Strategic Coaching

Adding Value: how our desire to help is not always helpful

By | Emotional Intelligence, Interpersonal Skills, Resilience Strategy, Strategic Coaching | No Comments

In the investment banking world that I recently left, part of the culture required that each person comment on, question, or improve on other people’s draft reports, memos and ideas.  Not commenting on or questioning a colleague’s draft work meant on some level that you weren’t engaged or paying attention.  The point was to show your value: everywhere, all the time, colleagues would subsequently correct a typo, rewrite or move a sentence around, or ask whether you had considered alternative perspectives.  No one ever said your work was “fine just the way it is.”

Most of the time, that scrutiny helped improve the work.  And most of us learned over time not to be defensive and to accept the input gladly.

And I have observed that outside of work settings, many people find it difficult, if not impossible, to refrain from commenting and giving advice when they are in conversation with another.  It seems that impulse to add value, value being defined as whatever you think, is more universal than not.  Even more interesting is when the advice  given involves common sense platitudes seem extremely applicable to whatever the other person is saying to you.

Listen to this audio clip above where I describe how a fellow classmate from a course I took applied the idea that people should be “whole and complete” before they begin dating.  I wonder how many times I myself have wanted to add value by introducing what I consider “common sense” advice into the conversation

When Saying No Is Hard To Do

By | Case Study, Strategic Coaching | No Comments

Joanne took a high pressure dream job and found herself overwhelmed.  Her new managers put her in charge of numerous large projects.  Joanne continually assured them that not only could she handle the current workload, but also she could handle anything new they sent her way.  Based on that information, they put her in charge of other projects outside her normal scope of responsibility. Read More

What Lay Beneath Procrastination

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Natalia, a highly educated professional fluent in 4 languages, has had success as an academic and a consultant for over 15 years. Although she is always busy with various projects, she considers herself a procrastinator when issues have personal, as opposed to professional value. She hoped coaching would help her stop procrastinating and start helping her pay more attention to her personal life.

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