Dr Caroline Horner
Dr Caroline Horner is an executive coach, consultant and educator with more than 25 years’ international experience. She works with leaders, helping them to create the impact they want on the world and to thrive during times of transition.
As managing director of i-coach academy, she has created one of the UK’s most respected coaching programmes and enabled hundreds of aspiring coaches to reach the highest professional standards. Before establishing i-coach, Caroline worked as VP Marketing for NatWest Card Services, as well as other management roles across the IT, Telecommunication and Corporate Communications sectors in the UK and South Africa.
My aim is to deliver organisation effectiveness through individual and team excellence. My key focus is on challenging both corporate and personal paradigms to help individuals, teams and organisations enhance their capacity to learn and perform in ever-changing environments.
As a coach Caroline creates a safe, confidential and non-judgemental space in which you can explore issues in fresh and inspiring ways, helping you to gain new insights and make important choices. She acts as a mirror, supporting you to spot patterns that may limit your effectiveness and find answers to your challenges. Acknowledging that everyone works in a system, Caroline will facilitate your awareness of the wider context and help you understand and influence for greater impact. Caroline works with clients to examine their perceptions and interpretations of the world and to experiment with new behaviours. The experience is often challenging, sometimes surprising but always illuminating. Caroline’s approach works well for those that are curious about themselves, open to challenge and motivated to learn and make a difference.
Some of the outcomes are straightforward and business-oriented – more effective leadership; enhanced team and organisation engagement; greater influence and resilience; a successful transition to a new role or career. Other outcomes – such as confidence, fulfilment, meaning and a sense of purpose – are less tangible but equally important.
Caroline frequently works with leaders, board members and senior teams across the public, private and not for profit sectors. While her clients include multinationals and government organisations such as the UN, Ministry of Defence, Royal Navy, Department of Work and Pensions, InfraRed Capital Partners, GSK, Airbus, Mid-Cheshire Foundation Trust, NHS Leadership Academy and Deloitte, Caroline is equally at home working with individual entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Caroline’s qualifications include a Doctorate in Coaching Psychology from Middlesex University; an MBA (Distinction) from Imperial College, London; Caroline is an accredited mediator and holds the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) EIA award at Master Practitioner level. She is trained in a range of psychometrics including Hogan and has BPS Level A and B accreditation. A member of the EMCC and ICF and has regular supervision for her practice.
“Caroline is both a kind and challenging coach. She has a lovely style where she’s able to help you reflect quite honestly on what you want to improve and develop, whilst feeling supported. She very quickly got to know my team and was able to detect personalities and dynamics in a way that helped me think about how to lead them best as a team. My team enjoyed the time with her and felt she was really invested in helping them as well as me. She’s able to seamlessly move back and forth between the big picture ‘how am I showing up as a leader’ to the tactical and tangible ‘how do I do x, y, z with my team for this specific intervention’. I wish I had been able to set a clearer ‘I want to achieve these two things and measure progress’ but there were some significant unexpected changes in my world during our engagement. Caroline was super responsive and flexible to adapt to what I needed, and she helped me grow as a leader in a new role. The questions she asked me would often pop up in my head throughout the course of my work and helped me navigate many situations. I have valued our time together and would jump at the chance to work with her again.” Jen Baxter, SVP
Strategy & Tech Transformation at GSK
“Caroline has been a critical force in almost everything I have achieved in the last 18 months. She provides a safe space that has allowed me to explore myself as a leader and the impact of my leadership. She encourages and challenges in a way that is both gentle and forceful. I recommend her to anyone who is looking to explore new dimensions of their life and career.” Caroline Hope, Business Ops People & Purpose Partner Lead, Deloitte UK
Board Member, Young Minds UK
“Caroline and I worked together for approximately 18 months during which time she assisted me in analysing my professional strengths and weakness and thereby prioritising my career focus. Her coaching style was very much one of guiding and listening rather than leading and instructing. She provides the context and space for one to debate and better understand the priorities of ones career. Despite coming to the process with a degree of reservation, I found the experience extremely useful and would strongly recommend Caroline to others.” Simon Ashby-Rudd, Head of International Coverage
Standard Bank Group
“Caroline is an amazing coach, she creates the safe space to allow the individual to really be open and not feel judged. Caroline’s fast array of tools in the personal development and coaching arena helps to tailor. Her positive energy leaves the candidate with confidence to further continue his/her journey.” Marrit (Gernaat) Dikker Hupkes, Aviation Lubricants Regional Sales Manager EMEA
