(Note: Names and other identifiers were changed to protect the confidentiality of my client.)
Bob has an engineering background and works with companies that design, build, sell, and manage residential communities. He has a solid track record, and not long ago he presented a business plan that helped resurrect a land development company out of bankruptcy. He then led the charge to convert one of its signature luxury communities into a major profit center.
But despite his talent and accomplishments, Bob had trouble promoting himself to senior decision makers. After he started to feel as though he was being pushed aside in his career he contacted me about private coaching sessions.
He said he was the invisible person in the room, unable to get his contributions noticed and his ideas appreciated. Bob had difficulty being assertive and felt a total lack of visibility. He sensed that his career was being sidelined, while others around him made rapid advancement.
That left him feeling less confident, which only made matters worse. After all, today’s competitive business arena typically rewards those who aren’t shy about promoting themselves and who show no lack of confidence at the conference table.
“When your own boss doesn’t believe in you,” Bob explained to me, “it’s not that easy to continue to believe in yourself.”
That’s when I suggested that we embark on a journey to reframe his outlook in a more positive way. Bob’s mental image of himself was unconsciously holding him back from playing a much bigger game. So we focused on actionable steps to change his perspective and give him a more empowered mindset.
I shared reframing techniques, for example, that helped Bob interpret his experiences in a healthier way. He learned that attitude isn’t automatic; it’s a personal choice. We also reviewed the power of language. I showed him ways to avoid the subtle negativity of words that express doubt, weakness, inevitable failure, or a lack of flexible options – replacing them with ones that generate positive impact
As we peeled back the layers, Bob began to develop a new view of himself that was fully compatible with his career objectives and lifelong dreams. He broke through the old barriers of deeply ingrained habits that had contributed to low self esteem
We had devoted a great deal of effort to removing subconscious self-limiting belief systems, so the next step in our process was to start uncovering Bob’s uniquely authentic personal brand.
He really liked the approach I take of building the brand around one’s own unique personality and natural gifts. I explained how effective branding reveals traits and truths that live within you, projecting them outwardly to your target audience. While doing the branding work, Bob realized that his true calling is building communities for people. That clarified his career path at a time when he was wondering whether or not he should leave his current employer. Plus it gave him a strong sense of professional identity and a vibrant link between the work he loves and the profession where his strengths shine.
Now Bob has a scalable, sustainable brand that radiates from a potent internal core. It also connects on a deeper level with everyone around him – generating instant credibility and memorable leadership presence.
Bob told me, “I want to better organize my internal thoughts and comprehension during conversations, so that I can respond with influence – rather than simply reacting under pressure.”
So the third phase of coaching emphasized verbal and nonverbal communication. Before we met Bob was not really able to clearly and convincingly articulate why he should be regarded as a value-adding asset. So we worked on persuasive communication skills and strategies to sell himself as a potential industry leader.
I helped him craft his own unique positioning statement and elevator speeches to impress others with his value. We worked on his public speaking skills, networking strategies, and formulas for increasing his online presence through social media technology.
During the course of our sessions together William was rewarded by his company with oversight of the whole marketing department and broader exposure and positioning with outside vendors. His compensation package was drastically increased through a combination of financial bonuses and new executive leadership responsibilities. He was asked to represent his organization at industry events for top senior executives, too. He took advantage of that rare opportunity to build and strengthen the new brand I helped him craft – using strategic professional networking and the cultivation of key relationships.
Since he came to me feeling stuck, we then mind-mapped his 5-year personal and professional plan for success. We also set benchmarks that allow Bob to monitor his progress and goal achievement yearly, quarterly, and monthly.
Bob began to reap immediate rewards from our collaboration, both internally within himself and externally within his company and industry.
“I could not have done this on my own without Sarah’s expert coaching,” Bob recently said. “This kind of confident belief in myself and bold action would have been impossible just a few months ago. But working with Sarah was a life-changing experience and an investment that will continue to pay increasing dividends for the rest of my entire career.”