Christy O'Hara

Interview: Christy O’Hara -Founder of HRworks and Executive Business & Career Coach


Christy O’Hara

Christy O’Hara has a passion for the welfare of people and has a very keen interest in all sports.

Wanting to bring the love of both together, he founded HRWorks. His studies have made him one of the best in the field. Thanks to his training and experience, he can help you discover your strengths and have more clarity and success in your life.

In this opportunity, we were lucky enough to interview Christy O’Hara and learn a little more about him. Read on to find out what we discovered.

Christy, first we want to know a little bit about your story, what brought you to the coaching world and to create HRWorks.

I have worked in the Public Service in Ireland for over 20 years with experience in Finance, Community Services, Hospitals, and in the Human Resources function and for over 11 years in the Private Sector as HR Specialist/Executive Business Coach and Mentor. I resigned from the Health Service Executive in Ireland in 2010 to start my own HR Business which has progressed very successfully to date. This gave me the opportunity which I had always wished for –  to be really challenged, creative and bring my own identity to a business.

Most of my career experience has been in Human Resources where I operated at senior and strategic level in the management of people services. I operated at local, regional and at national level in the development and planning of health services. I participated in National Working Groups on Pay and Conditions for a range of professional health staff. In the Human Resources function, I held the posts of Director of Human Resources, Galway University Hospitals and Personnel Officer, Western Health Board. I also was involved in the establishment of the National Student Nurse Recruitment Centre and was the Chief Officer of the Centre from 1994 to 1996.

I hold a BA in Training and Education from NUI Galway and I am a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. I am an EMCC accredited Executive Business/Career Coach, specialising in Sport to Business transition coaching. I have successfully completed the Organisational Development/Change Management Programme at Roffey Park Institute in the UK. Following this, I led major transformational change projects in Galway University Hospital including the introduction of clinicians in management. I have also completed specialist management training programmes with HarvardX and Barca Sport Innovation Universitatis.

I was appointed by the Irish Minister for Health in November 2020 to the State Board – Dieticians Registration Board. I am a former Chairperson of CIPD – Western Group and former member of National Committee CIPD Ireland. I am a current member of CIPD Western Region Committee, Galway Executive Skillnet Steering Committee and the Disciplinary Committee of the FAI. I am a Volunteer with Galway Simon Charity for Homeless persons and I am a member of the Athenry/Simanjiro Tanzanian African Charity Project Steering Committee.

What are the main strengths that connect to your work and make you an excellent coach?

I have a lifelong strong interest in education and training, learning new things every day and sharing that learning with others. In my work in Human Resources, I have always adopted a coaching style of management which I strongly believe produces stronger outcomes and results for both the employee and employer. I have developed to a high level, key skills in coaching and mentoring, communication, building relationships, negotiating, change management and people management.  I also have a strong passion for all sports with a strong belief in the value of sport in developing personal and team characteristics, skills and competencies. In my view such training and development provide the foundation for further development in the context of a transfer from sport to other areas of life. From my experience in this sector, I am amazed at just how many high performing sports people struggle with achieving similar success in their new business or career. What I do is to help them overcome self-limiting beliefs and uncover hidden assets. The result is that they can more easily realise their dreams including creating a business or career that plays to their unique potential. 

Reading some of your testimonials, they are people who are very happy with the results. How have they reached out to you to find better guidance?

Most of my clients are referrals based on the recommendation of my former clients. While I take clients from other areas outside sport, the majority are professional or semi professional sportspeople who are retiring from competitive action, planning a business career alongside their sporting career or persons who unfortunately experience an early end to their careers through injury. I have developed linkages with sporting organisations such as Connacht Rugby, FAI, GAA, Irish Institute of Sport and collaborate with other companies in Ireland providing similar coaching services. One of the benefits of linking up with me is that I have long experience in the specialty of people management, a passion for helping and supporting people, qualifications and expertise in both coaching and mentoring and in addition, I am an international recruitment specialist who can also support and guide the client to a dream job or business.

How are your sessions with your clients, and what methodology do you use?

My approach to Coaching is that what might work for a specified personality type might not work for someone in a different situation. That is why I have equipped myself with a range of different models to deal with that situation: My Preferences are the GROW Model, Action Centred Leadership Model, CLEAR Coaching Model and Solution – Focused Coaching Model. I work on an international basis and sessions are conducted in person and virtually. Normally the introductory session is free and if both sides are happy to proceed, an initial contract is signed for 6 sessions initially.

Finally, is there anything that you’d like to leave us off with

In all my coaching, I adopt a holistic approach and view each client in the same way – a person who can achieve great things in their life. I bring my own special identity to the process and always try to make the process an enjoyable one for my client. I am proud of the success that I have with my clients which is mostly due to their commitment, focus, openness and determination. For me, coaching is a creative process that stimulates our mind and spirit. It transforms lives and people– not just a process in itself but a “way of being” 

Special thanks to Christy O’Hara for being part of this excellent interview. Learn more about other coaches in our interview session.

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