Coaching Labs

Reflect. Test. Transform.

A space where change happens.

I am a firm believer that we all have several chances in life and work; we try, we fail and succeed, and we try again. We learn and unlearn; we keep exploring and growing.

A lab is a space of curiosity, exploration and discovery. Space where we ask questions and we find answers, we experiment, we test assumptions, we find solutions to problems through trial and error.  

Labs are spaces of creation. We generate new ideas; we develop new plans and we establish new ways to see the world and ourselves. 

A lab can be full of frantic exploration and discovery, with sparks of innovation and scintillating thoughts; it can also be a place of quietness, a place where we pause, observe and try to make sense.

Labs are spaces where change always happens.

I created Coaching Labs as a space of reflection, discovery and transformation. 

This is your invitation to your coaching lab.

Christos Papaioannou

My purpose is to support people connect with themselves and others, so that they can make a difference. 

My vision is that one day each human will be able to be their authentic, whole self, in and outside of their work; we will be connecting with others, ourselves and nature, creating communities and working to leave this world a better place. 

Leaders will have the courage to be authentic, inclusive, just and accountable and teams will be openly encouraged to reflect, learn, develop and connect with honesty and compassion.

My story

I am a certified professional coach with years of leadership experience and education in psychology. For more than 20 years my background has been in civil society and Non-Governmental Organisations, ranging from environmental and humanitarian aid, global health and human rights. I have worked in countries across Europe, Africa and the Middle East in management, programmes, funding and communications positions. I went from having my first volunteering experience helping Roma children get to school, to honing my negotiation skills at gunpoint in Congo and leading multicultural teams with multimillion-pound global programme portfolios. 

Along with coaching theories and tools, I bring years of experience working with large teams, multiple stakeholders and local communities. I have managed people and large multicultural teams for the largest part of my career and I had several senior management positions. Even when I promised myself that I would take a break from leadership roles, I quickly found myself back in one — presumably because I do not hesitate to jump into the deep-end and take responsibility.

There have been times that I failed and I certainly had burnout. Those were difficult moments, but there was growth as well. I enjoy the highs and lows of my experiences. I am ready to make mistakes, learn, unlearn, reflect and grow. Showing courage is something you learn every day and I like diversity in my challenges!

I know well the complexity of managing teams and organisations. I have led teams through change, made hard decisions and managed risk and uncertainty. I was aware that the decisions I was taking as a leader were often about people and had an impact on them. I have always tried to be fair and compassionate because I care about the people I work with and the bigger things. This “quiet power” has helped me lead, motivate and inspire others — this is one of the reasons I decided to become a coach.

Connecting with people and supporting them to find their courage and strengths is my happy place and where I am at my best. I believe in creating the thinking space that is needed for strengths to surface. This is where reflection, discovery and change take place. 

Connecting with others under situations of stress creates resilience and my calm confidence can be a positive catalyst for this. I believe that listening and being curious is an indispensable characteristic that a leader should have. My curiosity led me to positions where I felt empowered and fulfilled. 

Leadership in organisations fascinates me. I have studied and practised diverse leadership approaches since taking my first module of organisational psychology at university. Organisational culture is another focus of mine and why I researched and wrote my university dissertation on burnout and work engagement in humanitarian and environmental NGOs.

I integrated coaching approaches in leadership and management early on in my career, even before I got to witness how coaching works. My own experience with coaching has shown me how effective it can be for achieving goals and reaching one’s full potential, without compromising on your own and your team’s values and beliefs. 

I was first coached in 2014 and it helped me get clarity on my strengths, objectives and values; and ultimately to find out what the next steps in my career and life would be. Later, as part of leadership teams, I worked with executive coaches to manage complex change processes. Through those experiences, I developed an interest in the power of coaching to create positive change.

My background in psychology has helped me to see deeper than what is on the surface. It has enabled me to understand human behaviour and cemented my certainty that people are capable of change and growth (I believe that I am an optimist with both feet on the ground). My skills and knowledge in psychology are going to be part of my toolkit and approach. Resilience, wellbeing, burnout and work engagement have always interested me and are part of my work as a coach as well. 

I trained and qualified with Animas Centre for Coaching, on the Diploma in Transformational Coaching which is recognised and accredited by the International Coaching Federation and the Association for Coaching. I am accredited by both the International Coaching Federation and the European Mentoring and Coaching Council.

In addition to coaching, you’ll often find me working on humanitarian programmes, connecting with people and nature, or cooking. I always aim to try something new, from discovering new authors (recommendations welcome), to learning how to build a website, the art of kintsugi or (unsuccessfully) playing the ukulele. I remain connected with the political, social, environmental and humanitarian challenges we’re facing and I engage with different issues in several ways. I am a Board of Directors member and Treasurer at Médecins Sans Frontieres Greece and a Board Trustee and Chair of the Finance, Risk and Governance Committee of Mosaic LGBT+ Trust in London.

Note: My gender pronouns are he/him. Find out here why it is important for everyone to indicate their gender pronouns

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