I saw a story on the news last year that brought home one of coaching’s major contributions to thinking and taking action.
A teen from Chicago had seen the dramatic pictures and read about the historic devastation the tornado left in Joplin, Missouri. He prevailed on his mother to join him in going there to help out. The news story showed them helping clear debris on people’s property…the remains of houses, lives, and memories.
I don’t think it’s too much of a reach to take away the message this teenager’s behavior conveys. Basically, he was overwhelmed by the situation and answered, “What can I do about it?” by saying, “I can go there and help.”
At work, deadlines loom, crises arise, resources are few, demands are unending, and people feel like they are drowning in stress constantly trying to just keep up. Demands are often unrealistic. Expectations of time and resources are more aspirational than real. In this environment, coaching can help an individual zero in on what is in their power to deliver. What will work. Who can help. What resources do exist. What can be done effectively NOW.
While it’s essential to plan with the big picture in mind, it’s critical to map out the small steps needed to get there, developing realistic milestones where change can be measured. These smaller efforts and “quick wins” help build the momentum to ultimately complete the whole job.
Joplin will have to completely rebuild. One young person’s effort to clear the destruction with a shovel and a rake will help them get that much closer.
What has helped you rise above the turmoil and see the opportunity take that one step forward?
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