Are You Communicating or Getting By?

Are You Communicating or Getting By?

I recently came across a quote by Jim Rohn that made me pause: “If you just communicate, you can get by.  But if you communicate skillfully, you can work miracles.”  All too frequently, we are simply getting by.  This past week I worked with a professional who recently moved into a new role where she is responsible for a small team of individuals.  Her company provides mentors to new leaders, which is a great asset.  Unfortunately, her mentor’s communication style is different from her own, and she is having a difficult time determining how to use the information provided in a way that is authentic to her own voice.  So, while her mentor experience is helping her, it could really be a boost to the start of her journey as a leader if the communication was more skillfully delivered in the frame of her stylistic approach. Several months ago I had the opportunity to work with an exuberant professional, someone who was passionate and quickly able to motivate a group to move forward in a common vision.  She was challenged by the communication style of her direct manager and often felt stymied by their interactions.  She told with me, “Nothing I share with her is good enough. She always makes corrections on my work. It feels like she is nitpicking rather than providing constructive feedback.”  Through our conversations, I helped my client gain perspective on what was important for her leader and what motivated her.  My client began to align her communication style more closely to that of her leader, and I recall when she came back to me and said, “We were reviewing a presentation I had created, and my leader suggested a change in the flow of the presentation.  Then, she said, ‘No, don’t change it.  The way you have it laid out works just as well.’ “ My client had a breakthrough moment where she recognized that she had maintained her authentic voice while aligning her communication to her direct leader’s preference.  This breakthrough propelled her working relationship with her leader forward to create a winning situation for herself and for her career. We all encounter people within our work with whom we find communication to be easy, and we all have someone who comes to mind as being more difficult to communicate.  When you apply the platinum rule of packaging your communication in a way that allows the recipient to hear it, your communication becomes much more than just getting by.  The ability to align your communication to another person’s preference is where the magic begins.  Are you ready to do more than just get by? Lesley provides individualized coaching to professionals who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps them uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professionals from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Schedule a free introductory session with Lesley today and learn how you can enhance your communication skills to enhance your career journey

I recently came across a quote by Jim Rohn that made me pause: “If you just communicate, you can get by.  But if you communicate skillfully, you can work miracles.”  All too frequently, we are simply getting by. 

This past week I worked with a professional who recently moved into a new role where she is responsible for a small team of individuals.  Her company provides mentors to new leaders, which is a great asset.  Unfortunately, her mentor’s communication style is different from her own, and she is having a difficult time determining how to use the information provided in a way that is authentic to her own voice.  So, while her mentor experience is helping her, it could really be a boost to the start of her journey as a leader if the communication was more skillfully delivered in the frame of her stylistic approach.

Several months ago I had the opportunity to work with an exuberant professional, someone who was passionate and quickly able to motivate a group to move forward in a common vision.  She was challenged by the communication style of her direct manager and often felt stymied by their interactions.  She told with me, “Nothing I share with her is good enough. She always makes corrections on my work. It feels like she is nitpicking rather than providing constructive feedback.”  Through our conversations, I helped my client gain perspective on what was important for her leader and what motivated her.  My client began to align her communication style more closely to that of her leader, and I recall when she came back to me and said, “We were reviewing a presentation I had created, and my leader suggested a change in the flow of the presentation.  Then, she said, ‘No, don’t change it.  The way you have it laid out works just as well.’ “ My client had a breakthrough moment where she recognized that she had maintained her authentic voice while aligning her communication to her direct leader’s preference.  This breakthrough propelled her working relationship with her leader forward to create a winning situation for herself and for her career.

We all encounter people within our work with whom we find communication to be easy, and we all have someone who comes to mind as being more difficult to communicate.  When you apply the platinum rule of packaging your communication in a way that allows the recipient to hear it, your communication becomes much more than just getting by.  The ability to align your communication to another person’s preference is where the magic begins.  Are you ready to do more than just get by?

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professionals who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps them uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professionals from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Schedule a free introductory session with Lesley today and learn how you can enhance your communication skills to enhance your career journey

The Illusion of Communication

The Illusion of Communication

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I love the music from My Fair Lady, and my favorite song from it is “I Could Have Danced All Night”.  I came across an intriguing quote from George Bernard Shaw, the author of the play, where he said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

So frequently we have communicated something of importance to someone; yet, they are unaware of exactly what we said.  The meaning was lost in the words that we used.  The intent was not conveyed.  The recipient was focused on another aspect of the topic.  Suddenly, what we thought was clearly stated has been lost in the wind, leaving both the sender and receiver at odds on what was really said.

For those who tuned in last week, I said I would share how a communication concept has changed the way I think and talk with others.  Prior to using this communication tool, I would approach important conversations with the golden rule:  Do unto others as you would have done unto you.  I would think through what I would want to know and how I would want the details laid out.  This method often did not yield the result for which I was hoping.

Since learning about this tool and practicing it over the past ten years, I now use the platinum rule for communication:  Do unto others as they would have done unto themselves.  It really is as simple as respecting the fact that different people appreciate different types of approaches in their communications.  I now recognize the individual who needs to talk about their weekend before we jump into deeper conversation. I also recognize those who have no desire to share their private stories but want to dive straight into the facts of our meeting. 

