Coaching 1

What is Coaching?

Coaching is ‘partnering with clients in a thought-provoking creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential’ (International Coaching Federation, 2015) 

Empowering people by facilitating self-directed learning, personal growth and improved performance is at the heart of coaching.  

Principles of Coaching: 

Fundamental principles of coaching include self-responsibility, respect, acceptance, confidentiality, integrity, transparency, flexibility and neutrality.The coachee retains responsibility and ownership of the outcomes.  Coaching focuses on moving the coachee forward by believing that the coachee has the required knowledge to solve his or her own problem.  

Coaching is Not Mentoring 

A mentor has knowledge in a specific area and acts as an adviser, guide or teacher.  A coach assists coachees in uncovering their own knowledge and skills and facilitates coachees in becoming their own advisers.  

Benefits of Coaching 

Potential outcomes of coaching at an individual level include:  

  • better self-awareness and self-reflection 

  • increased individual performance 

  • personal growth 

  • increased motivation and commitment 

  • higher quality of life and work-life balance 

How Does it Work? 

Coaching is open to all staff at the University on a self-referral basis. If you feel you could benefit from engaging in coaching, read the profiles of our coaches and make contact via e-mail with whomever you would like to engage.  Depending on capacity, your coach will arrange for an initial ‘chemistry coffee’ to understand your needs and what you hope to achieve.   

Coaching typically involves up to four,60-minute sessions during working hours, every 4-5 weeks at a mutually convenient time and can take place in-person or online.  

Meet Your Coaching Team

‘Take time to partner with a qualified coach to explore and reflect on your personal and professional journey’ 


Anna Cunningham |   Head of Staff Coaching

My focus is on building a trusting relationship by being attentive to the coachee’s needs, seeking to understand rather than judge and listening to what they say. By asking open-ended, challenging, and positive oriented questions, I encourage coachees to self-reflect in order to continually achieve personal and professional growth. We all need to be heard, understood and witnessed. Human emotion and engagement are inherent in the coaching process. By facilitating time to think, a coach can encourage on-going self-reflection. Time to think is the most precious of all and having an understanding person listening to us can have a powerful effect. Areas of Interest - Personal Growth, Change Management, Communication, Management Style, Team Culture, Building Confidence, Career Transition.

                                          Email Anna Cunningham


John Hannon |   Director Student Services

I believe that the establishment of a positive working relationship is core for coaching, recognising the need for mutual trust and a working alliance in order to bring about change. My coaching approach will facilitate you to clarify your needs. It is collaborative and solution-focused, with a supportive and practical style. My values are based on mutual respect and integrity. I believe that people are inherently good. You have enormous potential, the capacity to identify what you want and make changes in your life when active listening takes place in a confidential, non-judgmental, structured coaching environment. My areas of focus include career coaching, leadership development, executive coaching, personal wellbeing, development of positive work relationships, overcoming personal and professional barriers, managing through change, building self-awareness, confidence and strengths, and creating new opportunities

                                          Email John Hannon

Dr. Mary

Dr. Mary Surlis |   Senior Academic Manager, Access Centre

Foundationally, working from a non-judgemental, empathetic stance, my coaching style focuses on creating a confidential space where I can partner with my client to explore their potential, to challenge themselves, focusing on their self-development, feelings, thinking, and potential obstacles to their progression, whilst moving towards a desired outcome. My coaching philosophy honours the client in recognising that they are the expert in their own life. Working intuitively from the premise that the client is resourceful, creative and whole, my role is to remain fully present in this partnership, facilitating personal growth and self-awareness. My areas of interest include Personal transformation, understanding self, adapting to change, holistic personal growth

                                          Email Mary Surlis


Gerardine Deacy |   HR Research Support Manager

I create a relaxed, confidential space where clients can openly discuss and explore their potential for growth, development and change. I enjoy partnering with clients to promote self-reflection and self-awareness to help them to achieve their goals. I view coaching as partnering with clients to help them move from their current state to their desired future state. My approach is client-led and collaborative where we work together on breaking down any internal barriers to unlock potential within a safe, supportive environment. My areas of coaching range across all areas of life and executive coaching including leadership, relationship building and personal growth

                                          Email Gerardine Deacy


Marie Laffey |   Head of Career Development Centre

I like to think I adapt my coaching style to meet the needs of the individuals I am coaching. Ultimately building trust and fostering a non-judgmental, empathetic safe space for clients. By asking open-ended questions, demonstrating positive regard and engaging in challenging discussion I seek to facilitate the creation of awareness and perspective within clients so that they can make the life changes they desire to achieve their ultimate life goals. My philosophy of coaching respects the client’s personal freedom and autonomy above everything else. I feel it encourages clients to discover their own answers and creates a safe space for clients to develop their confidence to find their truth independent of any external opinions or influences. My areas of Interest are Personal Growth, Self-Awareness, Leadership coaching, Confidence, Management Style, Team Culture, Career progression

