The individual is the key

Helen Guinness Life Coaching

Over four decades of working with individuals and teams have increased my enthusiasm for supporting people and organisations to find the best in themselves.

Whatever the circumstances, possibilities and opportunities for a different future are always available. Whether you are a business owner or an employee in someone else’s, success is going to be important to you.

My purpose is to challenge individual and organisational assumptions as a way of supporting people and businesses to find their own integrity: to find the place where they feel comfortable with themselves and empowered to take the actions that will produce their desired results.

I remain curious about human behaviour, what informs, motivates and drives it. The power of the human mind is at the core of what calls me to do what I do.

Are you frustrated or dissatisfied with the way things are? Do you feel that your organisation, your people or team could be doing better? Are you at a crossroad in your life, wondering which way to go next? You may feel you need a change of career or occupation. You may fancy returning to education, or taking a sabbatical. Or you may have the germ of an idea that you want to develop and turn into a profitable business.

Feeling stuck? Get in touch and let me help you.

I listen (a lot!), I encourage (a lot!) and I make it fun. I facilitate your way forward but the ownership of the process and the outcome belong to you.

“Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren’t any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life’s challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person.”

– R. Buckminster Fuller

About Me

This is how it all began. In 1981 I attended a course where I experienced the joy and magic of what is now called Personal Development. The revelations that I had liberated me from the then confines of my mind. What I discovered inspired me to pursue a career in Leadership and Management Development.

Neither Leadership Development nor Coaching existed in the UK as recognised practices in the eighties. Coaching was the preserve of the field of sport and organisational leaders were titled Managers. I pioneered both leadership and coaching through my company, four by Four Consultancy Ltd, founded in 1989.

I have over forty years’ experience in consulting, coaching, designing and delivering programmes to a wide range of clients in the UK and overseas. My company provide top quality development programmes for individuals and teams across the organisational spectrum. I specialise in enhancing organisational performance through transformational leadership development at every level.

My multinational and multicultural background has taught me to be adaptable and mindful of the need to understand cultural differences. I have a profound understanding of what makes for a successful workforce and how to guide organisations to achieve this. My leadership development experience and my own inspiring approach, combined with an engaging, down-to-earth practicality and humour, enable me to connect with and motivate individuals at all levels.

I have steered organisations and departments through major growth challenges and have successfully guided others through the process of culture change. I have coached senior executives to the next step in leadership, and guided fast trackers on their journey to the top. The majority of my work has required bespoke, tailored programmes designed to address specific client needs.

I have observed and experienced that the most frequent obstructions to growth, progress and performance improvement, whether in an individual or an organisation, are limiting mindsets. I spend time with people examining mindsets in order to help them and their team/tribe/company to transform their mindsets: to break habitual patterns that don’t support them and create new ones that reflect what they want to achieve. Awareness is where transformation begins.

I also run a monthly discussion group, which is a forum for idea exchange, intellectual stimulation and thought challenge. You can find out more about this on The Wisdom Exchange website.

What I Offer

How you can benefit from working with me

My commitment is to support individuals and organisations to find their own integrity. By integrity I mean a state of being whole and undivided. You might also call it authenticity. The process includes challenging assumptions and working to remove obstacles in the way of reaching desired goals or outcomes. I can help you to connect to that part in you or your organisation that inspires, excites and calls forth focused action.


The first use of the term “coach” in connection with an instructor or trainer arose around 1830 in Oxford University slang for a tutor who “carried” a student through an exam. The word “coaching” thus identified a process used to transport people from where they are to where they want to be.

And there you have it! So, my work as a coach is to “transport” you from where you are now to where you want to be in the future. How I do that is through support and encouragement, which also entails challenging assumptions (mostly yours!) and co-creating a road map to get you from A to B.


Some Examples Of My Work

Your Best Year Yet

A half day workshop

The purpose of the Best Year Yet programme is simply to make the next year your best year yet.

For several decades thousands of people have used this exercise to think about what really matters to them and then make a sensible and realistic plan for the next year of their lives. The results have been and continue to be inspiring.

All successful businesses put themselves through an annual exercise of setting goals and creating plans for the year ahead. Yet few individuals do this for themselves. Fewer than 1% of adults have clearly stated goals. Yet those who do earn as much as ten times more than those who don’t! The main thing that separates the most satisfied people from the rest of us is the fact that they have stopped to think seriously about what they want to achieve.

Most people have all the talent and ambition they need. Often these are hidden under a cloud of disappointments and doubts which lead to a lack of discipline. Many others find they are simply too busy to think about what matters most to them.

