What problem did Alice help you with?
I was looking for a coach to help me improve on my communications skills, especially with my boss and superiors in the organization. I was not comfortable sharing my opinion in meetings where there were individuals of higher rank. Basically, I lacked confidence in my own ideas when I was around the senior leaders in my organization. I also had problems communicating with clarity. I would find myself trying to explain something but not able to get my ideas across clearly. I work supporting some pretty complex IT systems and servers and I need to be able to explain what’s going on to somewhat nontechnical people. This was a challenge for me and I thought a coach might help build and improve my communication skills.
What were the solutions Alice offered?
Alice let me drive the issues that we worked on together based on what was currently challenging for me. She would ask me what issues and challenges were getting in the way and what would success look like if I felt that I was being really effective. The biggest issue we tackled was my lack of confidence in my own leadership abilities. I would hold back in meetings and Alice challenged me to just say what was on my mind. She wanted me to get comfortable sharing and organizing my thoughts. Alice even helped me rehearse what I would say when confronted in various scenarios. Alice was not afraid to role play or challenge me to open up. In fact, she made it easy and that’s when the real fun started. Getting to the core of my issues – whether it was confidence or deeper, Alice got to the truth and root cause of my issues. Once we got to the root cause, real progress and healing began. Alice is a great listener.
One of the most significant things Alice did for me was to give me a process to use to build my skill set. A process we worked on that I used was observing leaders around me in the organization. I would observe positive and negative behaviors from others. Whether it was in meetings or informal group settings, everyone displays characteristics that revealed who they are. I would then think about how I could use those positive behaviors in leading my own team. My objective was to improve. I had to find characteristics that fit my personality as well as offered an improvement. I defined for myself what a successful communicator looked like and then how to incorporate that into a polished more complete version of me. Look for it, try it, use it, it becomes a habit. That really worked for me.
I also learned that if I was honest with myself then I can be honest with others. Alice asked me to trust myself. Trusting Alice was easy, so when she said “trust yourself”, I remembered the pause. I still smile when I think of that moment. Confidence comes from trusting yourself. When I am being honest with others, I don’t have to think about what I am doing. It is just natural – Like breathing. Talking with senior leaders of the corporation really pushed me out of my comfort zone. Talking openly and honestly allowed me to focus less on the messenger and more of the message. Lacking confidence kept the communication off balance. Communicating effectively was awkward. Not anymore.
What were the results of your working with Alice?
I am much more confident of my ability to communicate with anyone in my organization. It now seems so easy. I now just let it out. Some of the things I tried to do to communicate better were explained to me by Alice. It took a professional to understand what I was doing and why it wasn’t effective. Alice diagnosed this and effectively worked with me on solving the problem. I still deal with some difficult people who can be cynical control freaks but I don’t let it get to me. I just let it go, it no longer bothers me. I am much more relaxed about my job, I have much less stress. This has been truly liberating. What used to stress me out doesn’t even faze me now. I use effective confident communication effortlessly now. I have challenged myself to study body-language to communicate even more effectively.
Alice gave me the tools and expected me to use them. Every time we met she would ask me what new behavior did I try and what were the results. I would then commit to try something new. These new actions built up over time to become subconscious behaviors. I now feel like I have my own, authentic leadership style that works for me. I can’t wait to try something new tomorrow…
Financial Services Firm