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Can self-coaching really help your bottom line?

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Reflections

Quite apart from the stresses and strains of current business life, like pensions’ crises, ageism, work-life balance, increasing bureaucracy and rising absenteeism, most people hunger to find meaning in their lives.


The other day I found myself watching one of those ubiquitous makeover programmes.

The presenter’s brief was to transform an entire street. In her pitch to the residents, she evangelised about the effect the conversion would have: not only would it make the environment look better, it would be less prone to vandalism, and, in addition, it would also lift house prices.

Considering how disparate the neighbours were, the presenter was extraordinarily successful in getting them to agree in principle to her plan. Her one noticeable disappointment however was a woman who fought to retain aspects of her individuality, such as her wall and the style of her front garden. She felt that homogeneity did not serve her needs. However, as a sop towards neighbourly and design harmony, she agreed to have her outside wall painted in an agreed shade of tonal green.

What on earth has that to do with self-coaching, let alone a company’s bottom line?

Quite apart from the stresses and strains of current business life, like pensions’ crises, ageism, work-life balance, increasing bureaucracy and rising absenteeism, most people hunger to find meaning in their lives.

Job dissatisfaction is a root cause of absenteeism. The need to find value and dignity in our work, at whatever level, can contribute to inner disharmony, which in turn can cause sickness.

It can take just one individual’s unhappiness to create ripples of discord way beyond a team environment.

The wellbeing of the individual influences effective team-working and thus healthy productivity. Accepting someone’s ‘wall of individuality’ can improve overall harmony. Understanding the individual and helping the individual to understand others also aids cross-cultural relations – and, ultimately, the bottom line.

Stretching Joseph Campbell’s views a little, we should all be following our bliss but very few would class a production line or a call centre as blissful. Even responsible management positions can be seen as a stressful means to another end.

However, while the individual may not necessarily find their bliss in a 9-5 job, it is possible to expand mental horizons to the benefit of both the employer and employee. Self-coaching is one way.

Everyone has a mission in life. Dissatisfaction with our jobs can usually be because there is a disconnect between mission and how we pay the mortgage. But it does not have to be the case.

Self-coaching is a form of self-awareness training. By identifying the conscious and unconscious drivers in our lives, through interaction with others in a controlled environment, we become more aware of the real impetus – our sense of mission.

These days, many people get their self-awareness training from the latest self-help book. While many of them serve a useful purpose, unguided, they can also increase a sense of frustration, with work and personal relationships bearing the brunt.

By contrast, in paralleling individual desires with corporate goals, it is possible to harness the energy and intrinsic creativity of each member for the good of the whole team, and, in effect, the company’s bottom line. It does mean that businesses should take more responsibility for helping the individual on their journey of discovery.

Stating the obvious though, companies are not charities. Any self-coaching or self-awareness training is ultimately for the benefit of the business – as it should be.

Stress apparently is the number one cause of absenteeism in the workplace. Yet stress in mind dynamics is a just build-up of potential energy. In some instances, it is energy turning in on itself, hence bad backs and other forms of disease. However it is viewed, stress costs business millions.

But a business is the sum of its parts – its individuals. As the attitudes and desires of a single individual can add or block effective productivity, most forward-thinking companies will be looking to reduce the risk.

By providing focused self-coaching, organisations can ensure that the potential within each of its employees is maximised – to the benefit of both the individual and the business.

Euphrosene Labon is the author of several books including Profit From Unlimited Thinking and A Little Book of Self-Coaching Tips. See her personal blog at www.floreo.org

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Annie Hayes

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