Yoky’s Entrepreneur Series: Helen Attridge, Founder & President of Academy of Leadership Coaching & NLP: Coaching Can Change the World, Part 1.

shiyaoyu.com/HelenAttridge1Born and raised in Ireland, Helen has traveled extensively and worked her way through Europe, the Middle East, North America, Central America, Asia, and Australia. Helen Attridge is an internationally recognized trainer and leadership coach. She is credentialed by the International Coach Federation as a Master Certified Coach, a level of skill and experience shared by only 1 percent of coaches worldwide. She is the Founder & President of the Academy of Leadership Coaching & NLP, an International ICF Accredited NLP Coach Training and Leadership Development Company. Helen kindly responded my connection request on Linkedin and shared her wisdom with me on a sunny California afternoon.


Q: What do believe makes you unique as a coach and trainer?

A: I left Ireland at a very young age and travelled and worked my way around the world. I enjoy meeting new people and experiencing new cultures and I love watching people transform. The combination of my traveling, living and working in different cultures, my passion for personal transformation and having a large variety of life experiences I believe are what makes me unique.

Q: How old were you when you discovered coaching?

A: I have been in the personal development field since I was in my mid-twenties. I was first exposed to personal development when I lived in America. I moved to Australia later and took lots of personal development courses. I became really interested in human development. I studied and worked as a social worker with troubled teenagers, which was a fun and rewarding experience. Then, I got a green card (twice!) in the green lottery and moved to America when I was 30. I went through a personal development program called the Hoffman Process which had a huge impact on my life, both personally and professionally. I was so inspired by the Hoffman Institutes work that I became their Graduate Director shortly after, facilitating graduate programs and coaching graduates after they completed their process.  From there I got my first official coaching training certificate when I was 32!

Q: Tell me more about your coaching training?

A: When I worked as a social worker, I felt that there was a lot of time focused on the client’s past. What I really like about coaching is that it focuses on where you are now, where you want to be, and closing that gap in between. I find the coaching model more rewarding for me, as well as for clients. I believe therapy plays a very important role too for people and at certain stages clients are more suited to therapy than coaching.

Q: Who in your family influenced you the most?

A: My dad was and is a really great role model for me. I was a really rebellious teenager and he was very compassionate dad. He was a Headmaster (Dean) of two Colleges in Northern Ireland. I learned how to be a good person and a good teacher from my dad. He is still teaching me at 81 years old by how it handles the aging process and his life and relationships.

Q: When was the most glorious moment of your life?

A: It is really hard to pick! I have been to some amazing places all over the world and seen many glorious things and had some amazing adventures. I have had beautiful fun times with family and friends that I consider glorious moments too. I do have to say, what most light me up at this stage in my life, is watching people transform in the training classes over a period of time and seeing people committing to their visions are both glorious and heartfelt moments for me. I had an amazing experience in China while working Peking University Platform where a trainee from the communist party came up to me hugging me and crying at the end of a session, after he had gotten in contact with his values at a heart level. It was a beautiful moment, which I felt deep in my heart too.

Q: How were you able to found your own company?

A: I had been working as a coach for about 5 years and then got invited to be an an Executive Results Coach for the Tony Robbins company, which I did for 2-3 years. I decided to go to study for my NLP Master Practitioner at the NLP Institute of California (NLPCA). The owners, Tim and Kris Hallbom, liked me and invited me to join their teaching team. I trained in their coaching programs in China, Mexico and the US. When I was a trainer, I kept having new ideas to change and better the program. They saw my passion and offered me to take over the coach program as my own company and implement my ideas to take the program to the next level, which is what I have been doing for the past 6 years.

helen-attridge 2Q: Sometimes a good coach doesn’t make a great business leader. Are you a good business person yourself?

A: It a learning opportunity thats for sure! When I took over the company, I really had no idea what I was getting into. It has and continues to be a huge learning experience for me and has grown me in ways I could never imagine. I think the journey of life offers lots of opportunities for learning, which means that as long as I am alive, I will be continuously learning and growing.

Q: When was the most difficult moment for you in the company?

A: We felt some growing pains when there was a gap between my vision and the company’s old business model. There was a big transition when I started changing the old ways that the company did business, it was a challenging time.

Q: What was the most difficult aspect of the transition?

A: Taking over someone else’s business partners and teaching team and then creating a vision and building a team with partners who work well with that vision, mission, values. Another big piece was redesigning the workbook and material to make it work across different cultures easily. We had students representing 17 different cultures last year in the classes. Coaching at a deep level requires letting go of judgment and accepting various cultures. My vision is to bring global groups together and to help people realize their potential beyond language and religion. My multicultural background really helps me to teach across cultures with ease and enable others to break through the blocks to doing so too.

Q: What was your childhood dream when you were little?

A: I wanted to be a social worker when I was in my early teens and help people change their lives. In my late teens, I wanted to travel the world and learn from people from diverse backgrounds. I am pretty good at making my own dreams come true, personal development work and coach training plus having a great coach myself really helps with that!

Q: Can anyone be too young to coach?

A: Coaching is not about your age or your particular expertise, even though your expertise may sell you to those seeking that type of expertise. Really, coaching is about if you can be fully present for your clients and create a safe container where your clients can drop in and access their own deeper wisdom about what is right for them. There are lots of wonderful coaching techniques in NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) where we work with the brain and the inner language to help clients achieve their goals. We have people of all ages from around the world going through the program.


Read Part 2 Here:

Yoky’s Entrepreneur Series: Helen Attridge, Founder & President of Academy of Leadership Coaching & NLP: Coaching Can Change the World, Part 2.



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