Case study: The power of coaching

“Finding out that how I felt about my work performance had an actual name made me feel much better - it meant I wasn’t alone”

This is the story of one of Debra’s clients who prefers not to be named.  She is Head of HR at a Staffordshire-based business. Debra Cadman was recommended by her client’s FD and, without any preconceptions or expectations, they met up and embarked on a journey that has turned out to be something of a game changer.


“Although I had earned my place on the Executive Board, I didn’t always believe that my contribution was substantial or valuable enough. My confidence had ebbed to such a degree that I was overwhelmed and sure that I  was ill-equipped to do the job well. Early on during my first session with Debra Cadman it became clear that this self-sabotaging mind-set wasn’t peculiar to me. I was suffering from Imposter Syndrome, a common trait which manifests when someone is feeling inadequate in their role. Giving something a name somehow made it easiest to accept – it meant that I wasn’t the only person who experienced this level of anxiety in their daily working life.”


Through several sessions, talking through her role, she explained that Debra had guided her gently to a place where she was  able to think more clearly, define and resolve issues and embark on her career with more pleasure, confidence and satisfaction. She stated - “I have no idea how she did it but Debra allowed me to reconcile myself.  She challenged me without any confrontation. She made me see that I should make the most of who I am, what I do and appreciate what I do well, without over-focusing on what I could do better”.  


Debra applied her inimitable style of directness,  humour, warmth and complete understanding to navigate her client through this difficult point in her HR career.  “Without this intervention there is no doubt that I wouldn’t have been able to carry on in my role” she concluded. 


A few coaching sessions renewed her lost self-confidence and returned her assertiveness so she is now able to flourish and enjoy her work, making the contributions she knows are valuable and worthy of attention.  “Debra talked normally to me, without intellectualising everything. She didn’t judge or criticise.  Looking back, I had all the raw attributes but they just needed reframing  and that was down to me to sort out.”

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