Released On 14 January 2021
Meet the Expert: Interview with Sarah Brummitt
In the second article in our new series of interviews with our panel of experts, we meet: Sarah Brummitt.
Sarah, please tell us about your background and how you built your experience as an executive coach and personal branding expert?
Hello everyone, I’m Sarah – a business owner, fashion addict, author, Executive Coach, obsessive England cricket and rugby fan, runner, cyclist and proud Londoner. My background is ethical medicine and I worked for AstraZeneca for 10 years. I’m always surprised that this is part of my career history as I hated science…but loved my time at AZ. After 5 years with a sales effectiveness consultancy, I started my own business….and 15 years later I am still going strong. The driving force for what I do is based on the belief that technical skills get us so far; and then it’s all about our communication skills, brand and impact. All of us are fundamentally in a relationship business; no matter where we work, what our background is, or what we do to fulfil the responsibilities of our role.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I meet fascinating people every day for a living. I enjoy helping others fulfil more of their potential and I believe that potential is limited to the extent to which we believe what is and what is not possible. The challenge with communication is that the theory is straightforward, but the difficulty is in the doing it. Being persuasive is a rich, diverse, stimulating set of skills and strategies which require us to deal with the most difficult raw material at work – human emotion. How we engage, challenge, support, motivate, enthuse, convince and persuade others is truly fascinating.
How do you look after your own wellbeing?
I exercise (running and indoor cycling) and try to ensure I get 8 hours sleep. It’s been difficult because a lot of the things I do to ensure my wellbeing have been restricted (seeing friends, travel, watching live cricket/rugby etc.) and that challenges us all to find joy and comfort in different things. Being sat down for the first 8 months of the lockdown all day long meant that I invested in a standing desk – which is brilliant! I also passionately believe that laughter restores the soul…..and in grim times, finding humour is absolutely key. I listen to Jonny Vaughan on Radio X, and he makes me cry with laughter – which is both fantastic and restorative.
What issues do you come across most regularly when speaking to clients?
Getting the audience’s attention, keeping it, engaging others in discussion, making the most valuable use of our time when dialled in to remote meetings, being concise, persuading those who don’t have to do what we want, driving our priorities, delivering tough messages positively, motivating in the midst of low morale, showing grace under pressure, being able to say ‘no’ and not feel guilty about it, challenging others without damaging the relationship, plus many, many others challenges are what face us all in the remote environment. We should never underestimate how difficult this is to do – it’s hard enough even if we were face-to-face. Now that we’re all operating and communicating at a distance, it is infinitely more difficult.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone who was feeling detached from their career / teams and want a boost of energy and motivation, what would it be?
Make the time to reflect – without distractions – on what you enjoy doing. What gives you energy, excitement, enjoyment? And what does not? If you don’t have what I call your ‘strategic counsel’, or ‘advisory board’, then formulate one. This is a group of 3-5 people whose opinion your value, who will give you the time and candour to provide insight, ideas and support. Our career: like our life, is built on our choices, and we can make choices and drive change. Celebrate success on the way, even if the win is small. 2020 has been a year to forget; we start afresh in 2021.
Sarah Brummitt started her business in 2005. As a highly qualified Executive Coach, leadership development facilitator, award winning Personal Branding expert, keynote speaker and published author, Sarah has worked with over 15,000 professional men and women across more than 30 countries in Europe, the Middle East, USCAN and APAC regions.
Sarah has written 3 books in the areas of personal branding, executive presence and remote presence. Her expertise in persuasive communication, storytelling and impact has led to her becoming one of only a handful of professionals worldwide with the level of global certification which she has in the image industry.