Testimonials

Lead Marketing Video Producer

I have never had an experience of executive coaching prior to this and didn't know what to expect. Abby was so wonderful that I now cannot imagine not going through this experience as a new manager. Abby was incredibly thoughtful in how she approached our sessions and consistently helped me to frame my experiences in a way that made sense and helped me to grow. Being able to not only talk through the challenges I was facing professionally, but also personally, and how that all encompasses how you show up was something that flipped a switch for me in how I view a lot of things. I honestly encourage anyone who is looking for help in taking their career by their hands to grab this opportunity. 

Marketing Lead, 2U

South Africa

Abby took the time to understand me as a person, and made me feel seen and heard. She managed to build a trusting relationship with me quickly, even though our sessions took place on Zoom, on opposite ends of the world. Abby helped decipher my challenges, thoughts and feelings into actionable developmental objectives, and gently guided me and held me accountable through my coaching journey, by listening intently and asking challenging questions. Abby is positive, optimistic and helped shift my perspective on many things we discussed. Many months on, I regularly refer back to my coaching notes and think about the conversations we had when facing professional and personal situations. She undoubtedly left a lasting impression on my life and career!

Senior Manager, Creative Studios, 2U

South Africa

"I started my journey with Abby quite soon after taking on a new leadership role. Abby was nothing but warm and encouraging, creating a safe place to share comfortably and openly. Through the process, my thinking was challenged and I was able to see my leadership style through a new lens.  Abby created clarity through uncertainty and equipped me with practical tools to assist me in furthering my growth not only as a leader but my life holistically."

 

Lead Learning Designer, 2U

South Africa

"The six sessions I spent with Abby were some of the most valuable and rewarding hours I’ve spent investing in myself and my career. Abby had a wonderful way of drilling down to the core of even the most poorly articulated reflections and succinctly offering back to me insights about myself and my way of being in the world that I had tried and failed to express or understand. Armed with this knowledge, I was able to understand why I was facing certain challenges and how I could work to overcome them. Abby provided me with a perfectly tailored coaching program that held me accountable and ensured I put into practice the tools and techniques for improvement we had discussed in our sessions."

 

Director, 2U

South Africa

"When I started my coaching journey with Abby, I felt certain that the work required of me and the work that I had so desperately needed to address for myself as well as for my career was impossible to put into words, let alone to draw an action plan for. The nagging insecurities that I really believe hindered me as a leader but also in many other areas of my life didn’t feel like something I would openly share with someone EVER, let alone on a Zoom call from halfway across  the world. Boy, was I wrong about all of the above! Abby became a safe space for me to not only sit in uncomfortable spaces that were very real and reflective for me but also in holding me accountable for my development in a consistent but also challenging way. My coaching program with Abby helped rewire my coping mechanisms as well as root myself in better, healthier ways of dealing with my own anxieties around leadership, my team and all those learnings have benefitted my personal and professional life."

Head of Data

Oxford, United Kingdom

"Working with Abby has been an exceptionally enjoyable, challenging and valuable experience. We covered important and pivotal aspects of my career and personal development, and I found her approach perfectly balanced the dynamics of support, guidance, challenge and wisdom. I recommend working with her to anyone looking for holistic professional development and I hope to work with her again in the future." 

Senior Vice President People, 2U

 South Africa

Abby got involved with our organisation in 2016 when we started working on our first leadership development programme. As a startup, we often looked to partner with strong external experts to help us develop our business into the successful online education provider it is today. We looked to bring excellence through enabling real people connections instead of following stock standard approaches when it came to investing in our most valuable asset, our people. And Abby helped in exactly doing that. Identifying skills people already possessed but needed to work with a coach to understand how to unearth and apply them whether in their professional or personal lives. In 2020, a particularly difficult year for everyone across the globe as we faced the beginning of the global coronavirus pandemic, Abby coached me personally. I have had executive coaching before, but Abby's approach is very different to what I have experienced before. She doesn't shy away from the harder conversations – things that may be blocking you from understanding your blind spots and how to manage them better. Abby was a source of consistent support throughout 2020, a clear sounding board and a trusted partner in navigating complex relational issues within the workplace and outside of the workplace. I will always appreciate the time I had with Abby and I will highly recommend her as an executive coach."

