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Coaching versus Criticism: The Tech Tea with Kimberly

Have you ever met with a senior executive that told you everything your were doing wrong and did not mention one thing you ever did right?

I have. Words can really hurt. How would you take being told that you were any combination of the following?:

  1. You are rude

  2. You force your opinion on others

  3. You interject others while talking

  4. You lack situational awareness

  5. Your tone is questionable

  6. You lack interaction with others

This was in one 30 minute conversation with me. The overthinker in me kept replaying this over and over again in my mind. It literally made me ill and I broke out in hives. I don't have a problem with criticism, but I just did not know I was doing so terrible and I could not recall being this way. To add insult to injury, he offered nothing else. That was that and I was just supposed to live or die with it. It did not matter one way or the other to him.

I called an executive coach three hours after I came out of shock. He was very encouraging and I will be sharing my executive coaching journey with you over the next couple of weeks.

I know I am not perfect and perceptions belong to individuals, but I don't want to be oblivious to traits that will hold me back or I need to learn what to professionally ignore.

As a leader, we should understand the difference between coaching versus criticism. This article gave some good points.

The first step in this executive coaching journey included a couple of personality tests. The first was the DiSC assessment. I took this many years ago, but it was a refreshing reminder that I am who I am and it made me feel a lot better about Kimberly. I really have been in need of feeling better about myself.

I am a DiSC type S: In summary, DISC type S personality traits include...

  • Listen patiently to the needs and requests of others.

  • Work considerately and cooperatively with others.

  • Be uncomfortable around aggressive or hostile people.

  • Avoid overly competitive situations.

  • Take direction from a leader they trust.

This probably explains why I struggled with the comments from the senior leader. I just don't see how I was that bad.

Like most personality types, here are my DiSC weaknesses: DISC S personality weaknesses

  • Not being direct when communicating negative information.

  • Being too passive when assertiveness is necessary.

  • Avoiding confrontation and not giving feedback to others who may need it.

  • Delaying decisions involving interpersonal conflict.

I have some work to do, but I am not a bad human like this man made me feel.

Use this link to find you your DiSC type:

Share your type in the comments if you don't mind.


Being mindful of how we communicate to people is so essential. Not everyone can positively cope with personal character attacks. Thankfully I trust in God more than man. That is the only way I can step back and not let something completely defeat and discourage me. Otherwise I would find some unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Probably why I started blogging in the first place.

Also, don't shy away from therapy. I am an advocate for making sure your mental health is on point, and therapy is a great avenue to keep your mental health in tact.

Here is my formula:

We are not trying to be better just to be good employers or employees, we want to be better people to ourselves. It's time to be selfish and take care of the person we see in the mirror.

This tech career for me will only get greater. I have not scratched the surface of what amazing opportunities are in store for me. I will use the hard times to build muscle for the next great thing. "The best is yet to come" and I look forward to it all.

Stay tuned for the next steps in my executive coaching journey. I think I may find out more about the people I work for and with along the way


Don't trip, it's just a tip

Minimize all windows Sometimes you have a bunch of stuff running, and you want it all to go away so you can get to the desktop. Simply pressing Windows key + D will minimize everything you have up, which will save you some time pressing the minimize button for each window. It should be noted that Windows + M offers similar functionality, but there is no undoing, so Windows + D is the more favorable approach. In macOS we favor leveraging the power of Mission Control to handle virtual desktops, switching between apps, and peaking at your desktop beautifully.


Now sip some tea and light a candle...we deserve this goodness

29 views2 comments


Cynthia Moran
Cynthia Moran
Oct 26, 2021

The fact you sought professional assistance proves the guy was wrong about you. Classic, judging someone based on what someone said instead of what you know.


E. Fairley
E. Fairley
Oct 12, 2021

Type S

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