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How to Reinvent Yourself in the Workplace - Time for a Change

Reinvent Yourself

I was recently working with one of my San Francisco Bay Area executive coaching clients. We talked about her desire to reinvent herself, and why she was doing it. She was energized and motivated to unleash her entrepreneurial spirit, and transform her work and life. She boldly began her journey starting fresh with a beginner’s mind.

She was conscious that job security in the corporate world has gone out the widow! Getting ahead in a shaky and unpredictable economy can mean engaging in a career make-over. She had some fear about change, but was open to explore new possibilities.

We are all trying to understand and cope with the enormous changes in our work and personal lives. Conscious career changers in these uncertain times are aware of the need for resilience, and reinventing themselves to thrive and flourish in the new economy. Today’s career changers need to be resilient and persevere by taking the next steps for a better future. Re-inventers can learn to refocus, get inspired and be creative to align their purpose and passion with the ever-changing needs of the marketplace.

You can develop the courage and self-confidence that the right actions will help you reach your goals. Success awaits those who remain optimistic and creatively pursue new and rewarding career directions.

Time for a Change

Modern times may require you to reinvent yourself. People and companies will have to shift their mindsets to stay competitive.You hear a lot about career changers these days. A number of 20 somethingsor the so called Millenial Generation, don't want to pay their dues. Why would they change careers that they just started? They want meaning right out of the starting gate. A number of Baby Boomers want to continue working through their senior years and contribute more than they did at their corporate jobs. Many need to work to keep afloat financially.

The recession and possible double dip has meant that people across all age groups need to reinvent themselves. There is a sense of urgency. People feel like the corporate world is not the reliable choice that it used to be, and if you're working in an uncertain career, you may as well be working on your own.

How you reinvent yourself differs based on your individual circumstances. It depends on your motivation, and whether you want to do it to spend more time with your family, develop a hidden talent or to work on your own.

Many of my coaching clients are pleasantly surprised when they discover that they can transfer skills from one career to another. It takes a lot of motivation, courage, and some just-in time learning. It may be stressful in the beginning, but the stress usually lessens when they’re further down the learning curve and have had some success.

In my experience coaching people in transition, the one trait that sets apart people who make a career change is persistence. If people are persistent and patient, they can bounce back when they have setbacks. If you don't have that internal drive, reinventing yourself may be very difficult. None of them took the path of least resistance. They took the “path less traveled.”

You create your way out of any fear that may be holding you back. You can dream and create your own life worth living. In the world of work, it may be a job or career that is more meaningful, or a new business venture that enlivens your spirit. Is it time for a change?

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development to grow emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who need to reinvent themselves? Conscious leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more fulfilling future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Do I have the confidence to reinvent myself and grow?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their transformational peak performance leadership development program.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and the Myers Briggs Personality Inventory can help you reinvent yourself. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman


 

Categories: 

7 Tips for Reinventing Your Career – Connect on Social Media

Connect on Social Media

"The only way to predict the future is to create it" - Peter Drucker

I was recently working with one of my San Francisco Bay Area executive coaching clients. We talked about his focusing on discovering a better sense of self including his core values and identity. He was energized and motivated to ignite his entrepreneurial spirit.

Most importantly we focused on his discovering a sense of purpose...what was truly important to him. He pondered on the following powerful questions. Who am I and what are my core values? What is most meaningful in my life? What am I trying to do with my life? Do I feel fulfilled in my life? Do I use my talents to the fullest extent? Am I realizing my dreams?

My career coaching client put the following tips on a Post-it attached to his computer monitor. The tips serve as a daily reminder to him that positively reinventing yourself can bring happiness and career fulfillment.

7 Tips for Career Reinvention

Like any new activity, reinvention requires practice .I t may take a while for social media to become natural and habitual. Practice these seven tips to create reinvention habits:

1. Envision your best possible future. When you daydream about your future, you set yourself up for goal-directed behaviors. Having a vision for the future is reassuring when the going gets tough. Envisioning your best possible future helps you persevere and provides hope and energy.

2. Prioritize your passions. Close the door onwhat no longer motivates and energizes you. Create a mindset open to experimentation and possibility. You may stumble upon something terrific that fits your purpose and passion.

3. Plug-in and be proactive. Create an online presence. Reinvention today is digital. Even the Pope is on Twitter!

4. Be a connector. Connect onsocial media sites Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google +. People love to share work opportunities with people they know, like and trust.

