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A holistic approach to personal and professional development for employees

At Sanctus, our work is informed by the theory, research, and clinical practice of several different schools of thought. We draw from the work of philosophers, neuroscientists, psychologists, therapists, and of course Coaches. Some overlap, some complement each other, some contradict one another.

The ideas and principles that go into our work are ones we’ve seen bring about the most meaningful change in both our own lives and the lives of the people we work with. Human development is a field that evolves all the time, and so we expect our philosophy to evolve with it.

We believe effective personal and professional development begins with good mental wellbeing. This is the bedrock upon which psychologically secure workplaces are built. Good wellbeing empowers us to focus on our development and growth, at work and in our personal lives.

What’s our definition of wellbeing?

Wellbeing is a word we use to describe a combination of how we think and feel. It influences the decisions we take and our ability to function throughout the day. Our ability to adapt and respond to challenges and ultimately to flourish in life.

Psychologist Dr. Daniel Siegel asks us to imagine the mind like a river. On either side of the river are two banks: Chaos and Rigidity. When we veer too closely to either bank, you run the risk of bumping into symptoms of psychological difficulty.

We can say a mind is well regulated when it is FACES:

  • Flexible
  • Adaptive
  • Coherent
  • Energised
  • Stable

The thing to remember about human beings is that we are open, living systems who interact relatively freely with one another. We are driven by our relationships, and an in built need for human connection. So the measures of a well regulated mind don’t just apply to individuals, but groups, organisations, and whole cultures. Which is to say however FACES you consider your business to be, could be an indicator of how mentally healthy it is overall.

A holistic approach

As we valiantly attempt to navigate work and life in 2023, it’s important to make time and room for growth and development. And not just doing the mandatory e-learning modules you have to do at work: personal and professional development go hand in hand, and striking a sustainable balance between the two is vital. Our coaching model seeks to cover those bases, focusing on four key areas: work, relationships, physicality, mind and emotions.

We think it would be great if everyone at work felt empowered and fulfilled in their personal and professional lives. So our holistic approach to coaching is intended to help people unlock potential and achieve real growth in every area of their life.


Work is a huge part of most of our lives, and it’s really important we feel satisfied and fulfilled in our careers. The Sanctus Coaching model helps people work out what their core values and passions are, and align these with their professional goals. Doing this means people can find a richer sense of purpose and meaning in their work, which usually leads to increased productivity at work and an overall greater feeling of job satisfaction.

Research shows when individuals find purpose and meaning in their work, they’re more engaged, committed, and generally perform better. A study by Gallup found engaged employees are 21% more productive than disengaged peers. When people feel their work is making a difference and contributing to a greater purpose, they’re more likely to put in extra effort and take real ownership of their work.


Our holistic coaching model encourages people to examine their relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. By understanding the dynamics of these relationships better, we can identify areas that need improvement and work on developing healthier communication (possibly even conflict resolution) skills.

Research has shown positive relationships not only contribute to personal happiness, but also enhance job satisfaction and productivity. A study by the Society for Human Resource Management found employees who have good relationships with their colleagues and supervisors are more likely to be engaged and committed to their work.


The importance of regular exercise, healthy eating, and adequate sleep can’t be overstated when it comes to reaching development goals. With a focus on physical health, people can improve their overall wellbeing, learn new skills and abilities, and even reduce the risk of chronic illness.

Studies have shown regular exercise improves cognitive function, memory, and overall mood. A study by the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found employees who engaged in physical activity during the workday reported reduced stress levels and increased job satisfaction. Although physicality is more than just fitness. It’s how we embody ourselves, the way we hold our posture, the way we feel in our skin, our presence in the room and the strength of our gut wisdom.

Mind and emotions

We encourage people to identify, challenge, and work through negative thought patterns and emotions. Through techniques like mindfulness, positive reframing, and by cultivating our emotional intelligence, the people we coach are able to develop a more positive outlook and a greater sense of emotional resilience.

Research has shown improving emotional intelligence can enhance job performance, reduce stress levels, and increase job satisfaction. A study by TalentSmart found employees with high emotional intelligence outperformed their peers in every job category including leadership, customer service, and sales.

How Sanctus supports employee development

There’s a saying in the personal development world: “the pain is not the problem”. What this means is, often, the challenge or problem we’re up against has roots in a different place. You’ll be surprised what you realise during a coaching session. Like how stress at work could relate to difficulty with your partner, or how your procrastination is connected to a challenge with your physical health. 

We habitually compartmentalise our lives – all day every day – as a way to focus and get on with things. During a coaching session, you have an opportunity to step back, notice patterns in your behaviour, connect the dots between the various different areas of our lives.

This is so we don’t feel like we’re fighting fires forever. So that we can make changes to the root cause of our challenges, and live a more fulfilling life.

Personal and professional development go hand in hand, and it’s important to take a holistic approach to achieve both. At Sanctus, our coaching model emphasises the four domains of work, relationships, physicality, mind and emotions, in order to help people unlock their full potential and experience real personal and professional growth.

Some of the topics in the 4 domains may be interchangeable. For example, burnout could easily go under ‘mind and emotions’ or ‘work’: our holistic model supports the idea that all 4 domains affect one another.

When we coach, we include all parts of you. You are not just a head, you are not just your emotions, you are not just your body. You are more than your divorce, your career, your productivity, your performance at work, or your diagnosis.

We’ll coach you however you arrive on the day. One day, you might be thriving, ready to tackle goal after goal after goal. On these days, we might focus on performance coaching. Another day, you may feel low energy, a lack of motivation, or even worried, depressed, anxious. On days like these, our coaches will act more as an empathic ear, offering support and time to listen, a space to decompress.

Some coaches focus exclusively on performance. Some therapists focus exclusively on mental health: depression, OCD, stress, or anxiety. At Sanctus, we believe these are all related and impact on each other in multiple different ways, so our coaches are trained to work in a holistic, person-centric way.

3 key qualities of a Sanctus Coach

In addition to the four-point methodology outlined above, the specific work of a Sanctus Coach requires three particular qualities:

Self Reflection

The ability to critically and humbly reflect on their own practice and receive and integrate feedback. A reflective Coach uses feedback and process to grow their own capacities as a practitioner, as well as offer a safe space to the people they work with, no matter their background or the challenges they face in life.


The ability to hold and work with a wide array of topics, states, vulnerabilities and backgrounds, and to effectively calibrate their approach depending on the person in the room opposite them. Sanctus Coaches are able to meet a diverse cross-section of people wherever they are in their life journey, with a wide range of support measures for the many opportunities, difficulties, and challenges people may be facing on any given day.


The ability to create and offer conditions in which others can feel safe. Sanctus Coaches are able to notice and explore varying issues of risk in the coaching space, at the same time upholding boundaries in a clear way, and not becoming too rigid or overwhelmed by anxiety. Sanctus Coaches are able to support themselves and the people they work with proactively, in the moment, and in order to recover following a challenging event or period of time.

Sanctus Coaching is a safe, confidential space for people to reflect, work on themselves, and grow.

Sanctus Coaches help people recognise and attend to their inner experiences, develop meaningful relationships with others, act with purpose in the world, maintain and improve our own personal wellbeing, as well as the wellbeing of people around us. To see what else we have to offer, take a look at our Leadership Development page.