Home » About me

About me

I understand the struggle and juggle that comes with leadership and management roles – I’ve experienced it for myself.

I was constantly striving to be a better leader, but I got stuck focusing on my weaknesses. And I annoyed my team, missed my goals, and burned myself out, every single time.

Then I learned to work smarter by focusing on my strengths, and the strengths of those around me.

Instead of trying to have all the great ideas, I used my listening strength to draw out my teammates and colleagues’ ideas, and unlocked greater energy, engagement and achievement for myself and others.

Because I’ve seen for myself the difference that this shift can make,  I now want to share it with you.

I work with individuals and teams as a coach, trainer, and facilitator. We cover everything from personal strengths to emotional intelligence to leadership and interpersonal skills. 

I’m a firm believer that everyone can get better at the “people stuff”, and that doing so benefits us in all areas of our lives and work.

A dark-haired woman wearing a black and floral top is leaning towards the camera, smiling. The background is a mottled dark grey.
Photo credit: Amanda Billing

What I believe about humans and work

Being a human is quite the ride! Each of us is made up of personality traits, life experiences, values, hopes, dreams, fears, failures, quirks, and desires.

We’re all exquisitely unique – and yet bonded through the common human experiences of doubt, joy, determination, confusion, and hope. That doesn’t make us weak, it simply makes us who we are.

Everyone has a special brand of magic that they bring to the world. That includes you, even if you can’t see it right now. And it’s my job and privilege to help you see it for yourself!

My approach is grounded in the principles of appreciative inquiry and positive psychology. I am a relentless optimist who is thoroughly grounded in reality – no toxic positivity here.

Work doesn’t have to be a drudgery that drains our soul – it can be a meaningful and enjoyable experience, especially when you get to engage your strengths and work in alignment with your values.

Career snapshot

I have led and managed teams across a variety of industries, predominantly in the areas of customer service and process improvement (‘Lean’).

These roles taught me a great deal about human nature, emotional intelligence, leadership, strategy, and continuous improvement. 

I now use those experiences to inform my work with leaders and front-line team members, supporting them to create strong organisational cultures that help people to thrive in their work.

Education snapshot

I completed my undergraduate (BA Soc Sci) and post graduate (MMgmt) qualifications through Massey University.

I completed the Diploma of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing through Langley Group in 2020/21.

I undertake regular personal and professional development to keep my skills sharp. 

I completed advanced courses in coaching and facilitation skills, and a workshop on critical thinking in 2023.

In 2024, I am working on building my te reo Māori proficiency and cultural competence.

Tools and methods

I believe that I can best serve you when I bring a wide variety of tools and methods to our work together. 

I created The Strengths Deck and wrote Unleash Your Awesome to help you get up close and personal with your strengths, weaknesses, and everything in between.

I am an Accredited Practitioner in Strengths Profile, an ‘Elephant Rider’ with the Emotional Culture Deck, and an accredited Organisational Culture Scan practitioner with The Culture Factor

I’ve trained in Development Dimensions International‘s Interaction Management (communication, teamwork, and leadership) and Targeted Selection (recruitment and selection) approaches. 

Beyond those formal qualifications, I incorporate principles, activities, and practices from a variety of sources, including:

  • Books and articles that I read,
  • Podcasts and talks that I listen to, and
  • Communities of practice with fellow coaches and facilitators.
A stack of black boxes with "The Strengths Deck" logo on them are stacked on a purple surface, with an orange background. In front of the stacks of card boxes, a handful of brightly-coloured cards are fanned out, showing the Daria Williamson logo.
Photo credits: Katrina Johns

Keen to work with me?

I offer a complimentary, no-obligation 30-minute chemistry check to talk about your goals and what you need to get you there.

Just click on the button to make your booking in less than a minute. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

What are your obstacles telling you?

Reading Time: < 1 minute You’ve heard all of the cliches about how “obstacles are the way”. Or that they are “the frightening things we see when we take our eyes off the goal”. Nice platitudes, but not all that

Read More »
Text-based image. There are three coloured geometric shapes around the outside. In the centre in bold text is the quotation "We can do hard things" and underneath is the quote source, Glennon Doyle. At the bottom centre of the image is the Daria Williamson logo, with the words 'Coach ~ Facilitator ~ Trainer' and the URL dariawilliamson.com

My mantra when life gets hard

Reading Time: 2 minutes The old saying “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” gets trotted out all too often when someone is going through a hard time. I don’t think it’s particularly useful. It’s trite and can come

Read More »

Navigating your life path

Reading Time: < 1 minute Are you focusing on the doors that closed for you in the past or all the possible doors in front of you? This image is from an excellent New York Times article ‘How Covid Stole

Read More »
Scroll to Top