Key learning from the ‘dip of despair’

| 23 June 2023

When I think back over my career both as a senior leader in corporate life and as a leadership coach, my biggest learning moments have come when I’ve been in the dip of despair.

That moment when you feel you’ve failed, you’ve made an idiot of yourself, you’ve not ‘shone’ the way you wanted to, you’ve been rejected….it feels like the whole world is seeing your humiliation.

At first you want to curl up in a corner and hide.

But then you realise that’s not going to help (at least not for long!).

Dusting yourself down and taking your next step might feel hard at first. But that one tiny step forward makes it easier to take the next step and the one after that.

I remember some 20 years ago now bursting into tears in front of 20 people in a coaching programme. Key learning: It’s okay to be human and it’s helpful in life to do some work on understanding and managing your emotions, and knowing your triggers.

I remember a very senior leader berating me in front of the Executive Team in a meeting and I had no idea what to do. Key Learning: Honest feedback is necessary and important. But find a way to do it in a way that the person can hear it and act upon it if they choose (nobody can do that in ‘fight or flight’ mode.)

I remember panicking when Covid hit and my work dried up. Key Learning. New opportunities can come from adversity if you’re open to the idea. There is another business model and it’s working brilliantly for me and the life I want to live now. And no more having to jump on Ryanair flights (except when I want to). Thank you Zoom and Teams.

To use a well worn cliché – this too shall pass.