Client Spotlight: Sarah Green

Sarah Green is a writer, editor and consultant with experience communicating with diverse audiences, from farmers to chefs to government officials. A graduate of the University of Kansas journalism school, Sarah has written for local and national publications including The Hutchinson News, the KHI News Service and Saveur magazine. She is also the project manager for the Statewide Partnerships for a Healthier Kansas initiative for the Kansas Health Foundation and believes in the power of good communications to make Kansas communities healthier for everyone. She lives in Wichita but calls central Kansas home. 

My work as a consultant requires me to solve problems on a daily basis. But earlier this year, I faced a situation that was particularly challenging, and I realized I didn’t know which tools to use to find the right solutions.

And, what was worse was that I realized I could be contributing to the problems of the group, preventing it from making progress toward its goals.

I had worked with coaches before through structured leadership programs and for professional development purposes with very positive results. I didn’t need to be convinced of the merits of coaching, but wanted to find the right coach to help me through this particular situation.

I receive regular emails from Link Resource Group, and generally read the content with interest.  During this challenging time, I opened one that sounded particularly promising.

“Leading Through Inquiry,” the subject line said. “Do Ask, Don’t Tell.”

“Aha!” I thought. Perhaps this was something worth considering.

I had been thinking about the concept of leadership as an activity, as opposed to a position. In my particular situation, I didn’t feel like I had much traditional “authority,” but wondered if I could contribute in another way.

Even with all the right ingredients in the mix – wanting to find a coach, believing in coaching in general, even having a specific topic in mind – it took me almost four weeks to reach out to Tim.

I still felt nervous asking for help.

Once I gathered the courage to send an initial e-mail, the rest of the process went smoothly. I had the ability to set up a flexible yet defined series of conversations that helped me think differently about how to interact with others in the group. I became more aware of how I walked in to meetings and how I considered my own answers to tough questions.

I also realized that while I wanted to work on a specific challenge, the ideas with which I experimented on my specific challenge were applicable to other situations in my professional life.

I learned that I needed the most help with reminding myself to stay focused on my original purpose. Knowing that you want to change something about your self is one thing, but being able to remember to try new approaches in the meeting or in the moment takes practice.

And I noticed that just a small change in my approach – not creating a “whole new me,” but just a slightly different version of myself – paid off with significant results.

As I head in to the new year, I’m glad that I made the investment in coaching. I feel more equipped to face the challenges that I know are ahead. Overcoming the anxiety about asking for help was a big step for me; if I had one thing to recommend, it would be to just do it. Pick up the phone, send the first e-mail. I believe you’ll be glad that you did.

Tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *