Director HR Operations (People & Culture)
Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC)
Colleen is a strategic HR leader and executive business partner for People and Culture at ACCC, leading contemporary HR Operations across various states to enable delivery of the organisation’s goals. She is passionate about leading with a wellbeing approach and identity in mindful leadership.
Colleen, can you describe the circumstances that led you to seek a coach?
I felt that the opportunities for growth were narrowing after several years in my work place and I wanted to start positioning myself for a broader executive role either where I was or outside.
I had participated in a number of leadership development sessions and feedback assessment tools and whilst they were helpful at giving me some insight, I felt that a tailored coaching program would be the best outcome for me.
What did you want to achieve from working with a coach?
I wanted to explore and define the type of executive leader I truly wanted to be.
I needed someone who had walked a similar path as me, to give me some open and honest feedback and help me gain better insight and awareness about myself.
Figuring out the next step in my career was important; I needed some real support in working out what type of role or pathway was next for me.
What made you choose Repa to be your coach?
Repa came highly recommended and after the first time I met her in person, I could tell that she would bring the level of authenticity, openness, and honesty that I needed in a mentor.
Our first meeting was great because I could see that (like with other coaches) the session was not just going to be a talking fest where I’d be taken through a stock-standard process.
Instead, Repa asked the hard and deeper questions, which for me demonstrated an immediate understanding of my needs. Straight away, she struck that balance between creating an open and trusting environment, setting clear expectations, and establishing a rapport with me.
Ultimately, I chose Repa because it was evident to me that the sessions would be grounded by clear outcomes. I could see that Repa would help me find the type of leader I wanted to be.
Tell us a little bit about your sessions...
At the start of each session, we would start with some mindfulness exercises to help me get ‘centred’ and clear the noise of the day and my myriad of thoughts. From a place of clarity and focus, Repa and I would set up clear deliverables at the start of the session which was a brilliant way of ensuring I stayed accountable to our coaching objectives.
Instead of focusing entirely on career, we’d work on activities that focused on the whole person which empowered me to embark on a holistic personal transformation. The true value in exploring all aspects of my ‘self’ (mind, body, and spirit) was in Repa’s ability to ask the hard questions and create an environment where I felt comfortable to look at myself honestly.
Reflecting back each conversation and discussing what was heard and breaking down meaning behind comments provided great insight.
Setting action and accountabilities between each session was helpful to keep progress on my self-development.
What was the impact on you personally and your career at APAC?
A common experience I have had with other coaches or consultants is they tend to bring their set model, process and/or tools and just apply, thus not adapting or providing solutions for the needs of the client.
But with Repa, I became clearer on who I was and wanted to be. I now live every day being the person I am. I seek to lead through my strengths, behaviours, actions and keep my mind open to the art of the possible. I have a new and expanded executive portfolio which is exciting and aligned to my passion.
Since working with Repa, I’m also taking on Acting CEO responsibilities. The feedback from the people I value and respect has been supportive and positive with regards to the changes I’ve made.
I recommend Repa’s coaching to other executives seeking a holistic change in their personal and professional lives.