How do I find time to coach as a manager?
Programme Director, Coach Certification Programme Share So often when I am running a coaching skills workshop, a manager will say to me: “I don’t have time to coach. Using a coaching approach takes longer and we are all so time pressured”. I empathise with them. Our...
How to Increase your Self Confidence
Are there times when you struggle with a lack of confidence? Does imposter syndrome kick in? Do you experience a loud inner critic? Does this stop you from performing at your best at work? For many of us this is true. Most people experience moments of low self...
6 Ways of Finding your Purpose
A lot if written about living a purposeful life and career. Yet it can be hard sometimes to know how to discover your purpose. What do I mean by purpose? It is knowing ‘why’ we are doing something. It may be that what I am doing aligns with my values or what...
Journalling for Personal and Professional Growth – 7 reasons to journal
The most common recommendation I offer coaching clients to support the coaching process is to start journalling. I first started writing a journal when I was 22 and left New Zealand to travel. I still have that journal in a precious box full of old journals. I took...
How to Develop a Growth Mindset
Think back to the last time you got a new phone, or there was a software update on something you use daily. I imagine that if you are like me you had some initial resistance to learning how to use it. You didn’t give up! You tried a few things, some worked, others...
Leader as Coach in a Virtual World
Leader as Coach - How do I do this virtually? One area that my coaching clients still struggle with is how to be an effective coach to their employees in this new world. Many have had enough of working remotely and they miss the informal coaching conversations, along...
How to improve your listening skills
People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou All good conversations - coaching or otherwise - require that we pay really good attention to the other person. We all know when...
Creating Time to Think – Paying Attention to Help Others
Thinking for yourself is the thing on which everything else depends. Nancy Kline, Time to Think: Listening to Ignite the Human Mind (1999) How wonderful is it when someone pays attention to you with fascination, curiosity and intrigue? What happens when someone gives...
Are you having fun?
Has work become a bit more of a drag for you recently? Are you feeling a loss of purpose and engagement? I’ve been hearing about this a lot from people recently - both coaching clients and in groups. You will be familiar with the context. Many of us are working from...
Work, Self Care and Guilt
I love to swim. I feel incredibly lucky to live somewhere I can swim regularly.
This morning I woke up late and hesitated. Did I have time to swim? My better self sent me down to the pool, but after 2 lengths the guilt set it. How come I was swimming? I should be working! Not only am I in the pool but there might be urgent emails piling up after my new rule of no looking at emails when I am not at my desk. Oh – and did I say my diary says I am officially off today…..? So what is this guilt anyway?
Wow – when I catch myself thinking this I am quite shocked. To put things in context, I have recently acknowledged the I am burnt out. It has been brewing for a long time, and those close to me are not surprised. I’ve had most of the symptoms including, unfortunately, mild depression. Something I have never experienced. It has been quite shocking.
So here I am feeling guilty about looking after myself and intrigued about this guilt. I know that only by recovering am I of any use to anyone.
I am guessing some of you are also experiencing guilt when you take time to look after yourself. When we do things which will restore our wellbeing, we are often pulled away in our minds to what else we ‘should’ be doing. Our working lives have become so pressured with the expectation to be ‘on’ all the time. Covid-19 has made this worse for many people I know. Needing to be ‘on’ all the time for work to make up for the time spent looking after the kids or talking to family and so on.
We feel guilty that we might not be seen to be pulling our weight in our teams – I know I do. We feel guilt for not supporting our boss in every way possible – after all they are also in this state. We feel guilty for not spending enough time with family, friends, children.
Guilt, guilt, guilt.
This morning I happy to say I caught myself and slowly I managed to stop the noise. Instead of hearing the guilt I kept swimming and let it float off into the distance. Oh that felt good. 30 minutes of time to get oxygen into my system, to feel the water on my skin. 30 minutes to calm and come back to myself.
Now, I am at my desk writing this. I still haven’t looked at my emails. Who knows what I should be dealing with. Yet…. I know that writing feeds my soul as much as swimming so instead I am sharing this with you.
As coaches and leaders it is important for us to be listening out for this guilt in others. As a coach, I am listening to hear how I can support my clients to better look after themselves. As leaders, we can have explicit conversations with our teams about their own wellbeing. We can have rules about email access, working hours and model this by taking time to look after ourselves.
I remember a previous CEO of global Pharma company who went for a run mid morning from the office. After his run, he stood in the coffee queue in the main office in his sweaty running gear. Everyone saw him. He was making a clear statement that taking time for yourself is good. ‘If I can do it, so can you.’
Do you recognise this guilt? I’d love to hear what you do to let it go. How do you let it float off into the distance? What do you do to look after yourself? How do you look after others?
I am wishing you and myself a guilt free weekend.