Thank you, a rock star coaching client emailed me after a recent session. “It was really nice talking to you, as always.” Mostly, she wanted to elaborate on a comment I had made, about how I admire her courage. “I think I learned courage from my mentor,” she wrote. (Let’s call my client “Carol.”) “My courage scale went from 20% to 65% in the last six years I worked with her.”
It takes courage to have clarity.
I was curious to learn more, so I wrote back, asking her to elaborate on how she learned courage from her mentor. Here’s what Carol replied:
“Learning about courage with Edith came from lots of lunch discussion. She is a good listener, and she is naturally a tough person and has done a lot in her professional life. We also have a lot of similarity in background and values, so she had empathy to help me out. (Just recently, she told me that her daughter and I are very much alike). We now talk about stuff in life as well, and I am happy to reverse mentor sometimes.
Things that were helpful in those lunch discussions:
- She shared with me about her own career path, how she overcame challenges, and made tough choices.
- She encouraged me to talk directly to senior executives, and how to do it.
- She always reminded me: If I don’t ask for it, I won’t get it.
- She pursued the best case scenario: don’t let negative emotions get into my head.”
And finally, Carol — rock star that she is — made a fresh link for me between courage and clarity: “I learned clarity from you, Ann. It is a very powerful skill to see things clearly, and be honest with ourselves. It takes courage to have clarity.”