Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Fine Line Between Work and Play

Even though people in Canada and the US are often criticized for working ridiculous hours and not practicing work/life balance, there is a definite trend and growing desire for people to want to combine what they do for work with playtime. People are growing more concerned about defining work/life balance and how health is affected by the ‘all work and no play’ syndrome. However those who consider work ‘play’ and have a hard time defining the two as separate entities, seem to suffer more health and relationship problems when they dwell on this and consciously force themselves to reduce work hours, for it goes against the grain of who they are. An inner tug of war doesn’t increase the beneficial effects of down-time; rather it creates more tension and stress.

As hours spent on the job continually increase, high level leaders want work to be as much a part of the enjoyment of life as the time they spend outside the workplace. This definitely increases the need for coaching as many conflicts arise.

Our culture is forgetting how to play. Coaches can help clients define the line between work and play.

Coaches help clients figure out what it is they want from life, and learn to invent it as those needs are more clearly defined. A critical factor of coaching clients through this way of being is in realizing that while the coach is able to generate powerful interpretations from which the client can benefit, the coach does not hold the truth about what is best, and always works within the emotional and physical space of the client. That is the most important step in defining work/life balance within the individuality of the client.

One size doesn’t fit all when determining what work/life balance is.

It’s up to the individual to define those personal and professional boundaries, not the coach or anyone else for that matter.

Donna Karlin

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