Client: Can you give me ways to be calm and focused when I’m at work?
Coach: Tell me about a time when you were completely relaxed and comfortable just where you were.
Client: It was at my best friend’s house when we were talking about our kids.
Coach: What exactly was comfortable about it?
Client: There was a natural ease to the conversation where I didn’t have to struggle to be myself. I wasn’t wearing a mask, the way I feel like I do at work.
Coach: Why a mask? Do you not feel like yourself at work?
Client: In a way. I feel out of place, like I have to try to be someone else.
Coach: Where does that thought that you have to be someone else come from?
Client: Doubt, I guess. Because I feel like I don’t know what to do to take care of the situation.
Coach: What is it about your friend’s house that doesn’t instill doubt?
Client: Because I’m completely accepted in that environment.
Coach: Okay. What can you do to create acceptance of yourself at work?
Client: I suppose I can express myself truly.
Coach: Just as you are?
Client: Yeah I suppose.
Client: And then I’ll be at ease because I’m myself.
Coach: What is something you want to do just for yourself, as yourself?
Client: I’ve been putting off the company strategy for a while.
Coach: Can you share some reasons why?
Client: It boils down to doubt again, that I’m not a strategist.
Coach: What qualities define a strategist?
Client: Thinking ahead, thoughtful planning, accounting for uncertainties, patience as things change, being able to pivot when needed, adapting not reacting to market shifts, having a shared vision.
Coach: That’s a thorough list – how did you arrive at it?
Client: I’ve worked with leaders who think strategically.
Coach: What made them strategists?
Client: Hm, I’m not sure. I can tell you they cared about their company and people. They cared about their customers getting the most out of their products.
Coach: What were some of their doubts?
Client: They worried about payroll, board meetings, quarterly numbers.
Coach: How did they work through those doubts?
Client: They forced themselves to think long-term, think big picture, look ahead for roadblocks so they could avoid them.
Coach: How could you do the same?
Client: I need to get the team out of short-term thinking and think a year or two ahead.
Coach: When can you do that?
Client: We actually have a couple hours set aside next week for a full status update and we can talk about next year planning instead.
Coach: What makes you believe this is the right next step?
Client: I’m not totally sure about it, but I’m realizing that my doubts about strategy were getting in the way of thinking strategically.
Coach: Neat. Let’s talk about ways you can work through doubts…