“I would recommend coaching to anyone who wants to overcome any personal inhibitions that are holding them back from achieving more. It is also good for challenging yourself if you are in a senior position and want to continue developing.” Esther Preston
I met Lucy when she delivered an innovation and creativity workshop for directors of income generation from hospices throughout the UK. It was a quick fire and practical day on how to drive innovation in our organisation including; creating a supportive culture for ideas to flourish, how to generate our own ideas and using an innovation methodology to test and adapt to ensure the best ideas happen.
We learned how to lead our teams to be innovative and refined our own personal approach to innovation and creativity. It highlighted how much impact the response I give to my team about their ideas could have, on whether their ideas even get off the ground.
I came away inspired from the workshop, thinking about all that I could achieve with my amazing team, and across my whole organisation. Lucy mentioned that she did coaching. I knew that I wanted support to;
- Develop my creative thinking and capacity to deliver innovation and support my team in doing this
- Develop my personal brand positioning and become better networked
- Work through specific challenges as they arise.
I wasn’t sure if it would work because we are based in different parts of the country and wasn’t sure what to expect. I was unsure how much more I would be able to get done and was mindful of being able to action any outcomes of the sessions.
We had an initial phone call to talk about what I wanted to achieve and how we would work, what I could expect and how often we would have coaching sessions. I think it’s important to have good rapport if you are choosing a coach and I knew we already had that from the innovation workshop, but sometimes on the phone it can be different.
We coach by Skype a couple times a month, first thing in the morning so I can do it from home before going into the office. Skype works for me better than phone because you can see the other person. It also felt more natural and easier to concentrate than just a phone call.
Lucy has helped me build my confidence for public speaking I can now stand up and inspire a room, I still have nerves but I do it. I regularly get asked to speak at dinners about my charity and I now look forward to this rather than dread it. Coaching has helped my confidence to go into a room of strangers and network, for example when Lucy had her book launch in London, I wanted to go and use it as an opportunity to network, which would usually be totally out of my comfort zone. It helped that she had previously connected me with some of the people there so I knew some familiar faces. I’m now a published blogger and it’s built my confidence and profile when people comment or share my ideas. I’ve also, through my increased networking focus been introduced to people who have read my blog which is a great start to a conversation.
One key thing that has made a difference is my perception of how people respond to me. Instead of assuming at a networking event or giving a talk that people will not be interested in anything I have to say, I now see it as a great opportunity to connect with people who share my values.
My future ambitions are to lead my team well, work with my new networks and use new approaches to diversify income streams to enable more people to access hospice care when they need it most.
“People can achieve so much in a relatively short timeframe when they focus on what they want and seek the support to help them achieve it. It’s a pleasure to work with Esther because she gets things done, and is not afraid to challenge herself and step outside of her comfort zone to achieve her goals.” Lucy Gower, Director, Lucidity