I invite you to use this experience to discover how to deploy your special talents. Discover how to use your strengths and experience to plan the life – both business and personal – you really want for yourself.

Unwrapping Your Future

This programme is loosely based on Ikigai (生き甲斐), a Japanese concept that means “a reason for being”. The word refers to having a direction or purpose in life. A purpose that makes one’s life worthwhile. A purpose towards which an individual takes spontaneous and willing actions that give them satisfaction and a sense of meaning to life.

To find your personal expression of Ikigai you will need to ask yourself some questions. The questions aren’t always obvious and can sometimes be challenging.

Through coaching and support from me you can explore and create the future you want to unwrap. A future that calls you to action in the knowledge that you will be making a difference.

Often, we know we want to be of service but we can’t decide how or where to do that. Most people want to make a difference. Finding where and how your skills and experience can best be used will help you decide.

This is where what you love meets what you are good at, meets what you can be valued and paid for, meets that which the world needs. Your Ikigai will be complete, unwrapped and ready for action when the goal implies making a difference that will make your heart sing.

Hidden In Plain Sight

We have all, at one time or another, if only temporarily, hidden our true selves. We mask parts of ourselves and justify doing so by making excuses to ourselves and others. We cover up our vulnerability, our fear and we pretend. We act out a different persona. Fear is a powerful driver. We have all feared making a mistake, making a fool of ourselves, feeling stupid and being rejected.

One example is manifest by people who are often spoken of as “the life and soul of the party”. Another is referred to as imposter syndrome: someone who successfully punches above their weight but suffers continually with an anxiety that they will be found out.

Having lived a part of my own life in hiding, I can understand the extent to which my cover up got in the way of my own free expression. It blocked my creativity and my desire to live a fulfilling life. By looking beyond my circumstances I was able to take a stand for myself – which brought me out of hiding – to live the life I wanted to live.

My programme is designed to help people to create their own restorative belief systems in a quiet way: this is where the magic of our inner lives happens, on both the conscious and unconscious levels.

Conflict Resolution

Conflict Resolution is the method and process by which two or more parties reach a peaceful settlement to a dispute.

Relationships both in business and personal lives can become conflicted and breakdown. People and performance suffer as a result. Life becomes more complicated, awkward and often painful. Businesses, partnerships, marriages, all can collapse in the wake of relationship breakdown. Strong emotions are often at the heart of any breakdown, both parties believing themselves to be right.

Conflict can often more easily be resolved with the help of a third party. An uninvolved person outside the conflict can appreciate both sides of the dispute objectively and bring perspective to the problem.

In my role as a mediator, I can listen to both sides of the story without bias. I will look for common ground which will provide the starting point for the reconciliation. I will then facilitate the resolution process and encourage both parties to negotiate a mutually agreeable way forward.

Putting up with conflict is wearing and debilitating. Drop me an email ( or give me a call (07775 662170) and let me help you find relief and a peaceful way forward.

Example 1

Two fellow Directors at loggerheads about a strategy and plan for the growth of their company asked me to assist them to find a way forward that would satisfy both parties. They knew they had to resolve their issues but didn’t know how to.  Their employees and the company were beginning to suffer.

It seemed that they had conflicting motives, but by engaging in a carefully planned process, they were able to see that they had more in common than they had thought. By finding the common ground, I was able to help them to keep focusing on the bigger picture, in favour of who was right.  That resulted in the creation of a strategic plan that reflected both visions, pleased and excited both parties and allowed the company to grow successfully.

Example 2

Two siblings who had been extremely close suddenly found themselves in the midst of an upsetting disagreement. Abusive emails had been exchanged which had closed the door on their relationship. Having listened to them both I was able to help them to see how the breakdown had occurred. They were at very different stages in their lives and hadn’t taken that into account. Their joy in discovering that they both wanted the same outcome set them on the path of resolution.


"Helen is an exceptionally kind, generous and wise coach who is tenacious in her approach to help you get what your heart desires. I cannot recommend her enough."

"I decided to work with Helen as I felt stuck and frustrated. I wanted to take the steps to becoming self-employed but was paralysed by fear and doubt. Over a period of several months we met weekly and Helen gave me exercises to enable me to have a better understanding of myself and my patterns of behaviour. Through this analysis we were able to work on areas where I needed support and self-reassurance. I enjoyed the process as I felt supported in my own learning. Through a better understanding of myself I was then able to move forward to becoming self-employed and successful in running my own business."

"Helen is knowledgeable, confident and fun to work with, her approach combines solid theory with worldwide experience. As my coach, Helen helped me to identify hidden issues that had been holding back my career for years. Working together, we developed methods to overcome my weaknesses and she helped me move forwards with significantly more confidence."

