Rachel Collins

Head of Diversity & Inclusion, UK

I’ve recently completed a coaching practitioner course, which I’ve been lucky enough to study for while working at Colt. People seek coaching for many reasons but often, it’s about moving beyond something that has been holding them back. I’ve been thinking about my grandmother a lot as I’ve been on the course – though she passed away 20 years ago, I think my approach to coaching, and the reason I value it, is down to her influence. She believed that everyone has potential. She was born with a congenital amputation; the medical term for being born without a limb, or part of a limb – in her case it was her right hand. My nanna rode a bike until she was 70, played the piano in church, worked as a bookkeeper and a typist. She never had a prosthetic; she just adapted.

Interestingly, she used to say that she was glad she was born the way she was because it gave her empathy. I also know that she fostered really supportive relationships which helped. I admire her values: respect, compassion, optimism; as well as her practical approach to life and her resilience. She’d always give things her best try and tell us grandchildren to do the same. The idea that people have untapped potential and can always grow, even if they begin from a different starting position, is a great mindset to have when coaching, when working with people and I think, in life in general.

Rachel Collins | Head of Diversity & Inclusion | UK