Maree Harris, Ph.D.

From Counselling to Coaching

Counselling to Coaching

In 1994, due to a change in political leadership in her state and with it significant policy changes

impacting organisations, Maree began to see increasing numbers of leaders coming to her

counselling practice to discuss their professional challenges. None of them needed

counselling.  They were skilled leaders and managers, facing significant change that

came unexpectedly and with little support or leadership development training.

She began "coaching" them without knowing the word, only some years later discovering

that was what she had been doing. Coaching had not been a well-known modality here

in  Australia at that time.  Eventually the work she was doing with leaders

and managers overtook her counselling work and in 2005 she established

People Empowered as a leadership development company and began

to wind down her counselling practice. 

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Maree's first mentors- 9 professional women colleagues

As Maree began her journey from counselling to coaching, it was obvious to her

that she needed to establish a new organisation which would focus on

the professional development of leaders and managers.

She realised that she was also moving from conducting a professional practice

to establishing a consultancy.

She knew she would benefit enormously from some advice and support.

She turned to nine empowered and empowering female professional colleagues

to sound out her ideas and draw on their expertise. She has an enduring gratitude

to all of them and in a real sense they were her first mentors.

One of the most significant contributions they made was the recommendation

that whatever name she chose for this new consultancy, it needed the word "empowered"

in the name because that's how they felt after they had spent time with her.

And so Maree's consultancy became People Empowered.