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Lois Hamill

Lois Hamill

I attended the 2016 Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Women’s Initiative Leadership Summit.  I just happened to attend Kay’s session and by the end of an hour she had wowed me.  I was inspired by the Leadership conference and wanted to improve my own leadership skills.  I decided to take the next step professionally and work with Kay as my personal coach.

It was as if she had known me for years.  She seemed to know me so well, understood what I might be struggling with and offered concrete suggestions.  We started by identifying some areas on which to work.

Each telephone call was structured and organized around a topic.  If I had homework, we discussed what worked or what was a challenge.  Kay gently asked probing questions like what might I have done differently, what would happen if I considered …, or what did I learn from the situation.

Kay helped me see perspectives I might have missed or reaffirmed my conclusions if they were accurate but I was uncertain.  Calls usually ended with something specific for me to try or to work on before the next call.  Because Kay wanted to ensure I was benefitting from the coaching and she was meeting my needs, she ended by asking what was most beneficial for me in that call.  At times, this informed what we worked on for the next session.

I had been working on more effective use of my time, identifying work tasks that were more strategically significant, better alignment of my time with strategic tasks based on a priority rating I assigned, and improved budgeting of time for a task based on its priority rating.  While mulling this all over after one call, suddenly I was able to see how to integrate three or four of these using a tool called a Priority Grid.  I saw how what initially seemed to be unrelated topics actually could work together.

Kay is very perceptive and asked questions that made me think deeper about a given topic.  She also brought new perspectives to the discussion to help me see it differently and get mentally unstuck.  This enabled me to see possibilities I previously hadn’t seen and develop actions to try that felt comfortable for me.

I was under considerable stress during some of the time I worked with Kay, because I was being pushed to complete a book manuscript at a much faster pace than I had intended.  Kay helped me think through my options at several key points and having chosen the most challenging path, helped me maximize the benefits from the choice I made.  She was able to balance our sessions between supporting me in my crisis du jour and continuing to address topics I initially identified as areas for work.

I did come away with many new ideas and tools which I plan to go back to, develop further and practice implementing.  Through working with Kay, I have changed and have become a more confident leader.  On a number of occasions in the last six months, I have been complimented by upper management for new actions or have seen my suggestion adopted.

I am closer to the end of my career than the beginning, but I seek to continuously grow and develop.  I want to be a better me.  When I chose to work with Kay, I chose to invest in myself.  I made a good decision.  If you are reading this, I would encourage you to consider whether you are worth investing in.  I suspect the answer is yes.  If it is, then it would be worth your time to speak with Kay about how she might help you work towards your goals.

Lois Hamill
University Archivist and Associate Professor Northern Kentucky University