Who we are

Who we are

Matthew Stone


Watch Matthew’s Video:

Matthew has a life-long interest in helping people recognise and access their very very best. Decades of experience has shown him that on the whole people underestimate their potential and find it challenging to access consistently. His work is dedicated to helping his clients shape a generous and expansive view of themselves, whilst accessing their potential in ways that serve their lives and their businesses. He offers bespoke coaching and training programmes, facilitation and set piece speeches to inspire, educate and amuse. Working with Matthew has been described as a deep dive into who you are on the base line, designing your very best responses and living into your challenges with gusto, self-awareness and intelligence. Some would say part Bloodhound part Juggernaut!

Matthew has been working in professional development for the last 15 years. Recent clients include, BBC, WPP, Endemol Shine, Sony, Clarity, Twofour Group and Talk Talk. Prior to executive coaching Matthew worked for Kennedy Scott, a Government training provider coaching and training long term unemployed young adults back into work. He has also run an independent boarding school, which focused on developing a lasting sense of personal identity and responsibility in its pupils. Additionally, he led a therapeutic community in Dorset called The Leela Institute. Matthew completed a BA(Hons) in Social Sciences from Manchester University and an extensive therapeutic training with a Dutch University called the Humaniversity. He is passionate about his family, reading endlessly, spending great times with friends, playing his Japanese bamboo flute and getting fit in the gym.

Jo Stone

Jo Stone is joint Director and CCO of Squat Toad Ltd and an Executive Coach and Trainer, specialising in Leadership & Creativity. She has 25 years’ experience in the holistic field giving a high level of insight and understanding into the motivational drivers that underpin people’s behaviour, creativity and decision-making processes. As a trained actor and previously a freelance copywriter, she can solicit a level of playfulness that encourages and supports ideational thinking and also understands the pressures of creating repeatedly, on demand and to a deadline.

She facilitates the development of new thinking pathways, conscious communication, emotional coherence, resilience and deeply authentic, creative expression; helping to enhance leadership, generate new levels of creative freedom, increase innovation and inspire healthy change and wholehearted living normally uncommon to the workplace. Jo works with individuals, teams and organisations, to help them develop leadership capability, discern and liberate their creative purpose, unlock their potential and establish strategies to enable them to sustain creativity and wellbeing in the longer term.

My commitment to my Clients is that:

“I am dedicated to walking the path I invite You to walk and I ask You to do nothing, I am not willing to do, or do not practise myself, to the best of my ability.”

“I am committed to understanding as fully as possible, your personal strengths and the demands you are facing; what is working for you and what is working against you and to help you identify the most fulfilling way to move forward in your Work & Life.”

“It is my full intention to offer guidance and support, throughout this process, whilst you discover your own creative solutions to meet the Goals you set yourself.”

“I will also assist you in finding any additional resources that will help you to sustain your progress and celebrate your achievements on the way.”

“As you are investing your time and money with me, I aim to ensure that I give you excellent value. Remember though, it is your motivation and commitment to the process that ensures your success. This is a partnership in which you are ultimately responsible for the outcome.”


I offer:

  • Core Competency Training – Creating Commercial Chemistry
  • Core Competency Training – Liberating Leadership
  • Core Competency Training – Culture Creativity
  • Core Competency Training – Cultivating Corporate Coaching
  • 1:1 Executive Coaching program
  • 1:1 Creativity Coaching
  • 1:1 Spot-Coaching


Core Competency Training – Creating Commercial Chemistry

During these challenging times for Business, we face a choice: create a culture of toxicity, born from a fear of scarcity and a need to control, in which it is hard to stay healthy, or successful; Or adapt, survive and as a result, both personally and professionally thrive …

But HOW do we do that?

There are 3 crucial pillars to building the successful and healthy businesses of the future:

  • Building Self-Awareness:Understanding Motivational Drivers/Interpreting and Managing ‘State’, recognising the traits, qualities and behaviours that fall out of our level of understanding and building more consciousness to support best outcomes for all concerned
  • Developing forensic clarity:On direction, strategy and ‘bridging the gap’. Using methods that play to our strengths and the strengths of the team
  • 5* Communication & Relationship Building:Developing the consciousness that communication shapes culture. Generating highest quality conversational intelligence and collaborative behaviours, through personal understanding of which conversational styles generate fear and shutdown and which generate trust, openness and alignment. The conditions for these great outcomes are brought about through attributes such as empathy, deep listening, rapport building and effective questioning methodologies, all underpinned by neuroscience, allowing for even the most challenging conversations and circumstances to have a good outcome. Soft skills maybe, but with a cutting edge./li>
  • Essentially, we have to be self-aware enough to understand what triggers us, manage our own reactions and put our egos aside when necessary.
    Focus on the challenges we are facing organisationally and as teams and individuals and to be flexible, courageous and resilient enough to meet them in innovative ways
    To build quality relationships with others, meaning the whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts.In order to achieve these outcomes, we are required to ‘show up’ with a level of authenticity that comes from being willing to be vulnerable enough not to stand in certainty and being right, or to be the one with all the answers. Instead, to hold our nerve in the not knowing that is the darkness of all starting points, even more so when they are collaborative endeavours, in doing so we empower others to step with us into the space, potentially generating even more creative solutions as a result.

