Claire is a leadership coach specialising in support when everything is changing.  Clients may be stepping up to a new and more challenging role, or facing an unfamiliar and rapidly changing context within their team and/or wider organisation - for example a merger or acquisition, or company restructuring. Claire’s coaching programmes are bespoke to each individual. They incorporate an approach of high support, high challenge to help leaders make powerful, visible leadership growth that benefits them, their team and the wider organisation.

Claire takes a brain-based approach to coaching, using the latest findings from the world of neuroscience and interpersonal neurobiology to help coachees make the lasting changes they desire by re-wiring their brains and thus, their mental models and relational patterns. She combines this with the work of Judith F. Glaser on Conversational Intelligence™, to coach leaders and organisations on what she calls 'Interactional Intelligence'. This helps leaders understand the kind of interactions that promote the brain chemistry of trust, engagement, creativity and productivity within their teams. The result is more effective, authentic and impactful leadership and enhanced working relationships with stakeholders within and outside the organisation...and the associated improvement in organisational performance. 

Claire includes in her work, a systems thinking approach to ensure that individuals increase awareness of themselves, others and their context; changes made are more likely to be sustainable and to take account of the hidden dynamics and relationships that determine the health of the Leader’s internal and external systems.

Claire is passionately curious about what makes people tick and is able to bring to her coaching assignments a range of psychometric assessments, where these will benefit the Coachees and their chosen goals.  Claire uses these as a framework to identify positive and negative patterns as well as under-used strengths, to help the leader identify where he or she will get ‘greatest bang for their buck’ in relation to the changes they want to make. Claire is pioneering a programme combining the Hogan 'Bright Side', 'Dark Side' and 'Inside' with the the latest thinking on Attachment Theory and Polyvagal Theory to give Leaders the insights they need to future-proof their careers for the highest levels of achievement.

Professional Experience

 Claire began her career in commercial management in Marks & Spencer and over the past 30 years she has worked in, or as a consultant/specialist for, a diverse range of companies from 2-person start-ups to large multinationals. These include Berlitz, International Distillers and Vintners, ABB, Monsanto, bioMérieux, Sony, WestLB and TOTAL. Here she ran a specialised public relations programme on behalf of TOTAL’s global CEO and, subsequently, the Expatriation activities for the company in the UK.

Claire’s coaching and psychometric assignments include interventions at Board and Senior Leader level in large, multi-national organisations such as WestLB (now Portigon), Greenpeace, ActionAid International and CIDRZ. She has also coached owners of niche UK start-ups, and individual leaders stepping up to new companies and roles.

In addition to the UK, Claire has lived and worked in France, Spain, Denmark, Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates and is fluent in French. She has been working in the field of Leadership Development since 2007 and coaching since 2011. 

Claire is a member of the Association for Coaching and abides by its code of ethics. Claire practices what she preaches in relation to Continuous Professional Development and has undergone several hundred hours of coach training and accreditation over the past five years, including the Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching and Global Leader of the Future 360 Assessment. 

Qualifications & Accreditations

 Diploma in Executive Coaching with Distinction - The Academy of Executive Coaching

Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching Certified Coach

Marshall Goldsmith Global Leader of the Future 360o Assessment

Hogan Personality Inventory (‘Bright Side’)

Hogan Development Survey (‘Dark Side’)

Hogan Motives Values and Preferences Index (‘Inside’)

MBTI® Step I

Team Management Index™

Success Dynamics DISC Instrument

Tensions of Leadership Transitions

Certificate in Public Relations Management – University of Stirling

Joint Honours in French and Drama – University of Bristol


"When I was doing my Leadership assessments as part of a new life journey, my experience with Pivotal Moment was truly rewarding. The process involved an earnest and profound endeavour that not only helped me understand my strengths and limitations, but more importantly allowed me to recognise the prospects with which I could assuredly pursue my life goals. My sessions with Claire James/ Pivotal Moment proved to be enjoyable and insightful, and more than ever in my life I was able to see how important it is to cultivate self-awareness, especially in the context of my leadership role in a movement confronting immense global change that presents both daunting challenges and unprecedented possibilities."  Executive Board Director, Global Environmental Charity

“I first met Claire at a time when both the company and industry I worked in were literally being turned on their heads.  I was involved in a major company restructuring project which was consuming the majority of my time.  Monthly coaching sessions with Claire during this period gave me the opportunity to step back and realise the positive aspects for me personally in what was otherwise a pretty dismal situation.  I believe that Claire both boosted my confidence and increased my awareness of the opportunities ahead of me.  As a result I went on to assume a senior leadership role within a new company.”  James - Managing Director, International Finance, City of London

“Following a successful international corporate career I decided to enter the sole practitioner world as an interim. The start-up went well with interesting and varied work in many different sectors but during a protracted period out of contract I reached a point where I was unsure of the best direction for my business and what my business priorities should be.
Claire helped me achieve clarity and focus in my business strategy by insightful questioning underpinned by solid business judgement. She professionally challenged my thought processes, behaviours and routines, and by reducing the complexity of the situation to the key issues. She also helped me identify my key strengths and the value that I bring to my clients. This assisted me in developing a plan and a methodology that works well for me.  A hidden benefit of the process was honing my questioning and listening skills coupled with solid measures to improve my productivity.
I would recommend Claire’s professionalism and easy engagement style to any business person undertaking a significant change in their business model.” Chris -  FTSE 100 Business Development Director and Interim

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