Author: Clare Pickard, Career & Leadership Coach
I recently worked with Dina (name changed for purposes of this blog), an experienced professional with a background in the Sports and Leisure industry, who throughout her career had always performed well and had quickly progressed to a middle management role in her organisation. Over a number of years she developed solid relationships with her manager, felt supported by her senior leaders and valued for her contribution. As a leader, she enjoyed collaborating with her peers and coaching her direct reports. Overall, she was very engaged in her work and confident of her abilities to perform her role at a high level.
So, why would she work with a Personal Development coach?
The reason is that Dina was also a first-time mum who had recently returned to her workplace after parental leave. Instead of what should have been a seamless transition back into the workforce, she had a very disappointing experience attempting to negotiate flexible working arrangements. Prior to herparental leave she had been promised flexibility with the option of reducing her workload to four days a week, but upon returning she was ‘strongly advised’ that she should reconsider this arrangement, and so had no choice but to return to a full-time work load.
Additionally, when she returned, Dina discovered that whilst on leave her responsibilities had changed and she was now required to work in an area of the business in which she lacked both experience andknowledge. A change in structure also meant her previous manager had been promoted to an executive role and the individual to whom she was now reporting was somebody whom, until 12 months before, had been one of Sarah’s peers, putting significant strain on their relationship.
When Dina first came to see me, she was exhausted, de-motivated and stressed and was unsure if she wanted to continue with her role in this organisation.
Sadly, as a result of her return to work experience, a person who had previously been so confident and engaged in her role was now a mere shadow of herself. She lacked confidence in her technical abilities, her motivation was low and she felt scared to speak up in team meetings. In addition, she was fearful of what people were saying about her ability to manage her both her new role and motherhood, and felt her performance was now being unfairly judged by her new manager.
How a personal development coach can help
When Dina came to see me, she was seeking support in re-building her self-worth and inner confidence. She was also looking for advice on how to deal with conflict and the changes in the relationship with her manager and co-workers.
As part of her Personal Development Coaching program Dina completed the Life Styles Inventory (LSI) assessment, a self-development tool designed to measure constructive and non-constructive thinking and behavioural styles to understand what may be getting in the way of achieving our true potential.
Once she completed the program Dina had a greater awareness of the thought patterns and attitudes which motivated her behaviour and impacted the way she saw herself, the way she interacted with others, and her ability to handle change. She was able to gain clarity about her strengths and areas of development and put in place some strategies to help reframe her thinking and to build her confidence.
As a result, Dina recognised that the employer was no longer providing an environment that she enjoyed, or a role in which she felt fulfilled or valued. Importantly, this realisation was made with new found confidence that these factors were not a negative reflection on Dina, but simply that her situation had changed and that what was important to her was not to be found where it once was. Dina resigned from her role, and quickly secured a role in a different organisation in which she is happy, challenged and flourishing.
If you feel that you may benefit from working with a personal development coach to enhance your relationships and reach your true potential, then contact Clare Pickard via our contact page to organise a clarity call.