At a time when the global economy is bringing innovation, new ideas and new opportunities into the marketplace, outsourcing and the elimination of white-collar jobs has left many of us feeling anxious and insecure about the future. It is increasingly apparent that the American Worker can no longer look to the corporation for a sense of security, place, benefits or loyalty. As reliance on old structures is diminishing, the following ways of looking at work are emerging:
- People want work that gives them meaning and purpose
- People want their work to be part of a balanced lifestyle
- People will increasingly choose to create their own small businesses or work as freelancers, consultants, and independent contractors
In the changing economic climate, people need to learn to trust their own intuition, talent and resources to both survive and thrive. In order to do this, they will need sustained motivation and self-awareness to recognize and pursue new opportunities that lead to meaningful work. This begs the question of how we can even recognize new opportunities, when we may feel more stressed and anxious than ever. Many of us may not even know what we want or where to look for it if we did know.
Fortunately, there is a powerful vehicle emerging to assist people in finding focus, purpose and fulfillment, and to keep them on track during these uncertain times and into the future. That vehicle is called Personal and Professional Coaching. Personal and Professional Coaching works through a dynamic partnership focused entirely on the client and the client's agenda. In coaching, the following are presumed:
- People are creative, resourceful and whole
- People are capable of finding their own answers to whatever challenges they face
- All parts of people's lives-careers, relationships, recreation, personal growth, finances, etc. are interrelated and impact life balance and fulfillment
Coaching often starts by exploring what the person really wants. Even when people believe they know this, greater clarity and self-awareness emerge through coaching. And sometimes, people discover different aspirations, ones that make them look forward to getting out of bed each morning.
By using active listening skills and asking proactive questions, the coach gets the client to experience a deeper awareness of how they operate in life. Through activities such as values clarification, brainstorming and personal strategic planning, the coach will help their client to recognize and access options and possibilities they may have never noticed before. By holding the client responsible and accountable, the coach empowers the client to follow through on the commitments they make in the coaching. Subsequently, a momentum builds that results in a confidence that turns inspired ideas into tangible actions with real world results.
What we learn about ourselves through coaching will include our potential and unique talents, but also anything we have previously avoided. A coach will work with the client to uncover and release any negative and limiting beliefs that can stop them from achieving what they really want. All this is done in a relationship where trust, respect and acknowledgment are highly valued.
Coaching is an approach that enables people to fulfill their own greatest promise and to thrive regardless of the changing winds of the economy.
About The Author
Philip Okrend is a Personal and Professional Coach who transitioned from being an attorney into the life of a creative entrepreneur. He founded Stepping Stones Coaching to help people take control of their own lives and destiny and to live more consciously and creatively. Philip lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife, 2 children and dog. For more information, visit www.steppingstonescoaching.com To learn more about the profession of coaching, visit the International Coaching Federa tion Web site at www.coachfederation.org