be the thing or I'll find a way to integrate all of them. And when I started working independently as an executive coach, it was really, you know, I thought, well, I'll do it, you know, half a day and evening a week. That kind of thing, till I retire. And then when I retire, I'll, you know, start to build it up, but actually it just took off.

Fiona (21:05):

I, I loved what I was doing. It was so satisfying and rewarding to see, you know, senior doctors and senior medical leaders really thriving in their career. You know, come to me one day saying I'm thinking of leaving. I can't cope anymore. And you know, clients that now a few years later, they're in very senior leadership roles and doing fantastic things. So yeah, it just felt like it was the right time to move on. And I suppose I recognize now life is a complex adaptive system. You can't control, you can only influence, you can see a few years ahead, maybe five to 10 years ahead, but we are going to have these multistage careers. So I can't say a hundred percent that this is what I will be doing in 10 years time. I think it's, I'm sure I will be doing it in some degree.

Fiona (21:55):

I'd like to see coaching take its place in the world as part of improving outcomes, because I think, you know, the world is in crisis. There are lots of really great things happening, but you know, the climate change inequalities, there are some really, really serious issues out there. And I think coaching is very much part of enabling people to flourish and develop their wellbeing. And it's also, it's not coercive because it's always an invitation. It's not, it's not that therapy is coercive, but there's a, there's an imbalance in the relationship. Somebody is unwell and, or, you know, struggling and really needs help. Whereas coaching, it's always an extra thing. But I think as real potential there, because it enables people to make empowered, informed decisions for themselves

Rach (22:48):

And when you're helping people and supporting people through that journey to make those empowered decisions. Do you still draw on some of your mindfulness that you've mentioned that you trained to be able to deliver that? And obviously there's a crossover as well with occupational health? I think because a lot of occupational systems now are starting to develop workplace wellness and they use mindfulness as part of that. Is it something that you like to incorporate into your coaching?

Fiona (23:16):

Yeah. So I've, I've gone on and trained in third-wave CBT more generally. So I started off with the I started off with the yoga and mindfulness practice in my early twenties, in my psychology from my psychology degree. So that's kind of, for myself, that's always been a really important part of me and who I am and you know, I really value that today's my non-working day and I, you know, been for a little run and a dog walk and I'm going to be doing some yoga this afternoon. So yeah, that's still really, really important to me. Yeah. So I've trained in, in a range of different third-wave CBT and cognitive behaviour therapy. So acceptance and commitment therapy, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, compassion focused approaches. And I integrate all of those, obviously not in a therapeutic context, but in a coaching context with my clients.

Fiona (24:09):

And so I draw on that every day, every session, not just in terms of my own management of myself and my being grounded and being present with people, but helping people, helping my clients to help them with whatever it is that they're working on. So for a lot of people, it's about communication and managing themselves and managing, having difficult conversations and doing that in a skillful way. So I would help people to know to learn more what, what thoughts are here? Where is my mind right now? What, what am I feeling in terms of my emotions? What body sensations are here? How do I recognize my own kind of red flags when I'm starting to be emotionally triggered by somebody's behaviour or something that's going on and then learning how to keep themselves grounded in that moment, or for some people that's, you know, when I come home from work, I'm thinking about work all the time.

Fiona (25:03):

I'm not present with my family. So I might teach them some, you know, informal practices just like toothbrushing or in the shower and or walk outside and paying attention using your senses. So, yeah, totally integrated, but it's not at the level of teaching an eight-week course, which I am trained to do, but I don't do that as a coach because I had to make some difficult choices about which of these multiple professional accreditation is. Am I going to stay up to date with, and I let the mindfulness one go because I don't need to teach mindfulness at the depth that I'm trained to do it, to be able to give people some basic skills that they can then go on and get specialist training. And if they want to do that

Rach (25:49):

With your yoga and your own mindfulness practice, do you find that that's something that has been constant through time or has it changed over time. And if it has changed, are there different elements to it? Have you explored meditation? Are there other self-care techniques that you like to use to keep yourself grounded when you're offering so much to other people?

