There are occasions when the timing of a person’s entry into the SheLeads programme is quite serendipitous.
Tara was one such individual who came across as a timid and tentative participant. The first coaching session that focused on Appreciative Inquiry, saw her breaking down while speaking to her coach. This is something that rarely happens in the very first conversation. For Tara though, it was one where for the very first time, she felt truly listened to without an iota of judgement. This connect seemed to be exactly what she needed at that point in her life.
In the company that she had been with for over a decade, she was an award-winning leader who handled a broad portfolio including talent acquisition, talent management and other HR practices. The difficult situation that defined her life at that moment was that she had just separated from her spouse and was also mother to a young daughter.
She had requested to be moved to a new location to put some distance between herself and her old life so she could have some space to think things through. She wanted to patch things up with her husband and she felt the distance would help.
So here she was, in a new place, a new set of people to work with and a new family unit consisting of her mother, her daughter and herself. Nobody in her new ecosystem was aware of her background and she wanted to keep it that way. She feared the judgement that this information would invariably evoke. While she also had to put on a brave front for her mother and her daughter, in reality, Tara had never felt more lonely or scared of what the future held for all of them.
When she entered the SheLeads programme, the strength-based psychometric instrument and the Appreciative Discovery Dialogue helped Tara understand all her strengths while also exploring ways in which she could leverage them. The intra-personal inputs in the life skills portion of the programme, helped her identify many of the beliefs that formed the basis of her outlook on life.
Through the coaching sessions, she was able to challenge each of these beliefs and arrive at new perspectives.
One of the most important shifts she made revolved around trying to patch things up with her husband. Every overture of hers seemed to meet with disastrous results. Her coach helped her stop and take a long hard look at the relationship. She began to realize that relationships can flourish only with mutual trust and respect. This helped her to let go and rediscover her own self-respect.
Tara’s other overarching belief was that people would judge her based on her marital situation. This belief extended to colleagues at work and she had refrained from sharing this information, even with her new boss.
As she challenged this belief along with her coach, she was also exposed to inputs on strengthening stakeholder management in the life skills workshop. Putting the two together, Tara came to the conclusion that people respected her for who she was and not what she was.
Once she made peace with herself and understood all that she had going for her, she realized that what other people thought no longer mattered. A great weight shifted off her shoulders and she felt free again!
With this new found courage, Tara went on a journey of exercising her independence. She invested in a car. She filed her IT returns by herself. Both of which she earlier depended on her husband to do. She had a heart-to-heart with her manager and was happily surprised by the empathetic response she received. She voiced out her need to learn and strengthen her knowledge to support her growth in the organisation. She was promptly put into various projects and interacted with different groups.
The internal transformation had resulted in an external transformation as well and there was no stopping Tara. She accepted and valued her redefined family unit and took every opportunity to strengthen her relationship with her daughter and mother. As part of the program’s sustainability measures, she chose both of them as well as her manager and a friend to be her accountability partners – people who would keep her motivated to stay the course she had set out on. She also knew her coach was always there for her, just a phone call away.
During the pandemic, when her boss quit, Tara was asked to take over as the CHRO of the organisation.
Troubled Tara had turned triumphant.
Note: This client story is representative of only the essence of all the work that actually happens in the programme. For more information on SheLeads : https://www.cfi.co.in/women-leader-development-sheleads/