Claire Doré is a life coach. She lives in Marlborough with her husband John, who works in advertising, and their three children, Luca, 16, Franco, 14, and Florence, 12. The family have a chocolate Labrador called Peggy.
Tell us about yourself
After University I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for a career. My sister is older than me and was already in London, so I went there and slept on her sofa while getting a waitressing job until I worked out what to do with my life! I fell into the Advertising industry – I applied for and got a job on reception at a Media company, and after a while moved over into account management followed by media planning. (Basically planning where and how a client’s advertising budget is spent). I worked for several large London agencies, the last one being McCanns, where I led a fantastic project for Nescafe, managing their sponsorship of Hollyoaks.
I got married and had children, and left the world of work for six years while the children were very small. (Let’s face it three children under 4 is a full time job in itself!). When my eldest was approaching school age we moved out of London to Wiltshire, more space for the children and the schools were the driving factors.
After we moved, I started feeling that I wanted to do something for myself – my sister introduced me to Arbonne, the multi-level marketing health and wellbeing company. I quickly grew a team that meant that I had to learn about coaching in order to support them with their growth. Through Arbonne I learned a lot about the importance of self-development.
How did you decide to become a Coach?
Having learned more about coaching others and being coached myself for years, I signed up to working with a pair of top coaches in the US to progress my own development. Working with them made me realise what lit me up. I invested in working towards becoming a coach, taking six intensive retreats over two years. I think one of the most important things about being a coach is being coached yourself, your own development is key to coach effectively in my opinion. Identifying and gaining awareness of your own patterns of behaviour, self-limiting beliefs and all the other stuff that gets in the way of your own success helps to then truly help others who are stuck.
You focus on coaching working mums, why is that?
First of all, I am one myself, so I have an understanding of and empathy with the issues that working mums face. Secondly, I think being a mother is one of the most important roles in society – when they are supported effectively to achieve their goals there can be an enormous positive effect not only on them, but their family and wider circle, like a huge ripple effect. I find it hugely rewarding.
What typically prompts someone to seek coaching?
Generally it is when they feel stuck with some aspect of their life. Perhaps not knowing what to do next, how best to manage the juggles of work and family life, or suffering from a loss of self-confidence (very common among mums returning to work), or not feeling happy in their job, or feeling anxious. They need someone to help them achieve their goals, create clear boundaries, and feel sane! I give them a safe and non-judgmental space to talk through their issues in complete confidentiality. Often, they need someone to ask the right questions to help them realise what they need to get where they want to go. Looking within is where the answers lie every time.
What are the benefits of coaching?
The main benefit is that it will help you move forward in your life to where you want to be. Many people find it helps a boost their self-esteem and confidence helping them to make the right choices for them as well as implement some new and healthy habits to help them feel good about themselves and have a positive effect on their life. Ensuring people understand the benefit of self-care is also one of the key outcomes of my work.
What was the biggest benefit you gained from having coaching?
My coaches helped me to slow down. I spent my life in a frenzy of busyness – having gone from a frenetic job in the ad industry to being a mum of three I was always rushing around and feeling somewhat overwhelmed. They helped me to realise it was important to slow down and get in touch with my own wisdom – to realise what choices to make next and identify priorities, a big part was taking time for self-care, and seeing that you don’t need to sweat the small stuff. I feel I function better in all my roles after learning not to go at superwoman speed and it’s had a very positive effect on my results too.
How long would you expect to work with someone as a coach?
Coaching is not a quick fix, it’s a longer term process, so the minimum length of time I would expect to work with someone is around three months. It takes time to work through old patterns, I work with people one to one on a weekly basis to help them achieve their goals. One of the most important roles a coach can play is to hold the person accountable to reach their objectives, and a weekly one hour session is the most effective amount of time I find.
What do you enjoy the most about your work?
I love seeing the transformation in people, and seeing them get the results they want in their life, whether that’s seeing Mums create more calm, headspace and harmony or enabling someone to transition to a new role that they love. All my work is incredibly fulfilling and feels so aligned to who I am.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I’m a member of Crossfit in Hungerford, which I’m addicted to! I also enjoy running. I’ve run three marathons, and numerous half marathons, although this year I don’t have a challenge lined up yet, which is actually quite a nice relief.
I love walking too, usually with the dog. I love being so close to the countryside. That wasn’t always the case; when we first moved out of London it took some getting used to – going for a walk or a run and not seeing another soul. Now I really enjoy the solitude as I find I have my best ideas when I’m outdoors walking/running.
I have a passion for cooking, and particularly baking, although that’s a challenge at the moment as I am trying to be sugar free. Currently, you are more likely to find me making sugar and gluten free raw flapjacks than Nigella’s Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake (which I love). When cooking I enjoy being creative, and love making Italian and Asian food.
As a family we enjoy travelling – we go camping every year (great for screen-free time), and we also love skiing, probably because it’s a shared activity.
What do you enjoy reading?
I tend to read non-fiction, and usually have about five books on the go at once. Self-development books are my thing – You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay is one of my all-time favourites. Free Your Energy by Sylvester McNutt III is another one I am enjoying dipping into at the moment, and You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero is brilliant and so funny too.
What are you watching?
I’m not a big TV watcher, but we do enjoy watching the odd Netflix series – we’re just getting through Breaking Bad, and then we’ll be watching the next series of The Crown.
How about listening?
I tend not to have music in the background to everything, but if I do listen to music it’s a wide mix from Elton John to current pop – anything I can sing along to basically.
You’ll often find me listening to podcasts such as Motherkind, or Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place.
One thing I am keen on doing this year is developing an online group programme for working mums, to make my work more accessible to those who may not be able to invest in 1:1 coaching. This will help my mission to impact more Mums’ lives enabling them to get back in touch with who they are and support them in unlocking their potential.
On the non-work front, we are planning an exciting building project developing two houses – a dream of ours which we are very excited about.
Find out more about Claire and her work at clairedore.com