Providing innovative solutions with disability for business people
I am the South West’s leading provider of disability employment help, advice and coaching. I work with individuals, organisations and experts. If you are looking for an independent opinion, I can respond quickly and I have lots of experience in dealing with real scenarios and developing innovative solutions.
Who Is Chris Catt?
I have over 20 years of experience in solving issues around disability in the workplace, and I combine this with my own personal experiences of being partially sighted for a unique perspective to support innovative solutions with disability for business people. I have developed my reputation as an expert in disability in the workplace, by cutting through the politically correct nonsense and always striving to achieve the right results, leading to cost-effective and sustainable solutions for business.
I use my personal experience of being partially sighted to get past the questions you are afraid to ask to uncover the real issues. I seem to have a natural gift at building rapport with people at all levels and I am never afraid to say what needs saying. I do this using impartiality, reassurance for both parties and informal mediation. To me, there aren’t obstacles, only different options leading to actions.
Where does he come from?
It is often said that necessity is the mother of invention and this holds true for many people who are successful at what they do and also have a disability. It also helps if you grow up in a very practical family where making and repairing things are the norm and an almost complete disregard for personal safety means that the practicalities of partial sight are by and large ignored!
I obtained a 2:1 BSc (Hons) in Politics from the University of Plymouth in 1998. I worked in engineering workshops, transport businesses and the RNIB’s Rehabilitation Centre in Torquay, before moving on to one of the largest social enterprises in the UK, called Pluss. I recruited, trained and inspired my team to become the best at supporting employers seeking to employ and retain people with disabilities. Even today, the team tell me that businesses say “Chris would know what to do; we trusted him to get things sorted out”. I was the ’single point of reference’ for getting things done, even when it was somebody else’s role to implement a piece of assistive technology or to provide support. I took responsibility because that is what I do.
Throughout my career, I learned to take risks and I became extremely resourceful in order to achieve the things I wanted to be, do and have. This almost single-minded self-determination proved extremely useful when finding and sustaining paid work for other people with disabilities. It was this solution-focused work that enabled me to develop an unrivalled reputation for helping business people with employees who were finding it difficult to continue doing their current job and just wanted somebody to listen, understand and tell them what needed to be done. This expertise, rooted in practical knowledge, was supported academically by a PgCert in Disability Management in the Workplace at Distinction level.
How did The Life Coach Station come about?
I wasn’t enjoying my job as much any more, and I wanted to get back the “buzz” I got from helping businesses to employ and resolve issues for disabled people in the workplace. I also wanted to be the master of my own destiny. Personal development and learning to apply coaching approaches to find innovative solutions with disability for business people had rekindled my interest in the application of psychology in business. So in 2012 I quit my job, set up The Life Coach Station, and decided to become a professional coach (via a PPD Diploma in Personal Performance Coaching and Diploma in Small Business Coaching), an accredited DISC Personality Profiler and an Associate Coach of the Growth Accelerator programme.
My achievements do not mean that I have not made mistakes in my life. I have made decisions that did not go the way I intended on more occasions than I would like to remember. However, you do have a choice when something does not work out. You can either bury your head in the sand and hope for the best, or learn from it and be big enough to admit it to others.
What are you telling me this for?
Having acquired the insight into who I am and what made me the way I am, you will be able to decide much more quickly how I can best help you.
I believe that my openness in what I am prepared to share with you builds more effective working relationships. If you learn to trust me, you will share more of what really matters to you and I will be able to find the most effective way of getting the most effective results for you.
Remember, if I can overcome my barriers around my own disability, I am far more likely than many others that you could work with to help you to remove your barriers and perhaps you can walk in my footsteps.
Over the past 18 months, I have met some fantastically passionate people – my customers, business owners and decision-makers, who make it all worthwhile for me. I would love you to become one of them.