We are delighted to appoint Fiona Doran-Smith as a new associate partner to the Diadem team. Fiona is a highly qualified learning and development professional with a wealth of experience as an L&D consultant at Thales Training and Consultancy, an L&D Manager at BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, and as a self-employed coach and Emotional Intelligence practitioner.
We wanted to welcome Fiona aboard and take a moment to ask her a few questions about herself.
I was immediately struck by Diadem’s passionate, practical and professional approach to training and coaching. As an Emotional Intelligence (EQ) practitioner myself, I was particularly impressed by the fact that all Diadem’s training programmes are based on EQ principles.
You started your career as a professional presenter. What commercial life skills did you learn from this?
Presenting really helped develop my communication and relationship building skills. I learned how to engage with all types of people and the importance of being able to tailor information to the particular needs of your audience – providing them with exactly what they need and want to know. Being a professional presenter taught me how to sell an idea, think on my feet and present myself in the best way possible.
As a highly qualified coach and EQ practitioner, what’s the most rewarding aspect of your work?
I enjoy witnessing people’s individual breakthroughs; whether it’s a small realisation or a lightbulb moment of insight. It’s particularly rewarding helping people take control of their own development and make real progress.
What do you think is the secret to unlocking an individual’s full potential?
I think it’s about encouraging them to question what lies beneath their own need/want/objective. Once they fully understand what’s really driving a particular need, it becomes far easier for them to achieve what they truly want.
What areas of L&D are you particularly passionate about?
I’m passionate about L&D as a whole, however, I think needs analysis is extremely important and so rarely done as effectively as it could be. Without an accurate TNA (Training Needs Analysis) you limit the effectiveness of any intervention and its long-term benefit. I also particularly enjoy training and coaching on topics such as Emotional Intelligence and behavioural skills that focus on developing people as individuals.
Finally, how would you describe yourself?
I’m motivated, very focused, energetic and fun-loving!