“Be intentional” With Anne Taylor

Be intentional about WHERE you give feedback. This suggestion has two aspects to it. The first aspect is location. Give constructive feedback in private to avoid being perceived as critical or causing embarrassment or shame. Give positive feedback in public if appropriate. There’s a common expression: praise in public, punish in private. The second aspect is […]

Thrive Global invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive Global or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.

Be intentional about WHERE you give feedback. This suggestion has two aspects to it. The first aspect is location. Give constructive feedback in private to avoid being perceived as critical or causing embarrassment or shame. Give positive feedback in public if appropriate. There’s a common expression: praise in public, punish in private. The second aspect is ‘to what’ part of the person do you direct the feedback. Let me explain. One of the keys to giving effective feedback that’s motivating is to direct the feedback towards something the person can change or improve (or continue if it’s positive). Someone can change their behaviours and skills. It’s much more difficult for someone to change an aspect of their personality or identity and hearing negative feedback about your personality or character can be painful and demotivating.

As a part of our series about “How To Give Honest Feedback without Being Hurtful”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Anne Taylor.

Anne Taylor is the Founding Director of Directions Coaching Ltd and has coached hundreds of leaders in businesses and organisations globally — including London Business School, IMD, Lego, Nestlé, Deutsche Bank and Ford.

She left her Global Marketing role at Nestlé in Switzerland and retrained as an Executive Coach after both her parents died unexpectedly 22 weeks apart. This experience opened her eyes to the power and importance of emotional intelligence in workplace (and life) success. She is now one of a small number of coaches certified through ICF (International Coach Federation) to the level of Professional Certified Coach.

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

I worked in highly complex and pressurized corporate environments for the first 20 years of my career. I was just trying to do what was expected; to do the best job I could. Now I am in a place to help others be the best they can be in uncertain, pressured times…But let’s start at the beginning…

My dad was a businessman — and that’s probably why I pursued business as my degree.

Once I graduated I went into business management, having jobs of increasing responsible across marketing, business management and business strategy development. I worked for companies such as IBM, P&G and Nestlé working across many regions and countries. My last corporate position was Global Marketing Manager at Nestlé in Switzerland for KIT KAT, AERO and SMARTIES and strategic oversight for the Confectionery Business in North America, Australia, UK and Japan.

After the sudden deaths of both my parents in Canada within 22 weeks of each other, my eyes were opened to coaching and the power and importance of being heart-smart: aware of my emotions and their impact. I started to believe that leaders need to be head and heart smart for continued success and satisfaction. I realised that the part of my job I loved the most was when someone asked, “Can we talk?” and would share their struggles and concerns with me.

While still living in Switzerland I completed rigorous training to become a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach; going into business for myself by launching Directions Coaching. I was interested in Executive Coaching and Personal Coaching with a focus on Authentic Leadership — being yourself to lead consciously; a passion I hold to this day.

I left Nestlé and my 26-year relationship ended; moved to the UK, London specifically, where I knew 3 people. These days, I am one of a small number of Professional Certified Coaches (PCC) in the world as certified through the International Coach Federation (ICF). And am grateful to create safe spaces for executives to grow as leaders and dare I say, human beings (even if not relevant initially).

I believe that when we act and behave with emotional intelligence (in addition to IQ), business, lives and relationships are better. This has been my journey.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Clients feel safe to be open and vulnerable with me in our confidential coaching relationship. They feel safe because of my business background, extensive personal development and coach training and because of my grounded presence. Knowing this is how my clients feel and that there is so much trust on both sides it means I can be daring and bold in challenging them to be their best selves, whatever that means to them. I did a complimentary chemistry session with a Director once who had never had coaching. At the end of the hour, often filled with silence as he reflected, and I let him search, he said that was comfortably uncomfortable — a descriptor I’m really proud of and grateful to him for articulating. Needless to say, I do have coach supervision and mentoring to support myself in this work to ensure I can best help my clients.

