I had a coaching session last week with a VP of Success who had reached her 6 month mark at a company that makes software for innovative retail brands. On our Zoom call, I noticed behind her a set of bright green lockers she said held craft supplies that fueled her hobby. I could hear in her voice that she really loved her job as it blended her professional interests and her creative passion.
She had a meeting coming up soon with the two Co-Founders of her company to talk about her first 6 months. She reports to one of them and is part of the leadership staff, so they had clearly seen her work in action. But she had this nice opportunity to recap her first half year.
During our coaching session, I suggested she prepare by thinking about two questions:
1. How did she want her audience to feel at the end of the meeting?
2. What were the key messages she wanted to get across?
This concept of thinking about how you wanted your audience to feel really resonated with her. Of course! That is why artists spend time making beautiful pieces. It is all about how the observer feels when they see your artwork or when the recipient opens the package to reveal your gift. As we realized she could apply this same concept to her discussion, ideas began to flow easily and build her confidence in how to approach this potentially intimidating pair of executives.
This is how she said she wanted her Co-Founders to feel. The themes are pretty universal for any similar discussion with a CEO or founder:
1) Confident that she knew what she was doing in her role and that she was absorbing what she needed to know about the business and its customers
2) Reassured that they had made the right hiring decision 6 months ago to put her into this important leadership position
3) Encouraged that she had a well thought out plan for how to scale the organization and deliver the expected results
4) That she was establishing strong relationships with her peers on the leadership team and that she was becoming a trusted partner to them
5) That she was committed to the company’s success and aligned to the company goals
With these objectives in mind, she left our call energized that she could lead the discussion, share relevant stories, and demonstrate progress that would leave her co-founders feeling the way she wanted them to feel. I can’t wait to hear how her meeting goes.
I am also appreciative of the gift that she had given to me. Our conversation made me feel inspired. I always learn so much from the leaders I coach. In this case, she got me thinking about what’s inside my own “green locker” and how it lends creativity and energy to the work that I do.