Fiona (26:13):

I have never not practiced yoga and meditation to some degree for 30 years now. So it's always been there perhaps not every day, perhaps not even every week, but probably never more than, you know, always at least within a fortnight, there'd be some yoga or meditation practice that I would have been doing. There have been times when I've done a lot. So I've done a lot of although my, you know, my meditation practices, wholly secular, I have done a lot of training in Buddhist approaches because I think they're very interesting. I did a one year Dharma studies program with a with a group of people and that required, you know, commitment to an hour on the cushion a day and half an hour walking practice a day. So I did that for nearly a year that I did that. So I've had times when I have done a lot. At the moment, I, to be honest, I'm rarely sort of sitting on a meditation cushion. But I do my yoga practice at the moment is mainly Yin. What I really like about that is it's very still in grounding. So it feels like a kind of hybrid of, of yoga and meditation.

Rach (27:26):

And you've mentioned there about walking and being outside. So is that something that you also like to do in a meditative way?

Fiona (27:34):

Yeah, I'm very fortunate. I live in, in North Leeds and I live quite near one of the largest urban parks in Europe called Roundhay park. You know, I try and get there a couple of times a week and I'm very fortunate really because I've been able to carve out, you know, create a career for myself that gives me really a great quality of life as well, because actually the most important thing that I can give to my clients I think is about being present and for me to be present then I need to really focus on the things that I need to do to make sure that I am really present as well. So applied probably more kind of like applied mindfulness practices, I would say, but yeah, out in nature, I've got some woods near me as well. I've got a dog. You have to obviously keep some attention on him as well. Sometimes I do. You know, I'll, I'll do an indoor walking practice where you're just walking up and down the room for 20 minutes or so very slowly, really paying attention to the soles of my feet. I guess I've got quite a rich variety of practices that I've learnt over the years that I can draw on.

Rach (28:42):

So much of that is about exploring different ways that work for you as well. Isn't it? So like you were saying about needs and identifying our needs in our career, but also our own needs in our own self-care, because I really believe that those practices can be so different for so many different people. So some people might find going for a run very meditative because they get into a state where they're just moving and their mind is focused on that one point in time. So I think it's about really understanding yourself, isn't it. And knowing what you need right now, and also how it changes. Like you said, I'm fascinated by your year of your Dharma practice. It's great to be able to dip into different things like that and stay open to them, explore them and then take, you know, we always take different bits of learning with us. Don't we, as we're moving forward in time.

Fiona (29:30):

Yeah. And like, I think I said earlier, you know, that it's like, like leadership, your, your yoga or your meditation practice. It's always something there's always more to explore and to cultivate, to experiment.

Rach (29:42):

One of the things that you focus on is transitions in career. And I'm really interested in the final transition where you mentioned around retirement, which is something that probably very few of us think about how we transition at the end of a career and, and how we move into that third phase of our lives. How do you find that that's important with your clients? And is it something that people have thought about? How do you tend to support people in that transition? And is it also something that you think about in your own life.

Fiona (30:15):

In terms of my own life? I suspect, you know, I may never kind of retire but it was about how you adjust your working life, according to your, you know, your needs as you age. I think isn't it. But I think, you know, a lot of, a lot of younger people will want or need to be working until they're much older than perhaps their parents' generation, because that's the kind of circumstances financially. And also that people may well want to work in, in that way, but more on their own terms and to have a much more multi-stage fluid career. But for a lot of my clients, I find that retirement is something that really frightens them. You know, this, there are people who can't wait and really, you know, they've worked it all out and they ready to go and, and, you know, that's the right next thing for them.

Fiona (31:13):

But, but for a lot of people, it feels, I think particularly for, for doctors and leaders, because it's become their professional identity is so such a huge part of who they are that the thought of letting go of that is a really frightening experience. And so you know, for some people it's, it's about helping them to create a future. That's going to really work for them. And that can be, you know, it's a really wonderful process to see when somebody, you know, I had a client who said, just get me to the first session I've been putting this off for years and years. I've been told by my appraiser. Now I'm in my sixties. I really need to start to think about what's beyond, but I'm terrified I can't begin to... I can't, I can hardly even say the word that we can do with our, so helping people to be able to create a vision of what's possible, but on their own terms and be able to see what that could look like and to have a bit of structure, to underpin their thinking so that it's not just this abyss that they fall into, but it's something that they transition into over a period of time.

