I had asked Marion for a note she’d be willing to let me share with all of you. This is what she wrote about the conflict coaching experience so far…I’m humbled by her words and impressed by her attitude and spunk:
What I have found most helpful about the coaching I have had so far is the opportunity to do some brainstorming around the specific problem being tackled. For example, discussing a vexing problem with a client, and being reaffirmed that the behavior being exhibited by the client is detrimental to me. Helping me to find the words to say to talk to the client so that I can regain my footing and an even give and take. Instead of being taken advantage of over and over.
The coaching helped me to deal with a problem that had been going on for years, one that I wasn’t happy about. But I didn’t think I could do anything to resolve it. Working with Tammy gave me the tools and confidence to address the situation and make it better. I feel less like a door mat now!
Going forward I look forward to becoming more aware of situations with clients that can be addressed before they get out of hand. I have a tendency to not really see the problems as problems. Being more aware, and less accommodating of bad behavior can only make me a better businesswoman. I still need help finding the words to say, though I am sure the more I do it the better at I will get.
I look forward to my continued work with Tammy to get better at this!
Marion was kind enough to drop me another note a few weeks ago, updating me as we anticipate stepping back into the conflict management coaching relationship again this month. She’s not been slacking off! During the coaching hiatus, Marion used her seasonal slow time to continue experimenting with strategies for regaining her balance, practice in low-stakes moments so she’s able to respond more naturally in higher-stakes ones, and through these efforts, build her confidence. I had also suggested three books she might find relevant and informative reads.
Through her reading, reflecting, and willingness to watch herself during difficult situations, Marion has concluded that one of her biggest stumbling blocks is saying “no” when she’s uncomfortable with the direction a situation seems to be heading. In the past, she’s gotten frustrated with herself for not speaking up, then harbored resentment that later spills over into the relationship. She told me she’s realized that she needs to be able to say, “I’m not really comfortable” with what’s happening and invite the other person into further conversation instead of walking away or cutting things off.
She also shared a story about how she’s taken this revelation to heart and used it to step back into a conversation that didn’t go as she wanted, and to nip other potential problems in the bud. She concluded with, “I am feeling more in control, more powerful and less taken advantage of!”
Marion, if you’re reading this, my hat is off to you! You’ve done what many talk about but fewer make the effort to do: You’ve taken action to change the way you engage difficult situations and followed through with real commitment. I’m so grateful that you’ve been willing to let me blog about your efforts, because you’ve shown what’s really possible when we decide to make changes in our lives.
Thanks, Marion, for all you’ve done.