Show Notes

17s: Sonia is an Executive Change Consultant (ECC). She enables people to make changes for themselves in a way that can be measured. Saxtons enables people to access what’s fantastic about them and what;s getting in the way behaviourally. “If we don’t fix it, we give the money back”.

1min 20s: Set up in 1999 and now have half a dozen people who are mostly associates. Part of strategic partnerships so they can provide more as they know people who will know it.

2min 11s: To become an ECC, you must’ve done it before in previous jobs? My background is in sales and I have been doing this for over 35 years. I worked in an insurance company, eventually in a training facilitation role. Studied business neurolinguistics and got my practitioners qualification and went to the States. My problem is that I am a perfectionist and I got my qualification but someone said I hadn’t been qualified with this other association so I did that and became qualified twice over.

5min 9s: What is neurolinguistics? Neuro is to do with the mind, linguistics is to do with language and the affect it has, and programming affects your motivations. If you believe you’ll have a bad day then you will. Programming is how beliefs and motivations work. You have your core values by the age of 7 and you develop your belief patterns. If you believe there is always a way then you will find a way.

7mins 49s: What are some examples of people you’ve coached? One person recently was referred because he couldn’t make it happen anymore. He said people stop him from getting on, so stressed and things got to him more and more. He was blaming other things and letting other people have the control. I told him to be more “I”, I’ve decided I’m going to make it work today. It’s a different mindset and I asked him if he wanted to develop that. He was judgemental and defensive etc. and I had to access what was causing those issues. It turned out his father had this attitude and it was the way he was brought up. I gave him access to give those attributes back and asked him for examples of his new habits. He’s back at work with a plan now.

14mins 32s: Is this a form of psychotherapy? It is but I don’t call it that because people think it sounds a bit heavy. It’s about closing your eyes, relaxing and having a skilled person talking you through it so you can access it and fix it.

15mins 30s: Are employers happy to pay for it? Yes on a guarantee basis. If you don’t have 18 examples of how it’s made a difference to performance, we give the money back. We always generate more than 18, it’s usually 30+. People feel excited to get back to how they were before all the baggage.

16mins 41s: If that person made such big changes, might they not want to have that job anymore? Yes, there is a risk but then they get a reputation for growing people and making a difference and having employees that everyone wants. How to define happiness: having a goal, having something to stretch for, making sure basic needs are met; having a roof over your head, food in your belly. People stay with their employer if their needs are being met. It’s important to find people’s motivations and understand their talent.

18mins 40s: There are 3 things to assess when taking someone on: what their motivations and baggage are, their technical skills and their commercial awareness of how they fit in the organisation. It’s important that people know they’re valued.

19mins 30s: How do you work out a candidates true motivations? There are 2 ways. You can use our profile tool, or ask 2 questions:

  1. What are some of the things that are important to you about doing this role?
  2. Assuming this role has worked for you, what sorts of things will have made sure that delivered for you?

Shifting people into imagining they’ve already done the role. Use -ed words. They will tell you what they need and it tells you their belief patterns.

22mins 44s: When hiring, should we be looking for a higher EQ or higher IQ? EQ – emotional intelligence. This tells us how they respond to every day challenges and you need to be able to manage that.

24mins 6s: Work/life balance? There has to be time to play and reflect. The brain makes sense of things by having time to refile things when relaxed. If you do emails at the table where you eat and have a romantic meal, you will be subconsciously in work mode. You need to have a separate space.

26mins 53s: Why did you set up your business in Harrogate? I was walking along Cornwall Road, my mum had MS and we spent time in Valley Gardens. My dad was a chef. My dad showed me pictures of them having parties at Windsor House. There is also a good energy here and I feel I can truly relax.

29mins 40s: Do you have tips for networking? You network best when you give something of use. Your mind will generate negative emotion if you believe so. Get a list of who’s going and connect on LinkedIn, see who you really want to talk to and then at the event you can go on from that conversation. I find video has the most impact on LinkedIn.

35mins 10s: What problems do you see most of all in lawyers? Most commonly, networking. They lack confidence.

37mins 56s: Is your work sector specific? No but particular industries, manufacturing, engineering, pharmaceuticals and the NHS. We are for anyone who likes a process, our approach gives results.

39mins 23s: You are an ECC, do you have a coach? I do, he puts me on the spot and challenges me. He shifts my thinking. I previously appointed a lady called Henry, she would put red lines through everything but I’d still pay her because I then produced something that was truly exceptional. We all need to be challenged by someone, some clients put me on the spot.

42mins 53s: I recently had a farmer who was trapped at home and he’d not come out for months. There was paper everywhere and hoarding is a sign of anxiety. He told me he loved sheep and had dreams about them so I asked him if he wanted to understand his dreams more. He said yes but he wasn’t leaving the house. So he closed his eyes that way and was able to work through things. It took all day but finally got him out of the house and to the show. It turned out he’d had a fall and the two brothers had provided everything he’d need and looked after him. He’d developed a fear. When you continue to not do something, the mind believes you can’t.

48mins 27s: Which books/podcasts do you use? TED talks but I don’t have a favourite. The Games People Play by Eric Berne. Autobiographies like Alan Sugar, he’s very resourceful. When I was young, I didn’t have much. I had a red 3-wheeler which had a boot and I collected bottles in my neighbourhood. Then, I went to the shop to get my money back so I could buy chips from the shop. My mum had been in a wheelchair since I was 5 years old and my dad was out all day so I had to find a way to make things work. My father was killed in an accident when I was 10 and my mum died a year later. It was a gift in a way because I had to find a way to make things work and I could always sort it out, it was only a question of how. That makes a difference to everything, it’s all challenges.

52mins 15s: What advice do you have to those going through the grieving process? I had a call from an MD who’s brother had died. He used to go out with his brother once a fortnight and now he’s not there, he wasn’t coping. So I asked him if he had any photos of him and to go and sit down with them, grab a beer and have a chat. Imagine his replies and tell me what that’s like for you. It’s normal to go through denial, anger, bargaining, how to cope and acceptance. This is a normal process. It’s all meeting a need. You need to ask what that need was and how to meet that need now. That takes time.

55mins 15s: How do people find out more about you? Go on our website at or call us on 01423 858816, there’s no obligation. I can learn more about you and some of the things that you want to achieve.

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