After practicing with me multiple times, I encouraged Dr. Jane to conduct a practice run with her entire staff of eleven employees the next day. I watched as she described to her team her fears, her many drafts of the speech, and her decision to seek help from a performance coach. After delivering her speech to this group, she asked for their honest feedback to help her improve. Her team was astounded at Dr. Jane’s vulnerability and openness to feedback. She had always been a formidable boss who seemed in complete control at all times and appeared intolerant of weakness in others. This small incident changed their perceptions of their boss and opened the doors for this entire team to communicate more effectively and honestly with each other. They gave caring yet constructive feedback that helped her deliver an exceptional presentation the following week. Through emails and phone calls I continued providing support up to and after her speech. When I last checked she was planning on taking her “show” on the road— delivering modified versions of this speech to area women’s groups, other community organizations and a local cable show. The appreciative coaching sanctuary had provided a safe container for Dr. Jane to face her fears, see her strengths, develop confidence, perform satisfactorily, and positively impact the communication dynamics among her business team.
As Maya Angelou, US poet laureate, has stated “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Appreciative coaching has made these dentists and veterinarians “feel” successful, pleased with themselves and more satisfied with life. It doesn’t get much better than that for this coach.
Adams, L (1989) Be Your Best – Personal Effectiveness in Your Life and Your Relationships. New York: Perigee Books.
Bergquist, W. and Mura, A. (2011) coachbook: A Guide to Organizational Coaching Strategies& Practices. Available on amazon.com.
Jameson, C. (2002) Great Communications = Great Production. Second Edition, Tulsa, Oklahoma: Penn Well Publishing Corp.Download Article 1K Club