    “The ability of teams to sustain their efforts when times get tough, is to a large extent,the result of the high standard of interpersonal communication exchanged” Hoop Morgan III The Forte Institute

    Core Competency Training – Liberating Leadership

    The Core Competency Training – Liberating Leadership, is a Learning Programme to build Leadership Capability of self and others, using multiple learning strategies. It sets us free to fulfil our potential and develop others on the way.

    The programme provides a series of tools that develop and embed capabilities, by grounding them in a level of self-knowledge that removes the personal and psychological barriers to the desired/most valuable skill sets and behaviours.

    This generates the kind of leadership that can respond to future changes in the industry, or the corporate culture, because it has the additivity and resilience to survive and thrive in the most difficult of circumstances and lead others en-route in ways that play to their strengths and purpose, resulting in having them also feel fulfilled.

    Self-awareness and having the ability to choose one’s attitude, behaviour and approach is absolutely critical for a leader; Leaders must first understand themselves so that they can understand their impact on others, and make the kind of choices that get the best from the people they lead; This programme will build self-awareness and self-curiosity, helping to equip people with the attitudes, skills and behaviours to feel fulfilled and be on purpose enabling them to deliver an outstanding contribution to their organisation.

    This programme sets out to deliver exponential change, where positive attributes cascade through the workforce generating a commercial culture, that is clear, congruent, collaborative and compassionate.

    Core Competency Training – Culture Creativity

    The Core Competency Training – Culture Creativity, is a multi-dimensional approach to developing creativity, what facilitates it, what inhibits it, what enables us to deliver on it and what helps us sustain it over time. It incorporates the key tenets of the other Core Competency Trainings, with specific strategies for maximising creative outputs.

    Our training model is an integration of left and right brain thinking, generating a new holistic approach to evolving creativity.

    Externally, it enables us to successfully develop crucial skills of effective communication and collaboration, sharing and building creative vision as a team, or organisation and increasing our ability to authentically influence the market.

    Internally, it uses neuroscience and psychological tools, to enable us to make the best creative decisions and build multiple ways to stimulate optimal creative thinking and access a subconscious library of content.

    Our ability to create, like every aspect of our nature is influenced by a multitude of experiences and the meanings we give to them. Ultimately, we condition ourselves into increasingly liberated, or contracted states, which in their turn generate the consequences we use to confirm our beliefs about ourselves. This can work for, or against us.

    Even if we are personally and professionally, inspired and prolific creators, it can still be incredibly hard to create on demand to deadlines and when under great stress.

    The complicated creative mind-set of Individuals, Teams and Organisations can be investigated and understood in ways that move them from being fearful, stifled balls of knotted root, too tight to function, into untangled, limitless, lengths of possibility, grounded in the rich earth of a nourishing creative culture, that supports the exploration of ideas and enables the development of powerful creative output and clear strategies for individual and corporate growth.

    A special report for Business Week noted that:

    “Increasingly, the new core competency is creativity… the game is changing. It isn’t just about Math and Science anymore. It’s about creativity, imagination and above all innovation.”

    (Nussbaum et al., 2005, p.1)

    “Creativity is intelligence having fun.”

    Albert Einstein

    Core Competency Training – Cultivating Corporate Coaching

    This incorporates the Core Competency Training with all the benefits it offers, but facilitated in such a way that it includes the necessary elements of Coaching Training in the provision, to equip Trainee teams to provide the training to the wider organisation in house.

    The aim of this is to ensure readily available, on-going, high quality training, whilst making it more cost efficient where large groups are concerned.

    1:1 Executive Coaching

    At Squat Toad we have a singular commitment to provide effective, inspiring coaching that provides milestone impact in the lives of our clients. Our programmes are designed to establish clear goals with metrics of success that indicate an excellent return on investment.

    We look to coach our clients at depth enabling a quality of personal development that is sustainable and of high value. Our approach generates personal insight coupled with the opportunity to powerfully apply the new understanding into impactful behavioural change.

    We have many years of providing world class input and would welcome the opportunity to be of value in supporting you in achieving your personal and commercial goals.

