Coaching with TMI

Tracey McGrath provides confidential executive coaching. Clients may be self referred or referred via their organizations.

The focus of the coaching is producing practical outcomes that improve quality of life through more effective actions and attitudes.

Why Coaching?

Too often we get knocked down by life, lay there stunned for a while, then suck up the pain, force ourselves to our feet, and try, try, try again. It’s not the most effective approach!

Simply facing the pain and forcing ourselves back out there – although it keeps us in the game of life – doesn’t do anything to prevent it happening again. We need change.

So … while lying in pain on the floor and BEFORE we throw ourselves back out there, we need to think about what happened, and what can WE DO to avoid a similar thing happening again. What can we change in the way we operate?

Changing is easier with help.

Getting help to get ahead

There are a range of ways in which you can receive aid to support you in achieving your goals.

The 8 different support roles provide quite distinct levels of support. Therefore, when seeking aid it is important that you clarify what sort of support you want and ensure that you convey that expectation to the person you are soliciting support from (bearing in mind that they have the right to refuse).



Someone who will “promote” you to others and may even take action on your behalf.


Cheerleader or Sponsor

This role offers positive emotional support. They remind you of your positive qualities and strengths, work to restore a positive mindset and encourage commitment to your stated course of action.



Someone who takes an active role in supporting your endeavours through listening to you, offering advice and providing concrete skill-building support. Maybe a professional service involving a fee or gratuity.



Some who receives a fee for providing you with emotional and behavioural guidance. This can range from simply non-judgemental listening and reflecting up to and including information and social skill-building. Counsellors are typically more in the traditional psychological or social work frame and can provide insights into thinking and behaviour styles.


Critical Friend or Accountable Buddy

This role encourages accountability.  They remind you of the commitments you have made and to “nag” you into completing them.  This is a difficult role and it is important that there is absolute clarity with respect to expectations.  What form is the “nagging” to take?  How “heavy” are they expected to be?



A mentor is usually an “advanced” peer.  They are further up the chain of experiences and deemed “successful”.  The mentorship role can be one of unceremonious benevolence or can be more master/apprentice.  The two styles have different expectations sets.  Help can include access to networks, close supervision and constructive feedback, guidance and insider knowledge.


Non-judgmental listener

Someone to whom you can express your concerns and emotions. They don’t add information, they simply allow you to debrief. This can include reflecting your comments and feelings back to you.



This role is held by someone of similar “level” in terms of experience or achievement.  The role usually involves exchange of information, help and/or referral services.  If the relationship is not reciprocal in nature, then the expectation is that the one benefiting most from the relationship is to do the same for others lower down the chain of experience.  Peers offer the opportunity for checking our understanding, information, and appropriateness of action.

“Incredibly helpful!”

“Tracey is an absolute breath of fresh air. If there is one word I would use to describe how I benefited from my time with Tracey it would be ‘clarity’. Clarity in my own thinking, clarity in my decision making, clarity in my objectives, clarity in my leadership style and clarity with my strategy. I never realised that having a business coach could be so innovative, productive, energising, informative and good old fashioned fun. Tracey has a gift in assisting you to challenge your own thinking and formulate workable solutions, which I personally found incredibly helpful. She has some great tools, ideas and stories which she is always willing to share and time with Tracey is always enjoyable and well spent.”

Shelley Hymas | Client Director | Aon Risk Services Australia Ltd

“Open, honest & constructive”

“Tracey McGrath worked with me over a six-month period during a challenging phase of my leadership role. I experienced Tracey’s style through one of her major strengths: upfront honesty and open, constructive advice.  As we started to build a platform for me around my leadership philosophy, her approach was to allow me to shape the progress of our work together. I found that I needed to dwell a bit in what I would call an ‘early phase of decluttering’ my mental state, using Tracey as a sounding board.  She reaffirmed my overall goals at every stage and was always good at drawing the disparate threads of the everyday challenges I faced back to the main aim: enabling me to maintain steady and stable leadership through change. The rich results of this coaching mean that I know I have new resources to sustain the personal work I need to do in a new phase of my current role (for now).”

Professor Catharine Coleborne | Head of School | University of Newcastle

“A big improvement”

“I’ve just finished the Annual Performance Review for the Team Member you have been working with over the last several months and I’m encouraged by the feedback received from his learnings and application in the workplace.  The investment in commissioning you to undertake a one-on-one coaching program with the subject has had an outstanding outcome with the foundation established to continue to improve his personal development and leadership skills. The alternative in my view would have possibly seen a separation from the business.

I have noticed a shift in the team members behaviour to that of a greater participation and communication at region meetings are moved from suspicion on the coaching program to that of acceptance and the realisation that there is a genuine approach to develop his behavioural skills.  Your ability to establish a rapport in the early part with the Team Member, I believe was integral in the success of the program.  Events that followed would have been challenging to anyone outside of the retailing environment. Your efforts to gain an understanding of the business and your visits to many sites and liaison with store managers to gain a balanced view of benchmarks within the business to prepare yourself to assisting coaching the individual and particularly the shadowing activity.  Certainly feedback from team members is positive and quotes of, “A big improvement” would depict this.  Feedback from supplier representatives is positive relationships with “strategic force” is reinstated following a meeting with both parties.  I look forward to working with you in the future.”

Rod Mainard | Regional Manager | Coles Supermarkets WA


“Thank you for the inspirational professional development you conducted at Swan View Primary School in December.

The following day the staff room was full of talk on the issues and ideas you had raised.  All staff expressed their pleasure and attending a PD that was so relevant.

I have noticed subtle changes in how some of the staff interact with each other and with parents. There has certainly been a high level of self-awareness and sensitivity brought about by the workshop.

Once again thank you for your work. Your passion and enthusiasm is so evident that others have no choice but to take it on board.”

Jan Aplin | Prinicpal | Swanview Primary School