I first spoke with Jules in May 2022 after my boss had put me in touch. Initially I was hesitant of 'this coaching mumbo jumbo', but I handed my number over... within fifteen minutes of the first phone call I truly felt more understood than I have felt with colleagues I'd known for years!
Jules is warm & friendly with a very gentle way about her, and importantly made me feel safe to express.
I'm a talker to say the least, so encouraging me to share wasn't really the issue! Rather, Jules allowed me to focus my talking initially, putting me in a space where she'd listen and guide - keeping me on subject - encouraging me to consider and be open with myself as I looked to grow and develop as a partner, father and professional.
With a lot of guided self reflection and a clearer understanding of true sincerity, Jules helped me realise and understand a lot of my own strengths and weaknesses. I've always been an over-thinker, pre-empting the response of the person I'm speaking to, I'd often adjust 'my bit' accordingly, based on assumptions... I very quickly realised the downside of this way to communicate. A lot of imagery was drawn up on Jules' A1 paper, I think she clicked that I can be quite visual in learning, the diamond (me) and squiggles (paranoid thoughts) covered in nail polish (putting on a false persona to cover up the other stuff) still sticks with me as a reminder to act with transparency - and tact - in all conversations personally and professionally... I suppose you have to be a part of that session to understand properly...😁
After we'd worked through the importance of transparency in communication, my listening was the next hurdle... Over a few sessions, we discussed the different types of listening and, honestly, I realised just how terrible at listening I'd been until that point! I felt a little embarrassed, which Jules quickly absolved, but through those few sessions I understood the difference between not listening, actively listening and easy listening. The difference this has made on a personal level is remarkable as well as in sales conversations, to build rapport and relationship with customers.
Practically, the key was putting everything I learnt into practice. Through simple things, like the change of a desktop background on my laptop and a physical reminder of 'my diamond' (which I still have next to my computer), I've put simple tools in place to remind myself of the education I had with Jules. Don't get me wrong, I do still have my moments, but overall, being more self aware in communication comes a lot more easily with these tools.
To finish, my time with Jules has increased my productivity, efficiency, communicative ability and - on a personal level - relationship with family more than a few paragraphs can describe. From feeling anxious about planning and constantly questioning my self worth as a professional, I'm now much more relaxed, confident and content in all aspects of my work, and personal life.
Thank you, Jules, it was honestly life changing.