Loraine was a high achiever and a perfectionist who had always taken her work very seriously. However, she had a reputation for not taking criticism well, which often made it difficult for her to collaborate effectively with others.

Loraine recognised that she had conflicting needs. On one hand, she wanted to improve herself and to be the best that she could be. On the other hand, she needed to feel secure in her own way of doing things and to avoid criticism at all costs.

In her coaching sessions, Loraine and her coach discussed several ways to meet these needs. One approach they explored was for Loraine to set boundaries and be more assertive in communication. Loraine realised that she could communicate her needs more clearly and that by doing so, she could feel more secure in her interactions with others.

For example, Loraine learned to say, “I appreciate your feedback, but I need some time to process it before I can respond.” This allowed her to take in feedback at her own pace rather than feeling overwhelmed and defensive.

Another approach Loraine and her coach discussed was for Loraine to reframe criticism as an opportunity for growth. Loraine realised that if she could focus on the constructive aspects of feedback, she could learn from it and improve herself. She started to ask questions like, “Can you give me more detail on what you mean by that?” or “What specific steps can I take to improve in that area?” This helped her to see criticism as a tool for growth rather than a personal attack.

Loraine also learned to take breaks when she felt overwhelmed. She started to practice mindfulness and meditation, which helped her to stay calm and centred in the face of criticism. She also found that exercise and other forms of self-care helped her to manage stress and anxiety.

Finally, Loraine learned to seek out constructive criticism from those she trusted. She realized that she could learn and grow in a supportive environment by asking for feedback from people with her best interests at heart. This helped her build stronger relationships with her colleagues and improve her work performance.

In the end, Loraine discovered several ways to meet her needs for self-improvement and feeling safe. By setting boundaries, reframing criticism, taking breaks, practising self-care, and seeking out constructive feedback, Loraine was able to achieve her goals while still maintaining healthy relationships with those around her.

Based on a real client participating in our coaching course. The name has been changed to maintain confidentiality.

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