About Pauliina

Official Bio

Pauliina Mapatha is a positive intelligence and life coach, nutrition advisor in ketogenic whole foods, and a Coaches and Mentors South Africa (COMENSA) Credentialed Practitioner (CCP).  

Prior to transitioning to coaching,  she worked for 20 years in programme management and business development roles in socio-economic and international development environments.

She holds a MSc in Development Geography from the University of Helsinki. She is also a certified Programme Cycle Management / Logical Framework Approach facilitator & moderator and a Participatory Learning & Action practitioner. 

Over the years, she has collected a wide range of tools and techniques to tailor-make solutions. Imagine what we could achieve together?

Find more about her career on LinkedIn. And read about her personal journey to professional coaching below.

“Pauliina is a wonderful and exceptional coach! She’s extremely empathetic, firm and kind. Her coaching programme has helped me become a better version of myself and I have gained not only a trustworthy supporter and confidant, but I gained a friend and sister.”
Client Testimonial
Roseanna Avento, Global Education Manager

My Journey to Professional Coaching

I have always been passionate about connecting with and empowering people. From thought-provoking conversations with friends and part-time jobs as a student in hospitality and special needs care, to leadership and management roles in people empowerment; business development; partnership and collaboration. 

Prior to transitioning to coaching, I immersed myself in information society development in a South African context. I saw many great ideas, innovations, strategies, and development efforts fail, despite having ‘highly qualified’ implementation teams. I learned that the problem is the inadequate attention to human behaviour and needs. Our own and others.

This is why I do what I do. I coach globally minded leaders and professionals in diverse, often cross-cultural contexts, from middle management to executives in inclusive leadership, wellness, and transitions at work and in life. I serve both individuals and organisations online and globally.

As a Finn living and married in South Africa, being a mom to two bi-national and bi-racial daughters, I’m privy to the extra challenges and opportunities that a cross-cultural context brings along. 

Being an expat is a huge challenge! Often, we get somewhat lost in the adaptation process or just figuring out what the expat and cross-cultural challenges are versus the other ‘normal’ work and life challenges. 

My own adaptation process, after going through the first hurdles, looked smooth from the outside. As if I was nailing it!  I was working and living abroad, I had a good marriage, two lovely daughters, and a senior, well-paid position! I was driving a BMW and we had great international holidays…

But something was not right. Whilst juggling all balls at the same time in a very demanding work environment, I felt that I was merely surviving. Eventually, I took a bold decision to cut back on my work contracts. But six months later, I found myself hitting the wall, stuck, emotionally and physically depleted. 

All in all, it took me years, including menopause and burnout, to really figure things out and align my work and life with my true self. I restored my health and found my new purpose through a lot of reflection, a big mindset, and a couple of lifestyle changes. I did not do it by myself, but rather through the support I received from various professionals, including great coaching partnerships.

My career and life journey to professional coaching was not always straightforward nor easy. But looking back, I would really not change anything. My journey has truly groomed me to be a holistic coach who understands both career and life challenges in the organisational and broader system context, locally and globally. No matter where you are in your professional career or just in your personal life, I’ve got you covered.

Today, I continue to explore,  navigate and promote diversity, equality, inclusion, and belonging as part of my daily routine. – This is a life-long journey.

When I’m not working, I love to connect with family and friends. I cook while listening to my favourite podcasts. Other non-negotiable ways that I use to re-charge include doing daily Positive Intelligence Quotient increasing exercises (PQ Reps) and taking frequent walks in nature.

Do you want inspiration, support or challenge in inclusive leadership, wellness, transition at work or life? Expat and cross-cultural life?  Subscribe to my weekly newsletter below and find more about my coaching services for individuals and organisations.