Five minutes with… Jayne Muller, director executive coach, Altris

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What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
A wise woman once said to me, "Know what is important to you and make sure it comes first".  For me, my husband and my three girls are my priority, so they always come first and they help me with key choices I have to make. 
Another piece of advice that I was once given and continue to give others is focus and stick to what you enjoy and are good at. Don't try to be all things to all people; you will end up getting spread too thin. Work out your niche and become an expert in it. 

What challenges do you think HR will face in the next 10 years?
New Zealand has and will continue to have, challenges with diversity of how we work, to attract and keep talented staff.  The NZ workforce is increasingly diverse with people at all stages of life making personal choices in how they want to work. Coupled with the real talent shortage in NZ, HR professionals (and organisations) have a challenge to keep people motivated and engaged.  I'd love to see more organisations move towards creating an "agile" workforce, which requires different thinking and moves us beyond just flexible working.  

What is the most interesting aspect of your role?
The most interesting part of what I do is helping individuals gain insights into the way they think and why they make the choices they do.  At Altris, we have a well-established Accelerated Coaching Process (ACP) which is based on the science of Axiology and has helped hundreds of individuals, and many organisations understand themselves and their people, at a deeper level. It is certainly hugely rewarding when people tell us how what we do has impacted them not just professionally, but personally, often extending to their wider families. 

What do you feel is your biggest professional achievement to date?
I love working with women in their leadership journey and in particular as they ramp up to juggling a family and their career. One great achievement over the past 7 years was the establishment of our Women in Transition (WIT) programme, including our overall WIT approach, which has been adopted by organisations and woven into their everyday HR practices.  This approach and programme supports the parents, their manager and the organisation, as a total solution to improving and ideally leading best practice for working parents. It’s such an important topic that I am in the process of publishing a book on it! Most recently I was thrilled to be appointed as executive director for a charitable trust, "Professionelle" which supports women in leadership throughout their life. 

How would you sum up HR professionals in two words?

Releasing potential
Complete this sentence: If I weren’t in HR, I’d be… a serial entrepreneur, travelling the world, turning all of my interesting and wacky ideas into reality! I love new experiences, countries, cuisines and challenges!

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