Melanie’s story

Retail Manager

In what specific ways are you finding the way we are working together helpful?

You are removed from the situation, outside looking in, unbiased. Encourage. Praise. Recap. Listen. Go at my own pace, I always suggest when we next meet. You've encouraged us to meet not just when I've been faced with challenges but when things are going well, able to reflect on how far I have come.

What difference is it making to you and what changes has it enabled you to make?

Where do I start! You've given me confidence, determination. I've gone from being someone deemed as "under-performing" in the work environment to "very good". I make a difference! From surviving to thriving!

What has been the impact on your relationships?

In the context of my work relationships: Confidence, courage of my convictions, that it's ok to show my emotions sometimes, I'm human! (Before I would try and stay calm no matter what). To be myself.

Can you highlight one or two critical moments which were particularly significant?

The diagram you drew of a small circle inside a larger circle. Inside the small circle is my comfort zone. Outside the small circle is "out of my comfort zone". As my comfort zone grows, the "out of my comfort zone" area gets smaller. I cannot tell you how many times I have used this with my team!

Melanie: "I can't do "complicated"

Nick: "Yes you can do "complicated", you just need to distill things down to enable yourself and others to understand them."

Melanie "Oh! Yes that's a better way of putting it! I CAN do complicated!

The realisation that everything you have suggested has ALWAYS worked out OK when I have followed this! It's taken a lot of planning, bravery and coming out of my comfort zone on my part, but has always turned out OK and I've always got the result I need.

I also remember in the early days of us meeting, one thing that I found challenging was the weekly leadership meetings as I was being singled out by my head of branch in front of the other managers and asked tricky questions when he knew full well I was struggling and it felt a bit like I was being kicked when I was already down. You really broke this situation / environment down and we worked on it for weeks! A few simple things really clicked like me saying I'd go first in the meetings to get my bit out of the way so the panic didn't build in me while he went round the other managers first. And you also suggested coping mechanisms for if I was asked a tricky question to say "that's a really important question...." which gave me a few extra moments to work out how I was going to answer it!

What could we do differently to be even more effective?

More cake? Seriously I can't think of anything, and if I ever do I'll let you know!

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