Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Take Time to Celebrate

I'll admit it, I was wrong!

I used to emphasize how quickly my coaching methods can bring about change, looking askance at coaches who had clients for a year or more.

And of course I still revel in the immediate insights, the excitement of new possibilities in two or three productive coaching sessions.

Last week, however, I celebrated with a client of more than six years, recognizing the time and effort involved in truly freeing ourselves, how we can breathe a little deeper each time we expand the confines of the "box" of personality.

This client has stayed with me through two jobs and an ever closer look at her career aspirations, the gifts and blind spots of her personality style, her communication with family and co-workers, her reactions to authority. She has recently resigned from a job that didn't offer the promotion she now knows she fully deserves:
As I look back over my years in this job, I've seen great improvement in my relationships, in my competency, in less rigidity about everything -- not having to be perfect. When I'm comfortable I'm relaxed, funny, and people have made comments about my positive energy.

Last week my staff and my boss took me out for lunch. We had fun, lots of laughter, and they gave me gifts.that acknowledged me as a person -- chocolates, which they know I love; a hat to wear in the sun because they know I walk every day; a photo of me and my staff with an inscription on the frame -- "There are no days; only moments" -- and a necklace with a heart pendant. 

The necklace is symbolic of my metaphor of "heart disease" to describe our organizational culture and my wish that we could all have "healthy hearts" -- be more open to each other, show more mutual respect.

When you and I first started working together, I told you, "I don't have friends at work." This time around I walked away from that job with a legacy -- they know I care about them as individuals and they know me. That's intimacy, even in a business setting.