                                          Email Marie Laffey

Dr. Natalie

Dr. Natalie Walsh |   Director of Entrepreneurial Development

My coaching style is focused on developing a trust relationship that inspires, builds confidence and supports the development needs of the coachee. I am inquiry driven which will focus on harnessing the power of communication but always from a place of seeking to know and support rather than judge. I view life through a design thinking lens which focuses on using empathy, problem solving, brainstorming, prototyping concepts and testing ideas and very much take this approach to my coaching style. Emotional Intelligence is central to my coaching philosophy. This supports the coach and the coachee to use language and non-verbal cues to facilitate thinking. Using an EI approach supports the development of the coachee to establish a plan that considers their goals, behaviours and activities to achieve the best outcome for their short and long terms needs. My philosophy supports reflective practices, which further enables the connectivity between self-awareness, motivation and action. My Areas of interest include Change Management, Communication & Storytelling, Career Transition, Design Your Life, Positive Psychology, Thriving using Empathy

                                          Email Natalie Walsh


Majella Perry |   Student Coaching Manager

My coaching style is person centered and focused on helping coachees to find clarity and direction. By attentively listening, a trusting space is created enabling coachees to self-reflect, deepen self-awareness and notice their curiosities. My focus is on helping coachees identify where growth is desired, set goals and support them to reach them. Coaching provides space and time for individuals to recognise their inner wisdom and answers. By focusing on their unique strengths, coachees discover what brings fulfilment and purpose to their life. This holistic approach empowers coachees to discover and recognise their own resources and potential. My Areas of interest include Personal Growth, Professional Transition, Confidence, Strengths, Lifespan Development

                                          Email Majella Perry


Nicola McNicholas |   Senior Management Accountant

As a coach my purpose is to release the hidden potential within you. I will stimulate your thinking, straighten out your thoughts and challenge your assumptions. I am passionate about the power of coaching and have always been interested in people and I will bring this curiosity into helping you find the best version of yourself. I will bring a steady, calm and grounded presence which creates the space to realise your full potential. Actively listening and being fully attentive to you ensures that as your coach I am completely present which also helps to build rapport and trust. You are responsible for moving yourself forward and I will provide insightful and challenging coaching. My Areas of interest include Building resilience and confidence, career growth, improving the ability to relate to and influence others, developing talented staff and coaching teams

                                          Email Nicola McNicholas


Grace Mannion |   Designing Future Projects Manager

I have been involved in coaching and mentoring for several years in both the private and public sector. I use a person-centred, practical approach, built on trust and honesty. My style is both supportive and challenging. I like to allow the coachee to set their own goals and through a combination of open-eneded questions and practical coaching tools, support them on their journey to success. My Coaching Philosophy is simple, to hold the space to allow the coachee become the best version of themselves. I believe everyone can achieve his or her goals, sometimes we all need a listening ear or the right question to provoke our thinking. I believe coaching can help all of us to develop our skills, talent and abilities and achieve our potential. My Areas of Interest include Personal Development, Communication, Team Development, Project Management, Change Management, Strategic Thinking, Career Development and Work Life Balance

                                          Email Grace Mannion


John Gibney |   Retired Director of Buildings & Estates

My coaching style is collaborative. I work with clients by building trusted relationships and by listening, challenging and encouraging, facilitate the emergence of clarity, focus and agency. We have, within ourselves, the potential to positively address many of the challenges and opportunities that can sometimes make us feel stuck. Sometimes in our busy lives, we can benefit from working with a trusted collaborator in a safe space to facilitate the development of that potential. My area of interest is personal and professional growth and change

                                          Email John Gibney


Niamh Tobin |   Student Success Coach

My coaching style focuses on empowering the Coachee to discover their strengths and to help them embrace their unique abilities. I believe that by fostering a supportive and collaborative environment, we can work together to unearth your full potential, challenge limiting beliefs, and celebrate your progress along the way. Throughout our coaching sessions, I will aim to guide and provide you with the tools to set meaningful goals and develop realistic strategies to overcome obstacles with confidence. My areas of interest include Personal Development, Strengths, Design Your Life, Building Resilience, Future Planning , Team Development and Positive Psychology.

                                          Email Niamh Tobin


Kathy Hynes Cassidy |   Student & Staff Health and Wellbeing Lead

As an Executive and Lifestyle coach I understand that an individual’s journey has many facets as they move through their path in the workplace. My style of coaching is collaborative, compassionate and solution focused. It recognises the interconnectedness of many areas. By supporting the client’s exploration of their mindset and their goals I believe it enables the individual to find their solution, to be the best that they can be.

                                          Email Kathy Hynes Cassidy