5. Take baby steps. In the Age of Disruption, we’re all continual learners. Embrace it.

6. Experiment by practicing. Learn by doing and taking massive action. Focus on success rather than perfection.

7. Take a Stand. Create the intention and a declaration of commitment to act with a specific “declared possibility” in order to move the possibility to reality.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development to grow emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching and career development for leaders who need to reinvent themselves? Enlightened leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more compelling future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Do I have the confidence to reinvent myself and grow?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their high performance leadership and career development programs.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQi-2.0 and the Myers-Briggs can help you reinvent yourself. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence and who thinks big.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman


 

Categories: 

How to Develop Character and Wisdom - Make Good Use of a Coach

Bay Area Executive Coaching

I was recently working with a new San Francisco Bay Area executive coaching client. We discussed the coaching process, and how to make the best use of a coach.

My executive coaching client and I discussed the importance of both formal (360) and in-the-moment feedback. I am coaching my client to achieve better results by focusing more on success than perfection.

Make Good Use of a Coach

Mediocrity is the gateway to disengagement and boredom. To sustain high achievement, you need to be continually learning and growing, in spite of uncertainty and anxiety. You need to ask for, and receive, feedback.

Even the act of asking for help can be risky. In your private sessions with an executive coach, discuss who to approach for help and how to frame requests.

Anyone in a leadership role faces high-stress decisions each day. In the absence of a consistent commitment to growth and development, executive teams are prone to create and experience “groupthink.” 

With groupthink, group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative ideas or viewpoints. The safe road beckons strongly when there is accumulative stress and rising risk.

Developing Character and Wisdom

You want to maintain the best path for your career, yet still support short- and long-term organizational goals. Knowing how to navigate these tough environments is crucial for any achiever who wants to ascend to the top ranks.

History requires leaders to find and do the right things, in the right way, against the right time frame. It requires them to develop the capacity for executive wisdom and the ability to deploy it. It requires that they both see and pursue the development of virtue in their own characters.

Leaders routinely face situations for which they have no rules to guide them and all too often for which they have little or no knowledge. In these circumstances, they are always anxious and face incredible pressures to behave badly because they more often do not know what they do not know. Almost nothing is more difficult, anxiety arousing, and humiliating than for a leader to admit that he or she does not know the right thing to do.

~ Richard R. Kilburg, Executive Wisdom: Coaching and the Emergence of Virtuous Leaders, APA, 2006

Developing wisdom, virtue and true expertise in any domain takes time, a determined spirit and the courage to ask for help. With the right coach, you can further your professional growth in spite of the risks and anxieties.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development to grow emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching for high achiever leaders? Enlightened leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to regularly ask for feedback.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Am I making good use of a coach?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their high performance leadership development program.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you learn and grow and sustain high achievement. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

Categories: 

Emotionally Intelligent Job-Related Feedback

Emotionally Intelligent Feedback

Are you working in an organization where managers give employees feedback them helps them learn and grow? Do employees at your workplace believe that the feedback they receive is based on observed behavior at work?

I coach a number of managers on how to improve performance by giving behavioral feedback. Emotionally intelligent managers increase worker productivity by giving in-the-moment feedback resulting in improved work place performance.

Myth: Feedback needs to address personal qualities.

Telling employees that they’re doing a “good job” isn’t good enough. Neither are comments about attitudes or efforts. Feedback must be specific and about behaviors, not personal attributes.

No matter how upset you may be, limit feedback to job-related issues, and never criticize someone personally because of an inappropriate action. This is counterproductive, as it evokes strong emotional reactions that bury actual feedback.

The Real Truth: Feedback is effective when it is specific to behaviors and impersonal. Feedback should be descriptive, rather than judgmental or evaluative.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development to help employees be more productive? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders improve performance by giving feedback that focuses on observable job-related behavior? Enlightened leaders use their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to give feedback that employees perceive as fair and honest.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Do I give job-related feedback that taps into employees’ intrinsic motivation resulting in increased worker performance and productivity?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for leaders to improve their ability to give feedback limited to job-related issues.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you create a more productive workplace where employees get regular feedback and are happy. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist and executive coach. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.
Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  
Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman
http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman
http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

 

Categories: 

Happiness is an Option for Lawyers: Creating Success and Fulfillment in Work and Life

Happiness is an Option for Lawyers: Creating Success and Fulfillment in Work and Life

In the increasingly demanding world lawyers face; many lawyers desire to achieve professional success, a fulfilling life, and true happiness. However, achieving both their personal and professional goals sometimes proves to be very difficult. Many lawyers report being unhappy with the choices they have made and desire a different future.

