Make Room For The Stuttering

Coach? Who? Me?

Posted on: November 10, 2011

I had an interesting proposal last week. A colleague from a prior job emailed me out of the blue and asked if I would consider coming on with them (for hire) in a coaching or consulting capacity.

He said, “this is going to sound kind of funny, but we need a self-esteem coach, and the first person we thought of was you.”

He had my attention.

It seems my colleague is working with an amazing young man who has mild Aspergers syndrome and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder.) The young man has several part-time jobs, friends, and is involved in an adult sports league. He is accepted by co-workers and friends.

But he doesn’t believe that! He is having a hard time reconciling his difference and being able to present himself as “normal” to the world. In his mind, being different and being perceived as normal by the world just doesn’t compute.

My friend thought I could maybe help him as a coach, since I have worked my way through similar experiences very successfully. I was like, “huh? what are you talking about?”

He told me he thought I must have worked through the feelings of  “being different'” that comes with stuttering, because I am so open and confident and have such a healthy perspective on who I am. (If he only knew how I sometimes feel and don’t let on!)

I was momentarily stunned. I don’t recall ever having a significant discussion with this colleague about stuttering. He knows I stutter obviously because I stuttered openly at that job. He was my supervisor.

Then I felt pleased. We haven’t talked much at all over four years. Yet, he thought of me as a good resource to be a “self-esteem coach” for this young person.

We talked over the phone and brainstormed. He is looking for someone in a non-clinical capacity who can just share with this young person how I came to terms with my own “difference”, some of the feelings and challenges I have dealt with, and how I did/do that. That’s all. Just sharing my experience, in a mentoring/coaching capacity.

The young man has clinical people in his life. He doesn’t need anyone else like that. The thought is maybe he might benefit from an ordinary person who has struggled with similar self esteem doubts.

I am very interested in this opportunity. Who would have thought? Never me, in a million years.

This journey we are on . . . . . .  when we share, it does make a difference!

Can you see how your experiences with stuttering might/could help others?

6 Responses to "Coach? Who? Me?"

Hi Pam, I think you will be a wonderful mentor to a person conflicted with their emotions and belief system – no better person as far as I can see from all of your amazing podcasts! You are so in touch with your emotions and are very self aware – an intelligence that most people are lacking or don’t seem to have at all! Sometimes we all need someone to put us back on the right track when we have “derailed” slightly and you are the person for the job!

Best wishes always,


Great stuff!! Sounds like an amazing opportunity to affect a bunch of young minds. If you have the time – Take it on!

Pam, this sounds like a great opportunity. Please take it if you can. The difference you can make will be huge. And you would be brilliant, I’m sure – Pam, the self-esteem coach!

Hi Pam we never know who we might touch. Stuttering or a non stutter.

Hi Pam, fantastic, sounds like a challenge but I am very sure you will take it on like you do everything wih honest and passion AND you never know what that might lead on to too !!
go for it !

That’s so cool. And yes, sounds like a great situation for both of you. I look forward to hearing how it goes.

Yes, I hope to use the patience I’ve gained from living with stuttering in my new nursing career. I think it will make me better with patients.

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