Tiffany is a Sr. Product Designer in San Francisco, CA.
I had just started a job in a new role and felt really uncertain about my ability to succeed – I questioned everything I'd learned in the past, and needed guidance from someone who understood both the design side as well as the interpersonal side of my job.
I didn't have a specific agenda in mind, but I knew that coaching had always helped bring clarity to my thoughts and intentions, and that was what I needed as I was sorting through my feelings towards this new job.
This was my first time paying for coaching with money out of my own pocket (even though half of it was subsidized by my company), and I kind of signed up for coaching on a whim. I could afford it, but hadn't planned for it in my budget.
Once I committed to it, I felt excitement about tackling and working through all of the frustrations and challenges I'd been facing at work with someone whose advice I trusted. I was also curious about how coaching would play out in a new context, where Eddie was totally removed from the people I was talking about.
Eddie is grounded, honest, and very thoughtful – so I always feel like I'm learning from our interactions in some way. The sessions felt focused and directed.
Eddie helped me figure out how to have candid conversations with my manager around getting a promotion, and more importantly, helped me feel like I deserved it, which I think was a big driver for why it eventually happened.
He also helped me identify my strengths so that I could support my team in a way that felt authentic to me (rather than molding myself into my idea of what a designer "should" be.)
Because Eddie understood design, we could work on both the hard and soft skills necessary to be effective on a product team.
My initial goal for coaching was to figure out how to turn myself into someone who felt confident and secure, and I thought I could do that by honing a set of skills or adopting a new personality trait (or something).
But I think an unexpected way I've actually become more confident in learning to assess myself in a non-judgmental way, finding value in who I am, and realizing that I'm able to have an impact on the world around me – or even realizing that I already DO have an impact.
My biggest learning is that I am a participant in the world around me and not just a spectator, and that it's okay to speak up on my own behalf if I want things to change.
Eddie’s friendly exterior belies an ability to make people confront uncomfortable truths about themselves, which can be devastating but will ultimately be worthwhile. Bring tissues to coaching sessions because they can and probably will get emotional (in a good way.) :)