Large-Project Coaching: Case Studies
What's Your Project?
Do you have a book in you, waiting to get out? Important life stories that you'd love to record, if only you could get a handle on their complexity?
Or do you have a major work problem you'd like to find stories to help you with? Or a body of professional information you're struggling to express in a way that motivates people to take action?
What kind of helper do you want?
To help with your project, would you like a helper who doesn't tell you what to do, but who listens your truth into being—who helps you give voice to what you know, but have been unable to express fully?
Are you hoping for a coach who will challenge you to be your best, but who never forgets that the wisdom and experience you want to convey is uniquely yours? A coach who can help you sort out the immensity of your project, yet never usurp your role as the "chief decision maker"?
For brief case studies of folks I've helped to tackle daunting, complex projects—please read on.
The Puzzle of Her storytelling life?
Years ago, I had the privilege of coaching Marion Besmehn at a private workshop. A storyteller from Carmel, California, Marion has a master's degree in storytelling from ETSU in Tennessee. Her personal stories, some from her native Wales, had appeared in a magazine and on CDs.
But the puzzle of her storytelling life was her long-dead, larger-than-life mother. Marianne's storytelling instincts told her that her mother would be a terrific topic for stories, but every story she created fell flat. What was the problem? It took numerous rewrites and lots of emotional growth, but Marion succeeded in turning Molly and Me into a phenomenal book!
How to Overcome Misconceptions?
A financial advisor from Atlanta, GA, John Durkota was discouraged—not about his work, but about helping his potential clients to overcome a handful of misconceptions about their investments—misconceptions that were costing them money and that John could help them with.
John realized that storytelling would be a way to help clients, when facts and logic might not be enough. But how could he get help not just learning to tell stories, but creating just the right stories to make the difference?
After several months, John had identified his own particular “customer success stories” for helping potential clients understand what carefully structured arguments had failed to convey.
Eastern Wisdom for the College student?
Mary Roberts was an interior design consultant who needed help translating her extensive knowledge and make it comprehensible—yet not watered down—for college students trying to make their dorm space conducive to productive study and personal growth.
Mary had lots of practical experience in the interior design of dorm rooms, as well as a deep knowledge of feng shui. But how could she make ancient mystical concepts easily understood by teens? How could she structure her treasure house of knowledge around the success stories of individual students, in a way that would be both relevant and accessible?
Jim's two-CD set, The Hanging of Tom Brown: A Civil Rights Odyssey, was well over a year in the making. Yet the resulting recording brings alive a uniquely important epic of the 1960's and beyond. In the process, Jim, had to face—and re-frame—his feelings of regret, futility and guilt at innocently leading his friends into deadly danger.
Jim Gregory was a retired teacher who had been active in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960's. An idealistic college drop-out, he had pulled together a group of his friends to help bring literacy education to blacks in Mississippi and Alabama. But they met with violence and death at the hands of segregationists.
Even after returning home—limping from injuries inflicted while in the Selma jail—Jim found that his nearly fatal expedition was viewed, not as heroism, but as the act of a trouble-maker.
In spite of a sweet moment with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Jim's memories were so painful that he had put them aside—until the only other survivor of the the 4-year bus trip died. Jim realized then that, if he didn't tell their story, no one would.
But how would be able to face those horrors again? And, given that emotional struggle, how would he know which events belonged in his story and which didn't?
I offer several ways to get long-term coaching, from pay-as-you-go hourly coaching, to discounted coaching bundles that never expire, to onsite, solo coaching intensives at my office.