Fiona (32:23):

Perhaps it's a gradual reducing their current role, starting something else, or, you know, for some people is about, you know, drawing a line, but having something tangible to move into, but it's a wonderful stage in people's lives. I think because it is in a way it's, you know, celebrating who they've become and thinking about, well, how do they integrate all of that together into this next chapter?

Rach (32:50):

Do you think, because we are in a medical career system that sometimes that transition is also difficult because we have defined ourselves by our job role and society defines us by that as well, which is something that a lot of us struggle with. If we're moving outside of that, do you think that that has a big element to play in how we look at ourselves as individuals and have there been ways that you've been able to do that for yourself, where you've been able to feel like I'm being my authentic self, even within that system, when you may be have found that you weren't quite the point you wanted to be in, or you wanted to try something different?

Fiona (33:30):

I think being a doctor is such a professional identity. It's a you know, it's a universal language, isn't it, there's probably, most people in the world would know what a doctor is, what that means. And it's, so it's a real a label, a badge that for, you know, for many doctors, it is at the core of who they are and has been since they were, you know, 18, that's kind of at the core of who they are, who they are. So when they come to, you know, some people have to give it, give up their medical career because of illness, some people because of, you know, other circumstances in their life and for other people, it's at the point of, of retirement and kind of hanging out with the stethoscope. I think people experience a great sense of loss because we do, you know, we're human beings.

Fiona (34:18):

We want to know where we are in the social status. It goes back to our, you know, cave, men, cave people brains from hundreds of thousand years ago, you know, you know, where you are in the pecking order. And then you feel safe because you know where you are around that. So there is a grieving process, a kind of transition process, but the thing that can help people is the, you know, having a vision of what they're creating instead, and, and being with the feelings and giving people permission to, to, you know, experience the feelings of grief and loss and be able to name that obviously is not a therapeutic relationship, but to be able to say, you know, you know, is this grief and to have a language to use, to explain the kind of mush of feelings that are going on inside of us all the time that, you know, most of the time we struggled or human beings struggled to know what words to use to actually describe the feelings that are going on.

Rach (35:18):

Sounds like you are supporting people in some fabulous ways to be able to identify different stages and different needs that they have. So where can people find out more about what you're doing and if they want to connect with you?

Fiona (35:33):

I mainly work with senior doctors, medical and public health leaders. Probably 90% of my clients are in the UK, but 10% of them are across the world. You know, I have clients in all five continents have a website, which is You can also sign up for my newsletter, which is the first day of alternate month starting on January. And if you signed up for my newsletter, you can also get a little career planning, workbook that you can use to help you to figure out where you're going in your career.

Rach (36:07):

Great. Thank you. And we'll put all the links underneath the podcast, so people can take a look and see what you're doing. It's been wonderful chatting to you. And the name of my podcast is Authentic Tea, and the idea is really that we can be ourselves and share our own stories. So the final question is where and with, who would you like to have your most authentic

Fiona (36:29):

Cup of tea? Well, with whom it's my late grandfather who died a few years ago and he was born in 1915 and he remember him telling me how he had to go to hospital when he was three. And when he was discharged, he was discharged home in a horse and cart. That was the ambulance that took him home. And when he died about five years ago, he FaceTimed my brother in Canada on my iPad the day before he died. And so I I'd love to have a cup of tea with him again, just because he's had such an, you know, the spectrum of how his world changed, I think is amazing. And I think he would love to hear about what I'm doing and how technology has enabled me to be able to do the work that I do and to be able to work remotely. So I would like to have a cup of tea with him in my consulting room, which is in North Leeds with my laptop and my, you know, my setup. So I can see my clients on zoom and have a cup with a cup of tea with him and to share with him how technology has really enabled me to be able to work in this way. I think you'd be really kind of tickled pink to hear about that.

Rach (37:40):

Thank you for sharing that. That's beautiful and it's a wonderful way to finish our chat today. So thank you Fiona, for taking the time. It's been an absolute pleasure listening to your story.

Fiona (37:51):

Thank you, Rach. Really enjoyed it and good luck with all your wonderful work too.

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I help doctors create a purposeful, flexible career outside full-time clinical medicine so they can control their time and have more balance in their lives. To find out more book a FREE 60-minute discovery call.

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