A stand-out example of that fierce calling forth is when I was co-leading a group doing leadership development while being watched by a senior coach at the back of the room. Of note, this situation was with everyone’s full permission. A female participant was talking about her business and sharing examples of yielding her opinions and decisions to others, especially men. She was talking about the personal and professional instances of this happening and it got into an intellectual discussion of boundaries. I spontaneously called for her to stand up in the centre of the group circle. I called forth 6 men in the group to surround her and had them physically push her and tell her what to do and think. I called her forth from behind the ring of men to stand up for herself, take her space, hold firm to her boundaries. I leaned in and whispered encouragement to her that ‘she could do this’ and ‘she mattered.’ I prompted the men to continue pressing her. One man pulled back and told me he couldn’t push her. I told him to “do it in service of her, this wasn’t about your discomfort.” Someone sitting in the larger group asked, “shouldn’t you have them love on her instead?” I respectfully said “no”. The observing senior coach re-iterated “keep her in the pain and discomfort.” The women in the centre starting yelling at the men, pushing them back harder than they pushed her. She was totally reacting and being driven by emotion defending her very being. I lost sight of my co-leader, I trusted she trusted me and was letting me just focus on the moment. This experience went on for about 10 minutes and in some ways, it felt like seconds and in some ways, it felt like forever. The woman at the centre brought the experience to a close by stopping, holding her ground, not being reactive and just strongly saying to the men that “my opinion is valid. You can’t dominate me. I am valuable. Enough is enough. This is stopping now.” She was now managing herself rather than being overtaken by the situation.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

That’s a tough question, it depends what you think is interesting. There have been so many interesting stories especially as I’ve coached so many impressive people in complex times.

Hmmm, I guess something I find interesting is because of its pervasiveness and that is the self-doubt that even senior leaders have about themselves. It gets called different things — lack of confidence, needing gravitas, stepping into my new promotion, second guessing myself, owning my seat around the exec table, holding my own, looking for a neutral sounding board, imposter syndrome, wanting someone with whom to share my concerns.

Here’s a case study of one from my coaching work:

A senior leader, let’s call him Thomas, who was promoted to the executive committee, was offered 1:1 executive coaching as part of a leadership program for all the executives. His personal objective for the coaching was to feel more comfortable in the position, while his company’s objective was to improve his strategic thinking. In our initial session he said he found it difficult to accept that he belonged on the executive committee, in large part because he was now a peer to leaders he had looked up to for a long time. As homework, I asked him to “notice how you feel in the exco meetings. Scan your body and remember the sensations. Notice the thoughts that go through your mind.” He did and in our next session he was able to describe what was going on for him at those meetings, leading to his conclusion that he wasn’t totally confident, he was often nervous and defensive, which meant he over-reacted when colleagues raised a question about his area of responsibility. Separately, his boss also gave him feedback that he was tense and stiff when meeting with the CEO. Thanks to the earlier homework he was able to identify what he was feeling and that he was trying to be perceived as professional and on-top of everything.

Once Thomas was aware of his lack of confidence, being defensive and appearing stiff (from his own reflections and from direct feedback from his boss), we worked on (i) how he wanted to feel and (ii) how he wanted to be perceived. The first step was for him to identify what he wanted. He wanted to feel like an equal at the executive table, like a partner in the business with the other executives. He wanted to feel relaxed, comfortable and enjoy the experience with his colleagues and the CEO. We explored times in his life (personally and professionally) when he felt relaxed, confident, comfortable and most like himself. He recreated those feelings within himself, so he knew what confident and relaxed felt like in his body. He named the feeling Tom (in contrast to him being called Thomas at work) and used the label ‘rugby’ to describe how he wanted to be part of the team, and the visual of a light switch to help him pause and relax.

From those descriptions, we designed some structures to remind him during the meetings of how he wanted to be and feel and how he wanted to show up. He had a picture of himself from his rugby days on a mug he took into the meeting, a drawing of a light switch on a small sticky note on his papers, and the name Tom on the front of his notebook. These structures would help him remember what he wanted to practise when/if he went ‘unconscious’ during the meetings. He went along with what felt like Woo Woo concepts because of the neuroscience explanation behind creating new behaviours. This self-doubt and scientific basis for change are why I start my book with Principle 1: It Starts with YOU as the only person you can in any relationship is YOU.