Most lawyers live hectic and stress-filled lives. They experience a great deal of pressure from the billable hour requirement and client/firm demands. Finding a balance between work and life without sacrificing professional success, deciding on the best  practice area or work setting, and making possible career transitions can be challenging tasks, even for the most talented and effective lawyer.

A number of lawyers choose to develop their own practice or seek alternative careers. Lawyers frequently find marketing their practice or creating a career that is more aligned with their values and evolving interests a significant challenge. 

You have made a major investment in your legal career and developed some very valuable competencies. You've earned the right to both career success and a happy personal life. To be happy, requires knowledge about how to achieve happiness (wisdom and hard work) and taking small action steps.

Research indicates that the following strengths are most highly correlated with overall life satisfaction:

1. Capacity to love and be loved (valuing close relationships)
2. Curiosity (interest, novelty seeking, openness to experience)
3. Zest for life (vitality, enthusiasm, vigor, energy)
4. Gratitude (awareness and thankfulness of good things)
5. Hope (optimism, future-mindedness, future orientation)

In the demanding world lawyers face; becoming stress resilient is an essential component of happiness. Resilience is the ability to persevere and adapt when overcoming obstacles. It is the key to happiness and success at work and in life.

The secret to the emotional intelligence competency of resilience is accurate thinking. It is important to challenge limiting beliefs and negative thinking.  Managing stress allows you to excel in the workplace while maintaining a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle. .

Life in the 21st century law firm has become more business-minded focusing on billable hours and the bottom line. This change in focus makes it difficult for lawyers working in a firm to have time for relationships and other meaningful pursuits. The current tough economy has provided enough pain for some more enlightened law firms to transition to project-based and value pricing.

Martin Seligman, founder of the positive psychology movement, suggests that lawyer imbalance, and therefore unhappiness, has three causes:

      1. Lawyers are pessimistic and are rewarded for their pessimism.
      2. Young lawyers have jobs with a lot of pressure and low decision latitude. The result may be poor health and
          low morale.
      3. The practice of law is to some extent a zero-sum game.

Seligman claims it is easy to remedy the problems of pessimism and low decision latitude by learning “flexible optimism” and in-house firm training and mentoring programs to address systemic issues. Seligman believes that the win-lose adversarial legal process might be a significantly more difficult problem to solve. More focus on mediation and negotiation may provide some relief.

Balance is about integrating the needs and wants of our personal and work lives. A number of attorneys I have coached have expressed the desire to spend more time with their families or other priorities than constantly striving for recognition, status, and money. Balancing your personal and professional life requires making different decisions based on clear values and a life plan.

There are many outstanding lawyers who are happy, functional, and able to integrate their professional and personal lives. In order to convert professional success into personal happiness, you need to leverage your successes and strengths.

Factors that contribute to happiness and subjective well-being:

  1. Strong social relationships
  2. Physical health and fitness
  3. Feelings of competence and control
  4. Progress on Meaningful Goals
  5. Marriage
  6. Positive self-esteem and optimism
  7. A clear sense of life purpose

The difference between successful lawyers and firms and those that are struggling may be due to business development skills. Successful legal enterprises have developed the competencies of rainmaking, marketing and client development.

The business side of being a lawyer can be exciting and fun. A well run successful practice and/or firm can provide a great deal of happiness and professional satisfaction. The following are a few tips to help you focus your efforts.

  1. Create a compelling purpose, vision, and goals.
  2. Craft an attention-getting marketing message.
  3. Develop a dynamic website.
  4. Get consistent visibility for yourself and firm.
  5. Do keep-in touch marketing that shows you care.
  6. Determine your ideal clients
  7. Overcome disempowering beliefs about practice development.

Are you clear about what you want out of your legal career? Are you fully engaged in your work and love the practice of law or are you looking for an alternative?

There are a lot of things you can do with a legal degree. What are your talents, skill, and interests? If you are considering leaving the law you need to have an accurate diagnosis of the problem. Is it the practice of law, your area of specialty, your job, the firm you are with, financial pressures, the number of clients, or lack of work/life balance?