"Helen Guinness is an international, transformational coach and an avid art lover. In fact, when you see her living room, most of her wall space is taken up by framed art-work. This love of creating, painting and displaying artwork, including her own, has led to a rather nifty tip that she has used with her coaching clients to help them see and realise radical shifts in their thinking. Helen literally invites clients to envisage the issue surrounded by different styles, shapes and colours of frame. Helen says that this changes the relationships and interpretation of the same issue or picture for her clients. What’s more, she says that if we move the frame over the canvas of our mind’s eye, we can gain greater focus and clarity, as well as perspective on our problems, challenges and goals."

"Helen provided great support to me at a time when my morale was low and I needed to take stock of a lot of things around work. She quickly boosted my confidence and got me focussing on the really important things in life. The sessions were always interesting and thought-provoking, as were the exercises I did. I now feel that I am in a better place to move forward, and much of that is down to working with Helen."

"Helen is a highly intuitive, experienced coach. She makes you feel comfortable with the uncomfortable – that place we all hate exploring but have to visit in order to make the deepest changes in our lives."

"I've really enjoyed working with Helen over the course of our 6 sessions together. Her experience, wisdom and constructive challenge have helped me through the transition to a new job and work through issues with confidence, boundaries and imposter syndrome. I would highly recommend working with her if you find yourself in a similar situation or facing some of the same challenges."

"Helen's structured approach to coaching with the magic of her wisdom unlocks untapped insights and potential that have allowed me to flourish and find my right path."

"A highly professional coach knowledgeable in so many aspects of business and human development. In fact, her work was so powerful that I have been able to quit smoking after attending one of her workshops. What works best for Helen is her ability to make any subject personal to the point that any of her workshop or coaching session becomes part of your life that resides deep in your soul. Helen is able to listen to people in such a way that it earns her a great deal of respect from anyone who is privileged to work with her. Helen works with her heart - something I will always admire about her."

"Excellent content delivered with a great deal of skill and experience. It has covered the issues of vision, communication, leadership and a number of useful models. What worked well for me was the balance of good quality content and time for reflection and interaction with other course members. I would definitely recommend it to others."

"Working with Helen Guinness has been transformative. Her deep understanding and adept guidance in Transactional Analysis have empowered me to navigate interpersonal dynamics with clarity and confidence. Not only has this supported my personal growth, but it has also unlocked opportunities within my team too."

From My Blog

Hidden In Plain Sight

The dictionary defines ‘hidden in plain sight’ as to be unnoticeable, by staying in a setting that masks presence.
We have all, at one time or another, if only temporarily, hidden our true selves. We mask parts of ourselves in order to protect ourselves. We are chary of exposure and vulnerability. And rightly so when survival is at stake. However, ordinarily (Covid notwithstanding), that level of danger is rare…

read more »

Reframe Your Mindsets

Much of the work I do with my clients is helping them to find ways of transforming their limiting beliefs into possibilities and opportunities for alternative action. In order to do that I encourage them to visualise their mindsets as framed pictures. Think of a mindset as a thought constrained within a fixed area that holds it in place, like a picture held in place by its frame. I say ‘constrained’ because that is what happens; the thought is tied by its limiting belief – a belief that may not be true which nevertheless, we hang on to, like a safety net…

read more »

Do You Need To Change Your Mindset?

In the nearly forty years that I have been involved in personal and organisational development, I have never (honestly, never) worked with an individual or a team that has not been stuck in a negative or limiting mindset. I have come to the conclusion that mindsets really do govern perceptions, attitudes, behaviour, culture and so much more. So, I am going to spend a little time examining them in a bit more depth with the intention of helping you and your team/tribe/company to change your mindsets: to break habitual patterns that don’t support you and change them to reflect what you want to achieve…

read more »
See all blog posts »

Get In Touch

Helen Guinness Life Coaching

To find out more about working with me, please get in touch. I’d be delighted to talk to you.

My number is +44(0)7775 662170.

Alternatively, fill in the contact form below or email me on and let me know how I can help.


I owe an enormous and humble debt of gratitude to the leadership of The Hunger Project, in particular the vision and unshakeable commitment of founder Werner Erhard and President Joan Holmes. They inspired, mentored and lead me to where I am now.

Photograph courtesy of Mi Elfverson.

The Hunger Project

I am a proud long term supporter of and investor in The Hunger Project, a global, not-for-profit movement of people committed to the sustainable end of hunger. The Hunger Project is a strategic organisation that empowers women and men to end their own hunger through grass roots leadership development. To find out more go to and