So, no matter whether you are presenting to a group of decision makers, articulating the value you bring in a job interview, or establishing relationships with new team members, communicating in each person’s desired method will allow your message to heard.   End the illusion of communicating by applying the platinum rule.  Package your message in a way that your recipient will be sure to hear it.

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professionals who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps them uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professionals from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Schedule a free introductory session with Lesley today and learn how you can enhance your communication skills.

The Secret to Every Good Relationship?

The Secret to Every Good Relationship?

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The secret to every good relationship, whether at work or in your personal life, is communication.  Yet, communication is frequently a top-rated area for improvement for many companies and individuals. 

According to Avid Grossman in “The Cost of Poor Communications”, a “survey of 400 companies with 100,000 employees each cited an average loss per company of $62.4 million per year because of inadequate communication to and between employees”.  I’m sure you can relate – we have all been on both the sending and receiving end of poor communications.  While our intent is almost always good, somewhere the message gets lost between us and the recipient.

But we don’t have to accept the general trends.  There is hope for individuals and groups to learn how to share messages that are heard and interpreted as they were intended.  And the best news is that the concept is fairly easy

Stop by next week, and I will tell you more about how this concept has changed the way I think and talk with others!

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professionals who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps them uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professionals from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

If You Aren’t Celebrating, You Aren’t Achieving

If You Aren’t Celebrating, You Aren’t Achieving

January is coming to a close.  I know – it’s hard to believe that 1 out of 12 months in this year have already gone by.  What have you achieved during these first 5 weeks of the year?  My goals for this year fell into 3 buckets:  spiritual, fitness, and professional.  As I reflect back on my accomplishments, I have consistently (not 100% but I am not aiming for perfection) met my spiritual goals for the month of January; I have created more structure to achieve my fitness goal and have begun implementation; and I am on pace to meet my professional goal for the first quarter of the year.  Not too shabby, especially considering the amount of inconsistent scheduling (due to snowy weather and school closures) as well as a nasty sinus cold that took me down for a little over a week.  While there is still work to be done in these 3 areas, I want to celebrate the small wins that I have gained over this month.  If I wait until I have reached my larger goal, I may never reach it.  However, through positive reinforcement, I will continue to feed my intrinsic drive to reach the goals I have set for myself.  Did you know that when you receive recognition for the good work you have done, your body releases dopamine.  According to Psychology Today, “Dopamine … helps regulate movement and emotional responses, and it enables us not only to see rewards, but to take action to move toward them.”  So, as you are working towards your goals, stopping to recognize and celebrate those small wins along the way allows your body to release dopamine, which encourages you to keep up the good work.  These celebrations do not have to be extravagant.  My examples for this month’s rewards include sharing a success story with my husband, enjoying a cup of hot chocolate with a friend, and setting up a weekly walk and chat with a colleague.  All in all, those are small, but meaningful rewards to me.  I would love to hear what rewards are meaningful to you.  How do you celebrate the milestone victories as you continue to work towards your goals?  Share your ideas in the comments below.  I would love some fresh thoughts on how I can celebrate my wins in February! Lesley provides individualized coaching to professionals who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps them uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professionals from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

January is coming to a close.  I know – it’s hard to believe that 1 out of 12 months in this year have already gone by.  What have you achieved during these first 5 weeks of the year? 

My goals for this year fell into 3 buckets:  spiritual, fitness, and professional.  As I reflect back on my accomplishments, I have consistently (not 100% but I am not aiming for perfection) met my spiritual goals for the month of January; I have created more structure to achieve my fitness goal and have begun implementation; and I am on pace to meet my professional goal for the first quarter of the year.  Not too shabby, especially considering the amount of inconsistent scheduling (due to snowy weather and school closures) as well as a nasty sinus cold that took me down for a little over a week. 

While there is still work to be done in these 3 areas, I want to celebrate the small wins that I have gained over this month.  If I wait until I have reached my larger goal, I may never reach it.  However, through positive reinforcement, I will continue to feed my intrinsic drive to reach the goals I have set for myself. 

Did you know that when you receive recognition for the good work you have done, your body releases dopamine.  According to Psychology Today, “Dopamine … helps regulate movement and emotional responses, and it enables us not only to see rewards, but to take action to move toward them.”  So, as you are working towards your goals, stopping to recognize and celebrate those small wins along the way allows your body to release dopamine, which encourages you to keep up the good work. 

These celebrations do not have to be extravagant.  My examples for this month’s rewards include sharing a success story with my husband, enjoying a cup of hot chocolate with a friend, and setting up a weekly walk and chat with a colleague.  All in all, those are small, but meaningful rewards to me. 

I would love to hear what rewards are meaningful to you.  How do you celebrate the milestone victories as you continue to work towards your goals?  Share your ideas in the comments below.  I would love some fresh thoughts on how I can celebrate my wins in February!

