Five questions to… Catherine Baker!
Performance and behavioural expert Catherine has worked with those at the top of their field from City boardrooms through to sports pitches, focusing on the behaviours that drive performance.
1) You are a serial high achiever. What do you believe are the key factors that drive high achievement?
One of my favourite sayings is that Luck = opportunity + preparation. I believe that mindset is key to any success, and any achievement. If you have the right mindset, one that means you are resilient, focused, determined, open minded, optimistic and motivated, then you can cope with anything, and achieve amazing things.
2) How do you keep ahead of the game in continuous personal development?
Curiosity is a common characteristic amongst so many ‘successful’ people in life. Curiosity drives a relentless desire to understand things, develop and improve, and the longer you can maintain this sense of curiosity, the longer you can continue to develop.
3) What role does technology play in your work and in your life?
For me technology is very much an enabler, and something that makes me considerably more efficient in my day to day life. However, technology is not the answer in itself. By way of example, technology can be a brilliant tool in solving problems. But how can we determine what problems need solving? What other factors are relevant to this? How does human input add value? So technology is part of the puzzle, not the whole puzzle.
4) What role do people skills have in your work and in your life?
To me people skills equate to core skills. I grind my teeth every time I see ‘people skills’ referred to as ‘soft skills’ as this suggests that they are an ‘extra’, or a nice to have add on. From my first career as a lawyer, via my experiences in sport both as a coach and as an athlete, through to my work now with senior leaders and teams in many different walks of life, it is the people skills that make the difference. That drive better outcomes. That keep the wheels turning. So many of the issues we face come down to people issues, and if you are unable to navigate your way through this, you will not achieve sustained success, whatever field you work in.
5) What is the outcome you intend for coaches through your input to IFAC 2020?
I hope that coaches leave with practical tools and ideas to build their own emotional intelligence, as well as having a better understanding of how key it is.