FEATURED CASE STUDY
FEATURED CASE STUDY
“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.”
“I enjoy the confidentiality of the
setting and meeting people in a similar position to me, all with different outlooks and approaches”
Caroline Nock is a regular attendee at Debra's group sessions. She relishes the opportunity to take time out of her busy schedule to examine different challenges she is facing at work.
“One of the things I really appreciate is the timing and spacing of the sessions because a lot can happen in the interval between them” explained Caroline. “For example, at the time of the first session I was looking for a new role and at the most recent session I was talking about the challenge of starting my new position.
For Caroline, being uncomfortable talking about her achievements for fear of sounding boastful was holding her back at the interview stage. She felt unable to take personal credit for the successful projects she had managed and the group all came up with their own experiences of this with a number of solutions and strategies that Caroline was happy to employ.
Following her appointment in a new sector, Caroline explored the scope of her role with the group and benefited from the value of their input for her 90-day plan. They already knew Caroline through the previous sessions and understood her challenges. “It means that each day I spend in the team coaching sessions has a lot of value as it can bring fresh insight and intelligent feedback on any number of issues” she commented.
“It allows me time to think properly. I’ve always been a good listener but the structured, effective thinking is on another level. As we take turns in the group sessions I find that contributing to every else’s situations means I really listen and engage fully as my thoughtful response to their dilemma will be expected. It’s a great exercise.”
Also, as I find car journeys a good time to put some strategic thinking into place - the trip home from coaching is always productive!