Don’t Be Your Own Worst Enemy

by on November 9, 2016

Don’t Be Your Own Worst Enemy

have faithAfter seven years of coach training, being in practice as a job search strategy coach and leading several job search support groups I get to listen to a lot of individuals. One thing that has become second nature to me is to “listen for their language.” It is not that these people are using improper English, or the type of words that you prefer be reserved for a locker room or behind closed door sessions. No, it is using what I would term “negative language” in describing their abilities. Whether if it is minimizing their qualifications for a particular job, talking from a sense of lack or begrudgingly already accepting their fate as to the outcome of an encounter before actually having it, one can hear in their language, tone of voice or attitude they have already set themselves up for disappointment.

And, while I would never encourage anyone to lie or even stretch the truth, I do look to get those that I am with back to a positive frame of mind. I’ll look to ask them to express positively what it is they have done, especially those items they know they have done well or are proud of achieving. Further, I’ll look to bring out how what they have done well often is a passion for them. Additionally, if there is a tendency to minimize what it is they have accomplished or enjoyed, I’ll follow up with the question, “Do you think everyone is able to do that?”   Some immediately get it that, yes, they do have unique and special talents. Others it sometimes takes a bit longer, (for example I’ll stress about all the individuals I know that don’t even come close to being able to do what they take for granted doing).

I am not one that likes arrogance in others. And, it appears that there is a good deal of it in our society today. Someone accomplishes something and the attitude appears to be “look at me, what I did was great.” Get out the phone. Take a selfie. Post it to YouTube. However, there is another way to approach stating what it is you do, and how you can be of help to others. Listen attentively to what others are saying. What is troubling them? What is it that they are saying they need at the moment, (whether overtly asking for it, or maybe even covertly asking for it, hidden in their language of trouble, stress or need)? Have you helped address that issue before? Are there talents or skills that you have that may address what they need to accomplish? That is how you move forward and connect with people that can use your skill sets in their life, their company, their department or business.

This is not a lesson that came easily to me. As I have matured as a coach, I have learned what it is that I can help assist others with, and what I cannot. For example, it is rare that I can “find them a job”. It is also pretty much impossible for me to “make them happy,” get them to their end goal immediately or tell them what to do that is “right for them.” What I can do is make them aware that there is a process to job search strategy, or even approaches they can use to improve upon a life skill they want to develop. I can provide options off of those strategies and approaches. Additionally, I can be a sounding board for ideas on steps they want to take, or provide observations on feedback they receive as they move forward on obtaining what it is they would like in their life.

Is that of value to those I meet? For many it is, especially those who indicate that they see themselves making progress toward that it is they would like to obtain. For others, it is not, and frankly those relationships or coaching engagements tend to end very quickly. However, the key is this. I know what I am and can do, and know also what I am not and do not choose to do. As such, I have stopped being “my own worst enemy” believing I was deficient when someone did not choose to work with me or believe in what I had to offer. And, I encourage you to determine what it is you offer, be proud of it, state it in a positive manner and find those that appreciate it and are the ones you are meant to serve.

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