Inspirational Women – Lisa Higgins


Lisa Higgins, Catalyse Coaching

Lisa Higgins, Catalyse Coaching

Lisa Higgins is one of the newest coaches on our Neuro Diverse Strategy Coaching Programme. Lisa was nominated by a number of our 3SC Team as one of our Inspirational Women 2021.


What’s your current role or situation?


I’m a coach – I run my own practice, Catalyse Coaching, and I am also a partner in a leadership development business.


Tell us a bit about your background and how you got to where you are?


During my 30 years managing projects for companies like British Airways, my leadership style shifted to be ever more people focused. I wanted to go deeper, so I did a Psychology degree. Now I’m doing a Post-Graduate qualification, maybe a Masters next. Practicing as a coach is hands down the most fulfilling role I’ve ever had (and that’s partly because it challenges me every day).


The Theme of this year’s IWD is ‘Choose to challenge’ – what challenges you and how do you deal with any challenges?


The biggest challenges for me often involve an internal struggle to ‘accept’ something I can’t change – it’s good to believe we can proactively influence our world, but I can also get stuck ruminating on ‘What If’. I recently had open heart surgery to fix a hole-in-heart birth defect (thank you, NHS). It was a slow, painful 1-year recovery and a Frankenstein-size scar, but I’m ok with that now. I chose the challenge of surgery because the easier route might sap my future health. Dealing with it involved a bit of counselling and a LOT of finding new sides to myself – patience, hope and ‘playing the cards you’re dealt’ can be tough, but the pay-off is feeling ‘calmer’ in the eye of any storm.


Talking about challenges, what are some of the key lessons you have taken from the COVID-19 crisis and lockdown?


What I’ve noticed a lot, in clients and myself, is that humans really hate uncertainty! Life used to feel quite predictable. Now we’re aware how little we control our environment, other people or even fundamentals like health. The awareness is good though. Knowing the difference between Need and Want and being aware of ‘Who we Are’ inside (e.g. our values) really helps – to survive tough times, but also to build a fulfilling life in better times.


You’ve been nominated as inspirational. What are your top tips for work and life in general?


It’s life’s challenges themselves that are inspirational, in my view, certainly not me as a person. But my top tip would be – relish that life is double-edged (happy AND sad, contentment AND turmoil, joy AND fear), and try to notice how each ‘benefits’ you. Challenging times have helped me grow more than the quiet times. And I love an inspirational quote, like this one by Henry Ford “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it”.


Tell us a little bit about Coaching.


Coaching is a deceptively simple, yet highly effective catalyst, that really helps when we hit life’s inevitable ‘bumps in the road’. As the founder of Catalyse Coaching, I’m personally and professionally very familiar with these bumps – more importantly, I know how to help you choose, and take, your next steps.


Gareth Snaith, Contract Performance Manager, 3SC