Client Spotlight: A.R. Smith
A.R. Smith is the President of A.R. Consulting Partners LLC and a Chair for CEO and Key Executive Peer groups. She found out about Frame of Mind Coaching™ when she and Kim Ades, President and Founder of FOM Inc, connected on LinkedIn. “I like to get to know other coaches and learn different approaches as I’m always looking to grow and enhance myself and my practice,” says A.R.
They continued their conversation on a discovery call, and Kim got A.R. to open up about some of her struggles. “The reason for our call was to learn how to have more value for my clients, but I realized I had my own hurdles to overcome,” says A.R. “My level of life satisfaction was low, I was overthinking things and I was blaming myself. I didn’t want to be in that place but I didn’t know how to get out of it.”
A.R. had just completed 6 months of therapy, which helped her get things off her chest but didn’t really help her move forward. She felt stuck. She knew that she needed a tough coach, and FOM Coach Dave Gorham was the perfect fit for her.
Using the FOM journaling platform, A.R. let it all out in her journals and didn’t hold back. Dave responded to each of her journals and asked questions, and as a result of the data that A.R. revealed in her journals, their weekly coaching calls moved A.R. forward at a rapid pace. “Journaling by yourself provides insight but it doesn’t create lasting change,” she says. “Journaling and having a coach read and interpret those journals is a formula for success. That’s a huge difference between FOM and other coaching programs.”
A.R. says she’ll always remember her first coaching session with Dave in which he asked her, “Aren’t you a leader? You’ve run companies and built a coaching business from scratch! But in your journals I can see that you’re showing up as a victim, not a leader.”
The FOM approach of looking at who you really are and who you want to be versus how you’re presenting yourself really resonated with A.R. “I discovered that there was a disconnect between who I was and how I was showing up,” she says. “That was really valuable.” Dave pushed and challenged A.R. to be her best self as opposed to staying stuck because of her perceived flaws.
Together, Dave and A.R. processed the personal and professional relationships that she was struggling with. “Many of my relationships weren’t fulfilling enough,” she says. “I thought that others were the reason for this, but really it was me who was stopping that from happening.” A.R. went from having high expectations of others to simply learning and getting curious about those relationships.
She also learned to slow down, to not expect immediate results, to hold her judgment and to create space for others and just listen. “I don’t go into conversations with specific expectations anymore,” she says, “I go into conversations with curiosity instead.” With her family, where she used to have expectations around how they should show up for her, she learned to shift how she shows up for them, which in turn deepened those relationships.
“I came from a very conservative, religious background with prescribed family roles,” says A.R. “Though I’m progressive, I had some work to do in terms of breaking free from certain mindsets. I learned to just be.”
A.R. also learned that she doesn’t always need to be teaching or fixing; life is about learning and growing. One valuable takeaway was that not every question deserves an answer. “Being in a leadership role, people often look to me for answers,” she says. “Now I’ll say, ‘I don’t know, let’s work through some ideas together.’ That has taken a lot of pressure off of me.”
As a coach, A.R. now challenges her clients to be less scripted and more curious. “FOM really resonates with me because I don’t like solving issues through structure, I like solving issues by letting people show up as their authentic selves, which leads to the answers they need,” she says. She learned that one of her most important core values is intuition, which she now leans into to find the right questions to ask as opposed to making assumptions.
While Dave gave A.R. many tools to overcome her obstacles, he also helped her look inward in order to access her own resources. He did this by asking the right questions and continuing to dig deeper until they’d get to the source of the obstacle. “Other coaches I know take clients through a strict process,” says A.R. “FOM has a framework but the structure isn’t rigid.”