Bio – Jean Balfour MCC
An ongoing journey
“Life is Difficult”, wrote M. Scott Peck in the Road Less Travelled. These opening words, and what followed, opened my then young mind to the idea of human potential for growth. It led me on an ongoing journey of discovery and learning about who I am, who I wanted to be, and how I could be successful in the world.
What followed were years of coaching, career coaching, training, academic learning, therapy, and personal inquiry – which all continue to this day. I’ve worked on my own triggers, limiting beliefs, confidence, and imposter syndrome. All in service to being a better coach, leader, friend, colleague, and partner. A better person as a whole.
Relationships are key
On my way, I became curious about the human dynamics of organizations, which led to an MSc in Organisation Consulting with Hult/Ashridge. Through this, I found a way to articulate what I instinctively knew – that all organizations are a series of relationships.
My experience as a leader, in large organizations, and being on the boards of nonprofits and government organizations and now leading Bailey Balfour Asia Pacific, further reinforced this view.
I really believe that as leaders, one of our key roles is to create an organization where people relate well to each other. Where I as a leader understand fully that my ability to relate to others directly impacts the quality of my leadership. Trust, transparency and open communication are essential for success.
Many lives but one self
Because we lead from who we are, create relationships from who we are, self-awareness is essential. It goes through understanding that there is a fine line between our personal lives and our working lives.
As a coach, I work across this line. When working as an executive coach – the personal often emerges. When working as a life coach – we often focus on work. Our lives, especially now, are not in silos. If my marriage is struggling, this will affect my work. If the business is struggling, this will affect my marriage. I coach my clients to uncover the unconscious impact of all of our lives on the areas we want to focus on.
Coming to coaching requires vulnerability – a willingness to be open about opportunities and struggles. Clients often say to me that they haven’t spoken to anyone else about the things we talk about. To support this I bring a compassionate, safe and warm environment. This doesn’t mean that challenge doesn’t occur. I challenge from a place where we both trust each other, where the challenge can be accepted or rejected with neither of us feeling concerned.
In my over 20 years of coaching I’ve coached individuals who wanted to understand their career ambitions, people who were struggling with confidence, and helped people who were struggling to achieve a good understanding of how to create the life they wanted.
I’ve coached senior banking executives, academic doctors, leaders in insurance, professional bodies, the ‘Big 4’ and healthcare leaders.
I am particularly curious and experienced in working with leaders who are finding themselves derailed. This may be that they get triggered and over-react, are struggling with emotion at work, or are close to burnout and seek ways to return or move forward to balance.
Learning and doing
I have completed many coach training programmes, and continue to develop as a coach through ongoing training, supervision, reading, and personal reflection.
The following areas influence my coaching.
- Neuroscience – and the impact our brains have on our behavior and feelings at home and work;
- Organizational theory – the relationship between how the organization I work in impacts me, and how I impact the organization;
- Leadership theory and practice – learning from leaders down through the ages to the modern day in how to lead in complex situations.
- Psychological theory – Transactional Analysis, Gestalt and Solution Focused approaches inform my coaching;
- ACT – Acceptance and Commitment Therapy – a mindfulness-based approach to dealing with psychological challenges;
- Myers Briggs Type Indicator & Hogan – understanding how personality impacts our lives and how to develop our less strong areas;
- Mindfulness and meditation – working with stillness to help understand ourselves more deeply.
I founded Bailey Balfour in London, UK, in 2001, to support individuals and organizations in building meaningful relationships and to develop strong and compassionate leaders. In 2015, I moved to Singapore, to coach global clients on how to lead in diverse and global markets and across cultures.
I am adept at helping clients connect their personal strengths and leadership style to career success and achieving business goals, drawing on both psychological and organizational theories to help them maximize their potential.
I am recognized by the International Coaching Federation as a Master Certified Coach (MCC). This is the highest coaching standard globally with only 3% of coaches globally achieving this status.
I have an MSc in Organisation Consulting from Hult/ Ashridge Business School and am an Hult/Ashridge Accredited Executive Coach. I have a Post Grad Diploma in Human Resource Development. I am accredited and experienced in the application of a wide range of psychometric tools, including Hogan and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® step 1 & 2.
Born in New Zealand, I originally trained as a primary school teacher and taught in New Zealand and then London. After a short stint of teacher training, I realized that I loved teaching adults and moved into learning and development roles in organizations.
This took me into leadership and my last organizational role was Head of Organisation Development for a large organization – representing people in the organization as a member of the executive team. Coaching grew naturally, to become my main focus.
A little shoutout to Redooor who’s been very responsive and pleasure to work with during the development of this website.
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