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Coaching for Burnout, Balance and Success (Part 1 of 2)

Aug 18, 2007
Coaching, or paid professional mentoring, is replacing some of the traditional mentoring relationships of the past. It is one solution to the problem of helping overwhelmed and overstressed business people cope with the complexities of their turbulent and unstable business and personal environments.

In a turbulent workplace environment, a traditional mentoring relationship is increasingly unrealistic. Traditional mentors usually focus on helping a protege achieve success in a specific company; a personal coach focuses on helping the client achieve success in general, in both business and personal arenas.

Coaching focuses on the various, often conflicting needs of the individual, rather than on achieving any narrow goal. In fact, the coaches first task is to help the client clarify his or her needs, desires and goals.

Coaching To Achieve Both Success And Balance:

For someone consumed by work, the goal might be quite literally to help her get a life.

A VP in a large corporation, on the edge of burnout, was encouraged to drastically cut her 70-hour work week. She decided she could delegate more, insist on shorter email messages, and sometimes work from home.

Once she accomplished this goal (only two weeks later), her coach asked her to complete self assessment instruments looking at other important areas of her life. She soon discovered that her colorless, lifeless environment was contributing to her depression.

That problem was temporarily solved with fresh flowers, and now she enjoys using some of her newly recovered 20 hours a week to redecorate important areas of her home. She reports accomplishing more than ever at work, in less time and with less stress.

For individuals in a workplace which doesn't promote creativity or spontaneity, the goal might be to help them redefine their work in a way that allows them to enjoy it and achieve a "flow" experience.

A manager who was bored and angry, cutting corners at work, felt that he was just hanging on until he could find something better. His coach supported him in searching for something better, but meanwhile insisted that he treat his current job differently.

By examining his job carefully, with the coach's help, he found a way to streamline the work of his department, and became so fully involved in the process that he attracted recognition and a promotion.

For someone who is procrastinating about doing something important, the coach may teach the client to identify and move past the obstacles to success.

An entrepreneur is helped to break an enormous task into manageable chunks. She identifies which specific tasks she will accomplish in the next week. How many people she will call, whom she will meet with, which documents she will file, are all a part of the conversation. In her next session, she reports success and elation.
About the Author
Communicate skillfully about sensitive subjects in business situations. Have the challenging conversations that lead to cooperation and success. Are To Say It Blog
Laurie Weiss, Ph.D. is a Master Certified Coach and communication expert. Dr. Weiss has spent 35 years helping clients resolve conflict in business and personal relationships. Email feedback@laurieweiss.com
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