Managing Partner The Coaching Room & Executive Coach: Jay Hedley

Jay heads up The Coaching Room together with Joseph Scott. Jay began his formal coaching career in 2001, when he was asked to head up the Coaching and Sales Training division within the Consumer Group of AAPT.
Now an Executive coaching and Leadership development company, in 2008, Jay expanded The Coaching Room, opening additional offices in Brisbane and Melbourne. In 2009, The Coaching Room then merged with Apex Leadership International, an Executive coaching and coaching training company in Hobart.In 2003 Jay formally founded The Coaching Room in Sydney – then a Life Coaching Company – with some 20 coaches.

Jay is ruthlessly compassionate about Executive and organisational change. Having a corporate executive background himself, Jay’s professional mission is to help Executives and like professionals to unleash their authentic selves in service of their people and their organisation.

Describe yourself in 3 words: Enthusiastic and Pragmatic. 

What is your life motto?
To continuously evolve myself because I believe I have a responsibility to do so. 

When did you start pursuing your career and how long did it take to become successful? Success is an inner game thing hey. What success means to one person isn’t to another. Success for me isn’t based on financial gain. Success for me is, is the love for what I do. So when did I become successful? I think I became really successful about 3 years ago and I left my corporate career in 2006 – I was a Director of Sales and I was quite high up in the company and I was outgrowing the company. No matter what I did I was always a great Retail Director if you like and we then we closed down our retail arm and got out of mobile and that was when (about two years before that) was when I started to reinvent myself. I did an NLP course. So after they closed this arm, I reinvented myself into head of Coaching and Training and servicing the consumer group. I was doing sales coaching, management coaching and leadership coaching.

I did that for a year and I’d become a great head of coaching and training and the thought that really struck me, was that I’m really more than that! So when I went off to go and fulfil that. The Coaching Room was already running for a year and a half and so I stepped into that for 60% of the time, while still working for another guy as his Director of Sales, before Joe (Joseph Scott, The Coaching Room Partner) and I stepped into this full-time going back 2009. 

How much time and effort did you dedicate?
Too much to even contemplate. I was working in Sydney, into the city and do the 8 hours work for this guy, but I lived in Katoomba. So that’s a 2 hour train journey either side of that, so you’re talking about a 14 hour, 15 hour day most days. But I used that time to build the website, to create programs, to do the research, to read and learn the latest on coaching and the new stuff that’s coming from Michael Hall and on Meta-states and NLP and applying and thinking and talking, occasionally coaching on the way home. You practice, you practice, you practice – minimum 15 hours a day…for years. You’ve gotta commit to it hey, I saw it as following my dream, following my passion.

What are the challenges in your line of work? Self evolution is probably the greatest challenge. Because if I’m not evolving myself a) I’m not authentic and b) I’m not doing the best thing I can possibly do for my client, because as I evolve me, they get the best of me. So the constant challenge is my evolution; is my congruence, is my authenticity and that’s not a challenge that’s difficult, it isn’t but simultaneously it is. The most difficult thing is to make yourself face up to strengths, your weaknesses your areas for further development and continuously looking and actively seeking feedback from your wife, from kids, from Joe, from clients, from our clients. It’s never-ending.

What feedback taught you an extremely valuable lesson?
It is un-ending, it’s not a specific one time event a person said to me. I truly believe that feedback is the breakfast of champions! And if I don’t get it, I’m not evolving. So my frame of reference is, I’m going to rip your arms off to get the feedback from you, you will not keep from giving me the feedback I require to grow as a human being. I will not let you, if the frame of reference I hold with you sharing your experiences with me – particularly with one-on-one coaching. After each session, I’ll ask, I’d like ruthless honesty from you. What was really valuable about this session for you. What worked for you, what didn’t work so well for you and what will you do about holding me accountable to be the very best I can in service of you.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given to date? Get out there and do it. It was from my NLP Trainer and she said, “Give yourself permission to go make mistakes, but get out there and start coaching, start doing it now. Don’t hold yourself up as an expert just get out there and do it!” It really was the best thing for me. 

In your mind, is formal training essential? With formal training I think of academic training. No I don’t think it’s essential. I think constant evolution is essential wherever you can get it and training is a part of that. You’ve got to constantly look to evolve yourself, I do and I believe that. Joe and I do about 2-3 training programs ourselves as students a year, every year. It’s not in one aspect of the field it’s in multiple aspects of the field. We believe in throwing ourselves at anything that will evolve ourselves. Having a coach is such an integral part of what we do. Both of us have coaches and that’s having sessions and doing practice tasks in between and the reading and journaling and practice of journaling on a daily basis. It’s all important and training is a component of that.

Do you think having a mentor is important? How would you go about getting one for this industry? I personally wouldn’t go for mentor, instead I have a coach. So go seek out somebody, who is into evolution themselves. My first question is, how are you evolving you? And I want to hear congruence. I want to seek authenticity and seek someone that’s congruent with doing what we’re doing in the world. I’m not interested in are they successful. I’m interested are they interested in evolving themselves, because I know if they evolve they’ll pull me up the steps. It might be on a heal and my head might be banging on every step but I damn well know its going to evolution – and that’s what I’m after!

What are some steps those starting out can take to start/further their career? The first one to do is to do is the Meta-NLP Practitioner is critical. This core, these fundamental skills, is critical in learning how I run my brain and is critical to helping someone to figure out how they run theirs. To learn to listen, to support, to learn to connect, to learn precision powerful questions, to learn to facilitate someone stepping back and starting to hear how they are languaging, how they are framing things, to enable them to step back and see how they created their sense of self. To hear the beliefs they’ve bought into. Then follow the path they want to go down. If they want to be a Career coach: learning about career options and understanding the different careers and making connections with different career advisors or recruitment people and then they might come back and continue working on themselves.

Joe and I have found out and know that Meta-coaching outputs continuity and a level of coaching that nowhere else outputs.

Second to that is Integral coaching. 

What kept you going when you weren’t at your best? The frame of persistence and you know I would call myself resilience – the ability to bounce back. Michael Hall found that as people that were knocked down they were always able to find the resources to pick themselves up again. They were always able to a reference to pick themselves back up to a reference of I can.

Do you believe that ‘making it’ is about luck and being in the right place at the right time? It can be. What does making it mean to anyone. Making it to me is about my evolution. Success, well money is very important, society says we must pay our bills, so making money is important to take up a place within society and live and eat, but I don’t see it as success. I don’t see it as the acquisition of stuff. That’s not success. Success is the sparkle in my client’s eye. Success is the spark of possibility being caught by them. Success is having a conversation, which leads somebody to a new place, to a new way of thinking and a new way of being. Seeing an organisation shift and transform, enabling that, facilitating that. Success is waking up. Success is delighting in simplicity and the ability to see that.  If we can have a student stand up and say, “wow, I just love being human.” Far out that’s success! We’re always in the right place at the right time, if only we’ll see it.



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