Interestingly, it was working with this client that galvanized my desire to write my book. Accompanying him on his leadership journey had me reflect on my journey from intellectual to more emotional, from driven to more balanced. Writing the book was another opportunity for me to push my boundaries, practice new behaviours and stretch myself. I tend to be independent and try to sort things out on my own. That is not possible when writing and publishing a book I found. I had to enrol others, ask for help, say “I don’t know” and rely on others. The process was also emotional, from the feelings of ‘who am I to write a book?’ to ‘not feeling qualified to write a book’ to the joy of holding it in my hands the first time and pride of hearing others say it’s helped them.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Funnily I can’t think of a funny mistake when first starting. It’s certainly not because I’ve never made a mistake! Maybe I’m in denial. More likely, the mistakes I remember still don’t feel funny. And I’ve learned from each of them. One lesson I’ve learned from a few situations is to slow down and give more space and time to things, it originates from my valuing efficiency. The ‘mistakes’ I made that led to this conclusion are things like: I left later to meet a client than ideal as I was finishing up some emails, I ended up being caught in a London tube delay thereby missing my client meeting. Another was someone texted to ask for an impromptu call (I offer laser calls between sessions if needed) and I said YES when I should have said in 5 min. I took the call immediately and wasn’t on my best form as I hadn’t let go of what I was doing prior to the call.

What advice would you give to other CEOs and business leaders to help their employees to thrive and avoid burnout?

Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. That means talking and more importantly listening to address both the work that needs to be done and the relationships that are being built or at least maintained through the interactions. Lead from head and heart, engage with people of both levels. Talking and active listening help employees thrive by having them feel more valued, developing them, having their thoughts and ideas contribute to the business more readily, building inclusivity. It avoids burnout as employees can ask for help, give signals early on of issues, engage problem solving, and have their fears or concerns heard.

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

To me, leadership is influencing people to perform towards a certain goal or vision. Its not hierarchy, it’s not managing, it’s not an innate characteristic, it’s not related to job title. Greta Thunberg is a leader — she has no official title, no role in an organization, isn’t managing anyone or anything, isn’t suave yet she has motivated and inspired people to act concerning the climate change crisis. And leadership is not just the leader out front, there is a leader within each of us. We are each the leader of ourselves at a minimum, influencing ourselves to behave, act, and accomplish what we choose for ourselves and how we want to BE while doing that.

In my work, I often talk about how to release and relieve stress. As a busy leader, what do you do to prepare your mind and body before a stressful or high stakes meeting, talk, or decision? Can you share a story or some examples?

An important question, it’s so necessary to intentionally prepare for the important situations we face. It’s taken my lifetime so far to create a healthy foundation to handle stress by regularly exercising, eating healthy food, avoiding caffeine, rarely drinking alcohol, getting 7–8 hours of sleep a night, having coaching/supervision, talking to friends and I even started mediating daily earlier this year. All that helps keep me energetic and ready to face stress and challenges. Before a meeting I set an intention for how I want to BE during the meeting that is specific to that meeting. For example, for a recent new client meeting I had the intention of professional, guiding, listening, empathetically provoking. Other tactics I use are visualizing success, thinking about the impression I want to make, reflecting on how I want the audience to feel and to breath, slowly and deeply, to pause. In terms of making important decisions I reflect on what feels aligned to my values (what I need in my life to feel fulfilled). In fact, just yesterday a client was wondering about staying in his successful career or following his passion of real estate. He’s doing the values exercise in Principle 1 of my book (free to download here) to weigh up his options relative to his values.

Ok, let’s jump to the core of our interview. Can you briefly tell our readers about your experience with managing a team and giving feedback?

Managing a team is about understanding people. Understand each individual, their needs, feelings and motivations and influencing them individually and collectively in the best way for them and the situation. Cringe is the first reaction of my leadership training participants and executive coaching clients to the notion of feedback. Often the response is “I’m not good at those difficult conversations.” Amazing how feedback is associated with discomfort and difficulty. It’s almost always assumed to be negative, a ‘big’ conversation, and telling someone something that they are doing wrong. Managers try to avoid it or soften it to the point of creating confusion. Of note, feedback is not the same as managing an on-going underperformance issue. If there is a performance issue relative to the job responsibility deal with that directly (of which feedback will be an element of the total plan and communication). As an Executive Coach I’ve helped hundreds of clients interpret their 3600 feedback reports (surveys completed by their manager, team members and peers anonymously about their effectiveness as a leader) — they often focus on the negative scores and comments even though the vast majority have loads of positives in them too. Often successful people and high-achievers focus on what needs to be improved, partly because they are ambitious and partly because they are paid to solve problems and make things happen. I was that way before I trained to be a coach. Since learning about feedback and working through this with clients I’m now much for comfortable with feedback — both giving it and receiving it! The good and the bad. This is because feedback is both the positives and areas for improvement, it’s about helping people be the best version of themselves, it’s about catching people doing things well, it’s about the total relationship with the person and it goes two ways (giving and asking for it).

