Declan Woods

Declan Woods Profile

What is your journey a coach?

My career pre-coaching has been incredibly varied from starting my working life as a trainee lawyer to serving as an Army Officer and working for organisations as diverse as the Foreign Office. I qualified as an HR professional (Fellow CIPD) and gained an Executive MBA (University of Warwick) along the way. Looking back, what connected much of this experience was trying to bring about significant change in large, complex organisations. I realised while working for Accenture as a change consultant that change really happens through conversations with, and between, people. This realisation led me to re-train as a psychologist at several leading universities, and as an executive coach and, more recently, a team coach. I have been a practicing as a coach for the past twenty + years and am an HCPC Registered & Chartered Psychologist.   

What is your sweet spot as a coach?

I specialize in coaching CEOs and their leadership teams and gravitate towards working with c-suite level leaders in large, complex roles and organisations. I draw on first-hand leadership experience as a Plc. Director of an international business, with board experience as a non-executive director while coaching. 

I have a reputation for high quality, ethical behaviour as a coach and so it is not surprising that I became the inaugural Global Head of Standards and Accreditation with the Association for Coaching (AC). I also co-authored the Global Code of Ethics for Coaching and Mentoring and was invited to join a four-person team to create a set of industry standards for team coaching. 

I enjoy spotting market trends and foresaw the rise of team coaching. I undertook a doctorate researching team dysfunction and this led me to create the Middle Circle® for Teams tool to help teams become far more effective. I write about tackling tricky team coaching dilemmas in a regular column. 

What about you as a person?

I live in the Surrey Hills with my wife and two teenage boys – and a new puppy, Monty. I run mountain marathons when my creaking knees allow and chair a small local charity. A little-known fact about me is that I managed to let HM The Queen’s Corgis escape from the garden of Buckingham Palace! Oh, I have also acted in Spooks.

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