“Caroline, just a quick note from me to thanks very much for your help. Your approach was very thoughtful, and you definitely made me think hard about myself. The results have been great for me, and I would definitely recommend you to others. The outcome of our meeting for me was a very tangible set of actions that I continue to work on – you have an uncanny knack of getting to the root cause of what is important to me!” Mike Dobby, Vice Chairman
Deloitte MCS Limited
“From my very first conversation with Caroline I have felt fully supported by her, and consistently, constructively challenged. I chose to work with Caroline because it was clear from the outset that she would not let me leave any stone unturned. The coaching experience exceeded even my high expectations. I will always be particularly grateful for her tenacity, for her thoughtful challenges, for her belief in me and for her humour. I have felt far more confident in my leadership and in myself ever since…the coaching I received now benefits every area of my life.” SVP Pharmaceuticals
“When I first started looking for a coach I wasn’t entirely sure what I was looking for. Caroline’s approach inspired me immediately…providing the right amount of challenge and supporting me to find my own solutions to seemingly intractable problems…working with her always feels like a joint venture. Her approach is non-judgmental, creative and collaborative. Caroline has helped me enormously to clearly understand my own strengths and development needs as a leader.” Director of Communications,
Professional membership organisation
“Caroline rapidly assimilated complex situations, relationships and drivers. I found Caroline to be perceptive and direct whilst providing a sensitive response to difficult situations and topics. I found the coaching sessions both challenging and energising and I am more empowered as a result. I believe this significantly contributed to an improved position for my role within the executive team.” Senior Executive
“(Caroline) is a dedicated professional who … really understood the challenges facing senior women in a challenging environment. Her strengths as a coach are her listening skills, ability to … penetrate to the heart of the issue … her astute capability to appreciate and empathise with my challenges. I have been able to develop a greater self-belief which has helped me to deal constructively with some very significant challenges. I have felt supported and challenged in a positive affirming way.” Director People, Performance and Transformation
“Caroline was calm, friendly, open, and professional, a woman I felt I could trust. I needed someone who had an understanding of my type of work life and the issues that arise, and she was perfect in this role. Being coached by Caroline is a gentle and yet powerful experience. Sometimes it felt as though - without seeming to say much - she was holding up a very large mirror to me so I could work out for myself the right way forward. Other times, she worked with me to get to the root cause of a problem and then support me to see ways through it. It was always fun, always uplifting. Outside of our meetings Caroline was also incredibly generous with her time, an absolute professional in her work.” Director General
Ministry of Defence
“Caroline is excellent at asking questions and drawing out unexpected responses. She also takes a very detached view and helped me to understand the impact I was having, and to read better the signals that others were giving me. The material was all in my head and the data was available, but the act of talking it through with Caroline enabled me, with her coaxing, to join the dots. I began to see that responses had been more supportive than I had assumed, and that people welcomed my contribution but things just move more slowly in a complex environment. My self-confidence improved as my understanding developed, and as a result I started achieving more positive outcomes. Motivations and behaviours amongst the most senior people are difficult to comprehend and can be corrosive. Caroline helped me operate with confidence in a very complex and strained environment that was under severe pressure, and I always left her office in better shape than I arrived.” Rear Admiral
“Caroline has helped me unlock answers and strategies acting as an objective sounding board for my ideas. She has encouraged me to play to my strengths and position myself as someone really taking an external view, to be braver and think bigger.” Partner
City of London law firm
“I would recommend Caroline without a second’s hesitation – particularly to anyone who finds themselves at a major life crossroads. Her ability to offer constructive input without ever sounding remotely patronising was hugely impressive.” Air Vice Marshal
“I worked with Caroline over a period of around six months when I was Chief Executive of the National Infrastructure Commission, and she made a huge difference in helping to navigate the move from being a (relatively senior) cog in a large organisation to being wholly responsible for a smaller one. She was fantastic at helping me examine my own leadership style and the patterns of thought that underpinned it, to help me build on my strengths and - critically - to identify strategies to deal with the areas where I habitually avoided challenge or conflict. She also helped me work through my priorities for my next role, which directly informed my move to the GLA. Caroline is an excellent coach - her approach is thought-provoking and reflective, but she is not afraid to make concrete suggestions where needed, whether to provoke a reaction or unlock a way forward. To benefit from working with her, you need to be prepared to enter into a genuine process of self-examination and to be challenged about your own motivations and decisions, although the work became more concrete as the process went on. The sessions were not always comfortable - Caroline was prepared to probe underneath initial, instinctive responses - but they were richer for that reason. I would thoroughly recommend her.” Philip Graham, former Chief Executive
National Infrastructure Commission