We could all use a confidence boost these days – especially with how fast life is moving around us. Think about the last compliment you got from a friend, colleague or even from the boss. How did it feel? Great, right?
That’s exactly how I feel every time I connect with my leadership coach – confident.
As the CEO of Paradigm for Parity and a Global Diversity & Inclusion Senior VP at Bank of America – confidence helps me be an effective leader and support my teams – but achieving and maintaining this self-assurance takes time and hard work. It’s an experience I recommend to everyone aspiring to be a great leader.
Over the last year – I’ve had the privilege of meeting regularly with a leadership development coach from AceUp thanks to a pilot program with Paradigm for Parity that works with women leaders of color.
My sessions give me a chance to focus on myself and think about my past, current, and future career objectives. The trust and connection I built with my coach is now allowing me to leverage important aspects of myself that I never had the time to explore in the past. It’s an incredible and life changing experience and it’s helping me be better equipped to deal with the day-to-day decisions I face as a CEO.
It’s amazing when you fully realize the potential you have to be a thoughtful leader. My coaching experience helps me embrace all aspects of who I am. There have been experiences I’ve shared with my coach that I felt were directly related to being a woman, and a woman of color. My coach helped me reframe and dissect those thoughts that were holding me back. I learned to silence the negative voices that gave me doubt and held me back as a leader.
Accepting that a coach will help you become your best self is the first step. Once I was able to get past the personal investment portion, I was able to fully embrace the experience and it opened so many doors. I am now able to view decision making and leadership from a new perspective. It’s also enhancing the delivery of my messaging and helping me master effective listening and communication.
Taking a look at my management style showed me the aspects of myself that helped me become successful. It also showed me that they are not always needed at every moment. It’s easy to fall into a rut and coaching forces you to dig deeper and constantly evaluate the decisions you’re making. Leadership development coaching helped me hone in on the way I think and the way I show up. I discovered several things about myself through this process and know you can too.
My journey as CEO at Paradigm for Parity combined with coaching gave me a deeper understanding of who I am as an individual, my capabilities, and ultimately more confidence in my execution. I embrace learning from my mistakes, and I am ready to take on new challenges. That’s how this experience has changed me.
The C-suite needs more women and women of color. If you’re on your own career journey I would encourage you to find a trusted coach – commit to the sessions, be open minded, and don’t look back. You are sure to learn a lot about yourself. We all have the tools and talents to be successful – sometimes we just need that boost of self-confidence.
Written by Sandra Quince.
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