How I came out of my shell, gained confidence and improved my resilience.
The Baker Library, Harvard Business School
Even the most talented and successful athletes need a coach. Coaching has been an integral part of my ongoing professional and personal development for many years. Three great coaches have had a significant impact on my career. They've helped me to come out of my shell, gain confidence and improve my resilience. In each case the coaching experience helped me move on to bigger and better things.
Even the most talented and successful athletes need a coach. Three great coaches have helped me move on to bigger and better things.
Coming out of my shell.
People who’ve met me in a business context may not realise that I’m an extreme introvert. When I first started going to corporate functions, I found them paralysing. I was terrified of talking to anyone and would wait for others to start a conversation. Even though I wanted to contribute to the conversation, I found it difficult to do this.
Michael Doneman of Edgeware is a coach who helped me to overcome this fear. I met Michael when I studied Creative Industries at QUT and felt that there was a good alignment between our approaches. During my coaching program with Michael, I worked on my ‘ferociousness’ so that I could let my true self shine through, giving people I meet the opportunity to know me better. With Michael’s drama background and active meditation practice, he helped me to become more conscious of the connections between my mind and my body. I felt more comfortable in my personal and professional interactions and this helped me to take on new challenges that I may have avoided in the past.
In 2012 I was privileged to win a scholarship to Harvard Business School through the QUT Alumni program, Fostering Executive Women. The Harvard program was truly transformational and the coach assigned to each of us was a key part of this experience. Pam Lassiter was my coach for this program. Pam is quietly spoken, definitely not the ‘rah! rah!’ style of coach that some people might imagine. I didn’t need pushing to work harder or to achieve more, I had that covered. Instead I needed permission to stop, to think more deeply and to reflect more fully. Pam’s coaching style gave me that opportunity and I was able to make some important decisions about who I am and what I want from my career and my life.
The Harvard experience dramatically improved my confidence in many contexts and as a coach Pam had the wisdom and insight to ask the right questions at the right moments. I was able to see that even if I work alone, I don’t need to walk alone. This gave me the confidence to be secure in my decisions and to genuinely acknowledge the value I can bring to make a difference in the world. On my way home from Harvard, probably for the first time in my life, I struck up a conversation with a stranger on the train. For me this was proof that the experience had made a real difference and that I was now open to new opportunities.
Not long after I returned from Harvard, I was pregnant with my first child. I experienced nine months of morning sickness followed by the arrival of a beautiful baby girl and then six months of complete sleep deprivation. Becoming a new parent challenged my resilience and I needed to find strategies to meet these demands.
Josie Thomson was recommended to me as an outstanding coach who would challenge my thinking. Josie is open and compassionate and through her neuroscience insights, she helped me to change some of the habits that were no longer serving me well. With Josie’s guidance I improved my resilience and I now feel better able to manage the many demands of my life while still maintaining my health, nurturing my relationships and growing my business.
Finding a best fit
I’ve never been in favour of a one-size-fits-all approach. In my own work I think it’s important to apply the appropriate measures for the challenge at hand. Through each stage of my career, I’ve sought different coaches for the particular challenges I’ve faced.
Great coaches have helped me to come out of my shell, to improve my confidence and to build my resilience.Coaching, with its one-on-one delivery and individualised focus, provides a flexible addition to my overall professional and personal development program. In each case where I’ve sought coaching, I’ve been open and willing to change and ready to take certain risks to improve my outcomes. The coaches I’ve worked with have acknowledged this as an important part of the success of coaching. In the future I’ll need different coaches for different reasons and I’ll continue to seek those who are the best fit for my needs at the time.
If you'd like to have a chat about how coaching could help you please feel free to contact me.