At the end of a coaching relationship, I always ask for a testimonial, and I did exactly that with Sam. Months passed, and although sometimes I might write that testimonial off, I knew with him it was coming.
For social media, I've shared the last paragraph. And, knowing the monumental effort Sam has put into this testimonial, I thought it only fair that I created a place where I could share his unabridged full version - as it makes my heart sing. Here it is:
"At the time I was about to start my life coaching, I was overall doing ok, but I felt like I was sometimes spinning my wheels and going nowhere. The need for myself to be more assertive was apparent. In social situations I was often not viewed as a prominent person and often talked over, ignored or dismissed. In addition, I was struggling to assert my ideas and be taken seriously in my workplace.
I approached an ex-colleague of mine that I had kept in contact with. I spoke with her for some advice, about personal improvement and career development. I felt I needed to improve in some key areas to better my life and my work, I just didn’t quite know how or what to put my finger on. I was referred to an ‘animas’ page; a collective group of coaches.
My call for help was answered by several coaches, all offering their business to me. I immediately noticed one that stood out, Helen Unwin. Helen wasn’t at all pushy in her approach and she didn’t have to ‘sell herself’ to me. Rather, it appeared from the outset to be a more natural support offering. Helen offered me a no obligation phone call to get to know my situation better and see if she could assist. I did initially have a couple of phone calls with other coaches to compare what felt right. The discussion I had with Helen was very positive and the energy felt right. From there I decided to choose Helen for my coaching and we clicked - it was then only a path on upwards. Helen took the time to appreciate who I was and to understand my asperger’s, with my strong traits and my limitations. Helen adapted and made her sessions more flexible to me.
Together, we looked at areas in my life that I needed focus on. One was being more assertive in the workplace, to contribute ideas of value and to be better respected in social situations. Of course, there is the requirement for a good balance in situations like these. Helen helped me look internally about how to deal with these specific situations, and how to better deal with situations that are sometimes outside of my control. I could tell that Helen was a trained professional, knowing how to approach the topics with valuable insight. However, Helen has a gentle nature and good tact - more like having conversations with a friend, with the difficult truths being shown to me in the right way.
Since coaching, I can absolutely say that this past year has been the biggest progression of my life so far. Previously, I suffered from my over commitment to my self-detriment, being a people pleaser. I now have a far better self-management, with a good concept of time and opportunity cost. I no longer overthink key decisions or take too long to reach decisions. My ability to be assertive in the right manner has seriously helped my confidence and progression at work, with my manager commenting on my remarkable improvements in my latest review. The respect from my colleagues is more apparent and I feel more as part of a team, more valued and more valuable. With better time management, I was able to put myself out there and am now in a happy relationship of six months, after two and a half years single, being consumed by how ‘busy’ I was. My work life balance is just miles better and I have Helen to thank for so much.
Of course, without being naïve there are always areas for continuous improvement, but what a difference it has made. I am still in touch with Helen today and the support doesn’t drop silent after the coaching agreement ends, Helen touches base every now and then and continues to offer her support. I will certainly be continuing with Helen in future when areas arise that need improvement."