This is an interview with personal coach Joanne Stein-Letlow -- offering some lessons for finding your RIGHT livelihood in this world.
Q: TELL ME ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS COACHING SERVICES.
A: In my career in Human Resources prior to becoming a Life Coach, I discovered that what I enjoy the most is developing deep and meaningful relationships, exploring “what’s possible” at work and in life in general, and finding new ways to live life with more ease, joy, and FULFILLMENT. That is the essence of my work as a Life Coach. I co-design coaching relationships with my clients that will bring out the best in them, help them discover who they are and what kind of life they want, and SUPPORT them in moving forward as they pursue their dreams.
Q: WHAT AREAS DO YOU FOCUS ON?
A: Since a person’s business is affected by her relationships, health, finances and other areas of her life and vice versa, I coach the WHOLE person, not just her business or professional life. I help clients discover their own answers to what is best for them in their business and their life as a whole.
Q: WHAT IS THE KEY TO FINDING FULFILLING ACTIVITIES?
A: The key is becoming aware of the occasions when you feel most ENGAGED in your work and in your life. Observe when you feel most "alive" -- what is it that "lights you up?" Who are you being at those times? What are the qualities you notice about yourself at those times? What are the VALUES that you are honoring?
Q: HOW DO YOU BUILD THIS INTO YOUR WORK DAY?
A: Once you have identified the elements of your life that fulfill you, then you can begin to find ways to INCORPORATE these activities into your daily work and life. For example, if you feel most alive in nature, explore jobs that will allow you to work outdoors or find ways to spend at least some time outdoors during the day. If you work in an office, go for a walk during lunch or arrange to meet a client at an outdoor café.
Q: WHAT IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU ENJOY?
A: For others, it may be easier to first discover what is NOT fulfilling. Delegate the activities that don’t fulfill you in order to create more space to discover what is fulfilling. For example, if paperwork drains you, consider hiring a virtual assistant or a high school or college student to help manage your paperwork. Delegating the activities that are draining is often the first step in finding more fulfillment in your work.
Q: HOW DO YOU HELP CLIENTS IDENTIFY THEIR PURPOSE?
A: One part of the process involves helping clients to CLARIFY their values. I use visualization exercises and ask questions that help illuminate who they are and what they stand for in their life. A few questions to consider when pondering your own life’s purpose might include: “Imagine that you have the world’s undivided attention, what would you want to say? What would you want to do? What IMPACT would you want to have?”
Q: HOW DO YOU TURN IDEALS INTO ACTION STEPS?
A: I collaborate with the clients to help them discover the vision of what they want their life to be like in the future. We may start with a three-month, six-month and one year vision. I ask them questions and help them clarify HOW the actions, decisions, and ways of being in their life are moving them closer to or farther from their vision. Sometimes even when the client thinks they don't know the steps to take, they will begin to take them INSTINCTIVELY. An important step in the discovery process is the creation of space and quiet time to ponder those questions -- the answers will come.
Q: HOW DO YOU HELP CLIENTS BECOME ACCOUNTABLE?
A: Everyone is MOTIVATED differently, so the client and I decide together the most effective means of accountability. I ask the client how they want to be held accountable and how they want to be coached if they don't follow through on goals they set or steps they commit to taking. One client said, "I feel accountable for doing what I say I'm going to do, because I feel like we entered into an agreement in the coaching session."
Q: WHAT IS THE KEY TO ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS?
A: What is most important is that there is no JUDGMENT or blame if the client doesn’t follow through. Instead, the focus is on learning, uncovering and removing obstacles, and finding out what works best in helping the client to move forward.
Q: HOW DO YOU HELP YOUR CLIENTS STAY MOTIVATED?
A: I help my clients maintain their motivation by helping them create a vision that allows them to FEEL what their life will be like once when they achieve their dreams. The client and I use this vision to help them move forward as well as to discover ways to bring aspects of those dreams into their current life. I work with the client to find ways to REMIND them of their dreams and the feelings associated with reaching them. One example is asking the clients to cut out pictures from magazines that capture the essence of their dreams and post them around their house and office. These serve as a visual reminder of what is important to them and what they want for their life. I encourage, challenge, ACKNOWLEDGE their progress, support, celebrate, and champion them as they work towards their dreams.
Q: WHERE DO PEOPLE FAIL WHEN MAKING LIFE CHANGES?
A: Not listening to their own INTUITION.
Q: ANY ADVICE FOR FINDING MEANING IN YOUR WORK?
A: Take more time to notice the meaning that is ALREADY there. Often, just pausing in our activities in order to be more "present in the moment" can lend more meaning to the workday.
Joanne Stein-Letlow is a Life Coach who works with individuals wanting more fulfillment and balance in life. She is also an inspirational speaker and workshop facilitator. Her coaching is mostly by telephone so she can coach clients in any location. She may be reached at 404-370-0964 or by email at . Contact her to find out more about her coaching and workshops and ask her about a free 30-minute coaching session.
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