The Client

Name: Sara Miceli-Fagrell

Job Title: Head of Communications

Type of Coaching: Leadership Development Coaching


The Challenge:

Sara manages the communication team for one of the UK’s largest private pension funds. She had reached a point in her career where she felt ready to step up from being a manager and take on a head of department role. In particular, she wanted to develop her leadership skills and improve stakeholder relationships. The organisation had recognised Sara as future talent and fully supported the coaching assignment.


The Techniques:
  • Constructing a Strengths Profile supported Sara to help identify where her unrealised potential lay and then enabled her to identify opportunities to be able to use it.
  • Sara was introduced to and implemented a number of proven coaching techniques that helped her be better able to adapt her communication style when interacting with stakeholders.
  • Perspectives work helped Sara reflect on challenging situations and work out how best to approach others who had very different viewpoints.
  • Time for self-reflection and agreed actions carried out between the sessions helped put the learning into practice and build her leadership confidence.


The Outcome


  • Promoted to Head of Department
    After Sara finished her 6-month coaching programme, she was promoted to head of department. She is now significantly more involved in strategic decision making as part of the senior leadership team – and really enjoying it.
  • Adding value and presenting solutions
    During her performance review, Sara received the highly positive feedback that she is adding a wealth of value and providing solutions instead of presenting problems.
  • Increased emotional intelligence
    The coaching has helped Sara to develop her emotional intelligence. She feels she responds to situations in a way that is much more constructive for engaging with senior stakeholders and developing mutually beneficial relationships.
  • Adapting during COVID-19
    Sara developed her understanding of human behaviour which helped to support her team and keep them engaged whilst working remotely through lockdown. It meant the team were better able to keep innovating and collaborating through the challenging time.



The Feedback

“I would describe my coaching experience as ‘enlightening’. It switched on a light bulb. I hadn’t even realised I was working in the dark!


“Denise was 110% invested in me and helping me to realise my potential so I could get the best out of myself. She was very down to earth and approachable. It was clear that she knew her stuff and it made me feel very relaxed in an environment that can at times make you feel vulnerable.


“Because of the pandemic, the coaching was completely virtual which I was apprehensive about at first, but Denise put me at ease. Her approach was to work around me and really get to the heart of what I wanted to focus on. Every session started with ‘what do you want to get out of today?’ It was fluid and free flowing which really worked for me. It didn’t feel like she just wanted to tick boxes A, B, C and D.


“The coaching was a mixture of theoretical and practical too. I picked up lots of tools and techniques that have made a huge difference. One of the biggest benefits both personally and professionally is that I am much more perceptive. I have an increased awareness of how other people might be feeling and thinking and why. I would absolutely recommend coaching to others.”


Sara, Head of Comms


“The improvements I have seen since Sara started working with Denise are centred around Leadership Maturity, Stakeholder Management and Resilience.


“I have been extremely impressed by how she has raised her game on the back of last year’s review feedback. She recognised this as constructive feedback and an opportunity to realise her potential and developed a plan to demonstrate her strength as leader.


“This is much harder than it sounds and involved considerable emotional strength, tenacity and extensive stakeholder management/influencing at senior level. She used every opportunity to learn and to prove the value she adds to the business in a practical way whilst ensuring advocacy from key stakeholders along the way (both internally and externally).


“I have really enjoyed seeing Sara flourish and look forward to the next year ahead when we have considerable opportunity to develop further. I know she is already working with the team to raise their game too which is great to see.”


Helen, Chief Pensions Officer

I have been extremely impressed by how Sara has raised her game - Sara's Manager

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