Coach Profile - Andy Stoker
I owe much of my success to the generous help, support and advice of others. I first experienced coaching when the company that I worked for ‘assigned’ me a coach around 15 years ago. Since then I have benefitted from some great coaching experiences and I have come to see this as an important part of my life’s professional and personal ‘support package’. Inspired by this, I have over the years coached and mentored a number of people within my business and personal network, and I took the step to hone those skills and seek professional recognition through the CoachAdvisor ‘Executive CoachAdvisor’ program which makes me an Accredited European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) Practitioner.
I started my career at 16 as an apprentice at a Nuclear Power Station, became a radio communications engineer in Scotland, then an IT Engineer in the South of England before becoming a manager and subsequently a leader in one of the world’s most successful IT businesses. I have loved building and leading teams right across the world within Cisco and have taken great care to nurture a great working experience based on establishing trust and respect for one another. Being part of the tech industry, I have spent two decades of my life working with remote and distributed teams so it is completely natural for me to build and maintain close and fulfilling relationships with others over video.
As well as coaching experienced executives, leaders and start-up Co-founders, I have coached and mentored a number of people who are early-in-career and have helped them to overcome such things as workplace relationship challenges, organising themselves and seeing through their commitments, accompanying them in taking first steps into management and leadership and helping them to visualise their long-term career dreams and practical options. Within Cisco, I was instrumental in establishing a bi-directional mentoring group which aimed to pair those who were 'early-in-career' with those who were ‘experienced-in-career’ in order to share insights and wisdom in both directions - I passionately believe that each group has much to learn from the other.
My own approach to coaching is founded on curiosity to understand and appreciate what it is like to stand in the shoes of a ‘coachee’, and to explore a range of potential outcomes together - supporting the coachee as she/he digs in to identify the ‘right’ outcome and moves to embrace positive change. I strive to create a space where a coachee can safely voice things that otherwise go unsaid - engaging in a conversation that they may not have had with themselves, never mind others. I aim to get to the heart of things - unblocking thinking, posture and action. My personal philosophy is one of ‘living a life that is worthy of our lifetime’ - and I have seen great coaching being an effective way of helping individuals to achieve this.
I like to think of myself as being positively creative with a dark sense of humour that sometimes surfaces. I am unashamedly emotional and keenly in touch with the softer side of human existence. I love challenging traditional thinking in order to find positive outcomes to life’s challenges and I care very much about what I do. I take the role of being a coach very seriously and believe it an honour to be able to work at such a deep and meaningful level with people. I believe that we should all care deeply about the quality of our life experience... we live for around 30,000 days and should seek the right conditions that enable us to embrace and make the most of each day and to do the same for others around us. I passed the 20,000 day mark just over a year ago and have been on a mission ever since!
My wife and I are 'empty-nesters' with our two daughters currently building their own lives and careers in different parts of Asia.
I physically live in Winchester UK (a short enough trip to London)… but location is thankfully irrelevant these days and I am lucky to work with clients from Europe, Asia and America.
If this feels right for you.. please contact me for a no-obligation 30 minute introduction where we can take some time to explore what it is that you are seeking in a coaching relationship, and for you to determine whether I am the right person to support you as witness and guide.
Andy is an exceptional coach. His natural personal style is calm and sincere which creates a natural coaching space where I have been able to think deeply, whilst feeling supported. Andy's application of coaching techniques and methodologies have helped me to find 'a clear path' and answers to the issues I was grappling with. His wealth of both commercial and (people) management experience allows him to understand both the 'bigger picture' and the 'softer details'. In sessions with Andy, he has helped me really focus and zoom in - he has supported me to think for myself by asking specific and thoughtful questions, and offer advice, when appropriate in a gentle manner. Andy is non-judgmental, kind and encouraging, this blended with his experience, knowledge and insight means he can help clients navigate any problem, issue, question or situation they need support with. I highly recommend coaching with Andy.
Andy, I was surprised how easy, simple and straightforward you made the transition from current to desired state look like. After each "AHA" moment,., and there were quite a few of them, I always thought: "this is so clear and it's been in front of my nose the whole time. How come I haven't seen it before?" Thank you!
Andy is a wonderfully attentive and perceptive listener who manages to pick up individual's idiosyncratic thoughts and views, and naturally leads the discussion towards useful conclusion which the client reaches on her own. Andy understands and interprets correctly what people actually say as opposed to what he 'thinks' they way by asking the right questions. This was the most important aspect of the sessions for me - only then I know I can feel comfortable and confident during the discussions. Andy helped me to organise my thoughts and achieve broader perspective and navigate through my various uncertainties and ideas with more confidence.
I think that Andy is a great listener, asks the right questions (and the right amount) and correctly evaluates when to let the client speak and when to help them express and clarify what they are trying to say. This immensely helps to create an environment of trust as well as enables the client to fully benefit from the sessions and come out with a clearer head than before the discussion. I really liked that Andy managed to lead me to my own conclusions whilst not ever being judgemental and without ever steering my view one way or another based on his own belief. I definitely left the sessions with a clearer view on the topics we have discussed together.
Andy is a great coach. His listening skills, experience and most important empathy, helped me to develop a wide range of skills. Once he assessed my current situation, he really put himself in my shoes in order to help me become more successful. He is a great example to follow for any person that plans to build up on their personal and professional development. I was always looking forward to our sessions, as I felt like each one of those is adding a huge value to my development. I would recommend working with him to anyone... he has a huge range of technical experience and knows a wide range of tools, that can help any individual become more effective. It was an absolute pleasure to work with him.
Andy possesses and unprecedented ability to listen. He solved my problems in a "word by word" process. After every session, I would feel genuinely heard. Every interaction was filled with so much attention and presence. And either intuitively or buy some other unthinkable to me means, he would detect the root cause, knowing precisely which parts of my story needed a closer look. From there, things would go towards a problem dissolution.
Strong interpersonal communication, assessment skills, intuition, objectivity, exceptional professionalism and strong work ethics, strong ability to encourage and motivate. These are some of the highlights when picturing Andy Stoker as coach. Fully committed to making our collaboration a success, you have created a safe environment in which to talk. You have challenged me by always asking the right questions, to acknowledge my strengths and blind spots. You have very kindly leveraged your own network to help me structure and shape my career development plan. All those have helped me to realistically define my career goals and identify stepping stones. Thank you for putting so much of yourself into our coaching relationship. You will always be a strong character in the story of my professional life.