Donegal businesses get free coaching boost

Donegal businesses get free coaching boost
A number of Donegal businesses are getting a helping hand this month as part of an international celebration.

A number of Donegal businesses are getting a helping hand this month as part of an international celebration.

Local leadership expert Dr Mary Anna Wright is offering free executive coaching sessions in the luxurious surroundings of Solis Lough Eske Castle Hotel.

The free sessions are part of International Coaching Week, May 20-26, a global celebration established in 1999 by the International Coach Federation (ICF). The Ireland Chapter of the ICF are also organising a number of events around the country with many coaches offering pro bono sessions.

Formed in 1995, today the International Coach Federation is the leading global coaching organisation, with over 22,000 members, dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high professional standards, providing independent certification, and building a network of credentialed coaches.

The ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential.

Mary Anna, who is ICF Vice President here in Ireland, said: “Coaching is a powerful development tool, so I am delighted to offer the chance for more people to experience it.”

Mary Anna is a highly experienced leadership coach and communications specialist whose main focus is on helping managers become inspirational leaders.

After earning her PhD in cultural change, she worked as a journlist at The Independent and then in PR, with an emphasis on using communications to promote behaviour change. For example, on campaigns encouraging people to recycle and to ‘get on their bikes’.

This focus on behaviour change got her interested in the power of coaching. She earned her international accreditation and began coaching in 2003, then qualified as a coach supervisor, while working as Head of Communications at Hackey Council.

Mary Anna moved to Donegal in 2011 and is the only International Coach Federation accredited coach in the county, working with clients from across Ireland and Europe.

“I specialise in two areas of coaching - leadership and career. For companies, I work with management to bring about change within the organisation or with senior managers, helping them develop the skills that enable them to become inspiring leaders.

“For any business owner, developing a CEO mindset will help them become more effective. The world economy is changing so fast that agile leadership is essential for modern business.

“The state of the job market also means career path coaching is very useful for people thinking of their next steps and this is the kind of work I do with individuals who are considering that some kind of change is needed in their working lives.”

Paul Shortall, Director of Sales and Marketing at Solis Lough Eske Castle, said: “Our meeting and conferencing facilities are an important local asset. The castle has hosted many renowned companies in our conference facilities; including Musgrave’s, KPMG and Audi in recent months. In addition, we have had the honour of being the choice for numerous confirmation and communion celebrations. Our goal is to put Donegal on the map as a great place to hold business events and we have a dedicated team member, Sinead McGowan, who concentrates solely on developing this business segment. We are delighted to support this fantastic initiative to help local start-ups who will play such an important part in the future economy of this region.”

For further information see or ring 087 117 1972.