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professionals who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps them uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professionals from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

The #1 Secret to Achieving Your Goals

The #1 Secret to Achieving Your Goals

I am sure everyone can relate to an aspiration in your personal or professional life that would be nice to achieve. Perhaps it is something that you really want to achieve.  Yet, many of us have examples of times where our words and our actions do not match.  While we say the goal is important or will make a significant difference in our lives, we lack the focus, the follow through, or the commitment to making it a reality. While we pride ourselves on independence, we are called to be in community with others, and when you look at successful individuals, they all point to someone along the way who contributed to their success.  When I launched my coaching business, I sought help from a business coach.  Our weekly meetings helped me stay focused and gain the results I needed to embark on my new endeavor.  Even now I work with a coach and a mentor to continue the momentum I have started.  Take a look again at your goals for 2018.  Which ones are truly important to you?  Which ones will be game changers for you once you accomplish them?  Then, reflect on who you will partner with to see the success you desire.  Ask them this week!  “No one – not rock stars, not professional athletes, not software billionaires, and not even geniuses – ever makes it alone.”  Malcolm Gladwell Lesley provides individualized coaching to professionals who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps them uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professionals from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, pharma, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

I am sure everyone can relate to an aspiration in your personal or professional life that would be nice to achieve. Perhaps it is something that you really want to achieve.  Yet, many of us have examples of times where our words and our actions do not match.  While we say the goal is important or will make a significant difference in our lives, we lack the focus, the follow through, or the commitment to making it a reality.

While we pride ourselves on independence, we are called to be in community with others, and when you look at successful individuals, they all point to someone along the way who contributed to their success.  When I launched my coaching business, I sought help from a business coach.  Our weekly meetings helped me stay focused and gain the results I needed to embark on my new endeavor.  Even now I work with a coach and a mentor to continue the momentum I have started. 

Take a look again at your goals for 2018.  Which ones are truly important to you?  Which ones will be game changers for you once you accomplish them?  Then, reflect on who you will partner with to see the success you desire.  Ask them this week! 

“No one – not rock stars, not professional athletes, not software billionaires, and not even geniuses – ever makes it alone.”  Malcolm Gladwell

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professionals who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps them uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professionals from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, pharma, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

How to Tackle the Immense

How to Tackle the Immense

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We are now halfway through the month of January.  That’s right – week 3 of New Year’s resolutions!  How are you doing so far?  I made concrete goals for my spiritual life in 2018 and have done well in honoring those.  I still have some work to do in mapping out goals for other areas of my life.  Here’s how I am setting out to make them realistic and achievable!

I hate working out.  There was a point in time when I truly enjoyed it, but that time has since passed.  However, with all of the desserts I allowed myself to consume over the holidays, my pants are no longer fitting as I would like.  So, that means I must burn calories, which means I must exercise (and stop nibbling on treats!). 

I am not looking for a dramatic change in weight.  I simply want to shed a couple of pounds so I don’t need to buy a new wardrobe.  When I looked at the math, it will take 1400 minutes of walking to lose 2 pounds.  That is a large number!  However, when I break that down, it doesn’t seem as scary.  The loop around my neighborhood takes about 20 minutes to walk, which equates to a total of 70 trips around my neighborhood.  Even if I only make one trip a day, I can reach my goal in just over 2 months!  Now that seems doable!

In my professional life, I have to get cracking on my continuing education units, which will be due at the end of 2019.  I know – it seems like a long way away so I don’t need to really work on this one now.  However, with the time and cost commitment, I know I will be more successful and less stressed if I start working on them now.  I need a total of 40 units by December 2019, but my focus for 2018 is gaining 20 of these.  When I break that down into quarters, it is 5 per quarter.  My next step in this process is researching development opportunities by month for Q1 and signing up for courses.

These are two examples of how I am tackling larger goals by breaking them down into bite-size, not-so-scary goals.  That’s the secret for successful people.  Don’t become immobilized by the immensity of your desired outcome.  Tackle the baby steps that will lead to you to it instead.  As Kristi Yamaguchi said: “I always try to start out with some type of goal. Then I work backward and think of what I need to do to get there, and give myself smaller goals that are more immediate.”

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professionals who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps them uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professionals from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, pharma, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

How Specificity Boosts Your Success Rate

How Specificity Boosts Your Success Rate

If you read last week’s blog post, you saw that Secret #1 to achieve your New Year’s resolutions is to be specific.  But you may be stuck on what that really means and how to apply it to your career goals. Start by defining what success looks like for you or as Stephen Covey says with Habit 2 “Begin with the end in mind.”  The more clarity you have around what you are trying to accomplish will result in a more specific action plan to get you to that final outcome. Many professionals are seeking to enhance their current job performance by gaining new knowledge or new skillsets.  McCall, Lombardo, and Eichinger state: “Development generally begins with a realization of current or future need and the motivation to do something about it. This might come from feedback, a mistake, watching other people’s reactions, failing or not being up to a task – in other words, from experience. The odds are that development will be about 70% from on-the-job experiences - working on tasks and problems; about 20% from feedback and working around good and bad examples of the need; and 10% from courses and reading.” So, taking a class or reading a book or article will help you gain knowledge on a topic, but it is through application of that knowledge where you will reap the benefits within your career.  One example from the 20% bucket is:  Meet monthly with a mentor to learn how to use business reports to increase my/my team’s productivity by 5%. An example from the 70% category is: Work with a coach bi-weekly to assess the effectiveness of my communication strategy with my boss to influence decision-making within my area of expertise. If you desire a career change, your specific goals may look more like: Expand my network by 3 new contacts per week with individuals in the industry to which I want to move. Or: Manage an end-to-end project within my current role in Q1 to enhance my assessment skills and project management skills for the role in which I want to move next. These are just a few examples of specificity in writing out your goals.  Take a look back at your own.  If they are too vague, I challenge you to re-write them.  Spending a little time now in defining how you will move forward in your career development will pay off in the end! Lesley provides individualized coaching to professionals who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps them uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professionals from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

If you read last week’s blog post, you saw that Secret #1 to achieve your New Year’s resolutions is to be specific.  But you may be stuck on what that really means and how to apply it to your career goals.

