What she said

When I got this letter from Carrie Ott, I welled up with tears because her experience so perfectly describes the experience I strive to achieve for each of my clients.

Carrie graciously offered to share this with you so that you can get a better sense of what it’s like to work with me as a coach.

When you and I met, I was stumped and unsure of which direction to take my work and with absolutely no idea how to figure it out. I was sitting at that coffee house table with only a partially begun puzzle surrounded by hundreds of unattached pieces. 

The completed areas of my puzzle were my past work and accomplishments, but what about all those unassembled pieces? What if they actually didn’t belong to this puzzle? I especially couldn’t recognize or find the edge pieces. I certainly couldn’t make enough sense of the finished picture to know what to do next.

This is what you brought to the table:

Generosity. As a complete stranger, you entered my dilemma with passion and enthusiasm, sharing your insights, knowledge, and expertise. You sorted the pieces of my scattered thoughts, my questions, and my aspirations as if you had a future stake in the successful completion of my big picture. 

Intuition. You listened to me and never made assumptions. Yet you knew which areas I needed to fit together first. You heard my desire for a different bigger picture, even though that meant venturing away from past, reliable, and successful work. You celebrated where I’d been and what I’d accomplished, and instinctively recognized work that was life-giving and work that what was not. 

Kindness. You gave me just the right amount of direction and information to spur me onto the next step, but not so much that I became overwhelmed. And you didn’t let me get too far into the places that will reveal themselves in good time. I know which pieces to hold for another day, and I am excited about those pieces!

Skill. You helped me sort and map the specifics. You helped me find my edge pieces; you identified the most effective parameters of my work—how I will go deep and not broad. You showed me how to integrate areas of expertise I assumed would be peripheral to my big picture. 

Fun. I assumed this task would be nothing but tedium and drudgery. Yes, it was challenging—How does this piece fit? But it was also incredibly satisfying—Ah-hah! This area makes sense now! I could tell you were having fun, too. The kind of fun someone has when they are doing one of the things they are wired for and skilled at doing. You are quite skilled at making sense of and developing a workable structure and plan for someone else’s big picture. 

I have always loved working on a good puzzle. Because of your help, direction, and insight, I am confidently tackling one of the most exciting puzzles I’ve ever set my mind and heart to assembling—my contribution to the world.

You are something else.

Fondly and gratefully, 

Carrie Ott