I want to tell my story

Coaching prompts: Real accounts from coaching sessions

Illustration by Kiry Luc

Coachee: I was in one industry and then made a move mid-career to another industry. I have been promoted to senior roles in both industries. I’m looking for a new senior role, but I don’t think they want someone with my limited and unique experience.

Coach: What do you really want? 

Coachee: I want to figure out how to tell my story.

Additional questions:

  • What prompted you to choose the initial industry? What prompted you to make the mid-career move?
  • How do you define “limited” and “unique”?
  • What is the importance of being in a senior role for you?

David’s Final Thought: People will listen if you have a compelling and thoughtful story to which you and they connect.

3 thoughts on “I want to tell my story

  1. I’ve recently used a version of “what do you really want” with a friend. My version was “what’s your goal.” This has produced a very clear and concrete answer like in the situation above and helped her move beyond recounting the details of the problem to mapping out solution approaches and even setting a deadline for herself. This stuff works!

  2. The clarification of terms here is so invaluable. It’s all too easy to assume that “limited” and “unique” experience could be problematic, when the reality is that there’s a TON of value in the experience, as long as there’s a willingness to look at it through different lenses—openly and non-judgmentally.

  3. I appreciate the illustration. For me, It’s a beautiful representation of what it feels like for me to live with a story (or a thousand) in my head that I haven’t quite (yet) communicated through words. I see the story from multiple angles, through various lenses (cloudy with spots of clarity, analytically, with wonder and possibility). Maybe the places where the various colored sections of the image (versions of my own story) meet or overlap, where shadow meets light, represent points of frustration or fear, things that feel hard to talk about and/or things I haven’t yet noticed in my own thoughts. Or maybe even possible points of connection and integration that will eventually transform all of my swirly narratives into one cohesive story.

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