This might seem intuitive, but it will be constructive to spell it out. Can you share with us a few reasons why giving honest and direct feedback is essential to being an effective leader?

Benefits of Giving Feedback

The numerous benefits of giving feedback as outlined in my book, Soft Skills Hard Results, are the same whether the feedback is positive or negative/’constructive’.

  1. Your team feel valued because overall you give noticeably more positive feedback than negative/constructive (research says financially successful companies give positive feedback 5–6 times for everyone piece of negative feedback given). People feel that you care about their performance and hence about them because you are taking time to communicate specifics with them. You’re investing time in them and their development. This increases employee engagement from which most organizations would benefit.
  2. Your co-workers learn what you expect and what success looks like because you reinforce it when you point out the positives and illustrate what better looks like when you point out an improvement.
  3. You are seeing and hearing your colleagues as individuals and they will respect you for that. They feel you care. It increases trust.
  4. You create a feedback culture in the organization thereby encouraging everyone to contribute to good/better performance.
  5. Colleagues learn to improve ineffective actions or feel you reinforce their existing positive behaviour thereby positively impacting the business.
  6. Company performance improves (see research referenced in #1 above).
  7. You are perceived as observant, engaged and a people-person (by your team and potentially peers and superiors).
  8. Expressing concerns (and requests) openly and honestly when they arise prevents bottling up of resentment and frustration which, if unsaid, could lead to illness, an explosive tirade or damaged relationships.

One of the trickiest parts of managing a team is giving honest feedback, in a way that doesn’t come across as too harsh. Can you please share with us five suggestions about how to best give constructive criticism to a remote employee? Kindly share a story or example for each.

1.) It’s often easiest to follow a model for giving feedback like COIN by Anna Carroll (template here). This can be used for both positive and negative feedback. It’s simple, so keep it simple, this is a great case of less words are more effective.

C is for context or circumstances, the when and where of the situation. This step can include creating connection, remember that intention at the beginning of this article.

O is for what was observed, the action or behaviour exhibited. What they said or did.

I is for the impact it had, on you, the team, another individual, a project or the business.

N is for next steps, what you expect or encourage the recipient to do next.

An example of feedback to improve: When I was walking around this afternoon (Context), I saw you leaning over your sales manager advising him that he could have been more structured when answering the customer’s questions in the customer meeting earlier (Observation). The impact on him could have been embarrassment and intimidation. And because you are a manager, others in the open-plan office might have felt uncomfortable and that you were being disrespectful (Impact). In the future please deliver constructive feedback eye-to-eye and ideally in your office. It’s better be on ‘the same level’ and to punish in private and praise in public (Next step). How would you feel after hearing this?

2.) Give more positive feedback than negative. Notice their positive behaviours and qualities more often than what they could be doing better. How would you feel if someone continuously pointed out your shortcomings? Or the only attention you received was about your inadequacies? You wouldn’t do this with your children or pets (if you have them) so don’t do this with your team. As I said earlier, research shows financially successful companies have a ratio of 5–6 positives for every negative. Feedback is not a one-time thing. Depending on the size of your team it is easily a daily occurrence at minimum. Stephen Covey talks about the emotional bank account between people — have enough of a positive balance (trust, respect, positive feedback) in the bank account with each employee that when you make a withdrawal (point out something bad) it’s not debilitating. It’s so important to remember our strengths I start every coaching session asking my client “what do you have to celebrate about yourself since our last sessions that you’re proud of, what qualities, skills and characteristics of you? I once had a 2-up boss, Ed, that I had such a high balance with that when he said “Taylor, that answer on XXX was not your finest one!” upon exiting a meeting that I could do nothing but respect him more. I reflected on what I could have done better, dropped him an email and asked for his concurrence or changes.

An example of feedback reinforcing a positive: In today’s project review meeting (Context), I noticed when Marc expressed his concern over the launch timing you paused, nodded your head, asked a couple of open-ended questions and asked, “this sounds important to you, can we set up some separate time to discuss it?” (Observation) When you listen to people, ask clarifying questions, acknowledge someone, even if junior to you — Marc feels more valued, the idea of raising concerns is encouraged thereby mitigating risks, and others in the meeting respect you even more (Impact). Keep up the good work. Thanks for role-modelling those skills to the attendees (Next step).

