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Sheila Hirst

Executive Coach, Leadership Coach

London, Bristol & Southampton

Specialist areas:
Communication, Confidence, Emotional Intelligence, Employee Engagement, Influencing Skills, Leadership, Managing Change, Managing Emotions, New Role, Personal Impact, TILM Member Offer
5 / 5
14 years of coaching
Face to Face, Telephone, Video Conference
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Level of Membership/Accreditation

AC - Individual Full Member
EMCC - Master member

About me

Executive Coach - London, Bristol & Southamton

I am an Executive Coach working with senior executives transitioning into a new role or considering doing so. I’m on the coaching roster for senior civil servants and have worked with leaders in HMIC, DWP, The Home Office, DeptED and MOD. I also coach clients in legal firms, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, charities and SMEs.

The questions I hear often are 'how do I stay authentic while moving into this new identity - how do I grow into this new space confidently - what do I have to do to build a different relationship with my peers and stakeholders- what is my new story and how do I tell it to engage others?

Building Confidence

My purpose is to support you to achieve these and the other outcomes you want in your current or future role in an organisation, big or small. I encourage you to see and build on the strengths and values you bring from all aspects of your life, and how you can apply them to address the challenges you may be facing. I also shine a light on any blind spots that may be inhibiting your confidence, achievements and contribution and help you work with them.

Authentic Leadership

I’ve been a coach for 14 years. Before that I was Head of Communication at Marconi, and a Sales & Marketing Manager with Citicorp and other financial institutions and more latterly MD of employee communications agency – The ITEM group. So, I know my way around the culture and ‘shadow’ of global companies as well as how to run ‘close to the financial wind’ leading a 40 person agency.

When I studied for a Master’s in coaching and mentoring practice, my thesis was on how to support a leader to be truly authentic. The conclusions inform my practice today which focuses on developing self–awareness, understanding your own story and choices; how to really create trusting connections with others and importantly how to manage ‘appropriate’ emotional vulnerability.

Coaching Senior Leaders

I work across all sectors at a senior level. I also coach clients in legal firms, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, charities and SMEs. It’s simply a privilege working with people who want to learn & develop and make a difference. My respect for leaders formally appointed or aspiring, doing tough jobs in demanding organisations, whatever the size, continues to grow as does my own learning. I work throughout the South and South West of England, including London, Bristol and Southampton.

How to find out more

Please see my LinkedIn profile for further information about me
Or, better still email me on so we can have a conversation.

Professional Body

European Mentoring & Coaching Council


MA Coaching & Mentoring Practice ( distinction) Oxford Brookes
Diploma in Executive Coaching ( Academy of Executive Coaching)
NLP Practitioner (PPD)

Blogs and Events added by this coach

Latest reviews

5 / 5 ★

The coaching sessions followed a logical journey, with Sheila’s incisive questioning prompting me to explore and review what I wanted to achieve and how I ‘did’ things providing valuable critique and approaches that I continue to build on. Sheila’s calm and reassuring coaching style and underlying knowledge made this a very positive experience and I would highly recommend her to anyone looking to learn and develop. Creative agency owner, London

5 / 5 ★

Sheila has worked with our firm for a number of years as an executive coach. Through her professional support she has helped individuals manage the uncertainty of change during their early legal careers. We have seen impressive results, with individuals achieving re-engagement with their role and the organisation, increased productivity and greater capacity for addressing issues. Following coaching from Sheila people are clearer on their values, drivers and motivation and are prepared for transition to the next level.

5 / 5 ★

Since seeing Sheila my confidence has grown in my role. Her incisive probing and helpful insights have helped me to develop a clearer understanding of my skills and strengths, and of the contribution I can make to my organisation. Her ability to challenge my thinking and responses with sensitivity, candour and humour has been a great help and has also helped me gain a greater understanding of the motivation of others. I believe that with heightened self-awareness I now play a more effective collegiate and leadership role. I am very grateful to Sheila for her help and expertise, which she gives so generously.

5 / 5 ★

I was newly promoted to the Senior Civil Service and wanted to work with a coach on building my levels of confidence in my own ability and to understand how I could best make the transition into a key leadership role. Sheila was brilliant in helping me to reflect on my personal strengths and how I could build on these to make an impact in a new and challenging role. She coached me to understand the areas that I really needed to focus on and what was really important in terms of success. She challenged me to handle to difficult situations, running through different approaches and scenarios which I have continued to use and put into practice. She was always genuinely interested in what I was doing and how I was learning and growing in the role. I would highly recommend Sheila to others who are looking for a coach who will listen, work with you on the help you need and encourage you to believe in your own potential. In return for their investment, the DWP now has a leader who is confident in their own ability and a leader who is using this to shape the direction of travel in a major transformation programme.

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