“Time to update your self-image!” came across like a refreshing splash of cool water, an invigorating wake up call, rather than a slap in the face to one of my Executive Leadership Coaching clients. Being groomed to move up the corporate ladder, his earlier image of himself was getting in the way of success.  This high potential’s 360 Assessment results showed a clear mismatch between his self-image and how others saw him. Time for CQ direct communication to shift perspective!

In this case, others saw this leader in much more positively than he did himself. While his need to update his image to a more positive one was carried over from the past, our VUCCA world (Volatile, Uncertain, Culturally Complex, Ambiguous) can cast doubt, eroding confidence in even the most self-assured.

“You are committed.  You are bright.  You are innovative. You are eager. You are successful. You are appreciative.” I was able to authentically scatter these powerful “You are” direct communications throughout our Leadership Coaching as his strengths were further revealed in our sessions.“You take responsibility that leads to results.” “You value service and excellence,” I added.

My culturally intelligent direct communication led to a perception shift of himself in my coaching client.  He learned to take in my and his colleague’s positive feedback and update his self-image. This freed him to let go of his need for perfection, which was dangerously slowing down his response time, and paved the way for his move up the corporate ladder.

“You embody gentle strength” has been communicated to me since graduate school in my early 20’s.  That quality comes in handy in delivering direct communication as I provide that firm launching pad (that travels with you through this VUCCA world!) as a Leadership, Team and Mentor Coach and Supervisor.

2 Step to Direct Communication to Shift Perspective:

1. Culturally Intelligent (CQ) Direct communication to shift perspective.  In this case it was “Time to update your self-image!” To be effective, this is always “speaking the truth with love” in a way that the receiver can use it. (cold water splash, not slap in the face; it can be the compassionate edge from the previous blog) It needs to be culturally appropriate (CQ) and respectful. Which means it will pay off for you to be aware of your own and others’ culture when you communicate.

2. Powerful “You are” direct communications: “You are _____” (positive) shifts perspective to “I am further along than I thought-I have the needed strengths to accomplish my goals!” increasing confidence and decreasing fear that can otherwise get in the way of success. Coaching builds on strengths.

Leaders-apply for a strategy session to customize a coaching solution for you, your team and your organization’s development and impact, with perspective shifts and improved communication.

Coaches are you ready to take your coaching to a deeper, more impactful level with greater reach? Sign up now for our unique, exclusive Cultural Intelligence Mentor Coaching + Certificate Program. Earn up to 24.5-30 hours ICF Continuing Coach Education, including 10 hours of Mentor Coaching. 

To our success-we are in this together!

Marilyn O’Hearne, MA, MCC

Culturally Intelligent Executive, Leadership, Team and Mentor Coaching; Supervision to Unlock All Potential, Prosperity



PS Check out how CQ your communication is

Update of July 29, 2015 blog

Photo used with permission (c) Angela Stott, www.angelastott.com