3. Be intentional about WHERE you give feedback. This suggestion has two aspects to it. The first aspect is location. Give constructive feedback in private to avoid being perceived as critical or causing embarrassment or shame. Give positive feedback in public if appropriate. There’s a common expression: praise in public, punish in private. The second aspect is ‘to what’ part of the person do you direct the feedback. Let me explain. One of the keys to giving effective feedback that’s motivating is to direct the feedback towards something the person can change or improve (or continue if it’s positive). Someone can change their behaviours and skills. It’s much more difficult for someone to change an aspect of their personality or identity and hearing negative feedback about your personality or character can be painful and demotivating.

An example of poor feedback at the level of someone’s identity is: “You were brilliant” (while this might feel good for you to say and might be well received it does little to give the individual any tangible, specific details that they can repeat). Similarly, “You were an idiot.” Not helpful. Instead what were the behaviours, skills and attributes they demonstrated that had you feel they were brilliant?

4. Adjust your mindset first. The key to giving negative feedback, without demotivating is to give constructive feedback that’s empowering. Negativity breeds negativity, positivity breeds positivity. If you want employees to feel motivated be motivating. When you’re considering giving feedback hold the intention of “wanting to share my observations of their effectiveness in a motivating manner.” How you give the feedback is so important for the feedback to be perceived as genuine and constructive and for it to be received positively. You know what it feels like if someone gives you a beautifully wrapped, timely, perfect-for-you birthday present versus someone just tossing you a creased card a day late that they bought at the corner shop. Have the intention of being of service to that person, of giving them a gift, of wanting them to grow and develop. Dare I say, have it come from your heart and head.

5. Remember you are in a relationship. Giving (and asking for feedback) is not a task to be done. It is not a one-way monologue. It is not an annual or one-time occurrence. Its purpose is to develop people, to help them succeed and to help deliver the company vision as effectively and efficiently and as enjoyably as possible.

  • Give the feedback as close to the action/behaviour observed as possible.
  • Speak slowly and clearly, being as specific as possible. Pause slightly after saying the observation and impact and then stop talking after stating the next step.
  • Use the minimum number of words possible. More detracts from the clarity of the message.
  • Check for comprehension, that they understand what you said. Ask them “what clarification can I provide?” or “what would you like me to repeat to ensure I’ve been clear?” or “what’s your understanding of what I said?”
  • Look them in the eye (softly, not laser-like) and smile (just look pleasant, not a creepy smiley-face).
  • Be patient with yourself and the recipient (especially at first).
  • If debriefing a presentation or project, it’s ok to give both positive and constructive feedback in the same conversation, avoid use of the word BUT always. For example, “you presented well but you were less convincing on the Q&A.” Everything before the BUT gets lost.
  • If it is difficult feedback, give the person some time and space to digest it. Say “I sense you might need time to process/digest/think about what I said. Let’s meet tomorrow to talk about it again.”

Can you address how to give constructive feedback over email? If someone is in front of you much of the nuance can be picked up in facial expressions and body language. But not when someone is remote. How do you prevent the email from sounding too critical or harsh?

When you enact some of the tips and suggestions I’ve made you can then do some constructive feedback by email. I’d say it’s better to give feedback remotely by video conference, by phone (can be ‘easier’ for everyone as there is no visual) first and lastly, by email. You can give positive feedback by email and keep good practices in mind: follow a structure, focus on the person’s behaviours, words and skills, build up a positive bank balance, ask how they feel and what they took away from the discussion. If the situation is SO negative that you risk being too critical or harsh give the feedback by phone/VC. Or is being too critical and harsh you’re natural tendency? If so, look at yourself first to ascertain how you want to be different with your team.

In your experience, is there a best time to give feedback or critique? Should it be immediately after an incident? Should it be at a different time? Should it be at set intervals? Can you explain what you mean?

It depends. That’s the answer for most questions about how to do something well — it depends on the situation, the people involved, you. I’m sensing that you are meaning ‘negative’ feedback with this question. Giving feedback close to the ‘incident’ is often best, unless the person is not emotionally resilient enough in that moment to listen. Also, depending on the situation, giving feedback might not be the best approach. It might be best to try asking open questions of the person (when they are ready) of how they think it went. What impact did they think they had? What did they do well and what would they do differently next time? This is a coaching style of interaction where you as the leader are creating a reflective space for the employee to assess themselves, good and not so good. As I said previously, feedback should happen as part of regularly working together, the idea of continually motivating and developing people on the job. Your organization doesn’t wait until the end of the year to see if it hit its targets, people in the organization look at the achievement of the results/numbers continuously (as those numbers are a type of feedback) to evaluate progress and adjust if needed. Personal development, of which feedback is part, is the same. Set yourself an action of giving feedback (positive and negative as both are constructive) regularly to your team — sometimes in a 1:1, sometimes as a separate discussion, sometimes leaving a meeting, sometimes on the fly after a call, even when you remember a few days later (in this case, remember giving context so the recipient knows what you’re referring to), whenever the opportunity presents itself.

