Believe in you

I received an uplifting message recently. Lotte was in a leadership program I facilitated in London years ago. At the end of that two-day program, I gave the participants a bit of a pep talk and handed them a bookmark with bold lettering: Believe in you.

Lotte and I had had dinner together with a couple of other participants after day one, and we clicked. After dinner, she opened up to me when I asked what she’d do if nothing stood in her way – not time, money, people, geography. She thought a moment and then described the setup she’d have and what she would do for the company that had not been done before. I asked who knew she had this idea. No one. She had such a clear picture of it in her mind, I was amazed she hadn’t told anyone. I encouraged her to stretch and talk with her manager about it. She was afraid he’d immediately dismiss it. I suggested she start by telling him she was asked what she’d do if nothing stood in her way.
Months later she wrote to me on LinkedIn that she’d told her manager and he was impressed. Within a year she was promoted, he’d started looking at her possibilities differently.
Over the years, I’ve heard from Lotte a few times and each time encouraged her with what she was doing. A month ago, eight years since we met, she wrote in response to a piece I posted on LinkedIn that she still has hanging on the wall near her front door, above the key cabinet, the bookmark I gave her. Every day when she leaves the house she sees in bold letters: Believe in you. She said those words have strengthened her many times over the years. Now her kids see it every day, too.
Her message is more heartwarming than I can describe. It is why I coach.

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