Who Do I Coach?
Why work with me?
Let's begin with the 'mind' and the reasons why you would logically choose me as your coach…
I have been a coach for more than a decade and delivered more than ten thousand hours of coaching and interpersonal skills training.
I've spent 10 years coaching headteachers, school leaders and teachers, and also have been supporting the corporate sector-coaching senior analysts, hedge fund managers, heads of business development, heads of finance, marketing leaders, accountants, scientists and the list goes on…
As a result of my coaching support all my clients feel 'uplifted and far more capable' than before. They feed back increased levels of presence, self-belief, confidence, empathy and improved communication skills.
Many resolve long standing challenging issues with others, lead their teams more skilfully and empathetically, get promotions and change for better jobs.
Some finally make the big decisions they avoided for weeks, months of even years and transform an area of their life significantly.
Now on to the 'heart' and the compatibility of style
I am direct and honest in my communication, while embracing you with warmth and kindness.
You will always receive the feedback you need to hear from me and never feel judged- even when the message is the one you have been hiding from.
You will 'know' and 'feel' that I fully believe in you.
You will always feel heard and have absolute trust in the coaching space we created together, and that I am always there for you.
Are we a good fit?
We are a good fit if…
You are a misfit! Even if an ‘internal’ one. You live by your own rules. You want to live a life true to your values and express who you are courageously.
You are going through transformation. It is ‘All change!’ in one area or more than one area of your life!
You and I are value aligned. You share at least three of the following values of mine: freedom, learning, adventure, self - reflection, health, leadership, teaching, spirituality.
You would like positive change in one or more of the following areas: career progress, leadership progress, communication, health and wellbeing, confidence, self-esteem, self-image, being present.
You currently have the resources and the space for personal growth and you are committed to your development
Here are examples of results clients from diverse backgrounds and sectors continuously achieve, which you can achieve too.
Lovely Start to Life on a Small IslandI grew up on a small island half an hour ferry ride away from Istanbul. I was a lucky child, surrounded by nature- the green, the sea, the boats- cycling, swimming, rowing, climbing, playing and adventuring overall. Raised in an amazing community of Turks, Greeks, Armenians and Jews, I was accustomed to a symphony of languages and absorbing the teachings of a variety of cultures and religions. As well as playing and being active, I loved observing. 'Deep observation' and 'deep listening' developed those years, are still key skills I use to support my clients today.
The Rebel Awakens!The secondary school years started well. I was academic, sporty, musical and popular- constantly receiving praises for my intelligence, my talents and hard work. Then puberty hit and came the teenage years as well as an introduction to patriarchal rules. I rebelled against this hugely and argued a lot with the adults. My success at school started diminishing. Due to my family moving, I got transferred to another school in Istanbul. The difficulties doubled. I could not associate with the teachers and many of the students. For the first time, I truly recognised the misfit inside of me and befriended all the outsiders who were courageous to be different, and could think for themselves. To this day, I feel incredibly connected to the hard deal teenagers get and the growing pains of those years. Although the university years brought the much needed inner peace and balance again, it was not without a stumble. Right at the beginning of this period, the sudden death of my first love combined with the passing of my beloved grandmother after a long and painful illness, hit me very hard- and for years to come. Despite these major setbacks, I graduated with top grades from university and became a Teacher of English. I was approached by senior lecturers to consider continuing with academic studies. I decided that being in academia permanently was not for me.
The Move to the City I Love the Most: LondonAfter finishing my studies and working in independent schools for two years, I left Istanbul for a year of adventure in London. Little did I know that London was going to be my longest love affair and my home. Within a year of arriving in London, I started working as a primary school teacher and very quickly became the English Lead, despite being the only non-native speaker of English in the team. After holding teaching and middle leadership positions for many years, I became a senior leader which I thoroughly enjoyed. This is when I discovered leadership and personal development in their true sense, and the extent people needed support in their communication, leadership and wellbeing. Consequently I decided to become a coach, instead of my natural next step of becoming a headteacher.
Financial Crisis Hits Home - sinking into the Dark Night of the SoulThree years into changing my career from a leader in education to a solopreneur coach, working with amazing clients, training at some wonderful organisations-disaster stroke! My family suffered a massive financial loss due to a very risky decision they made which they had kept from me. This resulted in severing ties with a part of my family, and irremediably strained the relationship with my parents. The events of that entire era shook me deeply. The following year, in a similarly unexpected way, my father- who I was very close to, passed suddenly. I kept myself busy, working and travelling... But deep inside I started feeling empty and questioned the point of it all. I knew I was not depressed. This was a far more ‘logical’ process. I WAS LOST. Some of the values I held dearly in my heart up to that moment, did not make sense anymore. As much as I cherished my mind as a wonderful tool, I intuitively knew I was not going to be able to solve issues that were created or at the very least exaggerated in my mind by ‘using my mind’. I had already been meditating for more than a decade by then, so I increasingly started looking into energy work and heart-based healing modalities. Exploring and practising these modalities helped me feel more uplifted and more balanced once again.
Illness, Death and RebirthThe entire pandemic period turned out to be a time where I either supported or lost loved ones to cancer. Within a realm of one year and eight months, I went from knowing no one with cancer to being surrounded by cancer. It was surreal to have daily chats with some of the people I loved and cherished dearly about treatments, how things were affecting their bodies, their minds and souls. The even more shocking part of the whole experience was that the ages of these amazing people ranged from early 20s to 70s. Dealing with the heartbreak of losing loved ones, supporting family and friends with their heartbreak, visiting hospitals and attending funerals became a deeply saddening norm. During that time, celebrating life, celebrating health and appreciating ‘the total wellbeing of the human’ took a different meaning to me. I was reminded of how amazing and resilient our bodies were. And I noticed the importance of being deeply connected to them. My musings brought up the question: How do we start genuinely appreciating life and being fully in-tune with our bodies that give us the most beautiful gift of ‘living’? I reached the conclusion that we had to start with ‘Presence’ and literally design every single area of our lives from a deeply conscious place, bringing our whole being into the equation- body, mind, heart and soul.
Conscious Leadership and Life Design CoachingIn the last couple of years, I have been increasingly immersed in healing modalities such as Reiki, Theta Healing, EFT and Pranic Healing. I also delved into learning about the Tantric way of life. In their essence all these techniques and teachings point to one thing that we all know but struggle to apply in our daily lives: Being fully present here and now. Remaining conscious, each and every moment of the day. During most of my coaching career I worked with leaders- emerging, middle and senior, on succeeding as well as being well at work. Achieving our career goals, having healthy professional relationships, being conscious leaders who deliver results while remaining connected and human, brings immense peace, balance, and joy to our lives. “Constant transformation” and “letting go” have been major themes in my life. So now, as well as helping you design your work life, I support you in designing any area of your life that requires change and transformation. And I am right by you, so you do this with confidence and from a deeply conscious, grounded and serene place. Are you experiencing such a phase in your life? Let's talk!
"Özlem has a very rare gift of being able to know what other people think and why they behave the way they do. I learnt a lot from coaching and training with Özlem about different ways of seeing and relating to people. I am now able to find solutions to team performance issues in emotionally intelligent ways."
Beata Lyons, School Business and Finance Consultant, Education