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  • Linda R. Taliaferro

Case Study: The Power of Getting out of Your Own Way

Updated: Oct 12, 2020

Today I want to shine a light on an incredible client of mine, a professional on the West Coast named Sunchae Davis. We’ve been working together for 8 months, and in the time that I’ve been working with her, she has successfully navigated a tricky professional situation and radically transformed her working life. I’m excited to highlight her success because I think her story has something to offer anyone who has ever felt boxed in by a glass ceiling or a difficult team member.

I first met Sunchae in a hotel lobby in California, and we ended up talking for three hours about not only her career but also many aspects of her personal life that were impacting her career. It was an intense, emotional conversation, and it started our relationship out with the bravery that I've come to know and respect Sunchae for.

She felt stuck. The way things were organized at her office, the managerial structure of her company was blocking her path. She felt like external forces were holding her back from the things she wanted. Her career journey had become so frustrating that she felt like she was looking for evidence that her efforts were pointless because nothing seemed to be getting her anywhere.

So immediately, my goal with Sunchae was to get her on board with the process. We set out to identify her roadblocks, pinpoint the exact seat at the table that she wanted, and created a specific plan for how to get there. We came up with a game plan: convert adversaries into allies, make friends, and shift her mindset.

All of my sessions are geared around understanding the complexities of each individual client, and that requires some soul-searching. The process was sometimes intense. What issues were hanging around from previous jobs? What personal traumas are we re-enacting in our workplaces? How are our own insecurities holding us back? Sunchae dove headfirst into the process.

We very quickly discovered an issue that I see crop up with a lot of clients: our biggest obstacle is often ourselves. Even though there are very real external factors that might be in your way, if you feel stuck, nine times out of ten, it's an issue that you're bringing to the table that's blocking you.

And what I respect so much about Sunchae's journey with me is her commitment to do the deep work, doing what I call the "Peel Back, Connect, and Grow" method to find the things that blocked her and begin addressing them.

She was able to convert people who she thought were holding her back into people who were bending over backward to be her allies. Through a combination of soliciting feedback, giving praise, and opening herself, she became a person who could receive that help instead of blocking herself off from them. I've known people who have been working for twice as long as Sunchae who still can't do what she managed to do in ten sessions with me, and I'm in awe of her.

At a recent session where we recapped what she'd been doing since we last spoke, I literally fist-pumped the air because her focus was so energizing. Hearing her dedication, her focus, and growth was honestly better than a cup of coffee.

Today, she's got a clear vision and her eye on a leadership position in her company, and I have absolute confidence that she's going to get it. If you’d like to develop your game plan and get out of your own way, let’s talk! Sunchae’s story started with a free consultation, and yours can too. Click here to get a meeting on my calendar, and we’ll get started.

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