Just before this session my coach emailed me a copy of the form we would use to collate all my information like skills, values and job ideas. It is copyrighted so I cannot share it here so I’ll try to come up with another way to illustrate it when the time comes. The same day she also suggested that I consider keeping a journal reflecting on this process.
In hindsight it wasn’t the brightest idea to have two coaching sessions in the space of a week, essentially bookending a weekend. I had scheduled for three sessions in the month, but with Christmas we were limited as to when. I have to admit that the amount of homework and things to think about from the first session was overwhelming, especially since there would be more work in this second session.
I was already overwhelmed, which happens more and more easily these last few years. Part of coaching, with all the questions I answer and will answer over the coming months, is putting together a puzzle of me over time. Who I am, what I like, what my strengths are, etc. I decided early on that I wasn’t in a hurry (at least about finding a new job NOW), because it just stressed me out trying to rush to the endgame.
(to clarify, I’m overwhelmed by a frustrating job, with far too many work hours, about an hour of “me time” at home juggled around sleep and the bus schedule. There’s not a lot of time or energy, so I had to change my routines a bit to make time)
Reviewing my notes now, it’s unsurprising that the very first line says :
We also discussed (and eventually tried) using Google Work to post and share all homework and overall mission info, ugh… Between not being able to log into any websites on my work computer, and constant formatting nightmares between the iphone and ipad, the only time I could devote to dealing with Google was on the weekends here on the Mac. I am not interested in anything that makes my life more inconvenient and thankfully Stacy prefers not using Google as well. phew!
An early point I learned to be aware of is to be more conscious of my language. As my coach put it “if something comes out as a positive, let it stay that way.” She really hit the nail on the head because I tend to feel as though I have to qualify positive things about myself, to make other believe them.
The points that Stacy got out of my homework notes from session #1 :
I’m strong, physically and emotionally, and I’m determined (among other compliments, which I was so bashful to hear that I forgot to write them down). The question is how do I bring these to the surface and utilize them, deliver them…to what end and in what form. This is a goal of my coaching.
Stacy listed for me general themes that ran through my very long notes from the last set of homework (hugely redacted for this blog…) and gave me this list:
- Coworkers who are authentic/humble/vulnerable people not driven by ego.
- I must make more than $__k per year (after taxes, in the US) to feel comfortable, and safe from drowning.
- Creativity and improvisation room
- Educate and improve lives (by empowering, being a tool or conduit)
- Freedom and flexibility
- Change and innovation
- New things and novelty
- Work with people who accept (appreciate) me and my delivery, instead of reacting or finding fault.
- Hands on and active
- Mastery from challenge
- Play, collaborative environment
- Where I can work to my full capacity, not bound to 50%
- Positive atmosphere
- Space like home
- Structure and cooperation
I asked dozens of questions this visit, because I still felt uncertain about how this was going to work and how we’d end up with an end product, I can see the little picture, and the big picture, but at this point I couldn’t see how they came together. Thankfully Stacy reassured me that all the steps we’ll take do line up in the end. I also had questions about how I can transition into an entirely different job, without education in that field. For all of my questions, my trusty coach had an answer.
One things that’s cropped up in articles I’ve read online a lot recently is the idea of progressive workplaces that aren’t like the same old boring job. Work atmospheres like Google has or Facebook. Places like Inventionland. I expressed interest in being someone who facilitates businesses changing from stagnant and sterile into more exciting work places.
Surprisingly (and not for the last time) Stacy knew exactly what this job title is, and that it requires a PhD in industrial environmental psychology and requires math and statistics. Knowing that the latter is NOT the type of job duty I want, I was glad she pointed this out. The good news is that there are positions such as this that are Certified coaching positions, not requiring a PhD and somewhat more involved with the hands on changes being made. fun!
Industrial-organizational psychologists apply psychology to the workplace by using psychological principles and research methods to solve problems and improve the quality of work life. They study issues such as workplace productivity, management or employee working styles, and morale. They also work with management on matters such as policy planning, employee screening or training, and organizational development.
This is why I wanted coaching. I love all of this. I hate math. I don’t have the money to get a PhD, but this is definitely a job I’d enjoy….must research!
Research Goal: Research whether corporate leaders want this type of evolved atmosphere, but maybe don’t know how to do it themselves and would pay for help from someone who does think more creatively.
We agreed to discuss my peak/flow experiences next time, since I really REALLY find that hard and have dragged my feet.
The new mini-change I must focus on starting this week is to stop apologizing for my positions, my tendency to neutralize my positive self statements.
Homework for this next meeting includes:
- Answering questions on what things I need to let go of.
- Start to fill in the different catagories on my overall blueprint.
- Worksheet on my values and requirements for success.
My major learning point this session was to remember to watch my self talk/language, and not negate my positives.