Start by defining what success looks like for you or as Stephen Covey says with Habit 2 “Begin with the end in mind.”  The more clarity you have around what you are trying to accomplish will result in a more specific action plan to get you to that final outcome.

Many professionals are seeking to enhance their current job performance by gaining new knowledge or new skillsets.  McCall, Lombardo, and Eichinger state: “Development generally begins with a realization of current or future need and the motivation to do something about it. This might come from feedback, a mistake, watching other people’s reactions, failing or not being up to a task – in other words, from experience. The odds are that development will be about 70% from on-the-job experiences - working on tasks and problems; about 20% from feedback and working around good and bad examples of the need; and 10% from courses and reading.”

So, taking a class or reading a book or article will help you gain knowledge on a topic, but it is through application of that knowledge where you will reap the benefits within your career.  One example from the 20% bucket is: 

Meet monthly with a mentor to learn how to use business reports to increase my/my team’s productivity by 5%.

An example from the 70% category is:

Work with a coach bi-weekly to assess the effectiveness of my communication strategy with my boss to influence decision-making within my area of expertise.

If you desire a career change, your specific goals may look more like:

Expand my network by 3 new contacts per week with individuals in the industry to which I want to move.

Or:

Manage an end-to-end project within my current role in Q1 to enhance my assessment skills and project management skills for the role in which I want to move next.

These are just a few examples of specificity in writing out your goals.  Take a look back at your own.  If they are too vague, I challenge you to re-write them.  Spending a little time now in defining how you will move forward in your career development will pay off in the end!

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professionals who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps them uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professionals from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

3 Secrets to Successful Resolutions

3 Secrets to Successful Resolutions

The turn of a new year always invokes the generation of New Year Resolutions.  Many of us have already determined what ours are for 2018.  Yet, only 8% of resolutions are fulfilled.  That’s right – 92% of the resolutions we have set will fail! Let’s look at how we can set ourselves up for success: Secret #1 - Specific Write down your resolution.  How clear and specific is it?  Remember, resolutions are synonymous with goals.  If your goal is not specific, you have not chance to achieve it because success is not well-defined.  If you want to grow in an area of knowledge or skill for your career over this next year, you must be clear about what gap you are seeking to close and express how you will know that you have closed that gap with the actions you plan to take. Secret #2 - Realistic and Attainable I recall several years ago encountering an individual who had been recently hired into an entry-level position.  This individual stated that she wanted to move into role where she would be leading people.  While that is certainly a good career goal, it was not realistic in a 12-18 month time frame given this individual’s past experiences.  That same resolution can be achieved by the following series of smaller resolutions: 1) gain subject matter expertise in key company processes, 2) teach colleagues about 3 process changes and their impacts, 3) learn the mechanics and logistics of 2 reports, etc.  By breaking down the resolution into smaller bites, you are more likely to reach success and gain momentum towards your larger resolution. Secret #3 – Accountable One of my resolutions for 2018 involves a 7am meeting once a month on a Saturday.  Saturdays tend to be the only day that I don’t have to jump out of bed and get moving right away so I know this one will be a challenge for me.  So, rather than doing this on my own (and falling into the 92% once I hit February), I have engaged an accountability partner to help me stay on course.  Accountability partners can be mentors or coaches.  There is a huge difference in following through on your actions to reach your goal when you have committed to a relationship with another person who will ask you if you completed what you said was important for you to complete. I encourage you to take 15 -30 minutes this week to examine your New Year’s resolutions.  Make the tweaks necessary now to set yourself up to be a part of the 8% of resolutions that are successfully meet this year.   Lesley provides individualized coaching to professionals who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps them uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professionals from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts

The turn of a new year always invokes the generation of New Year Resolutions.  Many of us have already determined what ours are for 2018.  Yet, only 8% of resolutions are fulfilled.  That’s right – 92% of the resolutions we have set will fail!

Let’s look at how we can set ourselves up for success:

Secret #1 - Specific

Write down your resolution.  How clear and specific is it?  Remember, resolutions are synonymous with goals.  If your goal is not specific, you have not chance to achieve it because success is not well-defined. 

If you want to grow in an area of knowledge or skill for your career over this next year, you must be clear about what gap you are seeking to close and express how you will know that you have closed that gap with the actions you plan to take.

Secret #2 - Realistic and Attainable

I recall several years ago encountering an individual who had been recently hired into an entry-level position.  This individual stated that she wanted to move into role where she would be leading people.  While that is certainly a good career goal, it was not realistic in a 12-18 month time frame given this individual’s past experiences. 

