Nelma Fernandes

Nelma Fernandes

ICC Certified Trainers


Nelma Fernandes, the founder and CEO of Win Coach Academy, is exceptionally passionate about the potential of human and individual self-development.

Formally trained to degree level in Architecture and Finance Management, Nelma also holds a postgraduate degree in Leadership and Career Development for Women in Business, along with an Executive Masters in Management, both from the Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics. With a career spanning approximately nine years in the banking and asset management sector, Nelma also has extensive entrepreneurial and franchise managements skills, having privately owned six stores.

As an International Certified Coach and member of the International Coaching Community (ICC), Nelma is the appointed ICC trainer for some African countries. She is also certified as a Systemic Coach, as well as a DiSC trainer. In addition, Nelma is qualified in Somatic Experiencing and Somatic Psychology and Analysis – a revolutionary approach, based on neuroscience, to dealing with PTSD, chronic stress and other trauma.

With wide experience across the training and coaching sector, in both SMEs and multinational companies, Nelma is an active Executive Coach, Life Coach, Team Coach, and specialised in Coaching at Large Enterprises, focusing on Teams and Leadership Coaching, behavioural change and implementation of a Coaching Culture within business environments.

Being armed with this wide range of coaching skills allows Nelma to create an excellent working dynamic both within company teams and outside larger organisations. Nelma believes human resources are the most valuable asset in any business and that investing in the development of the best version of each individual will ultimately bring results and rewards to any organisation.

In her personal time, Nelma enjoys running, reading and travelling, to experience new cultures.

Win Coach Academy
Campo Pequeno Nº 40 – 4ºE
1000-080 Lisbon, Portugal
Telephone: +351 934 588 648

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The Unexpected – by Joseph O’Connor

The Unexpected – by Joseph O’Connor

The Unexpected – by Joseph O’Connor

Happy New Year!

Christmas and New Year are a holiday, and a very enjoyable one.
And…. as it is New Year, how about New Year’s resolutions?
Well, I will resist the temptation to devote this article to the futility or importance or success or failure of New Year’s resolutions.

Let’s talk about the unexpected.

When I was a kid, my parents would leave an empty place set at the dinner table at Christmas for the unexpected guest. Knife, fork and napkin were set, and the chair ready, in case someone called. My mother would make slightly too much food for the family to eat.
This place for the ‘unexpected guest’ is an old Irish custom, (still prevalent in parts of Ireland). A weary traveller might knock on your door looking for shelter. And the Irish, being one of the most hospitable people on earth, want to offer more than just shelter from the rain. (It is always raining in Ireland).
I didn’t really understand the idea when I was young; it seemed nice but pointless, and we never had any unexpected guests, so what was the big deal? Still, I remember this every Christmas.

It is a generous thought to want to have a guest to share the food.
At a deeper level it is an openness for the unexpected. When I Googled ‘unexpected guest’, the hits I got were mostly for something scary, (there is a famous murder mystery called ‘The unexpected guest’.) as if an unexpected guest was a bad thing.

The word ‘expect’ is derived from ‘ex’, meaning ‘before’, and ‘spect’ meaning ‘see’, so some thing is expected if you have seen it before, and unexpected if you have not. So it is new and let’s be glad the unexpected happens. We cannot predict what happens from one minute to the next, there is always the possibility for surprise. Life would be so boring otherwise.

Yet we spend a lot of time, effort and energy trying to control our environment, shutting out the possibility of the unexpected as if it were a burglar. What distinguishes a guest from an intruder is the attitude with which you meet them, (always providing they do not intend to cause to harm). A guest is not an intruder, quite the opposite, they are welcomed.

When the unexpected does come, we often try to diminish it, and we do this in two ways.
One is to say: ’I knew it anyway’ and if this does not work, then we fall back on the second option: ‘Well, anyway, it’s not important’.
A pity, an unexpected opportunity might go to waste.

Welcome the unexpected guest, there are many out there, waiting for a chance to come in. They have interesting and wonderful stories to tell and might give you the idea for a new adventure.  Have a place at your mental table for them so you can hear their travellers’ tales. As coaches, if we do this ourselves, we will be able to help our clients see the possibilities in their experience, there is a new year starting every day.

Here is a poem called the Guest House by the Thirteenth Century Sufi Jalaluddin Rumi.
It gives the deepest insight into the unexpected.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honourably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

To learn more about Joseph O’Connor:

Moral and Civic Education – by Andrea Lages

Moral and Civic Education – by Andrea Lages

Moral and Civic Education – by Andrea Lages

In my early years of school, one of my favorite subjects was called Moral and Civic Education.

Depending on when each reader lived his childhood, he will know what I mean.

For those who do not know, M.C.E. was a formal and compulsory subject in schools, which was intended to help educate good citizens, who knew their duties and rights.

But this goal I only discovered recently, at that time the literal meaning of these words never occurred to me, I simply loved to paint the cartoons of the comic strips, the Brazilian flag, and to talk about the daily facts of my city and country. This was much cooler than decorating the tables or learning about things that had happened and stopped happening hundreds of years before I even existed!

The other day, driving back to my house here in London, I watched people cross the street in front of me, and thought… how do the moral values of a culture or region directly reflect the everyday reality of an entire nation?

And I’ve thought of all the countries I’ve been to, which are dozens of them, and cultures in general, and how clear it is to understand which are those values established strongly from the cradle, in that culture of which that person did and of which he is a part.

An IVH (Human Value Index) survey conducted by the UN (The United Nations) showed that in the opinion of Brazilians, in general, what it is necessary to change in Brazil for quality of life to improve is, first, education, followed by public policy, violence, moral values ​​and employment. In the State of São Paulo there was a variation in relation to the national opinion, with moral values ​​first.

Most likely, if the same survey were done in England or in any other country, the result would be another.

And it occurred to me: This applies not only to countries, but also to each of the families and the citizens.

If we stop to think, we will see clearly how the values we experience (or not) in our home, influences our life in general.

I particularly have two very strong and unshakable values, one is respect, and the other is honesty.

I cannot imagine a satisfactorily happy life without the presence of one of these two values.

And analyzing my reality, I see how everyone in my house also adopted the same guiding values, just as I adopted the values of the other members of my family.

And in that I thought as I watched people cross the street… in the tranquility I was feeling, standing at the traffic light, with the glass open, and not even thinking about checking the mirror to make sure no one was approaching to rob me. And everyone around me was acting the same way.

The boy who appeared to be about 10 years of age crossing the street alone, with his school bag, talking on his iPhone, the executive with his backpack, who did not try to disguise the presence of a laptop, and the old man, who walked calmly on the street with his walking stick, not being hit by the other pedestrians, and not bothering to finish crossing quickly, just in case the green light turned red for him.

And I realized the main reason for me to love London, is because people and their values, build a nation and (regardless of the weather), build the quality of life they have. (I’m not just referring to London, but mentioning what I observed while thinking about it. Of course, I love Brazil a lot, however, for different reasons.)

Our values build our reality, as long as we are congruent with them!

After all, what good is it to value education if you’re too lazy to read a book?

Or honesty, if you’re happy when you get a little extra change and you don’t even consider returning the difference to the cashier?

Returning to Moral and Civic Education, and knowing that it is no longer compulsory in schools, what can each of us do to incorporate it into our routine to contribute to a more moral and civically satisfying society?

To learn more about Andrea Lages’s trainings in Brazil, please send an email to

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