Highly Engaging and Involving People Development

Educator/Coach/People Development Management

An educator, coach and HR professional with over 25 years’ experience in learning, development and coaching experience.

I have enjoyed supporting small and medium sized businesses across many sectors including restaurants, bars, private members clubs, food production, music, physiotherapy and audio visual facilities.

I will take time to listen to your needs and objectives, asking the right questions to understand the culture you want, to build on things that are already successful in your business and help you develop yourself and your people.

Learning and Development Programmes:

I work with you, your people team, your senior management, your line managers and your front-line people. I collaborate with you to provide coaching, support, mentoring to make real change happen.

Best results come when I create a bespoke, practical, engaging programme especially for you: I don’t rely on a one-size-fits-all “product” or learning concept that will be shoe-horned into your needs: Just bags of ideas, tools, experience and the credibility to get your people excited and help change their behaviour: to deliver what you need.

The style of learning is dynamic, engaging, interactive, full of stories and humour and highly inclusive.

I will create an energised learning environment and deliver a memorable experience that will get your people talking and thinking.

I will work with you to focus, deliver, evaluate and sustain the learning to make the changes you want.

I will work with you during and after the programme and coach your people to keep the methods and changes alive for a long-term impact.

Coaching Approach:

As a manager and leader you communicate leadership and development with those around you every day. Leadership is about getting the very best from people:

You have to decide when to make quick decisions, give directions and when you will be a coach; asking the right questions to challenge and support the growth of others.

Coaching conversations give you the space, support and choice to make the best decisions and ask the right questions, for yourself and for the people you lead and coach.

I coach managers, executives and business owners to develop themselves, to push through any old thinking or habits, to open up new possibilities and find solutions.

My background as a member of executive teams in both corporate, privately owned and family businesses gives me an insight and the experience to ask the right questions, to know when to challenge you and when to support you.

“If you’re not communicating, you are not leading”: I know that strong, skilful communication is a daily challenge in amongst all of your other daily challenges.

Working with me as your coach can help you to be more resourceful and more flexible in your thinking and communication.

Coaching is about getting the very best from yourself.

My Proposal of How We Work Together:

I suggest a course of 6 sessions, taken over a maximum of 6 months, for each person who would like to see and feel the benefit from coaching.

I can use a discussion of feedback the coaching client has been given as a start point to identify changes that coaching clients want to make.

Contracting: I organise a contracting meeting with the person that is sponsoring the coaching at first. We can discuss their objectives, agree the way to update on progress without challenging coaching confidentiality, and how they can support the work being done in the coaching sessions.

Chemistry session:

I like to begin with a chemistry session with every client to agree the way we are going to work together and allow me to find out what their desired outcomes are. We set out the plan for the coaching in this first meeting together.


I can offer a flexible package for a course of sessions, please get in touch for more details.

Some Thoughts from Colleagues and Clients:

Gavin Clark: Owner, Remote Solutions; Technical Solutions for the Events Industry:

“Alison was recommended to me to help with the unprecedented growth of the company as we took on more new projects and in turn started hiring a larger team in the UK whilst also moving into different International markets. Since working with Alison she has not only helped me personally to improve my leadership and delegation skills but has helped the wider team with management training and responsibility training for our new technicians and coordinators. Alison’s programmes are informative, engaging and strategic and incredibly thought provoking. She follows up in a timely manner with write ups from each session. I am excited to see the work and future development of our team and look forward to learning more from Alison’s enormous abundance of experience.”

Robin Bidgood: as Commercial Director, CH and CO./now CEO, Army and Navy Club:

“If you have training or coaching requirements, then look no further. Alison is simply terrific at providing this valuable skill to staff at every level. Her knowledge and passion is unrivalled and quite honestly she is the best I have worked with over the last 30 years.”

Laura Sheffield: Owner, Corazon Restaurant and Tacos Corazon;

“Alison gave me the spirit and systems to manage a large team – one I had previously tried to lead in an unsophisticated… way, with little result. More importantly she drew out the best version of a leader within myself, interestingly not by giving me answers but by leading me to realise I had them already, just by talking through my experiences, frustrations, and ponderings. I would say my time with her has thus far been a game changer in my career, the most important moment in my path managing people.  I always wanted to be a great employer, with Alison’s coaching I can now say I have a foundation on which to communicate consistently and genuinely, with confidence – for the better of the business and its employee’s welfare.”