That same resolution can be achieved by the following series of smaller resolutions: 1) gain subject matter expertise in key company processes, 2) teach colleagues about 3 process changes and their impacts, 3) learn the mechanics and logistics of 2 reports, etc.  By breaking down the resolution into smaller bites, you are more likely to reach success and gain momentum towards your larger resolution.

Secret #3 – Accountable

One of my resolutions for 2018 involves a 7am meeting once a month on a Saturday.  Saturdays tend to be the only day that I don’t have to jump out of bed and get moving right away so I know this one will be a challenge for me.  So, rather than doing this on my own (and falling into the 92% once I hit February), I have engaged an accountability partner to help me stay on course. 

Accountability partners can be mentors or coaches.  There is a huge difference in following through on your actions to reach your goal when you have committed to a relationship with another person who will ask you if you completed what you said was important for you to complete.

I encourage you to take 15 -30 minutes this week to examine your New Year’s resolutions.  Make the tweaks necessary now to set yourself up to be a part of the 8% of resolutions that are successfully meet this year.

 

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professionals who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps them uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professionals from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts

3 Questions that Cannot Wait Until January

3 Questions that Cannot Wait Until January

I often find myself in these last days of the year talking about how it is the “end of the year”. It gives a feeling of finality and a sense of winding down and wrapping things up. While I am a huge fan of taking time to wind down, I think I (along with a lot of you) have fallen into the trap of believing that the end of the year is not a good time to start something new. We always wait until January to start our New Year's resolutions to start developing a new habit or to realign ourselves with what's really important to us. Yet, December is a great time for new beginnings. Advent is the beginning of a new liturgical year for the church. It can also be the beginning of something new for you. So, why wait for January? When you examine what you want to accomplish in early 2018, there are steps you can take right now to set you up for success when the new calendar year turns over. 1.    How clear are you on what you want to accomplish? 2.    What are your thoughts on how you will achieve it? 3.    The next step is to outline what you will do in order to execute on the how – the specific plans or the details. You may have a brand new goal in mind for next year that you have never attempted before. Or you may have a goal that shows up over and over again on your wish list but never actually gets accomplished. In either situation you must be able to clearly answer the three questions listed above before you will see that goal achieved. If you are truly committed to your goal, I encourage you to engage someone to walk along this journey with you. Research has shown that you increase your chance of achieving a goal by 85% when you establish a relationship of accountability. An accountability partner can be a friend, a colleague, or you can invest in professional help from a coach. Recently, while working with a client on expanding her support network as she makes a career transition, she shared 5 names of individuals with whom she felt very close. Upon asking her questions about what role she hoped these five individuals would play in her career goal, she shared that she wanted them to be able to listen and ask questions like a coach. Friends and colleagues are a valuable part of your support network and can serve as accountability partners, but they do not have the training and skillset needed to serve as an unbiased ear who can ask thought-provoking questions to help you achieve your end goal. So, give some thought to the three questions above.  Then, invest in your goal by establishing an accountability partner.  Your 2018 will receive a kick-start, and you are extremely likely to achieve what you set out to accomplish.   Lesley provides individualized coaching to professionals who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps them uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professionals from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!  

I often find myself in these last days of the year talking about how it is the “end of the year”. It gives a feeling of finality and a sense of winding down and wrapping things up. While I am a huge fan of taking time to wind down, I think I (along with a lot of you) have fallen into the trap of believing that the end of the year is not a good time to start something new. We always wait until January to start our New Year's resolutions to start developing a new habit or to realign ourselves with what's really important to us. Yet, December is a great time for new beginnings. Advent is the beginning of a new liturgical year for the church. It can also be the beginning of something new for you.

So, why wait for January? When you examine what you want to accomplish in early 2018, there are steps you can take right now to set you up for success when the new calendar year turns over.

1.    How clear are you on what you want to accomplish?

2.    What are your thoughts on how you will achieve it?

3.    The next step is to outline what you will do in order to execute on the how – the specific plans or the details.

You may have a brand new goal in mind for next year that you have never attempted before. Or you may have a goal that shows up over and over again on your wish list but never actually gets accomplished. In either situation you must be able to clearly answer the three questions listed above before you will see that goal achieved.

If you are truly committed to your goal, I encourage you to engage someone to walk along this journey with you. Research has shown that you increase your chance of achieving a goal by 85% when you establish a relationship of accountability. An accountability partner can be a friend, a colleague, or you can invest in professional help from a coach.

Recently, while working with a client on expanding her support network as she makes a career transition, she shared 5 names of individuals with whom she felt very close. Upon asking her questions about what role she hoped these five individuals would play in her career goal, she shared that she wanted them to be able to listen and ask questions like a coach. Friends and colleagues are a valuable part of your support network and can serve as accountability partners, but they do not have the training and skillset needed to serve as an unbiased ear who can ask thought-provoking questions to help you achieve your end goal.

So, give some thought to the three questions above.  Then, invest in your goal by establishing an accountability partner.  Your 2018 will receive a kick-start, and you are extremely likely to achieve what you set out to accomplish.

 

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professionals who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps them uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professionals from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

 

4 Tips to Your Next Promotion

4 Tips to Your Next Promotion

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So, you are ready for that promotion, but it has not materialized yet. What to do? Check out the tips below to see what action you can take to help yourself reach your goal.

