Meeting Your Edge: A Retreat for Women

Meeting Your Edge: A Retreat for Women

Meeting your edge is a 6 to 12-month intensive personal and professional development individual or group coaching experience for women undergoing or wishing to undergo major transitions in their life and professional career.  This program is not for the faint hearted.  Meeting your Edge is for women who want to explore the myriad of ways that we hold ourselves back from realising our full potential due to societal expectations, deep seated biases towards ourselves, lack of confidence in ourselves and past experiences or trauma.  


 

Most high achieving women are running on empty.  They work harder, try harder, are more resilient and endure unspoken sacrifices to get into positions of relative power in the workplace.  Moreover, once these hard-won positions are achieved, they are running on empty having made many sacrifices along the way including relinquishing precious parts of themselves and their lives including family, relationships, integrity, personal values, and a sense of self.  

While there are many factors that hold women back as a result of social and structural bias towards masculinity, there are many factors that fall within the locus of control of women themselves to change.  Lack of confidence is reported as the number one factor holding women back from realising their potential and stepping into their power in the workplace, in life, in response to structural bias and societal challenges.  

Patterned intergenerational responding is another factor that comes from our background and can potentially hold us back.  This leads some women to formulate their aspirations and talents far too modestly and to present themselves drenched in self-doubt and imposter syndrome. Other women hang on to sexual stereotypes to confirm their place in the food chain, by overt or covert sexualisation of their appearance and body language. Other women are saturated by shame and a sense of victimhood.

Another way in which self-loathing manifests in womens’ lives in the workplace, is the desire to please, be liked and appeal to those around them.  This mode of interaction presents itself in the workaholic.  Women strive for power by being a workhorse, being agreeable, depleting themselves of the critical energy to shine their talent, renew themselves and comfortably and effortlessly become the leaders they deserve to be.  

A final often unconscious but extremely damaging way in which women hold themselves back from becoming extraordinary leaders is the way they relate to each other.  Women learn from an early age ways subtle and often insidious ways of gaining power in their environments, often to the detriment of other women.  This program provides an opportunity to confront aspects of ourselves that we do not often meet.

Learning to start anew every day is about challenging yourself to meet the myriad of ways women are blindsided by their unconscious conditioning and ways of responding to situations.  You may be experiencing resistance in particular areas of your work life that require more concerted action over a longer period.  Your growth curve may have plateaued in certain areas.  Locking in change for a sustainable future, the Meeting Your Edge Program is about transformative growth over time in partnership with your coach.


The Experience

The program is most suited to:

  1. Women seeking development or preparing for further promotion.
  2. Those experiencing blockages or resistance to change and the development of new skills; or undergoing a significant career transition.


The program comprises 5 -10 high impact sessions of 1.5 hours over a 6 to 12 month period.  The length of the program and the areas of focus will vary according to the individual.


Coaching approach is evidence-based

Start Anew draws heavily on evidence-based psychology such as cognitive behavioural and dialectical behavioural skills training within a coaching framework that is person-centred and solution focused. Right brain thinking is also encouraged through narrative coaching using journal hand writing, drawing and neuro-linguistic semantics to build or refocus a strong leadership identity. This form of coaching has been found to be particularly effective in cross-cultural and Indigenous environments in Australia.  Adult learning is experiential and the importance of any one approach will vary for the individual.


Aim and Objectives

This program is not for the faint hearted.  It works through difficult issues such as:

  • Women and power  
  • Oppressed group behaviour
  • “Imposter syndrome”
  • Female archetypes and workplace stereotypes
  • The narrative of victimhood
  • Creating visibility and stepping into your power
  • Leadership style that goes beyond the script
  • Building presence as a leader
  • Meeting your edge


Key coaching objectives

  • Critically reflect on your life story and the many ways your life experience shapes your role as a leader and the challenges your face as a woman in the workplace.
  • Address your unconscious bias and patterned intergenerational responses and expectations to develop leadership thinking and behaviors that reframe your role in the workplace by tapping into hidden resources.
  • Present yourself consistently as a woman of passion, courage, self-worth and build presence in a range of real-life leadership challenging situations on the job and in your personal life.
  • Meet your edge, take risks and consistently step into activities and Executive leadership roles that you aspire to.
  • Deepen self-reflection by thinking and acting more creatively using narrative and expressive techniques to write and rewrite the story of your personal and professional life.  Practise telling and retelling the story to create a stronger self-identity and purpose.


Needs assessment

Objectives of the program are based on a comprehensive assessment of needs drawing on previous assessments and progress, review of personal and professional development plans, a commitment pledge, and identified current priorities.  A draft learning plan with individual objectives will be developed over the course of the program. Participants are encouraged to choose one or more of the following coaching modules. 


Outcomes

The program moves from empowerment strategies including experimentation and increased awareness of self and others towards mastery of new skills, behaviours and attitudes.  As individual needs vary, the sessions will vary in level and intensity and are likely to concentrate on some topics and products more than others.  The level and intensity of topics and coaching approach is matched to individual learning needs.  Whatever the combination of topics covered, the following outcomes are sought:

  • A deepening relationship with the self as leader of your life and more authentic relationships with others including responsible and sustainable growth both personally and professionally over time.
  • Sustained change in behaviours and attitudes and discernible new or adaptive leadership responses applied in the workplace including:  increased confidence, leadership presence and visibility.

Building more presence and visibility as an Executive leader: Presence as a leader goes well beyond competence in presenting to an audience.  The leader must reveal themselves authentically.  This intensive builds on prior learning with actual assignments tailored to the workplace situation.  

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