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Confidence and direction

When I met Aude – a brilliant engineer with an MBA from a top European business school – for a preliminary meeting, it was not clear to me why she sought coaching. She was profitably employed in a job of prestige, bright, charming, attractive, already on several boards of directors, and happy in her personal life. Nevertheless, there was something she found dissatisfying in her life that she wanted to explore, believing it to be the present impasse she had reached in her current job.

In our first session, Aude set as her coaching objective a business goal she then promptly attained before the second session. She was dumbfounded to attain her goal so quickly, but I knew the easily achieved goal was just a red herring. I told her we had eight more sessions to explore whatever she wanted.

Slowly, through powerful questioning, visualization, and down-to-earth exercises from the Lifemanship manual, a new Aude began to emerge as if from a kind of chrysalis. Before coaching, she had been so focused on the success or failure of her current (tactical) job that she had lost touch with the long-term (strategic) aspect of a career.

During our sessions, she learned to identify her values and compare them to those of her entourage and profession, thus removing some of the cobwebs from her mind about The Ticking Clock and her choice of industry; she extended her world view, vicariously exploring alternatives on other continents and in other capacities; finally she created a Life Plan that was totally agreeable to her and that showcased a mindset that would enable her to stay alert to all of the opportunities that may come her way. At one of the check points along the process, Aude told me that she rated the coaching process 10 out of 10, “or even more”, because the sessions had taken her far beyond her initial expectations; they had completely opened new horizons and refocused her on long-term life essentials.

In that sense, professional coaching doesn’t necessarily give you what you want; it gives you more – more self-confidence and direction, more life alternatives, and, probably, more success, including money and serenity.

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