About me

For coaching to be effective you need to find the right coach for you.  The best way to do this is a discovery call.  This is where you and I have a 20 minute, no obligation conversation, to see whether we want to work together.  During the call I’ll get to learn more about you and your goals and on the flip side, you’ll get a feel for my style and the opportunity to ask questions about the coaching process.


I promise it won’t be a pushy hard-sell conversation, that’s just not me. 


To set up a call, email julie@pressurevalve.co.uk


I look forward to hearing from you.

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Julie Smith (MInstLM)


Pressurevalve™ Ltd.


P.S. To save you time, I’m not the coach for you if:


  • You don’t like coaches who use humour, creativity and a down-to-earth approach.

  • You want someone else to fix everything for you.

  • You aren’t committed to taking action in-between coaching sessions.

  • You aren’t willing to be open to exploring different perspectives on a situation.

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Still want some more background information before we speak?

I figure you probably aren’t interested in reading my life story, covering every achievement from my 10m swimming certificate upwards, so I’ve approached this from the key questions you may be asking.


If I’ve missed something that you’d like to know, please do get in touch.  I’m always happy to answer questions to help you work out if we're a good match.

How do I know you provide quality coaching?

I know how to get the best out of people through an 18-year career in learning and development.  I’m also a qualified coach, holding the Institute of Leadership and Management’s (ILM), Level 7 Certificate in Executive Coaching and Mentoring.

In addition I'm a certified DiSC Trainer.  This means I'm certified to coach and run workshops on the following DiSC reports (profiles):

  • Everything DiSC Workplace

  • Everything DiSC Management

  • Everything DiSC Work of Leaders

  • Everything DiSC 363 for Leaders

  • The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ 

(For more info on each of these tools, please see Pressurevalve's Guide to DiSC).


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As well as having regular training and supervision to improve my practice, I also have a number of professional memberships and work on a range of coaching programmes including:


  • Member of European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC)

  • Member of Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM)

  • Fellow Coach for BetterUp (you can read about BetterUp and their clients here)

  • Founding coach member of KnowYouMore.com

  • Coach and Mentor on Charityworks Programme

  • Coach and Mentor on Aspire Foundation programme.

What experience do you have of the types of challenges I’m facing?

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I have over 15 years’ experience in management positions.  Ten of these years were in senior positions including heading national learning and development operations and an interim CEO post. 


This means I’ve come across many of the challenges you and your team are facing.  Here are a few quick examples.  I’ve:

  • managed predecessors of my roles and colleagues who were previously in equal or more senior posts to me

  • led teams of employees, freelancers, partner organisations and volunteers; delivering high standard services; on tight budgets, with stretching targets and within periods of change

  • developed successful relationships with partner organisations, managing complex hierarchies and competition between organisations

  • addressed under-performance in a team I inherited and built a conscientious and high performing team

  • produced winning tenders and proposals, securing and negotiating long-term contracts with private, public and non-profit organisations

  • identified and moved into new markets

  • managed over £5 million of grants to charities

  • led teams through change, including redundancies.

Who do you coach?


My coaching clients include new, middle and senior staff within:

  • global software and social media companies,

  • regional housing associations,

  • train operating companies,

  • museums,

  • law firms,

  • financial firms,

  • national arts organisations and

  • local and international charities.

Rather than having clients from one specific type of organisation or role, I work with great people who have common traits.  These are:


  • A desire to change something in their life.

  • A commitment to taking action to make that change.

  • A need to have purpose in what they do and to be a well-rounded human being (having a life inside and outside of work)

  • An ambition and drive (they don't all want to be CEOs, it's more about doing something to stretch themselves).

  • An ability to look at situations with good humour.

  • An interest in other people.


If that sounds like you, email julie@pressurevalve.co.uk to start achieving your goals.

What topics do you coach on?


That’s really determined by what you need.  This said, here’s a flavour of topics I’ve helped clients with:


  • Prioritisation/making time for what matters.

  • Working with ‘tricky’ people.

  • Personal impact/raising profile.

  • Helping teams work better together.

  • Career crossroads.

  • Overcoming fears and blockers (public speaking, decision-making etc.).

  • Resilience.

  • Managing change.

  • Recruiting and building teams.

  • Imposter syndrome and self-confidence.

  • Transitioning to a new role.

  • First steps into people management.


Key success factors in my coaching include: helping people develop skills in looking at situations from different people’s perspectives, self-awareness, option analysis, confidence, resilience and self-coaching. 

Do you provide support for leaders/managers in ways other than coaching?

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  • I facilitate sessions on leadership programmes for business undergraduates through to established senior leaders.

  • I’ve also been Master of Ceremonies for a summit of global non-profit leaders in New York.

  • I observe managers leading their teams, presenting etc. providing them with feedback and follow up coaching.

  • I sit as an external panel member during recruitment drives.

  • My sister brand Pressurevalve Projects, supports managers by providing experienced, temporary  resource to deliver all, or aspects of, projects on their to-do list.  For more information please visit www.pressurevalveprojects.com

Why the name Pressurevalve?

I've yet to meet anyone who doesn't have pressure in their work.  An element of pressure is good as it motivates us to take action, however when the pressure ramps up it can affect our ability to function at our normal levels, reducing performance and causing stress inside and outside of our working lives.


In engineering, valves are used to control the pressure and that's exactly what Pressurevalve Ltd can do for you.

Through Pressurevalvecoaching.com  you'll get the space and external perspective to find your way through and with Pressurevalveprojects.com you'll get additional, experienced people on a temporary basis, to help you deliver your projects.