So, when was the last time anyone listened to you? I mean for more than 30 seconds. When did you have the time to hear yourself explain your situation and delve deep into your stack of ideas, concerns, dreams, challenges, annoyances, fears, plans, aspirations, creativity and all the rest?
I have found that Women Executives, in my humble opinion, need to be listened to…. deeply. Once in a while, you need to be listened to for more than 30 seconds. For more than 5 minutes. You benefit from being listened to, and engaging in discussion for an hour, or two hours, or occasionally – it has happened – 4 hours or more. (Men I have worked with can hold a conversation about themselves, their work, etc. for a couple of hours max. Why? To be honest, it may not matter, this is only my experience, but I have some ideas, which will enlighten you, and show you the power of the feminine.) But if a woman executive from almost any discipline is given the space and care to have this experience, then the results are extraordinary; one case produced many results, one of which was worth £14,000,000 (circa $20m) to the business. I’ve seen it again and again. Of course, it’s not necessary to hold marathon sessions every time. The majority of sessions are an hour to 90 minutes. Sometimes though, they happen a few times over the entire coaching tenure. For other clients, it’s only once. But generally they’ll know when they need it. It’s also true in my experience that women clients (more than men) benefit from having the space for occasional 10-15 minute interim sessions, by phone usually, sometimes unscheduled or at short notice.
So you’re in such a marathon session. What happens? Since it’s my clients’ i.e. your space, I leave it mostly unstructured apart from holding the intention of getting to one or many very useful end results. We often won’t even know how long it’s going to take. We just go.
An unfolding occurs and all sorts of gems surface. It’s extraordinary. Yes, I ask questions and sometimes share my experience, techniques and stories, so it becomes a kind of developmental conversation of discovery. Several things can happen. I can reflect back what I heard. This seems to somehow take the learning, creativity or understanding to another place. Perhaps just hearing back the concepts that your brain transmitted to your vocal cords, back through your auditory channels from another person gives just enough perspective shift to spark new thinking.
I can ask for more information, more thinking and more clarification. I can reflect on how I’m feeling from time to time, because that’s how you’re coming across. Am I feeling excited, bored, confused, flooded, dizzy, on the edge of my seat? There’s gold in these reflections because it’ll show you how you influence others too, sometimes when you don’t even know.
But always I’m interested. It’s like listening for gold. It’s fun, it’s exciting and you’ll teach yourself more than you thought you knew.
Is there a faster way? I have some powerful tools that surface all sorts of useful realisations that take an hour or so, but you’ll know when a long session is the right thing to do. And things might never be the same.
Contact me if this resonates with you. It’s why I’m here.