Case Study - Jo's Story

Looking to break through the glass ceiling with your career?

Claire catches up with her client, Jo who is a Senior Leader for a large corporate organisation to share her success story to inspire other female senior leaders who have potentially hit the glass ceiling and at a cross road with their careers.

Why did you seek out a coach?

"When I reached out to Claire, I was at a point in my career where I was looking at what the next level was and what I wanted to go for. I was also struggling personally around confidence and self belief. I had a lot of support from different people including my peers, but for me, I wanted to do something, and invest in myself. That's why I reached out to Claire."

What reservations, if any at all did you have?

"At the time, I didn't really have any particular ideas or thoughts, I just knew I needed somebody to coach me by bringing my thoughts to the forefront of my mind and explore different ways to channel my energy to build my self confidence."

"I didn't have any reservations, I think it's always when you're going into these kinds of scenarios. It's about, you want to give it your all. You want to open up and really be true and honest. It wasn't a reservation, it was just more of a commitment that I needed to make that if I'm going to go into this, I need to go into it fully. That's quite a nervous thing to have to do, because you're opening yourself up to a lot of your vulnerabilities. It was at a time where I thought, well, I'm never going to get any further if I don't deal with a lot of things that were going on."

What made you decide to work with me?

"I believe you always need to connect with people and that's really important to me. From our interactions, Claire is very personable, and she's not afraid to ask the questions to get to the real truth. You've also got to have commitment from both sides to do that. I needed someone with life experience, because a lot of what I was going through, Claire could resonate with. She always asked the right questions which pushed and challenged me even though they were uncomfortable at times."

What did you hope to achieve?

" Gaining more confidence and self belief was the key thing I wanted to achieve especially as an over thinker. I always look at the worst case scenario and put doubts in my way. For me, I wanted to be confident with myself and know I'm not perfect and that's okay. I always thought you had to be perfect when actually it isn't, it's about understanding myself more. When I started taking action my confidence grew which is the reason why I am where I am now. I am certainly in a different place 12 months on than what I was at the start."

If you had to describe Jo 12 months ago, how different would she be to now?

"I do feel very different now and I don't necessarily just think it's in a work environment, I think it's in a personal environment too. Whilst I still overthink, I accept this is part of my DNA and I get through things a lot quicker. I'm really self reflective, less defensive, more confident with my ability and I no longer fear failure. Previously I held myself back because of that element of, I don't want to get it wrong, or I don't want to do it wrong. Now I just jump in and think, if I get it wrong, I'll learn from it."

What have been your key learnings & takeaways?

"My key takeaways are, I've more self awareness because in our sessions, Claire helped me delve into certain subject fields that I wanted to talk about which then went on a different tangent. It's that self awareness of being able to just go with the flow and not being too rigid with your thought process and being open to explore or challenge yourself, which I've probably never done before. Secondly, being able to speak quite openly and honestly has been one of the biggest things for me, being able to just really delve into the deepest, darkest thoughts. In some of the sessions, I've literally broken down in floods of tears purely because Claire really got in deep and delved to literally the core which everything else was connected to. Claire got me thinking like I had never thought before and thirdly, I never realised that it had such a massive impact, because Claire opened up a lot of those inner feelings that I never knew existed."

How has coaching supported you as a Senior Leader to develop your leadership skills?

"I've been more open to feedback than I ever have been. I actively go out to my team and ask for feedback. which I see it as a true gift. Whereas I think historically, maybe I was a little bit more different and civil, you know, you don't always want to hear the truth, however I embrace that now. Feedback enables me to be open and honest, I feel like I'm quite transparent. I've engaged with key stakeholders, especially people who report directly into me, just so that they understand the kind of person I am & where I come from. I'm really passionate about understanding where they are as well. My team challenge me, in fact, they challenge me a lot which I love. I need to make decisions and knowing my blind spots is helpful. I've got s strong team of managers as a result of the two way feedback"

If you were to recommend me to others, who would that be & why?

"I would recommend Claire to anybody that's at a crossroads especially if you are struggling with your confidence and the dreaded Imposter Syndrome which is holding you back from making decisions and taking action with your career progression. I've now gained clarity of the leader I want to be both personally & professionally. It's certainly worth the investment in yourself and the Ignite Your Potential programme"

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