Career coaching may help you find the best fit between your talents, skills, interests and values. Personality assessment tests and career interest inventories can help you learn about yourself and determine work where you will be happy and fulfilled.

Happiness is clearly an option for lawyers. It takes closing the door to whatever is not working in your life, and opening the door to a life where you can realize your fullest potential.

                                                                             © Copyright 2010 Dr. Maynard Brusman, Working Resources

 

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive/Career Coach
Selecting and Developing Emotionally Intelligent Lawyers
Box 471525 San Francisco, California 94147-1525
Tel: 415-546-1252
E-mail: mbrusman@workingresources.com
Web Site: http://www.workingresources.com
Subscribe to Working Resources ezine: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com
 
The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded "Board
Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development and Trusted Advisor to Attorneys and Law Firms.
 
Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman

http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman
Categories: 

The Business Case for Executive Coaching – The ICF Coaching ROI Global Study

The Business Case for Executive Coaching – The ICF Coaching ROI Global Study

 

One of the most powerful questions you can ask is “Does providing executive coaching for company leaders have a direct effect on the company bottom line?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching and leadership development for authentic leaders at all levels of the organization.

Approximately 25 to 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies use executive coaches, according to the Hay Group, an international human-resources consultancy. According to a survey by Manchester, Inc., a Jacksonville, Florida, career management consulting firm; about six out of ten organizations currently offer coaching or other developmental counseling to their managers and executives. Another 20 percent of companies said they plan to offer coaching within the next year.

Although it was once used as an intervention with troubled staff, coaching is now part of the standard leadership development training for executives in such companies as IBM, Motorola, J.P. Morgan Chase, Hewlett-Packard and many others.Brokerage firms and other sales-based organizations such as insurance companies use coaches to bolster performance of people in high-pressure, stressful jobs.

The 2009 International Coach Federation (ICF) Global Coaching Client Study reported the median coaching ROI to be 700%. The results of the study is rather dramatic providing much needed metrics for this popular leadership development strategy..

The International Coach Federation conducted a qualitative and quantitative global client survey and interview research project between May to December 2008. The full research report was made available to the public on June 11, 2009. Highlights related to the return on investment from coaching are reported here. This is a crucial research topic -- what do coaching clients say is the value of coaching?

The design phase of the research consisted of three components: First, fourteen in-depth interviews were conducted with an international sample of coaches to assist with the design of the questions to be utilized in the qualitative and quantitative study. Second, the qualitative research phase consisted of five focus groups with a total of 41 clients participating. The focus groups allowed for in-depth probing of qualitative issues.Third, the quantitative research component consisted of 2,165 coaching clients from 64 countries participating in a 20 minute online survey. 

What do clients say motivates them to begin coaching? The clients cited career opportunities and business management as their most important reasons for seeking coaching services.

Both coaches and consumers of coaching services are interested in Return on Investment (ROI) studies on coaching.  An often cited ROI study of executive coaching, Coaching for Increased Profitability: How to Deliver and Demonstrate Tangible Results to the Bottom Line by Merrill C. Anderson, Ph.D. MetrixGlobal (2003) had reported an ROI from coaching of 788%.

In an apparent confirmation of that finding, the ICF Global Coaching Client Study Executive Summary (April 2009) reports, "The vast majority (86%) of those able to provide figures to calculate company ROI indicated that their company had at least made their investment back. In fact, almost one fifth (19%) indicated an ROI of at least 50 (5000%) times the initial investment while a further 28% saw an ROI of 10 to 49 times the investment.The median company return is 700% indicating that typically a company can expect a return of seven times the initial investment."

Source:  ICF Global Coaching Client Study, Executive Summary, April 2009, in consultation with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Association Resource Centre inc.

Working with a seasoned executive coach trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating leadership assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-i and CPI 260 can help company leaders improve their leadership capability.You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision and mission of your company or law firm.

                                                                            © Copyright 2010 Dr. Maynard Brusman, Working Resources

About Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist and executive coach. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

Categories: 

Career Coaching Case Study: Client Creates Work With Purpose and Passion

Career Coaching Case Study: Client Creates Work With Purpose and Passion

 

We are all trying to understand and cope with the enormous changes in our work and personal lives. Mostly we react in a positive and productive manner. However, many people are describing their lives as so busy, working so many hours, trying to balance work and personal lives that we often feel physically and emotionally exhausted.

