Many of my supervisees and coaching colleagues, are noticing that they are working less in the area of leadership development these days and more in areas of resilience and resourcing. There seems to be an increasing trend in which clients want their coaches to support them to carry increased workloads and manage stressful work situations. They need more time and space to think in sessions, so that they can re-balance their lives in significant ways. Are you experiencing this with any of your clients?
‘They’?? It is actually ‘we’. We are all in the same boat, working in stimulating, fast-paced contexts. So what is good for clients, we need to practise ourselves – certainly, I do! I found myself saying to a supervisee recently that one of the core elements of successful stress management is knowing in our bones that we deserve to have our own lives in good order. And it seems to me that the more we are in touch with ourselves and know that only we, hold the responsibility for ensuring that our lives are in reasonable balance, the more likely we are to put into action, strategies that will bring us energy and good health. These are fundamental to a rewarding business and professional life – they also ensure that people can sustain high levels of performance, safely.
It’s wonderful to work with professionals who are basically generous and helpful, as coaches are. But this has its shadow too – we can become depleted, especially when we take too much responsibility for our clients and not enough for own lives. It seems all the more important then, that we coaches know in our bones that we are the guardians of our resourcefulness and that we alone make the decisions that support our health and well-being. And we need to ensure that we have the skills and the courage to work strongly with our clients, so that they can do more than just practise a few tricks that might reduce stress levels. Creating a balanced, healthy working life requires a good relationship with ourselves an inner dialogue with self which is enabling and resourcing. I know – I have to work on this, just like anyone else!
Do you – do I – listen to your own inner promptings – the thoughts, intuitions and somatic messages – that suggest some resourcing is needed? Might you and I just need to ease down and have some fun??
Are there ways that you can attend more fully, more skilfully to those clients who might be trying to re-contract with you, so that they get what they really need – time and space in sessions to look more deeply at their personal choices??
Edna Murdoch May 2013