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Take Your Coaching From Superficial to Sublime

“Employees don’t have clarity around their career aspirations or drivers of job satisfaction.” BlessingWhite’s January 2013 Employee Engagement Update Report.

If you have read my book, “The Cycle of Transformation,” you know that I’m a proponent of Managers (Leader Coaches), playing an important role in employees developing the necessary clarity to focus their talent, values, and calling in the best possible direction for both the individual and the organization.

Too often today’s coaching tasks are treated like a left-brain activity, whereby managers ask a series of rote questions such as, what are your career goals, or, where do you see yourself in five years. If you recognize yourself in this example, please don’t take offense, because clearly asking these types of questions is leaps and bounds better than not caring about what others hope to accomplish.

Before setting career goals, it’s important to step back and explore the special essence that makes up each incredibly unique individual.

Talent: I’ve used Gallup Strength Finders for many years. According to Gallup, talents are innate, in the same way the Myers Briggs Type Indicator is innate; we are born with it. My top five strengths are Activator, Strategic, Futuristic, Learner, and Relator. I’ve taken the online assessment twice and you can too by purchasing the book, Now Discover your Strengths, or going to the Gallup website. The work I do is aligned well with my talents. As an organizational systems consultant, I find it deeply satisfying to look out into the future and paint a picture of possibilities. My learner is drawn in to the process of discovery so that my strategic can get busy sorting through the clutter to find the best route. My activator is impatient for action, giving me a lot of push energy. Thankfully my relator isn’t happy unless I’m deepening relationships and making them more real and intimate (which I also believe to be an advantage in my work as a coach).

Questions to help uncover talents:

  • What are you naturally good at?
  • How does that relate to current work tasks?
  • Which of your natural strengths are not present in your work today?
  • What work would allow you to more fully express your talents?
  • What talent are you over using? Under using?

Values: What is most important to us, our values, are anchored deep and are the must-haves for us to truly thrive. Creative freedom is one of my core values. I get to have it when I’m writing, or designing content, or developing a marketing strategy. I know it is one of my primaries because I need it to be a part of my life no matter what, like oxygen. When I wrote my book, I took my business to a four-day work-week for nearly a year. There was a financial impact in making that decision, but I had to do it.

Questions to help uncover values:

  • Tell me about the work tasks that you most enjoy? The ones you only tolerate.
  • What do you like best about your current position? Least?
  • What is the best job you ever had? Why?
  • Tell me what your ideal job looks like. What makes it ideal?
  • Describe a perfect work day.

Calling: I was having coffee with an old friend last week, and we were talking about things that happen in our lives that are traumatic, can become a calling, as we make our way through the healing process. For me it is about trying to take something difficult and use it for good. It’s a form of transcendence. I’m not suggesting that everyone is called to use their unique talents, values, and vision through tragic circumstances, but if we listen we are always being called to connect what we have to offer with what’s needed now. If we listen deeply to ourselves, and the collective, we can see the next step we are being called to take.

I have been “called” due to life events many times. These events have shaped me to take a stand for transparency, honesty, connection, and hope. Whether it’s through non-profit work in youth leadership or as a systems worker in organizations, I am called to see the limitless possibilities that exist in individuals and teams when we honor and value how we are each so beautifully different, and yet the same.

Questions to help uncover Calling:

  • What gives you a sense of purpose at work?
  • What’s the difference you want to make here?
  • Describe what makes this work meaningful.
  • What cause are you involved with, or that you would you get involved with, regardless of money? What makes that compelling?
  • How can you translate that in to the workplace?
  • How might it impact your career planning?

For more information on how to unleash potential in the workplace, order a copy of my book…and check out this article on The One Solution to Many Common Organizational Challenges.

If you like this blog, I think you will like my book The Cycle of Transformation. Available now!
Deb Siverson is a seasoned executive coach, certified as a PCC through the International Coach Federation. If you want to schedule time to discuss how you or your organization can increase engagement by having a different conversation at work, contact us now.

Your Talent is Your Gift to the World

Each of us is a gift.  We bring with us into the world a bundle of raw talent and possibilities.  When we take all that and mix it with our life experience it’s somewhat like having both the seed and the earth on standby, ready and willing to produce something special.  Yet only we can prepare the soil for its use—so that it can bear fruit.  Some struggle to learn how to create the furrows in the ground, remove the stone or debris, and prepare for the planting.  They say, “This land is barren—nothing good can come of it!”  Yet others see a grove where stately trees gently sway in the warm breeze providing shelter and joy.  The degrees to which we use our God-given gifts are forever linked to seeing ourselves and all that surrounds us as being enough.  Some can’t break the pattern of scarcity, and others find ways to overcome and create from everything they already have.

I watched my youngest daughter graduate last weekend with her Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Design.  It was such an incredible moment in time.  She finished her degree after years of attending classes part-time, and finally taking the last two years to go full time.  Her major changed a few times, requiring additional credit hours as she switched from a BA to a BS.  I watched her struggle with uncertainty about what she wanted to do with her life and I admire her tenacity as she continued to work the soil until it was ready to receive her soul’s calling.  Her tremendous creativity and artistry is something our family admires and we have long watched as it showed itself in everything she did – and now we see it in her inspired designs.

My oldest daughter graduated in Florida the month before with a degree in Music Business, and sadly I was unable to attend.  But there she was celebrating her sister and fawning over her final projects with awe and delight.  These two daughters of mine stood side-by-side hugging each other the night before the ceremony and shared how proud they were of each other, and the hard work and effort it took to complete these milestones.  I think what makes me the most proud is that they both have followed their hearts and pursued interests that are such a part of the unique and talented women that they are. I can remember the oldest singing tirelessly in the car and the youngest taking art classes to satisfy her hunger to create spatially.

Each of us has a special and divine gift to offer the world.  We owe it to ourselves to cultivate the space so we can bring the best we have to offer forth.  This year give to others by being the best version of yourself, the gift you were always meant to be.

How do you cultivate the space between where you are and where you would like to be?  Schedule time with me and find out how to plan for your future success.

If you like this blog, I think you will like my book The Cycle of Transformation. Available now!
Deb Siverson is a seasoned executive coach, certified as a PCC through the International Coach Federation. If you want to schedule time to discuss how you or your organization can increase engagement by having a different conversation at work, contact us now.