Alasdair Moore: Premium Events Manager, American Express Centurion and Platinum Cards:

Alison has run an incredible series of events with the focus on providing an educational, informative platform but also on facilitating an environment that allows for attendees to connect with each other socially in a very soft networking capacity. Alison couples her expert knowledge with a personable approach as a fantastic host and is adept at tailoring her the structure and tone of the event at a moment’s notice to suit the needs of each group. Thanks Alison!

James Godwin, FIH; Head of People at Harbour Hotels Group:

Alison is one the most focused and talented individuals I have ever met. I had the privilege of knowing Alison when I was an operator before joining her team. As a trainer, there is no one with more passion and energy. As a leader, Alison was clear, open minded and relentless in her ability to help others reach their potential.

Gavin Goody; Marketing Director; Restaurant Associates:

Alison is a truly inspirational leader who made a tangible difference to the people development programme at Peyton and Byrne. She instigated the Peyton and Byrne Academy which offered skill based learning and higher education qualifications for all staff, giving employees the opportunity to progress their career within the company, which in turn helped P&B to retain the best people and promote excellence. Alison’s contribution to the management team was priceless, she bought valuable insight, a depth of experience that crossed all sections of the business and a pragmatic approach that helped to propel the organisation forward and overcome some of the challenges that the company faced. Her positivity and ‘can do’ attitude were infectious across all levels within the organisation, which meant the company was a happier and more productive place to work in. I can highly recommend Alison to any business that is hoping to make a positive change to the culture and productivity of their people.

Shannon McKenzie: as Operations Director, Chilango:

Alison has completely revamped our manager leadership programme at Chilango. The results of her sessions have improved enagagement, retention and business performance. She has also done great coaching work with senior managers guiding them on managing better and getting more out of our teams. She’s introduced her coachin methodology to our training team who now deliver their own very successful, vibrant and effective training and coaching sessions at all levels of the business. Alison has also personally helped me with people strategies and planning. I can say that without doubt hat every person who has spent time with Alison during the last year has benefitted from it and we’ve built a stronger company with her help

Paul Turton: Senior Account Manager, Food Alert:

Alison Taffs is a phenomenal woman. Any form of bespoke training needs you have she will be able to cater for you, her warmth, patience and attention to detail are second to none and i wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her.

Alison’s breadth of experience and knowledge within and without hospitality allow her to adapt to anyone’s needs and provide solutions which surprise and deliver. As a teacher of wines and her passion and knowledge is infectious, her delivery and enthusiasm bring life to any drinks training or class. I have more to say and would happily provide personal references to anyone inquiring.

Salina Gani: as Head of HR at Le Pain Quotidien:

“I have had the privilege to benefit from a series of training courses facilitated by Alison. She is an amazing trainer, inspiring, energetic, engaging, insightful and creative. I have been very influenced by her training style and am, years later, using many of the techniques and ideas that I learnt from Alison in my own training delivery and with my own teams. I would strongly recommend Alison as a wonderful trainer to inspire other teams too.”

Paul Daniel: Executive Chef, Restaurant Group:

“Having previously been a chef who looked at the world like a chef, within six months of working with Alison she completely changed the way I view managing people – and more importantly, improving my relationships with my team members and those to whom I report. I would say Alison’s gift is she teaches you how your own outlook shapes events and people around you.”

Marco Barletta; Operations Director; Carluccio’s:

“Alison is a pleasure to work with because her passion,enthusiasm and knowledge within the hospitality industry can make any work seem fun and interesting. I am truly lucky and happy to have met Alison throughout my career. Her professional and engaging work ethic and style has led me and so many quality industry professionals to extraordinary achievements.”

Paul Lumley: Marketing Director; Nestle/Now a Shay and Blue Ltd.:

“Alison is an incredibly passionate and committed HR Director. She has an unrivalled ability to drive development and talent within organisations to not only shape internal culture but deliver customer focused commercial results. Her true passion for people and hospitality are a perfect match and an asset to any organisation. Its always a pleasure to work with Alison.”

Philip Palmer. Senior Manager, City Pub Company:

“Alison brings energy and excitement to everything she does, and every room she walks into….she was a great mentor, teacher, resource and trusted ally”

Andrew Hodgkinson: Area Manager, Central London Café Rouge Restaurants:

“Having worked with Alison for a number of years, I can truly say that she leads the way in regard to training and people management. Alison passed on many training techniques and communication skills which I still use every day and have had great successes with in my own career. Alison’s passion for hospitality and people is infectious with the greatest presentation skills in the industry”