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Billy Byrne

Being and time: examining the lived experience of female senior managers and the potential implications for coaching

Theme: Coaching: approaches/schools/theories
Area: Coaching
Type: Research & how it could be applied in practice

Session on Friday, Jul 8th, 11:50
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Billy Byrne works as an independent Executive Coach and HR consultant. He is an associate faculty member at IMI (Ireland) where he teaches on the Front Line Management, High Impact Leadership and Organisational Development Programmes. He also coaches on a number of Leadership and Graduate Programmes. He was previously Senior Executive Coach at a large utillty company where he worked directly with the Chief Executive and Executive Directors in building the Senior Leadership Team. Billy has extensive line management experience, having worked at all management levels from front line management, through middle management and on to senior management. Originally coming from a technical background, Billy spent over 10 years in senior Human Resource Management roles where he worked with leadership teams in Ireland, UK, Spain, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bahrain and Ghana. His Human Resource experience includes a mix of both business level and corporate activity, including the design and implementation of Organisational Development interventions and major change programmes. He holds an MA in Existential Coaching from Middlesex University (UK), an MSc.(Mgmt) in Organisational Behaviour from Trinity College, Dublin (Ireland) and a BE (Elec. Eng) from UCC (Ireland). He is a Chartered Fellow of CIPD and an Irish Council member of EMCC Ireland.


Henry Mintzberg once said ‘What happens in our society happens in the context of organisations, from our birth in hospitals to our burial in funeral homes, including most of our work and our recreation in between’. We take organisations somewhat for granted, leaving much of what happens there unquestioned. The title of the session ‘Being and Time’ is taken from Heidegger. In the context of organisations, there is little questioning of the manager’s mode of ‘being’ or of the organisational world of ‘time’.

As coaches, we can be complicit in perpetuating the organisational paradigms as we slip comfortably into the organisational world. This research adopts a phenomenological approach to exploring organisations, in particular the experience of female senior managers, as means of getting behind the organisational paradigms. By focussing the participant’s lived experience, unquestioned assumptions are uncovered and fresh insights are gained into the tensions that exist for women who operate at senior management levels.

For executive coaches who may not be familiar with existential coaching, it is hoped that this research will encourage them to explore this approach, not as a replacement for their current approach, but rather as an element that can be integrated within their own practice.

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