The words leaped off the screen as soon as I opened the email.  ‘Shaun Mansfield, you are a star!’ I thought. Who is Shaun Mansfield and what did he do?

Well, you may or may not remember last year in the run up to the launch of our ‘How to be a Brilliant Coach’ programme I hosted a number of free conference coaching calls.  People dialled in and asked for coaching; I gave mini coaching sessions to 3-4 people each time.

Shaun dialled in and asked if I could help with his fear of heights.  Correction: phobia about heights. I told him I could and we started talking. It turned out that he’d signed up to do a charity abseil and was terrified at the thought of what he would have to do.

As the conversation unfolded I discovered that this was not just any old charity abseil.  This was abseiling from the top of the BT Tower in London.  No wonder he was nervous!

Live on the call, I started taking Shaun through the NLP Phobia Model.  I’d got to the point of discovering the root cause when my coach’s instinct told me not to attempt the whole process there and then.  Instead I arranged a coaching session in person with Shaun as my contribution to his fund-raising. 

The day we met, his abseil was only weeks away.  I was excited to see the results of our work in such dramatic fashion.  Shaun was simply relieved that he wasn’t going to be embarrassed on the day.

Then disaster struck. The event was postponed because of security issues in London. 

In fact, it was postponed until 10th March 2014.  What a long wait that was!

The next day I emailed Shaun to find out how he did, and this is his reply:

“Hi Dianne,
Forgive me for not getting in touch straight away.
However, I have an excuse; I did not do the abseil Monday.
It was far too windy.
So I had a day of sitting around thinking I was going to abseil.
Went back to London yesterday and did it!
Managed to step off without any trouble, had a slight technical hitch which meant I was stuck right at the top of the tower.
I cannot say I enjoyed it.
Which without your help would have been impossible.
Thank you, thank you thank you.

As I said at the beginning, Shaun Mansfield – you are a star!  What a privilege it was to have been part of this story.

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