1.     Identify clear examples of situations where you have used the skill sets needed for the role in which you are striving. If you have those examples, move forward to step two.  If you are missing strong examples, work with a mentor or a coach to gain those experiences.  You will need them in the interview process to set yourself apart and to demonstrate your abilities.

2.     Communicate with key stakeholders your desire to move forward in your career.  If no one knows of your career goals, you have no one to advocate for you.  Ideally, you have one person who sponsors you, a person who has a level of influence to get you the exposure needed to the right people and projects to help you make that career move.

3.     Gather feedback to continue closing the gap.  Instead of simply waiting for that promotion, use the time wisely.  Look for opportunities to strengthen your skill set and grow your examples for that future interview.

4.     Follow up.  As you work to close any gaps in your knowledge and skills, follow up with the key stakeholders.  Keep them apprised of the progress you are making, which shows your ongoing interest and persistence in doing the work to get to your end goal.

What other tips have you found helpful as you have worked to earn your promotions? 

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professionals who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps them uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professionals from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

The Power of Storytelling

The Power of Storytelling

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Recently, I introduced my little guy to the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. After hearing it just a couple of times, he began telling the story as we were looking at each page, reciting it from memory. It always makes me chuckle to hear his little voice transforming into the deep Papa Bear's voice, the mid-range Mama Bear’s voice, and the high squeak of Baby Bear’s voice. This story has definitely become one of his favorites as he is asking for it almost every night before bed.

Being a storyteller is an art. The way the story unfolds shows the creativity of the author.

While I enjoy being creative, I have recognized that storytelling in the traditional sense is not one of my primary gifts. However, helping other people tell their story is.

A few weeks ago, a dear friend of mine reached out for help on how to write his year-end review. He sent over his first draft outlining what he had done over the course of the year. We spent about 20 minutes over the phone so I could better understand not only what he had done but how he had done it and the impact that it had on others. In that short amount of time we worked together to transform a simple list into the story of the work he had accomplished and the effect that that work had on his organization.

It was in that moment that I had a mini revelation. My gift of helping other people tell their story transcends the coaching work that I have been doing. The majority of my coaching has been partnering with professionals who desire to make a career change.  We look at what their gifts are and how they translate into a variety of roles.  Yet, helping people tell their story as they transition from one role to another is only one part of my storytelling. Yes, I help them in speaking of those gifts as they move to the phase of interviewing.  However, my storytelling extends also to helping them find the words to craft their resume – telling their story in writing.  

I am grateful that my friend reached out for support.  The fact that he trusted me, not as his friend, but as someone who was talented in this area has helped me see how I can serve others in a similar way.  So, while I will never be a Robert Southey (the original author of Goldilocks and the Three Bears), I am a storyteller in my own right.

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professionals who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps clients uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professionals from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  If you are ready to create your personal mission statement and take action on living it out, contact Lesley here for a free live call to get you started.

Where is the Silver Lining?

Where is the Silver Lining?

It’s Thanksgiving week so it seems like the perfect time to talk about gratitude.  There is a lot of research within the past decade about the benefits of gratitude.  Let’s first level set on the definition of gratitude -- “the quality of being thankful.” Many of the clients with whom I work are looking for new jobs, different jobs, or jobs that allow them to do more of what they love.  But finding that dream job does not occur overnight.  It takes time, a bit of patience, and a lot of persistence.  Ultimately, it leads to a payoff that yields thankfulness.  But what’s a person to do during the time he is looking for that more ideal role?  How do you stay motivated while making the play for your long-term goal?  It all begins with gratitude. A study by Robert A. Emmons and Mike McCullough found that people who focus on gratitude felt better about their lives as a whole and were 25% happier than people who focused on the negative.  So that means there is a whole lot to be said for finding the joy in the work you are doing each day while you are looking to make a transition. What does your level of gratitude look like when you think of your “daily grind”?  How can you focus more on the things and the people for whom you are thankful?  This does not mean you should stop pursuing work that aligns more clearly with your natural gifts.  It just means that you should look for the silver lining where you are while you are looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Lesley provides individualized coaching to professionals who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps clients uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professionals from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  If you are ready to create your personal mission statement and take action on living it out, contact Lesley here for a free live call to get you started.

It’s Thanksgiving week so it seems like the perfect time to talk about gratitude.  There is a lot of research within the past decade about the benefits of gratitude.  Let’s first level set on the definition of gratitude -- “the quality of being thankful.”

Many of the clients with whom I work are looking for new jobs, different jobs, or jobs that allow them to do more of what they love.  But finding that dream job does not occur overnight.  It takes time, a bit of patience, and a lot of persistence.  Ultimately, it leads to a payoff that yields thankfulness. 

But what’s a person to do during the time he is looking for that more ideal role?  How do you stay motivated while making the play for your long-term goal?  It all begins with gratitude.

A study by Robert A. Emmons and Mike McCullough found that people who focus on gratitude felt better about their lives as a whole and were 25% happier than people who focused on the negative.  So that means there is a whole lot to be said for finding the joy in the work you are doing each day while you are looking to make a transition.

What does your level of gratitude look like when you think of your “daily grind”?  How can you focus more on the things and the people for whom you are thankful? 

