Sheryl has managed teams for 30 plus years and has always had the ability to motivate others. That was until a number of changes in her personal life made her aware that there was a communication pattern that was repeating and holding her back from working and living at her best.
She did not feel safe to speak and ask for what she needed in fact she didn’t really know what she wanted other than to be happy and feel successful
She found herself feeling misunderstood and frustrated and overtime gave up trying to speak. If she did speak it would be on behalf of others or just to say what others wanted to hear.
At first this showed up more in her personal relationships then it eventually impacted her at work.
For many years she wore her professional mask giving people the perception of a very successful and confident business woman, when inside she felt incomplete without the happiness at home she desired.
Making friends was difficult and being honest with family members was even more challenging. Sheryl hit rock bottom when a series of events hit her in quick succession.
Divorce and then death of her mum made her aware of some repeating communication patterns.
She dealt with both of these by burying her head in work taking on promotion and more responsibility.
She soon found herself falling into the trap unable to say no, or ask her manager for help. She eventually burnt herself out and by May 2008 she decided the solution was to leave her job. It is only now looking back that she can see the pattern. The problem was the same - she didn’t know what she wanted and so couldn’t ask for help. The same thing also happened with her previous employer in 1999.
Although leaving the jobs and getting divorced did bring with it a temporary reprieve as the saying goes “a change is as a good as a rest.” It wasn’t long before the pattern started to re appear. Now married to Mark a few years in and they both noticed signs that the problems they had both had in their previous marriage were showing up again. Only now they had the communication tools to listen to each other in a way that supported the change.
Sadly this lesson came too late; as she realised she had taught that same behaviour to her daughter who at 15 started to self harm and was unable to communicate what she wanted or needed to feel safe and supported through the transition of the teens.
Despite wanting to be the best mum she could be, she had failed to create an environment where her daughter felt safe to speak and history was repeating itself yet again.
By this time Sheryl had already established Step by Step Listening and ironically was marketing herself as a mums and daughter relationship coach. The professional mask began to crack and the feeling of failure started to leak through her communications.
Sales went down and she withdrew and started to avoid conversations or relationships that would challenge her in anyway. Once again the temptation to blame the job/business came in and she almost repeated the pattern again suggesting to her husband that she close the business down and go get a job stacking shelves at Asda.
Fortunately this time she did not listen to her inner critic and instead remembered all the knowledge and resources she had developed over the past 5 years from coaching mums and daughters, business owners and husband and wives. Instead of giving up she found the courage to attend her own programmes. Supported by her team and her husband she was coached through the process to fully understand:
Clarity - What she wanted
To be the best working mum she could be.
Confidence - What she needed
To understand what she needed to work, learn and live in a way that left her resourced and supported sufficiently to support others
Change - What support she needed
To fully understand the kind of support network she needed to get her through any change that life could throw at her
It was by listening to and trusting her own process she was able to find her way back to a strong and healthy relationship with her daughter and her whole network.
Often the biggest challenge for strong, caring and compassionate people is to know what kind of help they need and to have the courage to ask for it.
Sheryl knew she had the formula for success. She had supported hundreds of people to listen better to themselves and others and they were now having successful relationships. But they had her; and she had to find someone or a number of people to provide her with the same kind of resource.
2012 – 2015 was a period of time where Sheryl took time to turn her own inner critic into her very own strength and solution detective by practicing and implementing what she had taught almost 150 clients.
In 3 simple steps she was able to focus on what she wanted and what worked for her to feel happy and successful and the metaphor and internal resource of “The strength and solution detective” was developed. Today Sheryl is known as "The Listening Detective" and she loves nothing better than helping individuals develop the inner resources to listen to themselves and others without judgment in order to develop the resources and support to create and manage change.