Working with Clarissa
Clarissa is an internationally renowned speaker, writer and consultant on effective education. With more than twenty years’ leadership experience at the top of the UK independent education sector, she has coached and mentored educators and educational decision-makers throughout the UK and on four continents.
Recent speaking engagements include a talk sponsored by international consultants Saxton Bampfylde on the challenges of educational leadership; an evening event organized by leading search firm Wilton&Bain on collaborative attitudes to parenting in the workplace, and an on-stage discussion at Fenwick , Bond Street with Helena Morrissey on attitudes to women in leadership. Clarissa also gives talks within a wide variety of club and society speaker programmes such as the Hurlingham Club and as part of diversity training initiatives in the financial industry and other businesses.
As a consultant, mentor and coach Clarissa has worked with aspiring leaders and chairs of boards at all levels within the education world. Based on her own experience, she believes that the right coaching relationship provides the most powerful and enduring professional development that any leader can have. In an uncertain world, the clarity and confidence that coaching provides have never been more important.
Clarissa's experience in educational strategy and leadership is also a deep resource for those entrusted with the education of tomorrow's women - and for women already trying to make their own work and leadership as effective as possible.
Coaching with Clarissa
John Leary-Joyce The Fertile Void
Clarissa is a graduate of the Academy of Executive Coaching, London. Working with senior clients on their most critical issues, long and short term, her approach is bespoke, challenging and future-focussed. Clarissa works with each individual to understand their context and through powerful questioning and exploration, enables them to recognise and unlock their unique potential, both as leaders in their field and in their lives.
How it works
Coaching is most powerful and its benefits most enduring when a relationship is built up over time. A coaching sequence normally starts with a half-day deep dive into the client’s organization and context. Six 90 minute coaching sessions ( real time or Zoom) are then normally spread over a six month period, continuity between the formal sessions being offered in the form of incidental emailing and check-ins. Seeing the benefits quickly, clients often re-engage for further sequences.
A one hour ‘chemistry” session is free. Once a decision is made to work together, fees are negotiated on a case by case basis and billed monthly.
John Leary-Joyce The Fertile Void
Being a Head can be a lonely job, balancing the need to remain ‘in charge’ with moments when you are wondering how to keep yet one more plate spinning. I was privileged to be mentored by Clarissa for over a year and can say, without fear of contradiction, there can be no one better suited to providing the guidance, motivation, and emotional support one needs in a leadership position.
It is a rare person who, after an illustrious career, can still remember what it was like to be starting out and to listen and empathise without judgment or a hint of fatigue. A mentoring session with Clarissa feels like a combination of good counselling and focussed inspiration. Eminently practical, insightful and great fun, every session left its mark and I still use the notes and reflections from our discussions.
Tammy Howard, Head, Reddam House, Berkshire
On reading The Making of Her:
I laughed out loud when you described your experience of St Hilda’s…
it is from these setbacks, as you say, that we learn, show our mettle and thrive.
Jean Ritchie, QC
I had the great good fortune to work under Clarissa Farr’s leadership and know from personal experience how inspiring her mentoring can be.
She was a generous and thoughtful leader, receptive if I had a problem, or wanted to chat something through and open-handed with her ideas. She was attuned and attentive to professional potential in her staff. She certainly found professional direction in me I did not know I had.
Her great gift of listening with grace, her astute perception of people and her immense experience of strategy-building and leading schools make her ideally suited to coaching school leaders.
Headmistress, City of London School for Girls
Clarissa and I worked together for 18 months as I transitioned into a new company. She was open, challenging and always focussed on the positive impact and outcomes for the students. Clarissa has a calm and considered coaching style, which helps the flow of dialogue and the unearthing of deeper connections. Clarissa and I worked together on a vast number of areas, from strategic planning, to result improvement, tracking and the marketing of success.
She is focussed on recording agreed actions and has a gentle and persistent approach to ensuring that agreed targets are delivered. We worked both in face to face situations and through video conference. We quickly built rapport, which fostered meaningful impact fast.
Headmaster, Sotogrande International School
Clarissa has been fabulous! She has been a constant source of encouragement, challenge and empowerment.
I have valued enormously the conversations we have had – she knows exactly the right questions to ask, has a great depth of experience and has a wonderful way of getting to the nub of issues.
I come away from every meeting or phone call with Clarissa with a refreshed sense of focus, usually a solution or two to something I had been concerned about and a few positive action points to add to my to-do list.
Head, St John's International School, Belgium