Winning the Game of Work and Life with Terry B. McDougall

Terry is an executive and career coach, speaker and best-selling author of Winning the Game of Work: Career Happiness and Success on Your Own Terms

She works with managers, executives and professionals who want to draw upon their greatest, most authentic abilities to positively impact their organizations. She supports clients who are creating change, driving innovation, and navigating transitions.

Terry relies on both her formal training as a coach and first-hand experience as a corporate leader to support her clients as they work towards their goals. In coaching engagements, Terry serves her clients as a partner and encourager as they break new ground; as a sounding board, supporting them as an objective listener; as a scout, who sees the larger context, their possibilities and potential; and, as a catalyst, helping to spark their commitment and action.

After 30 years of corporate business experience, 15 of which were in senior managerial roles, Terry chose to become a coach to concentrate on helping leaders step fully into their potential to lead satisfying careers. Though the majority of her professional experience is in financial services and marketing, her work exposed her to a wide variety of industries, business climates and corporate transitions such as mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and restructures.

We start our conversation with how Terry decided to make a significant pivot in her career and become a coach. Terry’s area of expertise is helping high-achieving professionals with their career growth. And there are some characteristics and personal traits of high-achieving professionals that influence their behaviors and decisions. Terry shares with us her thoughts on how these traits are shaped from childhood and how we can identify and transform these behaviors positively.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, a psycho-social intervention that aims to improve mental health, is another area Terry discusses in detail in her book. She walks us through what CBT is, how she uses CBT to help her clients and a couple of examples of how we can use it in our lives to handle some of our daily dilemmas better. We also talk about some of the lesser-known traits that help us be successful in our careers and how to develop them in our lives. 

Sometimes we tend to have the same problem repeatedly in our careers, and that’s when it’s time to consider making a change in our lives. Terry walks us through the process of understanding this need for a change and how to go through with it. We also talk about handling our inner critic and using it to our advantage. Wrapping up the session, Terry debunks some of the biggest misconceptions around coaching. We hope you enjoy our discussion with Terry McDougall.

[01:20] Terry’s Major Career Shift – After more than 20 years in corporate America, Terry decided to take a different path, become a coach, and start writing her book. We talk about what inspired this pivot and what Terry learned while going through this shift.

[03:13] High Achievers – Some of the unique personal characteristics of high achievers and how these characteristics drive their behaviors. 

[09:31] Rules to the Game of Work – Terry used to work at a publisher in Boston when she had a somewhat shocking experience that made her realize some of the unspoken rules in corporate culture. We talk about how this experience influenced her later career decisions and how building your network can help you get the right role in the future. 

[30:44] Seeing the Trees and the Forest – Terry talks about the challenges she sees people face when trying to focus on the details of something while also looking at it from a high-level perspective.

[37:10] Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – What CBT is, how Terry uses it in her coaching practice, and how you can benefit from CBT. 

[41:46] Beyond Talent & Intelligence –  Many of us rely on intelligence and talent to advance in our careers even though it takes more than that to be successful in our careers. Terry walks us through some of the other traits that help us succeed in our careers and how to develop these traits within us. 

[46:25] “At Every Job I’ve Had” – If you’re having the same career issues over and over again, maybe it’s time for you to make a change. Terry shares her perspective on the process of realizing when to make a change in our mindset and how to go through with the change. 

[53:37] Growth Mindset – Having the right mindset is another essential thing we need to have to get to where we want to get to. Terry shares her take on how we can develop the right mindset for success.

[56:00] Working with High Achievers – Terry talks about how she works with high achievers and helps them avoid falling into the trap of external validation and figure out what they really want in life.

[01:00:00] Doing What You Love – Many of us tend to make all kinds of excuses as to why we can’t do what we love. Terry shares with us what we can do to transform our lives in a way that allows us to do what we really love. 

[01:06:28] Gremlins – How to deal with that little voice in your head that discourages you from going out of your comfort zone.

[01:17:23] Our Stories are Important – Why your story is important, and how to find your unique story. 

[01:25:00] Myths About Coaching – Terry debunks some of the misconceptions many people have about the benefits of coaching the value of getting help from a mentor. 


Terry’s Book; Winning the Game of Work:

Connect with Terry:

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David Burnes:

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