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Coaching Case Study - Self Confidence

What was the issue?

Inspiring Potential was asked to help a senior project manager, Kate, in the public sector. She was suffering from low self confidence which was making it difficult for her to command the respect of her project team even though she was technically competent.

How did coaching help?

Initially the coach asked Kate to open up about her life story. It seemed as though the low self confidence issue had been present throughout her teenage years right up until the time of the coaching (mid forties). Upon further exploration we discovered that it was linked to her having a critical father who demanded very high results from his children both academically and professionally. From her perspective it seemed that anything she did was never good enough to please him.

Kate felt good that she was able to open about this for the first time without fear of being judged. We discussed her father's positive intentions behind his critical behaviour. Kate had not thought about this before and acknowledged that he probably wanted her to be disciplined and work hard so that she would succeed in life as an adult. She acknowledged that he himself had been brought up in a tough-love way so this is what he assumed was the only way to raise a child. She was able to begin releasing her anger towards him and accept that he had actually helped her a lot in getting to where she is professionally.

Throughout the sessions, Kate moved from being in 'victim mode' to taking control and gradually trying out new behaviours that would take her out of her comfort zone. As an example she arranged lunches with her Director and some of her colleagues to interact better with them. She also took up gym membership to improve her physical well-being. During the discussions Kate learned to de-construct some of the limiting beliefs that had been holding her back, such as "I am not a good manager". When she shed such beliefs she was able to experience herself in a whole new way at work.

The Result

Kate is a vastly more confident person both on a personal and a professional level. Her latest 360 feedback report indicated that her colleagues had noticed the improvements and a braver type of leadership that she was demonstrating. Contrary to her fearing that they would think she was 'getting too big for her boots' they greatly welcomed changes in her.

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