Academic, active researcher, chartered occupational psychologist, coach and coaching supervisor, Tatiana Bachkirova has a packed professional life. Yet, 20 years ago she arrived in the UK, a shy teacher with very little English. She tells Liz Hall how she finally found her voice
Tatiana Bachkirova is one of the foremost academics and researchers in the coaching profession, unafraid to speak up for what she believes and to challenge where she feels challenge is due. But she hasn’t always been so outspoken.
Before she had cancer, for which she was given the all clear last autumn, her shyness had held her back:
“I am officially a cancer survivor. It was a milestone. Strangely enough, before it I was shy and nervous and hesitant about speaking out and speaking up and being out there, but after that, I lost the fears and thought it’s OK to say what is important for me. The nature of coaching is that you take the hard things and make them into something that could be helpful.”
Bachkirova, Reader in Coaching Psychology at Oxford Brookes University, in the UK, teaching and supervising on its MA and Doctoral programmes in Coaching and Mentoring, believes that the willingness to critique is inherent in the role of the academic.