    “Deep within man dwell those slumbering powers: powers that would astonish him, that he never dreamed of possessing; forces that would revolutionize his life if aroused and put into action.”

    Orison Swett Marden

    Coaching is a way to develop your true potential through a process of uncovering and eliminating destructive behavioural and thinking patterns in a supportive and inspirational manner and facilitating the discovery and choosing of positive, life-affirming, success inducing alternatives. This is achieved using specific tools and scientifically tested techniques that work. Coaching is a solution-focussed approach to personal development that can assist clients to make lasting change in all areas of their Life.

    Coaching encourages changes made by the coachee to become routine, sustainable habits over time. As a result of this, they naturally take better care of themselves as they strengthen their level of awareness, understanding and self-belief.

    By setting clear objectives, clients will see more easily the progress they are making.

    This naturally increases confidence, as achievements can be clearly measured and they will recognise their increasing ability to ‘coach’ themselves successfully in the future.

    Coaching models include:

    • 1:1 Coaching Programme
    • Spot-Coaching
    • 1:1 Coaching Creativity


    “I worked with Jo as part of a talent development programme. After my first one hour session with her I came out of the room feeling invigorated, energised and motivated. Over the course of our next few meetings Jo had a profound effect on my personal development; teaching me some valuable skills both for life and work which have really helped me since. Sessions with her were always fun and innovative and left me with a great deal of clarity about the course of action I needed to take thereafter. The benefits in my work were hugely noticeable and commented on by colleagues. I sincerely hope I get the opportunity to work with her again.”

    Stephen Henry, Sales and Operations Director at Switch My Business

    1:1 Creativity Coaching

    Creativity coaching will work with you directly to understand and unlock the particular combination of potential hurdles you have to leap over in order to express yourself authentically and with full creativity in your Life and work.

    There are many common psychological and physiological blocks that prevent us from doing our best work. A various assortment of associated beliefs about ourselves and others, an inbuilt perfectionism, or perhaps lack of clarity masquerading as procrastination; self-esteem issues, pressure, overwhelm. They take many forms.

    Thanks to cutting edge neuroscience, we can also train ourselves to respond to creative challenges more effectively, by understanding when our brains are working for, or against us and how we can hit the reset button when needed.

    At Squat Toad, we bring extensive knowledge to the coaching sessions, of how a person’s psychological makeup may have impacted, or be impacting on their creative drive, profoundly affecting their ability to work creatively and achieve their goals. It is not therapy, it is Strategy with Heart!
    It will help you clear the way to access your best ideas and deeper instincts. It offers supportive techniques and will help you build resilient attitudes to fear of failure, performance anxiety and feedback.

    In short, it can help you to fully recognise your creative impulses and know how to successfully take action, becoming a more effective, healthy and happy creator, or innovator, whatever your line of work, or aspiration.

    “Be wild; that is how to clear the river. The river does not flow in polluted, we manage that. The river does not dry up, we block it. If we want to allow it its freedom, we have to allow our ideational lives to be let loose, to stream, letting anything come, initially censoring nothing. That is creative life. It is made up of divine paradox.

    Clarissa Pinkola Estes

    “Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties”.

    Erich Fromm

    Spot Coaching

    These sessions can relate to any area in which support is needed. This might include: business development, career development, strategy, creative outputs, stress management, or resilience, for example:

    • Career development aspirations and how best to move beyond perceived internal ceilings to advancement/li>
    • Effectively leveraging organisational resource/li>
    • Enhancing personal and report performance/li>
    • Issues in effectively managing upwards and downwards within the organisation/li>
    • Frustrations in not being able to leverage ability and give more to the organisation/li>


    However, employees also come to work as whole people and can’t always compartmentalise. Just because we walk through the workplace door doesn’t mean our thoughts and feeling about the rest of our lives get left outside. Coaching is not therapy, but can also help meet the legal requirements to support wellbeing at work and has been shown to significantly reduce presenteeism, absenteeism and costs and increase staff morale, creativity, productivity and reputation.

    Coachees may be selected by managers, or self-select through a booking system set up by the HR department of their businesses. Please note, given the evolving skill requirements of the business, sessions can also be shaped to meet the specific skills uplift that would be of most value to the business. We could take this on advisement of the SMG.