This does not mean you should stop pursuing work that aligns more clearly with your natural gifts.  It just means that you should look for the silver lining where you are while you are looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professionals who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps clients uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professionals from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  If you are ready to create your personal mission statement and take action on living it out, contact Lesley here for a free live call to get you started.

Want to be as Successful as Oprah?

Want to be as Successful as Oprah?

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What do you think of when you hear mission statement?  Most people say it sounds very corporate, something that organizations do to share their vision.  What comes to mind when you hear “personal mission statement”?

Michael Goodman says a personal mission statement is “an articulation of what you’re all about and what success looks like to you.”  It is what is important to you, but it goes a step beyond just what is important.  Your personal mission statement carries with it a tremendous power and strength. 

You are probably thinking, “OK, Lesley.  What can a personal mission statement really do for me?”  It can direct your current career.  It can guide your long-term career journey.  It can ensure your legacy.

Here are some examples that may resonate with you as you think about the individual these statements belong to:

“To be a teacher.  And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be.”               -- Oprah

“To help people find hope after loss.”            --Dr. Gloria Horsely (renown grief counselor)

“To unlock the gifts in others so they can live out their mission.”                   -- Lesley O’Rourke

Writing a mission statement often conjures up images of a long, tedious process.  However, it does not need to be so.  I have a simple formula that will help you pull it together:

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Once you uncover your God-given gifts, the strengths that are inherent to who you are, and pair those with your values, the things that are of utmost importance to you in your life, you have all of the pieces needed to assemble your personal mission statement. 

That’s right – you have all of the foundational necessities to become as successful as Oprah!  She is an amazing example of someone who zeroed in on her gifts and values and then executed against them.  And you can do the same!

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  If you are ready to create your personal mission statement and take action on living it out, contact Lesley here for a free live call to get you started.

Don’t Just Follow Along

Don’t Just Follow Along

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Music holds a special place in my life. Each member of my family loves music in his or her own way. My daughter and I are the two who are currently preparing for an event in the upcoming weeks.  She is preparing songs for a piano recital while I am learning a classical song for a special event at our church.

Tonight, my daughter asked me to listen to her play her two recital pieces. She knows both of the songs fairly well; however, there are points within each song where she does not know exactly where her fingers should go next.

As a singer, I can totally relate to this. As I am learning this new song, I have been singing it with a recording to better learn my harmony part. A few days ago though I started singing it on my own without the recording. That is when it became very apparent that there were some sections I just did not know as well as others.  I did not know where my voice should go next.

Marching along a career journey can be the same way.  You are going along focused on what you need to get done that day.  Then, something makes you stop.  That’s when you realize that you have been following along but are uncertain what step you should take next.

Life is short.  Stop just following along.  Map out your plan.  Know your next step.  Only you can share your unique gift with the world.

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Sign up here for Lesley’s free webinar on Creating Your Personal Mission Statement on November 9 at 8pm EST.

Three Ways Pumpkin Carving is Like Coaching

Three Ways Pumpkin Carving is Like Coaching

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A tradition in many American homes in October is pumpkin carving, and it is certainly the same in our house.  As my family carved pumpkins this year, I couldn’t help but see the similarities between pumpkin carving and the coaching process.  I know…it seems like a strange metaphor.  Stick with me and see what you think:

1 – Cleaning Out

Before you can start carving a pumpkin, you have to create an opening.  Once the top is off, you can roll up your sleeves and start the really messy job of taking everything that is inside out, clearing out all of the stuff that is not needed. 

The same process happens when you begin working with a coach.  An opening is created as the client and coach begin discussing what the client’s goals are.  Then, both parties dig in to discover what’s been holding the client back.  They get down to cleaning out and creating space for something new and beautiful.

2 – The Design

Pumpkin carving designs have come a long way since I was a kid.  My biggest decision was how to shape the mouth of my jack-o-lantern – should I include teeth or not, did I want a friendly looking smile or something a little more spooky.  Today’s designs are much more intricate.  I am amazed at some of the creations I see! 

In coaching, the client partners with the coach to share how she plans to create forward momentum in her career and in her life.  For some clients, the design is straightforward; for others, it is slightly more complex. 

3 – Carving

The act of carving requires time, patience, and a variety of tools.  It starts with the small tool that dots the design outline on the pumpkin.  These small holes form a clear path for the miniature knife that connects the dots to generate the picture you are aiming for.  Deep cuts open the pumpkin for light to shine all the way through while shallow cuts provide additional details and nuances to round out the image. 

When clients take action towards their goals, they are carving out new spaces in their lives.  Sometimes the action steps are large, sweeping moves, and other times the action steps are smaller, more subtle changes that bring greater clarity and refinement to their aspirations. 

So, you made it through all three similarities.  I hope I inspired you to clean out, design, and carve for your future.  As amazing as jack-o-lanterns are, think about how much more amazing the changes are that you can make in your life with coaching.

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Sign up here for Lesley’s free webinar on Creating Your Personal Mission Statement on November 9 at 8pm EST

The Legacy in Service

The Legacy in Service

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My kids are required to earn service hours each quarter through their school. Our family is often involved in community service, but I really like how the school requirement has helped my children expand their view of how to serve other people.

