As coaches, saying that a client is right or wrong is not part of the territory. Our role is not to be judges of what someone wants or decides to do. Rather it is helping them move from wherever they are to where they want to be … in their job, in relationships or in their life. Admittedly and under certain circumstances, withholding personal judgment is not always easy and requires a good amount of self-management.
Just recently … and not once but twice … the ability to self-manage was put to a test. Clients expressed themselves in ways similar to the title of this blog. I mean they actually felt relief as they expressed the following thinking:
- “I’m very happy that the economy has become so much healthier. No longer do I have the pressure of needing to perform above and beyond in order to avoid being among the unemployed”. REALLY?
- “The past few years have been very stressful for me … always concerned that if I failed to do an outstanding job I stood to lose my job to someone else who was available and there were many. This has been anything but pleasant and now I feel I can relax without working so hard”. SERIOUSLY?
And finally …
- “I sure expect to receive a big raise by the end of this year. I have had to work very hard during the downturn because of a lot of layoffs and I deserve it!” Okay … at least this client knows what he/she expects.
These clients actually expressed this. However it would not be a surprise to know that many people have similar thoughts. The key question here is just how this view will serve someone going forward? Are there other perspectives that might alter one’s expectations and actually end up serving them better? How about …
- Why is it fortunate that you were selected to remain employed while so many others around you joined the unemployed? How did that serve you well personally?
- What might have been the impact on both your career and your personal life had you been among those laid off and truly challenged to find employment elsewhere?
- If your goal was to demonstrate your appreciation to ‘the boss’ for having retained you what could you do now in this improving economic environment?
- What would you stand to gain in terms of career and personal achievement if you applied yourself with the same drive, effort and energy going forward?
It’s always interesting when we allow ourselves to think about a situation from various perspectives before we act on our initial thinking. Sometimes we can actually devise a plan to move-forward that is better in the long-term. Perhaps maintaining the pressure on ourselves to perform to the max will have rewards that we actually want. No guarantee yet is it worth considering? Just maybe?