Before I started working with Nicole I was somehow frustrated, but didn’t know exactly why. I knew I was able to do good quality work, but didn’t know what I was exactly good at and didn’t know how to say what my number one ability or quality was. I didn’t know what to answer if someone asked me why I want to have a leadership position. I knew I had a problem with visibility, but I didn’t know why and I had no idea how to solve this.
Through coaching, I wanted to solve the question: Why do I want a leadership position? Am I really qualified for one? And I want to be on the list of people who are discussed for leadership positions in my company.
I tried solving this on my own first. I’ve done 360° feedback surveys, discussed my abilities and talents with colleagues and friends, and searched for courses on LinkedIn Learning (I found some, but did them more half-heartedly).
I got to know Nicole through one of the free sessions she offered and thought “why not give it a go…” Before I saw her offer I had never really thought about doing coaching.
But I was hesitant if this is the right time for an on-going commitment, because I was quite in a bad mood due to the pandemic and lockdown. I wasn’t sure if I could handle coaching on top.
To be honest I have quite some prejudice against some types of “Coaching” people, who can be totally over the top or even manipulative. Plus I was a bit demotivated by some “Power Talks” I heard of some successful women, who I could never identify with. Because they were not how I wanted to be, had the career I wanted to have, felt how I feel about my job. I’m just a normal woman, who doesn’t want to be a CEO, just wants to get at least SOME acknowledgement of her good work.
However I liked that Nicole has a science background herself, so she knows what she is talking about. And because I was only 90% sure after I checked her homepage, I asked a colleague who worked with her before. He said she’s “crazy, but in a good way and totally down to earth” and that’s what I was looking for!
I knew I needed someone more relatable, who can really explain the background of things I should do, because if I don’t have a good reason, I most probably won’t do it.
I felt good working with Nicole. I had to get used to talking about myself all the time with someone I didn’t know. That was a bit weird in the beginning.
Our conversation was always focused on the most important topic and Nicole made sure that we are not “wasting” our valuable time on “easy” problems, which could be solved with exercises she provided separately. I really liked that she makes sure that our time is well spent.
Between the coaching sessions I often caught myself thinking “Oh, Nicole would be proud of me” or “Hmm. I’m wondering what Nicole would say”. And I was always really excited about the little comments Nicole made to my weekly reflections.
After our time working together I feel much more confident about the things I’m good at and what I want to achieve. I also know a lot more about myself, why I react a certain way in some situations and what I can do to change that.
Also I learned that I already have some good workarounds for my fear of contacting people. And that it’s ok that I will never be the Queen of Small Talk. I was able to build a quite good relationship with my new department leader, which I never thought would be possible.
So, objectively seen or on paper there is not a lot that I achieved, but I learned a lot which changed my view on many things. That may sound so small, but I think it’s a breakthrough.
Whenever I understood something about myself or others it felt very liberating. I feel more confident and more able to argue for myself, my way of working and what I want to achieve.
I recommend working with Nicole, because she doesn’t preach, but teaches tools that help me to help myself.
Friederike, Chemist, Germany
When I first started working with Nicole I would often feel quite ‘flat’ at work and not particularly excited about it. Or when I was excited I sometimes lacked the confidence to get stuck into my projects properly.
I was struggling to find meaning in what I was doing. I had good technical knowledge and skill set but found it difficult to feel motivated and valued. This was impacting the confidence in my own abilities and leading to worries about how others were perceiving me.
I’d tried a few of the free online coaching webinars/ blogs on a variety of personal development related topics which were always interesting. They all had great ideas of how to improve things, but looking at the topics as a whole they felt a bit disjointed and it was hard to know where to start.
I’d been following Nicole on LinkedIn for a few months and liked the variety of topics that she covered as a lot of them resonated with me. After I’d committed to the coaching package I was really excited but then felt a bit guilty/ nervous and thought that coaching was a really over-indulgent luxury that I didn’t deserve! But as we got closer to our first session and I did my pre-course assessment I realised how much I probably needed it!
I liked the idea of a commitment to a number of sessions. I’ve done various personal development sessions in the past through work and whilst they are always really interesting at the time, because they are one-offs, I never followed through with any of the learnings in the mid/long-term. By making a commitment to a number of sessions, I felt like there would be more accountability to actually action the changes and also have someone to check in with in case it wasn’t going quite right.
Working with Nicole was great! By starting with a deep dive at the very beginning to really explore some of the underlying issues, you get a good baseline for how things are. Deciding what to focus on in each session was also good because it made it really specific to my needs and situation, which meant that any tool or solution we worked on was designed specifically for me. The accountability check-ins were also really useful too as they positively encouraged me to continue using the learnings from our sessions in my daily job.
The fact that I had 3 separate pieces of feedback from managers around the business saying how impressed they were with how much my authority and knowledge in my area has grown, and the commitment I show to getting the job done, right when we were near the very end of our sessions was almost poetic! To me, I feel it sums up the journey – I feel much more confident to express my views to senior management, I feel more organised and in control of my schedule, and I can see how what I do benefits my colleagues much more clearly.
I now feel much happier in my day to day role, but also really excited for the future challenges that will come my way – whether that’s in my existing company or somewhere else.
I recommend working with Nicole because she has such passion for her coaching and this really shines through in the sessions – she has such a great range of knowledge and clearly enjoys helping others succeed.
Liz, Scientist, Bristol