Connect Through Your Story
By Lucie Dickenson for The Huffington Post
Telling your story connects you to others in ways we sometimes can not imagine. It is when you choose to share your life experience, that opportunity begins to unfold. Opportunity to help, to understand, to heal and to empower.
Jeanie Coomber is a shining example of how one person’s story can make a difference to many. I accompanied Jeanie to Prudential Insurance in Newark last week, to write a story on the power of storytelling. Jeanie held the honor of keynote speaker for WLE (Women’s Life Experiences) for Prudential. Although the event was held in Newark, in addition to those attending, there were another 700 employees live streaming the event across the country.
As I sat in the front row, in anticipation of her talk, I was mesmerized by the sheer number of people in the room. Each held leadership positions, and each had their own individual story on how they got there. Even more impressive, with all of their incredible qualifications, they were humble enough to understand we can learn from one another and that growth is not just possible, but probable.
Jeanie’s talk was filled with information that was presented in a professional, yet real and humorous way. It was a big step outside of keynote speeches that I have heard, as it was interactive and personal at the same time. She went beyond her comfort zone and told soul level stories. Jeanie’s story is what opened the audience to no longer being an “audience”, and allowed them to become connected. They were not women Jeanie was speaking to, but women Jeanie was speaking with, for and about. The experience she spoke of, although incredibly personal, was a shared experience of heartache, wonder and triumph, that everyone can relate to, and can deeply understand.
Jeanie Coomber’s process is called “The Confrontational Encounter”. She explains that the Confrontational Encounter is the “process by which you dial into yourself to find your voice, your influence and your power”. It is her way to break down what is a difficult, life changing time in your life, and how to come out of it powerful and wise. She took us though what works for her, and how she maintains such clarity and self-awareness. She illustrated her point by leading the group in a silent mediation. Mrs. Coomber explained this was her daily way to stay centered and her way of “dialing in” to what makes her happy and ensuring she is moving in that direction every day.
The true testimony to Jeanie’s connection, however, was after her talk was complete. Jeanie allowed herself to be vulnerable during her moments on the stage, and as such, made a connection on a human level. I witnessed many women come forward to speak with her and share their stories and similarities. Truth telling is energy in the right direction, giving others the sparks of light to know its all okay, and that they can get through their hardest days and find the strength and the clarity to move forward in amazingly powerful ways.
Jeanie Coomber is an executive coach with over 25 years of experience. She speaks and coaches around the world and helps leaders find and capitalize on their greatest strengths.
We all have a story to tell…let’s listen.