In this commercial feature on behalf of Design the Future Career Coaching we find out how Liz Lyon helped one lady bring out her best.
Alice (name & details changed for confidentiality) was referred to me by a colleague. She was still sceptical about coaching, however. So, during her free initial consultation, we spent some time dealing with her doubts.
She worried that coaching might be a vague, indeterminate series of chats with no concrete results or that she might be "put on the spot" and asked to do things she wasn't ready for. She also imagined that it would be expensive.
I was able to reassure her, firstly, that these misgivings were quite common and, secondly, misplaced. I explained that we would agree beforehand the number of sessions, the final goals and those for each session and that she would decide where she wanted to be and how she would get there.
My role would be to ask the questions that would help her to accomplish this process. I would also, with her permission, challenge her negative ideas about herself when necessary.
With regard to the money she would be spending on herself, I asked her to think of a recent considered purchase. She mentioned an outfit she'd bought for a family wedding - the figures were roughly the same. She realised that the returns from investing in coaching would be considerably greater - not only for her but for her partner and children as well! We also reflected on the cost to everyone of not making any change - or making the wrong one.
Alice was at a point in her life where she needed to make some decisions about the future. She had been in a mid-level management position with a healthcare company for several years and her income was a significant part of the family finances.
However, she had pretty much exhausted the growth potential of the job and any promotion would involve a move to Head Office which would mean commuting. There were also rumours of a takeover and possible redundancies. Should she jump before she was pushed? Either way, what should she do afterwards?
We agreed an initial series of seven sessions, during which we would explore and increase her options and at the end of which she would have a clear picture of how to progress from there.
She said later that she really began to enjoy coaching when she realised that each week she had a calm space and time to review her situation with someone who actually listened to her, whose opinions weren't coloured by previous knowledge and who was committed to her success.
It was important to Alice to balance her own and the family's needs and this was a fundamental part of the step-by-step process from which two things became clear: first, she loved travel and the idea of turning this into a career really appealed. Second, she'd had enough of working hard to further someone else's goals.
After retraining, she's well on her way to setting up an independent travel consultancy. She's also booked more coaching to help her make sure she manages her time efficiently and gets the most out of her new business.
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