My Weekend: Friday night is always a night of relaxation and family time

Barbara Nugent is managing director of Transilient Coaching and vice president of Network Ireland Cork, a not-for-profit organisation for women in business, professions and the arts. It is the largest branch in the country
My Weekend: Friday night is always a night of relaxation and family time
Vice President of Network Ireland Cork branch, Barbara Nugent, of Transilient Coaching.

Barbara Nugent is managing director of Transilient Coaching and vice president of Network Ireland Cork, a not-for-profit organisation for women in business, professions and the arts. It is the largest branch in the country


Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born in Tuam, Co Galway but arrived in Dublin with my family at six months old. I was brought up there so would generally say I’m from Dublin. I have one sister and three brothers and I am the second youngest.

I qualified as an accountant after school and worked in small practice, Irish manufacturing, start-ups and then in Brussels for the European Commission. Upon returning to Ireland, and to Clonakilty, I worked in multinationals — pharmaceutical, medical devices and telecommunications companies — at a senior leadership level.

I went back into education to obtain a post-graduate diploma in Executive Coaching and another one in Leadership before completing an MSc in Business Practice. Then five years ago, I left corporate life to set up my own business, mentoring and coaching leaders on leading with impact, improving their skills and managing their teams better.

Having that experience myself, both good and bad, I have a real passion for the soft skills required more and more by leaders, and I work with leaders and teams here in Cork and in Dublin to improve their emotional intelligence capabilities.

I am married to John for 20 years, and have a son Sam, aged 19, and Lorna, aged 15, and we live in Clonakilty, which is John’s home place. When we came back from Brussels we didn’t want to go back to city life, and so we have the privilege of living in a lovely environment while still in striking distance of Cork city. Sam just headed off to the UK to university this year where he studies Sports Science and trains for high performance rowing. It is a real change to our home and life and we’ve all been adapting to this new phase.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

Friday night has always been a night of relaxation and family time — feet up and following a TV series. Back in my corporate days it was really a ‘thank God I made it through the week’ evening. However, now it is more time to switch off and chill out, often a good book replaces Netflix, or in the summer, getting out to walk on the nearby beach.


Lie-ins or up with the lark.. which is it for you?

Hmmm, I do like a lie-in, but my daughter and myself row and often we have training early on a Saturday and Sunday morning. So a lie-in is really a lovely luxury.

Barbara Nugent of Transilient Coaching. Picture: Darragh Kane
Barbara Nugent of Transilient Coaching. Picture: Darragh Kane

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

Yes, a bit. I work for myself and sometimes I get a quiet hour over the weekend to catch up on email. I like to take a couple of hours on Sunday to plan the coming week so I know where I’ll be and what I need to do in terms of school runs, after school runs, meal planning, grocery shopping etc. I find it gives me control over my week and keeps stress at bay. I try not to let work creep in any more than that, and ensure that it is done in a relaxed way rather than a source of pressure.

If money was no object where would you head to on a weekend city break? And who would you bring with you?

I’ve always wanted to go to Dubai, though I’m not sure if a weekend is enough! I’d bring John with me… just to keep control of the credit cards!

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries?

I am so spoiled for choice in West Cork. I love Glandore in the summer. Long Strand is a great walking beach, along with Inchydoney, while Courtmacsherry Woods are lovely in the springtime. When I feel energetic, climbing the hill at Lough Hyne gives a glorious view over West Cork which always renews me.

Do you get to indulge any hobbies? Even as a spectator?

I am a keen rower and any opportunity to get out on the Ilen river with my team is priority. This time of year we train indoors mostly at Skibbereen RC, but the early mornings at the weekend often offer a stolen few hours of calm waters and we are out there. There is a big time commitment associated with rowing and as part of a team, you have to show up without fail. I also do some running, though I find it hard to motivate myself to run in the rain or the dark!

Entertain or be entertained? If it is the latter do you have a signature dish?

Be entertained for sure! I am not much of a domestic goddess so I am very happy to be invited and fed and I have no problem doing the washing up!

We have so many places to eat out in Cork — where are your go to spots for coffee/ lunch/ special meal?

Our 20th anniversary dinner was in Inchydoney Hotel where we had our wedding reception.

An Súgán in Clonakilty is cosy and always lovely, and the Celtic Ross is a favourite when we are on our way back from rowing training. Kalbos Cafe in Skibbereen has gorgeous food, while the Fig & Olive in Clonakilty never disappoints for lunch.

President of Network Cork Marguerite O Sullivan, wearing the chain, with the Network Cork committee for 2020, including Vice President, Barbara Nugent, front, wearing blue dress.
President of Network Cork Marguerite O Sullivan, wearing the chain, with the Network Cork committee for 2020, including Vice President, Barbara Nugent, front, wearing blue dress.

Sunday night comes around too fast.. how do you normally spend it?

Once I have my planning done I can relax and read, or watch a bit of TV. I like to be sure my daughter’s school uniform is ready to go, and my own clothes, work bag and papers etc are ready for the morning. I’ve been working on improving my sleep patterns for a few months now so I like to get to bed by 10 or so.

What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?

My alarm goes off at 7.15am. That is it — up and out, no hesitation. It is a brand new week and I’m ready to go.

UPCOMING NETWORK CORK EVENT

The guest speaker of Network Ireland Cork’s February event will be the founder of a renowned initiative aimed at boosting leadership values nationally, Joanne Hession of LIFT (Leading Ireland’s Future Together).

The event takes place at the Clayton Hotel Cork City on Wednesday, February 5, at 6pm, where the focus will be on leadership skills; the key barriers to better leadership; and how to build leadership muscle in business and society.

Tickets for the event, which are free for Network Ireland Cork members and €25 for non-members, are available at https://network corkjoannehession.eventbrite.ie.

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