'He literally turned away from me and asked the guy who is working for me about the progress of the project ...'
On Friday, I didn't have just one, but two new coaching clients having experienced exactly the same struggle: being invisible and not heard by those who matter.
Needless to say, being overlooked for years, not considered for something bigger than where they are now and put in a box where they don't feel they belong (anymore) takes its toll.
It's frustrating and it's not sustainable.
Being invisible is more common than you think and doesn't stop at Senior Professionals.
Both clients aren't new to the game, in fact - both have done tremendous work for Brisbane's digital economy and have done so for more than 20 years.
If you live in Queensland, you probably know their work as it has won awards and been recognised as top innovations in the industry.
Chances are you know the guys behind it though are slim (which already is an exaggeration).
It's not about seeking attention. That's far away from their personality as they are introverts and happy to work on cutting edge stuff as this is what excites them.
It's more the feeling they get now more and more that there is more to what they experience now but they don't get given the opportunity to explore it.
One of them is a leader in combining customer experience with business process optimisation and with his approach on combining creativity with commercialisation, he has been turning around not one, but 4 businesses in finance to date. He gets called in 'when others give up and clean up the mess' (his words).
Whilst this is a compliment in itself, it's an unspoken one that doesn't lead to anything bigger than that. He is known as the doer and people rely on him to fix their problems. Full-stop.
When it does get frustrating though is when others take the credit for the result without acknowledgment for the one driver who really did do the work.
You can only change what you acknowledge ...
Shame is a bi** and what traps insecurities. It's the reason that holds you back from changing your situation when it's not talked about.
Shame can only live in security.
Whilst neither of the guys is new to the world of work and the industry, neither of them had coaching before. Ever.
Which is probably why both gave me the same answer when I made a statement on why they are invisible to others:
'I didn't think you were that honest. It's not something what I wanted to hear ... but what I needed to hear.
This is the power of coaching - uncovering the real issues that are causing the visible problems and making the invisible invincible.
It's not about treating symptoms but about treating the cause.
Only when you notice that it's insecurities that drive your actions is when you can change it. Not by eliminating them but by acknowledging them and naming them.
You can only change what you can control and you can only control what you can communicate.
Whilst both have just started their journey, the first session already revealed their fear of being rejected and not having what it takes to be the face of their work.
Everything they do, say, act and communicate (visually, verbally and non verbally) is hardly noticeable.
They are invisible because they are fearful of 'what if's' rather than excited by 'what else's'.
Everyone is fearful in some shape or form. It's human. It means that something is important to us.
It's not about eliminating fear but it's about acknowledging it and dealing with it that makes all the difference.
And that requires courage to do something different and try something new.
I always say to my clients that they need to live every important situation twice - once in their head and once in real live.
Preparation is the best way to attack fear and anxiety and working through scenarios with a coach fast tracks your learnings as they challenge you to think beyond what's possible (in your world).
And only when you change what you think it's possible, you change what becomes possible.
I first realised that when one of my very first coaches pulled me apart and triggered all those insecurities that I was too ashamed to talk about... but this has made all the difference to how I see the world now and the role that I play in.
This is why I'm so passionate about helping ambitious people to change their believes and make the(ir) impossible, possible.
So if you want to fast track how to realise your biggest potential and start 2019 with a bank, then