Becci Martin is an award-winning leadership coach and well-being specialist, and founder of Boo Coaching & Consulting. With a background as Mental Health Nurse, Becci has a developed her passion for creating healthy workplace cultures and turned it into her career.
Becci recently spoke at Zoe Cohen, WINS Manchester Hub lead online event on “Caring for Yourself: Self Compassion. Resilience & Well Being”, so we took the opportunity to ask her more about how we can all be looking after ourselves during this pandemic.
1. Tell us a little about what you do and how you came to be doing this work.
I am a mental health nurse by background and I have always been passionate about supporting people to learn and grow – I wanted to be a teacher when I was at school! I launched Boo Coaching and Consulting in August 2012 and it has grown over the years to deliver leadership, coaching and workplace wellbeing programmes across the UK. We help to create healthy and happy workplaces through helping bosses to be better bosses (we have all had or known a bad boss) and we do this with a consistent focus on creating social value in all we do.
2. With women under so pressure at home (more often taking on the majority of childcare/housework), how can we practice well-being during this pandemic?
It is all about doing small good things for yourself. If we attempt to make major changes, we are rarely successful on our first try. Find little moments to focus on your breathing, play your favourite music, set some boundaries with family members and be kind to yourself. I find myself saying this a lot at the moment… ‘good enough is good enough’
3. What advice would you give to women who want to become leaders in their field?
Get yourself a mentor, ask lots of questions and work on your inner critic! Dial back that mean voice and be your true self – please don’t force yourself to fit some old-fashioned leadership trope. Work on your emotional intelligence and make career choices based on your values.
4. What challenges do you think women are facing currently due to the pandemic, and what can be done to combat it?
I think the biggest impact is on mental health. We are living and working in ways that we are not used to, possibly with added caring responsibilities for either children or vulnerable family members. High levels of anxiety, not having our usual connections with those we care about, the distressing news cycle and the fear of illness will all play a part in creating poor mental health. It is so important that we do all we can to understand our stress triggers and factor in little and often acts of self-compassion that will reduce risks and boost our mood.
5. Some people feel that the pandemic is threatening to undo what generations of women have fought for, what are your thoughts on this?
I have been working throughout the pandemic in the NHS and I am surrounded by inspiring female leaders who are leading with compassion and integrity. I have seen teams and service form in days not months in order to prepare for the surge of patients and ways of working have been transformed for the better. My organisation has been working flexibly with the best kit we can afford for as long as we have been in existence. We have an unlimited paid time off policy and I am more concerned with the quality of the work delivered by my team than the hours they are in front of a screen. I am seeing the tide turn towards a more flexible working from home culture – I do worry about all the unnecessary digital meetings though! We need to find the balance in our homes, and this will take energy and excellent employers to support women to find a healthier balance.
6. What do you think coaching has to offer our Women in Sustainability community?
Coaching has the power to change lives! I know that sounds cheesy, but I totally believe it! It offers the chance to achieve amazing goals through challenge and accountability – it is always easy to tell ourselves what we hope to achieve, it is also easy to do nothing with them. The biggest impact comes when you set your goals out loud and your coach can help you to stretch and grow.
7. What is the question you wish people would ask you, and what would your answer be?
What advice would you give to younger Becci?
It will definitely get better. Understand your values and how these play out in your life. It is totally OK to ask for help… and stop trying to straighten your curls!