I work as a consulting psychologist and executive/career coach specializing in helping leaders and lawyers with work-related problems. Let me tell you a brief story about a company leader I helped with a career transition.

Steve was the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at a San Francisco Bay Area financial institution.  He was seen as a high potential during his initial years at the company. Steve was referred by the Director of Human Resources for career coaching. Several employees had given 360 degree feedback that Steve was arrogant and often condescending to others contributing to a negative work climate. Steve’s behavior was causing a morale program at work. They described the CFO as being critical and demanding. The culture of the company valued openness and collaboration. The company truly valued Steve and wanted him to be happy whether at this job or whatever he might choose to pursue.

At our first coaching meeting, Steve appeared to be fatigued, de-moralized, dispirited, sleep-deprived, and burned out.  He described himself poignantly… “My soul was asleep on the job”. As we explored his situation, Steve related how the company had been through two mergers. There was the imminent possibility of another downsizing (euphemism for firing people). Steve as well as the other “survivors” was overloaded with work.  He had resisted most of the changes, lacked motivation and his feelings were all “bottled up”. Steve was frankly not fully engaged. As I got to know Steve better, it became apparent that he had some good leadership skills, but was unhappy in his work resulting in making coworkers miserable.

Steve’s stated goal was to improve his emotional intelligence and discover work that he loved. The best way to build a healthy personality involves understanding yourself and your emotions. He wanted to become more engaged at work, but eventually to transition into a new career.

The client brainstormed various options on how he could achieve his goals. He asked if I could recommend an article on emotional intelligence and agreed to take the BarOn EQ-i emotional intelligence assessment. Steve scored low in self-awareness, happiness and stress tolerance. Our initial work focused on Steve discovering a better sense of self including his core values and identity.

Our career coaching work together transitioned into Steve learning how to delegate and collaborate with others as a way of building relationships and establishing trust. Considering the work overload, Steve felt it was important for him to learn to prioritize work based on what was truly important.  We began to talk about his values and interests and possible career options.

The client discussed the obstacles that might arise in terms of his resistance to change. We worked on Steve challenging his negative thinking about change which was the major obstacle getting in his way.

I coached Steve by role playing how the obstacles, in this case negative thinking could be managed.  He learned to challenge his limiting belief by asking himself “Is it true that I am stuck and have no options”?  Steve learned to focus his energy on what he could control and to live in the present moment. I asked him what he would like to end (corporate job) and explored future possibilities. Most importantly we focused on Steve discovering a sense of purpose...what was truly important to him. Who am I and what are my core values? What is most meaningful in my life? What am I trying to do with my life? .Do I feel fulfilled in my life? Do I use my talents to the fullest extent? Am I realizing my dreams?

As I got to know Steve better, I discovered that Steve’s real childhood love was art. And that he had gotten into finance in his 20’s as a way of making a living when he first moved to the Bay Area.

Steve created the following homework exercises that would help him develop his emotional intelligence and create the self-insight needed for a career transition. He agreed to begin the following week.
1. Practice mindfulness meditation.  
2. Write in my journal. 
3. Read Victor Frankel's "Man's Search for Meaning", Po Bronson's "What Should I Do with My  Life", and “Work
    With Passion” by Nancy Anderson.

After a few months of career coaching, the client had gained sufficient self-awareness and was more open to change. Steve decided to do something pretty dramatic. Steve told me he was taking a vacation and going to Costa Rica to surf! I was surprised that he was passionate about surfing as it seemed out of character. Upon his return, he told me how he had come upon the idea of starting a business designing surfboards! What wonderful synergy of taking action, tapping into his essence - the love of art and creating an entrepreneurial business of his own. Finally, he was leveraging his considerable strengths of resourcefulness, love of adventure and creativity.

Steve continued to work for the company, but with a new sense of commitment. He was much more positive and happy. 360-degree feedback from co-workers indicated that he had developed more collaborative work relationships. He continued to work part-time on his decorating surfboards business with the goal to transition into his own business in a couple of years and move to Costa Rica.

                                                                    © Copyright 2010 Dr. Maynard Brusman, Working Resources

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach
Box 471525 San Francisco, California 94147-1525
Tel: 415-546-1252
E-mail: mbrusman@workingresources.com
Web Site: http://www.workingresources.com
Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com

The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded "Board Approved"
designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

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