How would you define what it is to “be a great boss”? Can you share a story?

Oh, that’s a good question. What I think is a great boss is probably slightly different than what you might think. So again, it depends — on the situation and people involved. Actually, I think that’s what makes a great boss, someone I respect who is smart, has experience and emotional intelligence to sense what’s needed when and for whom. It’s someone who has the awareness and balance between getting the work done to achieve the necessary results and the people doing that work.

An example from earlier this year was when an executive coaching client of mine made the decision for his organization to work from home due to coronavirus. He did this before his corporate head office had decided on WFH, before his country had declared WFH and before most other countries in the world in fact (as he’s Asia based). He did this based on conversations he was having as he walked around the office. He talked to one employee about how scared she was that she would bring the virus home and infect her elderly parents. Another appeared agitated in a discussion with my client, when my client asked what was going on for him the employee answered, “I’m nervous with all this uncertainty and what might happen.” Based on his employees’ feelings he knew he wasn’t getting the best out of them in their current states, the work was suffering, and he was concerned about their emotional wellbeing and physical health. What IF coronavirus circulated in the office? This was about their lives and families not just ‘work’. There was no experience or playbook for this situation. He convened his management team to develop a plan for testing the viability of as many people working from home as possible and to identify what would be needed to make it happen. Short story. They tested, adjusted and made in happen quickly. They are exceeding their targets, people are happy, he’s not ‘managing the pandemic’ and he’s leading and his peers in other regions are looking to him as a role model (which he humbly doesn’t understand). He demonstrated leadership with courage and vulnerability. Courage is the ability to move forward in the face of risk, opposition, criticism, acting despite the fear. Vulnerability is about exposing one self to potential harm. He did and is doing both.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Great question. It would be to live a life of no regrets and gratitude. Those are actually the last two chapters of my book because they mean so much to me. The idea of living with no regrets came from my experience of being with each of my parents when they died unexpectedly 22 weeks apart. Seeing their lives end led to my rebirth, it made me face mortality and that I only have this one sweet life. This means being self-aware and consciously choosing the life I was creating. And gratitude actually came from the Oprah Show in the 90’s, every night I complete a gratitude exercise reflecting on my day and in doing so I look at the world with more appreciation and gratitude. This is the basis for my striving for head and heart smart living, for the idea of soft skills leading to hard results. The head thinks of self-awareness and conscious choice and the heart feels the gratitude for what unfolds.

Can you please give us your favourite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I don’t have a favourite quote; different quotes resonate with me depending on where I’m at in my journey. A quote from my schooling and early career that drove me was by author William Johnsen I think, “if it’s to be it’s up to me.” This seemed to confirm my belief that if something was important to me I had to make it happen, be the change I wanted. It did have a dark or shadow side of independence, going it alone and feeling totally responsible; it meant I forgot to ask for help when I needed it. When I moved to the UK the words “Are you choosing out of fear or growth?” from a coach I worked with helped me create a new life for myself from a place of aspiration and heart rather than fear and scarcity. Another that’s felt inspiring lately and is fitting for people who struggle with confidence is Marianne Williamson’s words: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”

How can our readers further follow your work online?

My website www.directions-coaching.com offers a range of materials, a sign-up for a complimentary session and/or biweekly email of valuable insights and tips and a download of the first chapter of my book, “Soft Skills Hard Results.” Or through LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/anne-taylor-6b2a831/ and Twitter @annetaylorcoach

Thank you for these great insights! We really appreciate the time you spent with this.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


Alex Hinrichs: Giving Feedback; How To Be Honest Without Being Hurtful

by Penny Bauder, Founder of Green Kid Crafts

Dr. Randy Paterson: “Most things don’t work”

by Ben Ari

Melissa Miller of Gratitude Investors: “Learn what your employee’s goals are”

by Fotis Georgiadis
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.