July 19, 2019

How I moved an employee’s mindset from “problem” to “possibility”

Maureen Kennedy, Head Pro

As Head Pro at Bravely, my job is to manage our network of experienced coaches (or “Pros”). I’ve also coached hundreds of employees at Bravely clients, empowering them to build their best possible lives at work. I wanted to tell you about a recent session that stuck with me as a perfect example of why I do what I do.

The Story

When Laura (not her real name; she asked me to change it in sharing this story), a high-performing individual contributor who had been at her company for over five years, came to Bravely, some of her responsibilities had been just given to someone else. They were some of the parts of her job that were most fulfilling, and which she felt were her most important contributions to the company. She felt unvalued, disillusioned, and ready to quit.

The Session

I could feel Laura’s frustration through the phone. As I listened, it became clear that her desire to quit was impulsive, coming from a place of intense emotion. I see this all the time—so many people would rather quit than have a tough conversation that could help them stay and succeed.

So, I asked Laura some questions, like: “What does your company need that may have led them to make this change?” and “What aspects of your job did you love most? What do you still love?”

By answering my questions, Laura realized that what she really wanted wasn’t to quit: it was to know she was valued, and to be able to contribute in a meaningful way that played to her strengths.

Armed with this insight, Laura could now, through a role-play exercise, practice a conversation with her boss about her needs. We explored different possible scenarios, and discussed what Laura might say and do in each. By the end of a 45-minute session, Laura was ready to approach her situation.

The Outcome

Here’s what Laura shared about her experience:

She helped me label my own needs and figure out how to get them met. I went into what could have been a tough conversation feeling totally positive and prepared. I genuinely want to stay with my company because of the conversation I had with Bravely.

This is the heart of what Bravely does. We connect with employees, one-on-one, about the situations that are holding them back from their best lives at work. The neutral perspective and guidance we provide empowers them to have crucial conversations that seek the best outcome for themselves and for their companies.

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