Karen Stefanyszyn

Karen Stefanyszyn


“I have always been interested in the way we have constructed the world of work and what that does to us as human beings. Even in the most highly respected organisations and at the most senior levels, we find people who are afraid to be fully seen, who waste vital energy and forget what they are capable of, who take on the burden of the world, who look good….and feel alone. It doesn’t have to be this way. For the past 30+ years I have explored the nature of human flourishing and the performance of individuals, teams and organisations. I have led global Leadership, Talent and Change Programs, and am a certified coach, specialising in integral coaching and coaching constellations.”


Karen has led a range of transformational change programmes and now majors on coaching senior leaders and emerging talent, usually in the context of major changes in culture and performance. Before joining the Waverley team, she was Global Head of Leadership Development at Aviva, (a FTSE top 25 company), responsible for the coaching and development of leaders at all levels of the organisation. Prior to that she held senior leadership roles in Organisation Development, Talent, and ‘Leadership and Culture’. She has extensive experience of leading post-merger and acquisition cultural transformation programmes and developing resourceful internal change agents.


Karen is a certified integral coach, with an MSc in HR, where she specialised in organisation development and strengths-based approaches to performance.  She is a Fellow of the CIPD, a member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF), a certified Practitioner in Coaching Constellations, and  in Transformational Narrative Coaching and  a member of the Association of Business Psychologists.  She is a qualified user of psychometric assessments.

Facilitation approach

Karen specialises in individual and group approaches that are designed to keep up with the complexities of the world and the intensity of change experienced today, where a deeper level of awareness beyond ‘knowing’ is needed. Her work is aimed at achieving long term, sustained excellence, inviting people to be able to respond to the world, to deal with situations we can’t even anticipate yet. People often turn to this type of facilitation and/or coaching when they are at the edge of their known world, their developmental edge. Karen helps people access and integrate insights at emotional, relational and somatic levels, as well as cognitive. Her work is practical and profound, accessible and stretching, and very participative.

Examples of recent work

  • Global Leadership Development Programme a Strategy Consultancy
  • Major culture change and leadership development programmes for entire leadership communities in several private sector, faith communities and not for profit organisations
  • Current and recent coaching assignments include:
    • CEO of a Major Higher Education Establishment
    • Board Directors of Major International Charity
    • HR Director in Leading Agricultural Business
    • Senior Partners in big 4 Professional Services Firm
    • Executive Directors in Financial Services, Communications and Health sectors
    • Several assignments for leaders in transition at different levels and in different sectors
    • Founders of Consulting Businesses and Social Entrepreneurs
Waverley Learning are very vested in what they’re doing, very committed. They’re dynamic individually and collectively, they are 100% invested to the learners when they go into a program, it really is a sense of ownership of the experience that I don’t necessarily always see with every other vendor or learning partner that we use.
Lisa Smisek - Director of Learning, Kearney
There’s a credibility and a humility that you just sense when you’re engaging with Waverley Learning. I’m personally very drawn to that.
Karen Brown - Director of People and Talent, Tearfund
It is the extent to which Waverley Learning understood all the requirements, the innovation that they brought, the talent they brought. Their whole style takes the frantic pace at which we work out of the equation, the messages comes through really clearly. They’ve tuned into the challenges of our organization and made observations that have given us added value. It’s always based on our needs.
Alison Maher - Head of Learning, GWR
Their Developing Skills course consistently gets the best feedback of any standard developmental course that we offer. They’re clearly doing something right in terms of engagement, for those individuals to realise their own development within that situation. Waverley Learning listen to what’s going on, the chats that they’re having with my colleagues. They’re able to play that back, this is what’s going on in your business. As an organization, they provide great insight into to us.
John Probert - Director, Mercer
Previous slide
Next slide