Client Spotlight: Kelley Donelin
Kelley Donelin is the Director of Sales at Lawline, a US-based company dedicated to providing online learning and continued legal education (CLEs) for attorneys. Michele Richman, the Chief People Officer at Lawline and an FOM Coaching™ client, informed Kelley that Lawline would be offering all their executives the opportunity to be coached with Frame of Mind Coaching™.
When given the opportunity to be coached by a company with a proven track record in executive coaching, Kelley responded, with a resounding “of course!” Although she has been coached before, Kelley believes that “different people have different ideas and suggestions. I was very happy and excited that Lawline did this for me and that I got to meet FOM Coach Chari Schwartz.”
Kelley noticed some key differences between her past coaching experience and FOM Coaching™. “Chari has dug a lot deeper into some challenges and fears at work, whereas my other coach didn’t know I had any issues there,” she says. “It has really changed my frame of mind (pardon the cliché) to see that I needed to step back and reassess certain things.”
Kelley discovered that she was making incorrect assumptions about many things because she didn’t have all the information. FOM’s coaching methodology also brought to the forefront her huge fear of asking for help throughout her whole life.
“This was ingrained in me from parents, teachers and sport coaches,” she says. “It was conveyed to me that asking for help was a sign of weakness, especially for women. I was always scared and worried that if I asked for help, people wouldn’t think I was enough or knew enough to be in my position.”
Chari worked with Kelley and opened her eyes to see that asking for help is actually a sign of strength. Kelley learned to let others in, ask for their ideas and not feel threatened by the results. “I have really great individuals on my team, but I was threatened by the people I had hired because they’re so intelligent,” she says. “Chari got me to understand that that’s OK, they’re an extension of me and my team and they help us all to be stronger.”
Kelley believes that her executive team has noticed a shift in her. “The way I handle things has changed and I ask more questions,” she says. “The biggest takeaway I learned from Chari is to ask ‘why?’ more.” This has helped Kelley identify her team’s fears and assumptions, and then challenge them on their thinking.
She is also being more vulnerable by sharing her ideas and welcoming feedback. “Before, I was hiding my cards, whereas now I lay out all my cards on the table,” she says.
Chari even helped her with ongoing challenges with her ex, to the point where she was able to avoid a court battle and focus on her kids’ needs. They were able to clear the air and move forward. “I felt like rocks came off my back and I regained control,” she says. “It was very empowering.”
Kelley is also a recovering alcoholic. “Even though there are many alcoholics in the world, people don’t know how to act around you,” she says. “Chari helped me work through that and see that it’s OK to just be me, it’s OK for someone else to be uncomfortable, and I don’t have to fix them.”
Chari and Kelley developed a teacher/student-like bond, and also a friendship. Kelley describes Chari as an invaluable, honest and loyal cheerleader who always wants the best for you. “It’s my favorite meeting of my entire week because she makes me thrive as an individual and as a leader,” says Kelley. “There’s no judgement whatsoever; instead there’s grace, compassion and strength.”
Chari has made Kelley want to be a better person and to help others the way that’s she’s helped her. “I apply what I’ve learned into my coaching sessions with my team,” she says.