I have worked with Bruce for the past two years where he has coached me through some big transitions in my career – primarily around acclimating to new environments, growing as a professional, and overcoming some-major mental obstacles. This allowed me to chase my big dreams. I wanted to share some of my journeys so far with Bruce as a coach – Needless to say, if you are looking to grow both personally and professionally, with the guidance of a trusted partner, I would highly recommend chatting with Bruce.
Understanding your story: Bruce goes out of his way to really invest in and understand your story. I believe that this is a crucial factor in building trust and having an honest and authentic conversation about yourself and your life. Over time, I have realized that people often have their own patterns. If you want to break those patterns, you need to make a very deliberate effort to do so and most likely you will not be able to on your own. Early on in our journey together, Bruce went out of his way to understand my story – my upbringing, education, and motivation. We also looked at the important relationships in my life. Bruce really went out of his way to listen and determine which events, experiences, or relationships have made you who you are today.
Understanding your own risk factors: Early on in our conversations, Bruce and I went through a few tests. I have a scientific, data-driven style of working and specific weaknesses also. Before this exercise, I had always seen some of those risks as “core strengths” but Bruce walked me through the impact that some of these variables can have on my teams and how I can behave in certain ways under pressure that I need to be cognizant about.
Helping assimilate to a new environment: I made a career move that required me to fit into a very different culture. For the first few months, working in a new role and organization, I was falling back into “my old ways” and that was causing me much anxiety and self-doubt. I wondered if I was “fitting in”, but, with Bruce’s coaching through the change, he helped me understand the behaviours that I needed to change and how to look at the world through a new lens. Once I started taking control of the situation, I understood how to utilize my core strengths and make adjustments to integrate them into the new work-culture.
Looking at the inter-relationship of our personal and professional self: I believe that many professionals actually try to make a strong distinction between your personal and professional personas; however, being human, there is a large intersection between our two selves. Bruce actually goes out of his way to understand the source of our quirks. After understanding the motivations behind them, he links them back to your professional self in a very thoughtful and articulate manner.
Answering the why: Bruce has spent many hours helping me discern my true motivations. Many times we do things because “it is what you are supposed to do.” With Bruce, his methodology really helps you understand your own principle drive for yourself. He’s peeling your layers like an onion: until you realize the core of why you want to do the things you do. Using my own case, I’ve developed several habits that I’ve labelled as the “socially acceptable.” Bruce actually helped me understand the driving force behind my thought process: he helped me understand why I don’t take big bets that I thought would have paid off. Unlocking this, once I knew the why, it really increased my drive to accomplish new things. I understood when I should take risks when I should move forward for the right reasons.
Putting theory into practice, but not having to do it alone: Sometimes when we want to change specific deeply-rooted behaviours, we are actually not aware that we are even doing it. Bruce helped me open up, to lean on others and trust people. In the team exercise, people pointed out when I was falling into my old ways of acting alone. These very simple reminders help you see what your default autopilot is like. I really like the approach that Bruce takes: going beyond a theoretical discussion, for a few hours, we actually create confidants around us. The whole group continuously guides you through the changes you are trying to make in your professional life.
Taking the time to reflect and grow: Currently, I’m taking a break to reflect and grow. Throughout our journey, I believe we hit the pedal to the metal every day. We hardly think about optimizing our own energy. We overlook the things that make us happy and are overly harsh on ourselves. I’m currently working with Bruce on techniques to really take a step back, breathe, and reflect. I think that growth affects all aspects of your life – emotional, spiritual, personal, and professional. As a coach, Bruce takes a holistic approach to wellness and well-being: he stresses that if you don’t feel good, positive, and secure at your very core, then it’s almost impossible to grow professionally.
Bruce has been such a fabulous guide, coach, and mentor. He really demonstrates care and kindness in a genuine and authentic manner. In a world where we put so much pressure on ourselves, it is important to understand the role that both the gas and brakes have in our life. Bruce has always put control and change back to us. He gives me more power to navigate through life. The feeling is truly empowering. I think Leadership coaching is suitable for everybody. We all need a professional to help us navigate through ourselves and the world around us. If you are thinking about it, I would recommend at least having an informal chat with Bruce. As he would say, “It is time to make yourself the hero of your own story”