Success Stories: Problems with meetings

In these posts, I want to share the stories of my past students and clients. I’m very proud of their accomplishments, and I think their successes reflect my skills as a teacher and coach. I hope these stories will paint a clearer picture of my goals for Artglish and how I can help others to succeed in reaching their dreams.

Who is this story about?

Sean is an engineer working for an industrial design company. I worked with him several years ago as an online English coach. Although I found Sean to be a very pleasant, polite, and friendly person, he was getting different feedback at work.

What was the problem?

Although Sean was well-respected in his company and good at his job, he was having trouble in meetings. He would often get frustrated and argue with his co-workers. He started working with me after his supervisor suggested that he try coaching.

After talking about his situation in depth during our first session, we realized that Sean actually had three problems. The first was that there was a cultural gap between him and many of his co-workers. As a middle-aged, more experienced employee, he sometimes found it difficult to connect with his younger teammates. They felt he was too old-school, and he thought they relied too much on theories rather than experience. This created a lot of tension between them.

The second problem was that he had different values than some of the other employees. He felt that the company’s products needed to be perfect no matter how long it took to improve them, and others felt that finishing on a deadline was more important. This created conflicts that would make him very upset because he really cared about the reputation of the company and the quality of their products.

The third problem was the language. As a non-native English speaker, he still had a strong accent and sometimes struggled when thinking about what he wanted to say. This was especially difficult when he was frustrated or upset because he could not express himself clearly. This lack of good communication would lead to conflicts in meetings.

How did I help?

The first thing Sean and I did was talk about the conflicts he was having to get to the heart of the problem. Part of Sean’s frustration was that he felt no one understood him. He felt stuck in a bad situation and didn’t see a way out because he thought he didn’t belong.

Once we figured that out, I was able to suggest different strategies to help him relate to his colleagues and to listen to them without getting upset. I also gave him some suggestions that helped him change his mindset to reflect the values of the company and not take on too much responsibility for himself. He told me later that his wife had been giving him the same advice for a long time, so she was happy too!

Finally, I taught him some techniques and phrases to help him express himself more effectively in English. We brainstormed ways that he could prepare for meetings and get his points across to his team. Then, we practiced together, so that he felt more confident during the meetings. By the end of our sessions, he was getting much better feedback at work, had a more positive outlook, and less stress at home! That’s what I call a great accomplishment!

I want to help you too!

If you are looking for this kind of help, I’m happy to work with you too! I’ve worked with clients in different areas of art and design who have trouble expressing their ideas or opinions in meetings or in the classroom. I can teach you many strategies to help you succeed and I’m happy to practice with you until you feel you can say what you want with confidence.  If you want to know more about working with an English language coach, you can take a look at the Learn page or schedule a free trial lesson so we can talk about what you need and how I can help!

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Jessica

I help artists and designers with their English so they can focus on being creative and changing the world.

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