There is something very special about speaking with a coach. They listen to you and ask questions like anybody else, you might think, but in such a way that magic happens:

  • We hear ourselves
  • Our self-awareness improves
  • We become more clear in our purpose
  • What we learn is better embedded

Even if you are trained as a coach and you can apply some techniques to yourself, the results are always better when working with somebody else.

Similarly to stretching after having exercised or tensing up prior to/as part of a relaxation technique, I would like to encourage you to embrace exploration before deciding on what you want to focus on. The better you understand the environment and the options available to you, the more articulated your decision criteria will be. Elicitation of personal and professional values are, excuse the pun, an invaluable asset.

What sometimes people forget is the importance of internal exploration. Let’s pay exquisite attention to what is important to us, what do we deeply care about? Our values manifest in behaviours and choices. They don’t strongarm us into making choices but lack of alignment between values and choices create tension and we are ultimately not able to sustain such choices long term.

A few things intrigue me: analysis paralysis, fear, impulsiveness, feeling overwhelmed, procrastination. I really care about the person I am working with and listen for patterns in behaviours, limiting beliefs, secondary gains, internal talk, unconscious decisions and binds.

Via tools and exercises, a careful combination of action and reflection, we can work through almost any situation.

I am fascinated by the concept of leadership, in particular by its starting point, which is our individual ability of choice and of being our own leaders. That is why I have enjoyed facilitating Natalie Runyon’s workshop with more than 70 groups and with a number of individuals. Academic knowledge doesn’t necessarily make a difference. On the other hand, choosing a goal, committing to action and overcoming obstacles do.

Leaders do not work exclusively for individual goals, leading goes hand in hand with following, just the same as loving needs to allow others to love you and caring must give others a reason to care about you.

I work with clients in their world, at their pace, about what matters most to them and see how they tap into their determination, passion and drive to achieve their short and long term goals.

Aspiring to make our dreams come true takes courage and grit. That’s where surrounding yourself with people who have your back can make a difference between success and failure, for you to generate options when you need them, for you to choose wisely when overwhelmed with options, for you to take action and not give up.. Learning, reflecting, exploring all the while!

However much I appreciate detail and thoroughness, I am a big fan of “getting started”. The clarity of your goal, your improved awareness and your ability to learn and adapt will do the rest.

There are many ways to skin a cat and you will find your own. Bring yourself into your professional life, leverage skills, experience and strengths from any aspect of your life to move forward and be successful. Celebrate your achievements and share them with others. Ask for support, when you need it, and uplift others.

Let us be successful together.

While living in London since the end of 2002, Ara comes from Barcelona, where she studied business administration (ESADE’s BA and MBA programme). Her exchange programme and internship took place in Paris (HEC, management, contrôle et conseil), as part of acquiring the CEMS master in international management.She speaks fluent English and French.
The 20 first years of her professional experience have revolved around software for the financial markets: training, relationship management, consulting, data modelling, software development, product launch, user experience design, process improvement and digitalisation, to name a few of the undertakings performed.
In parallel, she was accredited as a coach at the end of 2009 and has been working part time as one, joining the company pool of coaches that delivered the 360 degrees debrief sessions, supporting specific programmes, working with coachees 1-2-1 or facilitating coaching workshops. Her continued development as a coach has included learning about neuro linguistic programming, neuroscience, transactional analysis, systems thinking and clean language.
Furthermore, she has learned German and Japanese, and studied Greek, Swedish, Italian and Portuguese.
Ara feels very strongly about presence and communication and strives to facilitate that the best comes out of each of us, with clarity and confidence.
What we want, why we want it, how we are going to achieve it, setting up plans, being flexible but accountable and learning from what work and doesn’t is what governs her coaching relationships.
Ara is fascinated with giving people choice, arming them with criteria to pick the battles most important to them and self-reliance to deal with uncertainty.
Ara also believes in giving back. From volunteering at Amics de la Gent Gran, visiting weekly the same elderly for close to 3 years, to being part of a student union, an employee network, her children’s school council or serving as a trustee of a charity, she doesn’t shy away from extra work or responsibility, coupled with a mindset to serve, improve and work towards equality and fairness.
Last but not least, Ara is a keen sportswoman and enjoys reading and handcraft.

Araceli Higueras, Executive Coach