Stephen Yates

As a facilitator and coach my work has given me incredible experiences around the globe working with mainly younger managers, graduates and those looking to move to the more senior level of their organisation. My area of expertise is around understanding what drives us as individuals, examining the motivators that drives others and therefore enabling people to engage with others in an effective and results focussed dialogue.
My passions lie around enabling us to be “OK” with who we are and thus have confidence in our own skills and resources to create great places to work. Most challenges occur when we as individuals feel threatened, uncomfortable with change and challenged by others. The soft spot is about being aware of what is happening, being “OK” with our identity and thus demonstrate behaviours that lead to better working conditions. Whether it is about having the confidence to stand up and present, talk to our boss or manage a team – it’s about having real conversations that help us to gain clarity and move on.
Last book you read?
“Conditions of Love – the philosophy of intimacy” – John Armstrong
Asks some great questions from a historical and philosophical perspective on human relationships – you will never look at a relationship in the same way again!
Your heroes include …?
Two of my old bosses I worked for at Habitat many years ago – Cliff and George. Both taught me so much and both were very annoying! They knew what was good for me as a manager and that wasn’t training in the classroom. Good old fashioned common sense and on the job training though at the time it felt like nagging!
Diana Athill – the writer and broadcaster, now in her nineties– amazingly inspiring and life enhancing author who tells it as it is with such authenticity.
Favourite line from a film?
“ I may have seen better days but I’m still not to be had for the price of a cocktail like a salted peanut” Bette Davis in “All About Eve”
Who make you laugh?
My PT Trainer at the Gym – I know we should be focussed on the work out – but I always leave the gym energised and buoyant following a session with him! I don’t take it too seriously!
One of my Mentors – we go back a long way and she is wise, insightful and always laughing. She is the one I can go to and get a reality check when it all seems out of control and she does it through laughter and a good pinch of realism.
My God Children
Last journey you took?
I travel non-stop and that’s what I love about my job. The last trip was Gothenburg in Sweden. I love the city for its atmosphere, the cosy interiors on a freezing winter evening, candles everywhere and of course the “Fika” with a cinnamon twist!
What’s on your desk?
Maneki-Neko – my Japanese plastic gold paw-waving cat!
Acrylic Vase – bought in Rio – an exquisite purple solid piece of smooth acrylic; tactile and timeless and looks like a huge boiled sweet.
Picture of Mum- she would always put things into perspective and Just Do It attitude that gets me going!
How do you deal with stress?
Swimming is my form of meditation – for me I need to move and have rhythm to “meditate” and the pool is where I come up with real clarity and some bizarre thoughts. Bread making too – it’s so therapeutic and stops the worry!
3 people you’d like to have dinner with (dead or alive)?
The actress Elaine Stritch, Queen Elizabeth 1 and Dr Eric Burne (of Transactional analysis fame)
Favourite place?
Marrakech without a doubt.
I first went on a day trip about twenty years ago, fell in love with the place and return whenever I need space, calm and being looked after. It’s full on in the Medina but once behind the doors of a Riad you are in an oasis of calm tranquillity. It’s here I do my best design work to the sound of birdsong, the perfumes of a lamb tagine and the regular call to prayer.
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