    “In a democracy, the well-being, individuality and happiness of every citizen is important for the overall prosperity, peace and happiness of the nation.” A.P. J. Abdul Kalam

    “On first meeting Jo for a coaching session I was a little unsure as to what to expect. It’s always a little nervy not knowing someone you’re about to possibly open up to. On meeting Jo I found her to be genuine, warm, friendly, and approachable but more importantly trust worthy. During my time working with Jo I found she had a knack of drawing out the deepest concerns, worries and inhibitions, then instantly allowing me to see those as positives and not negative weights holding me back. It meant for me I was ready for the next chapter in my life. With an immediate fresh outlook I was able to take back control of my career. It is thanks to Jo that I successfully run my own business now demonstrating all my life skills. It was Jo that allowed me to believe in my ability when others may have suppressed that ability. Jo is a great coach and I highly recommend her.” Simon McCarrick Assoc CIPD

    Our Associates

    Rachel Stevens



    Since 1995, Rachel has been offering highly effective, corporate in-house training programmes to improve performance, productivity and wellbeing for desk-based staff.

    Having trained as an Alexander Technique practitioner in 1987 she saw more and more clients in private practice with stress related aches and pains, postural problems and debilitating conditions such as repetitive strain injury and realised there was a growing need for specific in-house training to address these issues.

    As a fully trained workstation assessor she was invited to set up a training programme at the BBC in Bristol for staff with musculo-skeletal and stress issues. The programme ran for ten years and offered a unique combination of workstation assessments / body awareness training and stress management sessions for individuals and groups.

    She offers a range of training to support staff from administrators to senior managers.

    The three main training programmes cover:

    • DSE Workstation Assessment Seminars and Individual Assessments
      Read more

    DSE (Display Screen Equipment) Workstation Assessments
    with Rachel Stevens BA Hons. MSTAT CNHC
    Improve Your Performance and Wellbeing

    What people say:

    “The long term benefits of the training are enormous.”

    Production Coordinator BBC Bristol.

    “I can now sit at my desk without pain.”
    Hewlett Packard employee.

    “Your seminar with the team was fantastic and people have given very positive feedback. Thank you for your efforts to make it informative and enjoyable.” Training Manager, Gloucestershire Diabetic Eye Screening Programme, NHS

    Ensuring staff are optimally set up at their desk is not only a legal requirement, it’s also good for business. Feeling comfortable at your desk means improved performance and productivity. We have been providing workstation assessments for desk workers for over 20 years and combine both an assessment of the hardware with a postural assessment.

    Importantly, we are not linked with any specific supplier and give genuine impartial advice. Our recommendations are based entirely on what is appropriate for your needs and your budget.

    We offer both Group Training Seminars and Individual Assessments:

    Group Training Seminars – Up to 12 staff

    How to customise your desk and sit comfortably at it

    This hour-long seminar is designed to equip office staff with a practical and accessible guide to setting up a customised and ergonomic workstation as well as establishing comfortable working posture. The seminar includes practical demonstrations.

    Outline Programme:

    • How to set up the optimum workstation – practical information to enable participants to set up a workstation that is suited to their personal needs and comply with Health and Safety regulations

    • How to set up an ‘ergonomic’ office chair – learn how to modify your chair for maximum comfort and support

    • Workstation accessories – a review of the ‘gadgets’ and ergonomic hardware

    • The role of the body and posture training – the importance of good body use in determining comfort at the desk. Essential information to promote day long comfort and peak performance and reduce neck ache, back ache, eye strain and RSI

    • Opportunity for questions throughout

    What people say:

    “This was one of the most interesting seminars I have attended – very practical and easy to implement actions. The presenter was excellent.”

    CIPD Seminar, Bath.

    “The Seminar was really useful. It got me to think about my posture as well as how I set up my desk. Afterwards I moved my phone, adjusted my chair and brought my screen closer. I hadn’t realised that small changes could make such a difference.”
    Administrator at Severn Vale Housing, Gloucestershire.

    Individual Assessments

    Level 1 – For the majority of desk users (30 minutes)

    Level 2 – For staff with a particular musculo-skeletal issue such as neck or back pain / arm and hand pain / repetitive strain injury (60 minutes)
    Our individual in-house workstation risk assessments comply with the Health and Safety (DSE) Regulations 1992. We offer training for staff to prevent and alleviate work-related pain such as RSI and low back pain.

    The assessments cover the following:

    • Comprehensive evaluation of the workstation

    • Evaluation of work activities

    • Evaluation of posture and body use

    • Workstation modifications and recommendations

    • Advice on ergonomic equipment and gadgets

    • Work activity recommendations

    • Posture training

    • An on-site check list report

    What people say:

    “The changes to my workstation and the training I received will significantly reduce the chance of my RSI recurring.”
    BBC Bristol employee.

    “All members of our staff felt that they had benefitted from the assessments and training. The trainer was obviously confident in the service provided which was well communicated and with a sympathetic approach.”
    Nuclear Technologies plc.

  • “From Stress to Wellbeing” Seminars for Groups and Individuals
  • “Performance, Poise and Presence” Seminars for Groups and Individuals


For more detailed information please contact us.