Guest blog: Kuki Taylor, founder of Atlas & The Thinker

1 December 2016

Success, Freedom, and Total Control

Kuki Taylor saw the immense pressure barristers, the judiciary, clerks and chambers directors faced during her five years working at the Bar Pro Bono Unit. She now coaches individuals at the Bar on tackling those pressures, but also on how taking a new approach can be more appealing to clients

Kuki Taylor

Three years ago, the first thing that came to my mind when I thought about "coaching" was, to be frank, self-indulgent Transatlantic clap-trap.  I am prone to scepticism or, rather, dealing with pure facts. 

Now most days I wake up to the new Wonder Woman theme or Basement Jaxx - I have rediscovered and am happily embracing the full capacity and confidence, my parents worked so hard to imbue.  There are no limits. No one dictating to me.  And I am free. 

Spending the last five years listening and working with barristers, practice teams, solicitors, the judiciary, and advice agencies, developing the Bar Pro Bono Unit into a sustainable and reflective charity has been marvellous. I am sure many of you would have received an email about the £30 Initiative, the Sandi Toksvig Quiz or the Unit's latest annual review - the 2012 "Battling On!" edition being the most iconic. 

I was elated when all our years of relationship-building resulted in 50% of the Bar voluntarily donating to the Bar Pro Bono Unit.  To put this in to context, in 2012 just 0.8% of barristers donated to the Unit.  Inspiring, listening and empowering are how we achieved success in recruiting 98% more barristers to volunteer on behalf of the Unit's vulnerable applicants. 

And it was during these intimate conversations with barristers, the judiciary, and chambers directors that I learned of the extreme pressure across the Bar.  When barristers and clerks feel the need to secret themselves into your office to seek confidential assistance due to bullying, stress, denigration and self-doubt at work it is not good. 

I then came across Time to Think. A straight-forward way of life with evidence and an ethos that resonates with me.  For a better world people need to have time to make well-thought out decision and pursue working lives that are connected to their values. I am now fully-qualified as a Time to Think coach and I have set up Atlas & The Thinker a discreet, targeted wellbeing and communications practise for teams and individuals. 

This goes way beyond mindfulness exercises. Mindfulness is wonderful, I use it myself.  It keeps you aware of your physiology and emotions in that specific moment but I believe it is through the Thinking Environment that you confront, reflect and ask the questions that will liberate you from the assumptions suffocating your true thinking and being. 

This is non-directive coaching and the time is wholly yours.  I shall not be dictating to you a bog-standard one-size-fits-all "action plan" for your life. There is no template answer sheet for your life. I therefore give you a genuinely bespoke and authentic service. 

In our sessions, whether they be for teams or individuals, there is no judgement, no interruption, no fear. You are safe. I am here for you.  The time is wholly yours.  It is your life and I will mentor and train you to actively reflect and rediscover the control you have of your personal and professional life.  I go through the process every week with a fellow coach which keeps me in touch with the client-experience and attuned to my own wellbeing. 

Chambers, firms and the charitable sector need to wake up and display genuine authenticity to clients and potential staff to succeed. Look at the Chancery Bar Association - up until this year I had no idea they attended, supported and had such a whale of a time at Pride thanks to their strong communications specifically via Twitter.  As a consumer, my first thoughts are this an organisation that is open, engaging, and supportive - in short, people I would want to do business with.  It's a simple rule for communications in the 21st century - people do not buy what you do; they buy why you do it.  Look at the list of companies people aspire to work for; many use the same coaching and wellbeing technique as I for their staff.  

Everything starts with the individuals in your team. Together we will evaluate their skills, ideas and development. We will also refocus the commercial objectives, keeping you on track with your long term goals and evaluating the value of your business. 

It is not easy confronting yourself. It takes great courage to stop. You really do have control over all this. I know. Freedom is mine. And I know how I feel. It's a new dawn. It's a new day. It's a new life for me. And I'm feeling good. 

Contact me for a free consultation, I am offering discounts until 31st January 2017.

Let your best times roll.

Rise, rise, rise.

Kuki Taylor, Founder and Director of Atlas & The Thinker