Fear of Presentations and Meetings
M wanted to be able to deliver effective presentations and contribute confidently in significant meetings. He became very nervous before these events, and tended to stumble; he thought that people switched off when he spoke, that he had no charisma or authority, although he was very bright.
M’s style was very focused around his ‘thinking’ mind; he felt as if he was just a clever brain. His high intelligence had enabled him to progress in his career, but he now needed to harness his emotional range, his physical presence and his personal values, in order to be able to share with others the valuable knowledge and analysis that he had to offer.
We looked at M’s values around his knowledge and its importance, to provide a solid motivation to improve in his weaker area – rather than giving in to the temptation to avoid the meetings and presentations. We used examples from his non-work life to enable him to notice and harness the bodily sensations that accompany a confident delivery style. We explored his emotions of fear and anxiety, and the hormonal responses involved, to convert them into the more positive feeling of nervousness which drives good performance.
M was able to use this work to successfully deliver a presentation to 50 people, and to attend meetings without fear. He has had great feedback. This results from using a holistic approach to counter his original narrow view of his attributes.
D had become pregnant more quickly than she expected, and did not feel ready for her baby. As well as being tired from the physical changes taking place in her body, she was overwhelmed by the practical issues that needed to be addressed, and was worried about how she would balance her baby's needs with her own.
D's coaching gave her the space to confidentially explore her thoughts and feelings about pregnancy and motherhood. We were able to engage her 'thinking brain' to untangle her emotional overwhelm and to accept her physical tiredness. We also looked at the factors that would impact her baby's wellbeing and her own. This led to a clearer understanding of her priorities for herself and her baby, so that she was able to make plans for her delivery, her working life, her living arrangements and her family time.
S had worked for a large corporation for 25 years, and felt she needed a change. She was considering starting her own business, utilising the skills and knowledge she had accumulated in her career. But she was unsure about giving up the security of employment, and about whether her business would be successful.
We explored S's hopes and plans, and also her fears; S had a well developed 'critical voice'. We put together an action plan to enable her to get her business started, and to manage the risks involved. We used this to help S keep on track with the business launch - the coaching provided her with accountability to get things done, when they might otherwise drift or be sabotaged by her critical voice.
Recent Board Promotion
E was recently appointed to Board level and wanted to 'hit the ground running' in her new role. She knew she had the characteristics and experience to perform well, but wanted to have the best possible chance of a good start.
E had a good awareness of emotional intelligence. We leveraged this to explore E's understanding of her peers and her team - their personalities, drivers and concerns. With this understanding, E was able to plan how best to approach her new role, and how to form alliances that would help her succeed.
When a challenging situation arose with a colleague, we used specific techniques to understand the situation from the other person's point of view and to assess options for resolving the conflict. This involved looking also at E's communication style, which needed in some situations to be more structured and persuasive.
E made a success of her new role and, just as importantly, enjoyed it.
Anxiety and 'not fitting in'
L was plagued by anxiety and panic attacks. Interactions with others at work left her agonising over what they thought of her. Her boss had given her feedback that she needed to change her style, but L did not know how to go about this, and the feedback made her feel that she was a failure and could not be herself.
As we explored these worries it became clear that L's family background had left her feeling that she could never be 'good enough' and also that she was relatively introverted. She learned to be less hard on herself and to understand and value her characteristics as an introvert. She was changed by our work - not to fit the expectations of others, but to be her real, unique self. This resolved her anxiety and negative feelings about herself, and enabled her be much happier and effective at work.
Addicted to sweets
S came for help because she felt addicted to sweets and chocolate. She indulged several times a day in secret and the habit was seriously affecting her health and quality of life. We explored S's lifestyle, habits and emotional life, as well as her history with food. S came to understand the influences underlying her reliance on sweets and chocolate. She was able to change not only her habits but also her underlying feeling about these foods, so that she no longer craved them. She can now enjoy them from time to time in moderation, without this feeling like a restriction. She has lost weight, but more importantly is free from what felt like a compulsion.
T wanted to lose weight. In addition to working on tools and information to help her lose weight, we explored her life history to find out what might be driving and perpetuating her over eating. It became clear that some distressing events in her life were still severely affecting her, and we took time to gently revisit these, in a way that she could cope with. Over time these events took on a less distressing shape and became manageable (though important) parts of her life story. T's started to develop hopes and dreams for a different future, and her weight reduced.