Today we’re humbled to share the story of Kerry Randle, a senior project manager at Berkeley Group IT, who went into one of our management training programmes thinking ‘I don’t have time for this’ and ‘I’m a bit too old for this’ and came out the other side really wanting to share the life-changing impact it’s had, not only on her work life but her personal life too.

The training kicked off with a ‘Lumina Spark’ assessment which is an individual psychometric profile that provides a colourful framework for better self-understanding. “I doubted what I would actually get from this exercise. I was very much aware that, with my traumatic experiences in earlier life, I had learned to adapt my behaviour as a coping mechanism, so how was this going to give a true reflection of me?”

The training and group discussion provoked deeper thinking, and for Kerry, it made her reflect on what her ‘true self’ is behind those learned behaviours. Initially Kerry was focused on how she could apply the learning to her work at Berkeley as a manager of a small team. However, one particular exercise evoked an unexpectedly strong emotion that she knew was triggered by her personal life.

“As mad as this sounds, there was a sentence on a card used during a group session that has changed me forever. That sounds dramatic but it really is the case. We were asked to pick a card that we resonated the most with. One card said: ‘I prefer to communicate in writing’. It sounds a very unassuming sentence and probably doesn’t evoke any strong feelings with anyone else!”

So why did such a non-inspirational sounding card resonate so strongly with Kerry? This question drove her to think deeper, and she realised that actually she rarely used the phone at work or in her personal life because she has a fear of making and receiving phone calls. Kerry had never called to book a taxi or a restaurant, instead she found a way around it, like online booking. She also told her daughter to only call if there is an emergency. 

Kerry realised that her avoidance of communicating by phone had been brought about by abusive previous life experiences that caused trauma and avoiding the phone was a learned behaviour to protect herself. 

In the Emotional Intelligence (EI) part of the training, one particular statement stuck with Kerry: ‘Our thoughts and feelings choose the behaviour’. 

When applying this to her fear of the phone, she realised that, whilst she initially felt a sense of panic when hearing a phone ring, she could change that by reassuring herself that she’s OK and the people that caused this fear are no longer in her life. To break the habit, Kerry actively chose to start making phone calls to her loved ones and, six months on, she now can’t get her chatter box daughter off the phone! What a lovely new problem to have. 

For Kerry, the impact of the training continued far beyond the course itself. Having conquered her fear of the phone, she started to question another serious habit that she knew was also a result of trauma, but one that she no longer needed in her life. “The lightbulb moment came one evening driving home from work, when I realised that this was indeed just another habit that I had got myself into in the same way as the phone scenario. I felt lifted just by the realisation alone! Then I applied the same powerful message as before to change this habit - our behaviour is driven by our thoughts and feelings”.  

Kerry swiftly took action to seek further help and, needless to say, anything Kerry now sets her mind to, she seems to achieve despite the odds being stacked against her. How fantastic to have that same mindset continue after the course has finished! Speaking to Kerry, it’s clear that she feels freed mentally and physically and she’s now in a really good place in her work and personal life.

“Without the Berkeley Management Programme through Accelerator, I wouldn’t have realised the full extent of my ‘habits’ and their impact on my daily life. More importantly, I wouldn’t have been equipped to understand how to recognise them or know how to change them.  Nobody can tell you to make such fundamental changes in your life. Change has to come from within and this programme allowed me that time and learning journey to do just that. It truly has been a life-changing course for me and all those around me - I can’t emphasise enough how grateful I am for that opportunity”.

We’re extremely honoured to have been able to help Kerry make such a significant impact on her life. If we help someone become a better leader or manager, we’re happy, but on the odd occasion it extends further, it’s a true pleasure. 

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