Saturday, December 20, 2003

Coaching Clients Through Change

"People can't live with change if there's not a changeless core inside them. The key to the ability to change is a changeless sense of who you are, what you are about, and what you value."-Stephen R. Covey

One of the things I work on with my clients is Defining Success. It's more than a personal mission's success as you know it according to your personal ethics, values and integrity, taking into account competencies, talents and strengths and when you see the results it's extremely powerful. It's who you are according to you. This is your personal contract, the core of what you are working towards, in your personal and professional life what you aspire to be. It gives focus and vision and a vehicle with which to move forward no matter what the circumstance.

And to take into account for a moment, Stephen Covey's quote about a changeless core. If you are in sync with what you're about, you're as steady as a rock no matter what.

Change is constant....a paradox of life, more so in this day and age than any other time. If we're always reacting to it, we run in circles always trying to catch up. And if we remain true to our selves and our personal contract, we always find a way to accomplish what's most important even in the chaotic time of change. It definitely means a new paradigm and perhaps a sounding board to help you focus in a different direction. But possibilities are still endless and when you do embrace change and accomplish more because of it, the level of energy and strength within you grows exponentially making you a force to reckon with.

Speaking from a Coach’s perspective, the most valuable thing we can do is help our clients figure out those paradigms and fly with them. Then we step back and watch success happen. Remember....if you were able to come up with solutions on your own, you would have already. Sometimes it takes that extra input from "outside the box" to push a few buttons, help you pull yourself forward and look at the situation from a different perspective.

"Today's managers, professionals, and entrepreneurs are hiring coaches to help them with time management, a change in career, or balancing their work and personal lives. People are looking to coaches as sounding boards and motivators who can offer a fresh perspective on career and life problems — but without the conflicting agendas of a spouse, family member, or even a mentor." -- Fortune, 9/28/98

When life is in balance, it gives you reserves and the ability to handle more proactively. When it's already out of sync it can take the smallest detail to upset whatever equilibrium remains.

Every publication you pick up has something written on Coaching. Having a Coach is like having a personal trainer for your life. The reason it's so powerful is because it empowers the individual to take responsibility for change in a way that works for them. It's not advice, it's not pushing a client in a direction they don’t want to go. It's helping them see the value in changing what isn't working and collaborating with them to come up with what does. And once you're in a place that's where you should be, nothing will be able to knock you off kilter.

One executive (Bradford) who was coached says her year of coaching "was like a grenade in my life that's still going off." It taught her, she says, that 'people have to take more responsibility for their own growth and development. They can't depend on human resources. Coaches can help people come to grips with huge changes in the way we do work, in getting through big transitions.' --Betsy Morris, "So You're a Player. Do You Need a Coach?" Fortune, 2/21/00

I am regularly asked what it is that I do. I help people become aware of, develop and experience their own greatness and then go out in the world and make a difference in their unique and wonderful way. I want them to wake up every morning anticipating the day with enthusiasm and wonder, not for what the world with bring to them during the day, but for what they will learn and discover and how they will ultimately grow because of it. And, when the day is over, knowing they've lived it to the fullest. It's not coaching 'work stuff', or 'relationship stuff'. It's the person and how they deal with 'stuff'. It's about them not me.

Ask yourself "what did I learn today?"

Donna Karlin

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