Manager, Chevron North America Exploration & Production

California, USA

"My relationship with Abby developed as part of a Leadership Program sponsored by my company.  I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from virtual coaching, but I can attest that Abby has an incredibly inclusive presence that helped me to quickly feel comfortable sharing.  She is very adaptive to individuals and provided the opportunity for structure in the sessions, which I greatly appreciated as it helped me to prepare for the conversations and to ensure we were touching on the topics that I felt were critical.  Abby has a distinct ability to reflect your persona in a non-threatening way – through her observations and engagement. I was able to identify those parts of my leadership presence that I felt served me well and other parts that I wanted to adjust.  She helped me to gain insights and set realistic goals for shifting my approach as well as identifying simple practices to help me build better leadership habits. Abby was able to create and cultivate an open and honest environment where we found plenty of time for laughter, even while exploring some very introspective challenges.  I am excited to continue my coaching relationship with Abby, and I would absolutely recommend her as a professional coach."

 

Senior Compliance Professional, Fund Management Firm

South Africa

“When Jon Stewart paid tribute to Bruce Springsteen at the 2009 Kennedy Center Honors he concluded with the following words: “But that is not the power of Bruce Springsteen. It is that whenever I see Bruce Springsteen do anything, he empties the tank, every time.” I fell in love with Springsteen when I was a student and I have lived by the “empty the tank” mantra ever since. It’s rewarding but exhausting. Every now and then the tank runs dry. For years I managed to find fuel on my own. And then, out of nowhere, the ability to refuel independently disappeared. I hesitantly started looking for help and after thorough research, I found Abby. Abby met me where I was. In the middle of the desert, looking for a road out. From the outset, she provided a unique perspective. There’s many roads out, but the one I choose needs to have filling stations along the route. Abby helped me find that route and filled my tank with new insight, perspective and philosophy. I have never met anyone like Abby. She is an oasis in the middle of the dessert. Her approach is professional beyond the norm. She is well read and has the ability to challenge conventional and unconventional wisdom in a robust and respectful manner. She is a coaching Rockstar and the E-Street band behind many Springsteens’. If you are looking to journey with someone that knows how to read a map, Abby Malan may be just the person for you."

ENTERPRISE SALES DIRECTOR, 2U

South Africa

I've worked with Abby in a one on one, team and leadership program capacity. In every instance I have felt supported, challenged and encouraged. Abby has the ability to 'hold up a mirror' in a unique and inclusive way. Her approach is intentional and patient, ensuring every person in the room (whether face to face or virtual) feels included without feeling pressured. I have benefited greatly, both personally and professionally, from the time I have spent with Abby and would highly recommend her consultancy!"

Student Success Director, 2U

South Africa

I was fortunate enough to have a Three-Part Coaching Conversation with Abby in the past few months. Three sessions isn't a lot and in some cases it would take you at least three sessions to build rapport, especially over Zoom. However, Abby has this unique ability to make you feel comfortable and safe. Abby has a warm and inviting presence that encourages you to open up and dig into what you want to work on. I often struggle to open up to people so it was testament to Abby and her abilities that I was able to be open and honest from the first session. Abby provided a space to listen and question which resulted in wonderful practical tools for me to take away into my professional and personal life. I am grateful for the sessions we had together and I know that this won't be the end to our journey. I am looking forward to continuing growing & stretching myself in Abby's presence." 

Investment Professional, Old Mutual Investment Group

South Africa

I met Abby as part of the Leadership Development Programme run by the company. My team and my role in the team were going through some changes so working with Abby could not have come at a better time. My sessions with Abby have been transformative in my career path and have helped me step into my role and signature presence in my team and broader organization. Working with Abby has really helped me shift gears in my career path. Thank you, I am really grateful for this."

Director, 2U

South Africa

Working with Abby over the last while has given me great focus in terms of my leadership and development in general. I've appreciated her way of working with me as a whole person while we focused on my career; her ability to genuinely listen created a space for me to gain insights, better understand my approach to leadership while giving me very practical ways to ensure I continue to engage in my professional and self development. Abby's authenticity allows for an open space with no judgment that enables genuine holistic transformation. Working through the lens of the Enneagram was also incredibly insightful and a useful way to frame my thinking and action."

Senior Human Resource Business Partner, 2U

South Africa

Thank you so much for an amazing two days that were incredibly well facilitated. I appreciated your warmth, your insight, your professionalism, your skillfulness, your inclusivity and the way you challenged us to come out of our shells and be willing to venture into uncomfortable spaces. I learnt so much from just being with you in that space and I strongly believe that you have made a lasting impact in my life. Of all that I could thank you for, I thank you most for being you and sharing yourself with me."

