Gail Partridge is the Owner of PGZ Consulting and a self-confessed "wonky coach". Gail talks to The Industry Leaders about how she got into leadership coaching and why, right now, giving people space is often the best form of help.
How did you end up sitting where you are today?
I grew up in the corporate world, starting as a Telephone Sales Rep, working my way up to being a Global Head of Customer Service. Following my daughter's birth, I moved into a Learning and Development role where I was developing and coaching leaders. I looked around the office and decided that I wanted to work with people who didn't want to fit the mould but wanted to be great leaders in a much more authentic way.
What kind of work does your role involve?
So, I am a wonky coach.
What does that mean?
I work with people who want to thrive in everything they do by bringing every bit of themselves to their role in work and in society.
What gets you excited about your industry?
I feel a bit different. I suppose I am a bit wonky myself. I am not what I would call a 'Robo Coach'. I don't work to a formula, and I am led by the different personalities I work with to bring the best out in themselves. That is what excites me: working in an industry with loads of people who can offer to support and develop others and give them space to think. Coaching is such a gift - a misunderstood gift but giving people time to step out of the ring and focus on themselves is something that everyone deserves.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Be all that you can with all that you have.
What, or who inspires you?
People who are brave enough to be a bit different. There is so much pressure to be something that we perceive the world says we should be. The people who inspire me are the people who are prepared to be quirky but know how to turn it up and down to get the results they want.
How do you keep up to speed with what's happening in your industry?
I read a lot and do research, but most of all, I speak to people. I am curious. I love to ask questions and get under the skin of what is going on in the industry. If I read something that intrigues me, especially when I disagree, I want to know more, so I will contact the writer.
What was the most challenging project or situation you've overcome?
For me, a people lover, there is nothing better than being in the same space as my clients. I have spent the last year speaking to people through a screen, and it has been tough. I have overcome that by focusing on what I want to do to serve my clients, and the interesting thing is that they just want time away from relentless Teams or Zoom 'calls'. That, at the moment, is the only way I can work. I have been able to reset myself and my mindset to believe that I am serving my clients through just giving them space - every little helps. They are still with me and want more, so I am doing something right.
You finish work today and step outside the office to find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
Continue to work like I don't need the money. I am a big believer in money not being the thing to make you happy. I believe there comes a time when you have enough. I would set my family up and keep enough to take money worries away. Right now, I would put the money into children's mental health coming out of this pandemic.
How do you switch off after a day at work?
If I had the choice, I would surround myself with family and friends and sing and dance. I am part of a Rock Choir, and I love it.
If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?
First: do no harm.
There are many coaches out there who don't have the proper credentials and can harm others by crossing the fine line between coaching and counselling when they don't have the skills or qualifications.
I take my role as a coach very seriously, and I wholly wish that other people would do the same.
What book or podcast should everyone know about?
If I Could Tell You Just One Thing. - Richard Reed
It brings perspective.
How should people connect with you?
You can reach me via You can rewww.pgzconsulting.co.uk or LinkedIn.
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