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  • Ruth Dettman

What is more stressful than hanging out with family during the holidays?

I’ve discovered my inner Movezilla.

Looking for a place to live in a city 9000 kilometres away, all the time working and packing, brought out my less-than-best side.

Staring with beady Movezilla-like eyes at real estate rentals online, the permanent frown between my eyebrows grew deeper.

My oldest child is staring intently at me. With a gorilla-like grunt, I ask what’s wrong. The response?

“When you worry, I worry”.


Other Movezilla moments? Other than scaring young children, here are a couple of other gems:

  • insisting that the friendly and hardworking movers drive from Dubai to Abu Dhabi through dangerous storm and flooding conditions to finish packing up our house

  • yelling at the very patient telecom’s customer service rep for the confusing account closure process

Who are we being

Everyone has Movezilla moments.

Workloads and competing demands make us more like a hairy ape hanging off the Empire State than a purposeful and kind-hearted human being.

We are continually making an impact on the people around us. It’s easier to notice our effect when galloping around like a crazed gorilla. It becomes harder to see our impact on others when we are under 'normal' stress loads.

Unintended consequences

A client of mine was struggling to understand why his team was underperforming and seemed demotivated. He was a person who cared about his company and his team. What was going on?

The puzzle pieces fell into place after we did a confidential 360. My client’s red-hot reactivity under stress came up as a theme. For him, he was doing what was necessary when the stakes were high. To the team, he was unpredictable and hard to trust.

Seeing the mirror at the right time

Here are 2 ways to move the dial towards a more positive impact.

  1. The simplest way is to be present to what’s happening in the moment. Notice how people are reacting to you, notice what they say. Do they, like my eldest, look like they are staring at the face of a 100-pound gorilla?

  2. As my client did, invite confidential feedback, specifically 360. You'll begin to see the connections between your behaviour and your impact.

Your turn

Do you have any Move-zilla like stories? You know I love hearing from you (plus it would make me feel better knowing I'm not the only one!) ;-)

Ruth has been coaching at the executive and leadership level since 2015. Before coaching, she worked for 15 years in three global organisations (PwC, BHP and BP) over two countries (Australia and Canada) as a Chartered Accountant. Ruth’s coaching clients range from mid-management to executive-level clients in the food & beverage, media, professional services, utilities, oil & gas, satellite & telecommunications, tourism & culture, industrial conglomerates, government services, and global not for profits.

She has helped her clients identify and leverage their unique leadership style to influence stakeholders, overcome hesitation in having proactive and constructive conversations in complicated work relationships, and find paths for their teams and organisations in constantly changing environments.

Ruth’s clients say that ‘she gets them’. She understands their world. They can relax in the very first meeting, knowing that Ruth is not judging them. She brings curiosity to explore what’s happening and what is possible, which is the best kind of coaching to find sustainable long term solutions to challenges. Find out more at


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