Introduction 

Vicki has 20+ years experience in Tech & Travel. She has served and scaled diverse teams to deliver innovative solutions for Google, Airbnb, STA Travel and United Airlines. She was raised in a family home decor business. Her first ‘proper’ job was as an airline Customer Services Representative and her most recent corporate role was as EMEA Customer Experience Director supporting a team of 350+ people. Today, Vicki is a qualified Personal, Leadership, Business and Executive Coach.

1. How did you get to where you are now? 

Although I learnt and achieved a lot in my career and thoroughly enjoyed the journey and the people I met along the way, I reached a point when I realised I wasn’t living the life I dreamt about. I knew that I needed to make a BIG change!

Through my own experience of executive coaching, I found the courage to leave my corporate role to pursue my personal goals to be with my two young children and to build my own coaching practice.

Today, I am a coach, mentor and facilitator …and I love it! My passion as a coach is to support others to learn, grow and make the changes they desire, in order to live a more fulfilled and happier life.  It’s a real privilege to facilitate people to overcome challenges in their career and/or life and to move closer to their goals. Clients seek me out to work with them on topics like leadership enhancement, career development, maternity management or starting a new business. 

Through my coaching practice, I’ve learnt that everyone has their own unique story and I’m humbled when someone chooses to share theirs with me and invites me to be a small part of their journey.

2. Can you share one key lesson learnt on how to get your dream career? 

“When going for a new job…. you don’t have a decision to make until you’ve got an offer.” 

It may seem a bit obvious but I’ve seen many people deliberate upfront about whether they want the new job or not and that lack of commitment comes across in the interviews. When I’m hiring people, in addition to capabilities and fit, I place a large emphasis on the candidate’s enthusiasm and hunger for the role – their ‘will’. 

And when I’m interviewing myself, my only goals are to learn as much as I can throughout the interview process about the role, the team, the company culture etc. And my second is to do the required preparation, show up, manage my energy and give it my best shot! Back in the day, I did 16 interviews to get into Google and 24 to get my Airbnb role and on each one I scored 100%+ on enthusiasm!:) 

Once you get the job offer, that’s a milestone to celebrate in itself. Then you can focus your attention on figuring out if this is the right next move for you or not. 

“In my opinion, it’s not about wasting anyone’s time interviewing for roles you know you don’t want, but rather not allowing indecisiveness or self-doubt sabotage you during the hiring process.”

3. Can you share one key lesson learnt on how to be successful in your career? 

“Your ability to collaborate with others is a key skill to master…no matter what level you’re at in your organisation.” 

However, with so much at stake sometimes and a wide variety of motivations and communication styles, it’s fairly normal to not get on with everyone you work with. For those challenging relationships, it’s so important to tune in to what’s going on with yourself before judging or placing the blame on the other person. Focus first on building your self-awareness of your triggers, explore their source and take responsibility for managing your own behaviour accordingly. 

You can do this by pausing and taking the time to self-reflect on an interaction. What thoughts, feelings and physical manifestations did it bring up for you? Validate your emotions by naming them. De-clutter your mind by writing things down. Observe changes in your body. Now explore what you think could be the source of these strong emotions. Is one of your values being compromised e.g. fairness, trust? Are there prior unresolved interactions coming to mind? Do you see this person as standing in your way? Re-connecting you to yourself so you can understand what’s going on with you and where it’s coming from, are responsibilities only you can stand up and own. 

Then, even though it can be hard, put yourself in the other person’s shoes and try to see the world from their perspective. What could be going on for them? How are they showing up and what does their behaviour tell you? What do you think is important to them? Do you pose any threat to them?

Assuming positive intent is a mindset that will help you approach the person with curiosity. Ask questions to understand their perspective and really listen to what they’re saying, and maybe not saying. Remind yourself, that whatever is getting in the way of the collaboration may not be about you, but about them. Also, identifying how important the topic under discussion is, will help you ascertain how ‘assertive’ and how ‘co-operative’ you will choose to be, in order to get the optimal win/win collaborative result. 

Ultimately, it does ‘take two to tango’ but people with high emotional intelligence invest in building their self-awareness which helps improve their self-management behavioural capabilities. And they also build their awareness and empathy for others which enables them to build and maintain good relationships.  

“I’ve learnt that focusing less on the world around me and more on the world inside me has led to a total change in how I show up and manage my relationships in both work and life.”

To find out more, visit www.vickiharris.ie connect on LinkedIn or follow her on Facebook.

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