Managing Director, SOWITEC

Nairobi, Kenya

“Abby is a great joy to interact with and has such a positive spirit. She is a very open coach and will provide a platform for you to delve into your innermost self.  I found her to be very patient and keen to hear my most burning issues in the moment. Our coaching sessions felt like an interaction with a knowledgeable friend; she creates a very warm and open atmosphere. I particularly enjoyed the organic way our coaching sessions evolved, all the while keeping to the main goal and muscle building steps. She is a very good listener and is adept at guiding you to identify your strengths and areas where you need to put more effort to achieve the best you. Abby introduced me to mindfulness and helped me identify my strengths and how to package them to influence positive change in other leaders. She taught me the value of stepping back, appreciating my journey, and being present and relishing every experience. Over the working week, one of my biggest highlights was those engaging and focused discussions with Abby.  She can be trusted with your vulnerabilities and has a really genuine and real spirit. Get ready for an interesting, rich, fulfilling and fun coaching experience. Ohhh, and lots of laughter… lots of laughter. She’s worth every bit of your investment in coaching."

Investment Professional

South Africa

“I met Abby at an inflection point in my life, trying to manage a change in career path, moving cities and the resultant change in social support structures. My six sessions with Abby have been a transformational experience which chartered me down a different course. Abby is a remarkable individual who is able to balance on that tightrope of empathy and frankness when coaching for optimal performance. Abby also shows a great understanding of the dynamic challenges of the Investment Industry through her very thoughtful feedback. Her holistic approach afforded me the opportunity to wrestle with the tension of the analytical demands of my position and the artistic facets of my being. The true beauty of the professional coaching sessions with Abby was my realisation that along the road of self-discovery and improvement, the road we must walk is usually in the tension of what seem like contradictions."

Lead Learning Designer, 2U

London, England

“I can truly say that Abby changed my life over the months that we worked together. Her simultaneous ability to be emotionally intuitive and analytical left me feeling both deeply understood and in good hands to move forward with the things I was facing both personally and professionally. Abby has a beautiful way of uncovering patterns in your behaviour and shining a new light on these to allow you to see new ways of being that would serve you better.  I have carried many of the practices and ways of thinking that I learnt from Abby into my day to day life. Although our sessions took place remotely, I felt connected to Abby from the first session we had together and her ability to foster relationship and build trust quickly meant that I often forgot that we were not in the same room. Time with Abby is a wonderful gift you can give yourself both personally and professionally." 

 

Managing Partner, Law Firm

South Africa

“Abby is a caring and thoughtful coach. She is intuitive and able to adapt quickly to deal with a wide range of professional issues, both in a practical way, and also at a more emotional and philosophical level. She is gifted at integrating the personal sphere into the professional sphere, understanding that the two cannot be easily separated. Most importantly, for me she inspired trust to take her into my confidence, and by doing so, she enabled me to share more fully my thoughts, emotions and ideas, which made the experience very enriching and meaningful. I would recommend Abby’s services and guidance without hesitation."

 

 

Associate Academic Lead, US Portfolio, 2U

 South Africa

“If you are reading Abby's testimonials wondering if you should do coaching with her: Do it. She is an incredible person and her coaching style is professional, personalised, insightful, practical, and impactful. Abby is an example to me of how you can really leverage your strengths to do the best that you can do – to trust that you’re capable of change, without changing who you are. I had a few sessions with Abby in preparation for a promotion and she helped me. As simple and profound as that sounds - she helps. I am really grateful for the experience of coaching, and I’m grateful to Abby for leading me in that journey. She asks the right questions that lead you to the heart of what it is you need to focus on. Abby has an ability to unlock things in people because she helps you see that you have the key you were looking for. It's weird, and so, so wonderful."

Program Manager, Non Profit Sector

Nairobi, Kenya

I signed up for a transformational leadership programme known as Beyond Your Edge whose three-pronged approach included one-on-one coaching. That is how I met Abby. At the time I started the programme, I was in a space of change - I knew that I needed to re-align my personal and career priorities while getting better at setting myself up for success. I had also had a huge work disappointment that made me question my future at the organization where I worked, and frankly, my capabilities too. At the beginning I was unsure of coaching, but in retrospect, it was the most useful part of the leadership programme and journey. Abby was kind and had a listening ear making it easy to open up. She also had excellent empathy and understanding, and an easy conversational style which helped me to understand my way of being while contemplating a new way for achieving better results both at work and personally. In the end, I had not only re-set my priorities, but also found myself easily navigating situations which I would not have been able to in the past. I found that I adopted new habits and new realigned thinking that made my life so much easier, especially when it came to handling difficult work and personal situations. Our interactions led to co-creation and adoption of new techniques and approaches that formed an important milestone which set me apart in my leadership journey."