A few weekends ago they volunteered with Stop Hunger Now and packed over 10,000 bags of food to be shipped to people in the African country of Burkina Faso. My son also volunteers once a month in the baby and toddler room at our church. Earlier this year my daughter made meals for two families who had welcomed new babies. I love seeing how they are being formed so early to recognize that their mission in life is so closely tied to serving others.

I am currently working with a professional mom who is exploring an advancement opportunity in her career path. She is most excited about how this new role will allow her to serve others even more than in her current role. When we first began working together, I asked her to share with me what her gifts are.  Serving was one of her top 5!  As she shared with me details about this new work opportunity, it was apparent that the job aligns with her gifts and with her values.  I am excited to see where this path takes her and how she is able to touch others’ lives through her service.

In the grand scheme of things, life is very short.  Our impact in this life is tied to the lives of those around us.  Live in your gifts and live out your mission. 

What legacy will you leave behind as you serve through you work?

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Sign up here for Lesley’s free webinar on Creating Your Personal Mission Statement on November 9 at 8pm EST.

Three Benefits of Leveraging Your Network

Three Benefits of Leveraging Your Network

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Earlier in my career I viewed networking as salesy, uncomfortable, and not worth my energy. Was I ever wrong! It took me some time to come around to accepting networking.  Now, not only do I enjoy networking, but I recommend it consistently to others.

Here are the key benefits that lie in networking that I have discovered in my 20-year career:

1) The power of serving.

There have been countless times where I have been able to connect one person from my network with another person from my network so they could explore mutual interests and work opportunities.

2) The Power of innovation.

I'm sure you have heard the saying that there are no new ideas. While that may have some truth to that, I do believe we can bring innovation into our work by learning from what others are doing. Their ideas spark new ways of applying something similar within our own work.

3) The power of mentorship.

On numerous occasions I have reached out to individuals within my network to tap into their area of expertise. Many times, these are short-term mentorships, but I have also gained much from long-term mentorships as well.

What benefits have you gained from expanding and leveraging your network?

 

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

The Little Known Secret to Career Creativity

The Little Known Secret to Career Creativity

You push yourself to give your best to your work even when it means skipping out on your exercise time to take care of an urgent issue.  You extend (and often overextend) yourself to care for your family; you put aside reading that book you’ve been eyeing to help your daughter with her school project.  You say yes and volunteer for worthy, impactful activities within your community and often miss out on your down time at night to finish up a project you took on to help out your church ministry.  And at the end of the week, you find yourself “done”.  Can you relate to this?  Do any of these sound like they came straight from your life last week?  While I think of myself as a guru at time management, I often find that I have sacrificed time for myself in order to get everything else done.  Even though the majority of those to-do’s are ones that I have a keen interest in completing, I still need to carve out time for myself. Over these last 10 days I have made some small changes to correct for this.  No, I did not find some magic answer for creating more time within one day.  I did, however, look for pockets of down time that I have either wasted or used for low-priority activities and capitalized on that time for me.  I heard someone say that we need to re-create our energy.  Taking a walk, especially in a place where there is natural landscape, gives me physical energy and allows my brain time to refuel on creativity.  I have also picked up a few books to read simply for the pleasure of reading, not for learning.  Both of these self-care activities have been a welcomed changed to my normal routine, and I plan to keep them in my schedule.  Self-care replenishes, refreshes, and revitalizes us.  Spending just a few minutes a day on yourself allows you to serve others and live out your mission in life.  So, while you are working to further your career, make time to pour back into yourself.  It will pay off in more ways than you can imagine. Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

You push yourself to give your best to your work even when it means skipping out on your exercise time to take care of an urgent issue.  You extend (and often overextend) yourself to care for your family; you put aside reading that book you’ve been eyeing to help your daughter with her school project.  You say yes and volunteer for worthy, impactful activities within your community and often miss out on your down time at night to finish up a project you took on to help out your church ministry.  And at the end of the week, you find yourself “done”. 

Can you relate to this?  Do any of these sound like they came straight from your life last week?  While I think of myself as a guru at time management, I often find that I have sacrificed time for myself in order to get everything else done.  Even though the majority of those to-do’s are ones that I have a keen interest in completing, I still need to carve out time for myself.

Over these last 10 days I have made some small changes to correct for this.  No, I did not find some magic answer for creating more time within one day.  I did, however, look for pockets of down time that I have either wasted or used for low-priority activities and capitalized on that time for me.  I heard someone say that we need to re-create our energy.  Taking a walk, especially in a place where there is natural landscape, gives me physical energy and allows my brain time to refuel on creativity.  I have also picked up a few books to read simply for the pleasure of reading, not for learning.  Both of these self-care activities have been a welcomed changed to my normal routine, and I plan to keep them in my schedule. 

Self-care replenishes, refreshes, and revitalizes us.  Spending just a few minutes a day on yourself allows you to serve others and live out your mission in life.  So, while you are working to further your career, make time to pour back into yourself.  It will pay off in more ways than you can imagine.

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

Warning: Milestones are Approaching!

Warning: Milestones are Approaching!

We had a BIG milestone in my home this week with celebratory cake and ice cream.  My oldest became a teenager!  The typical signs have been there indicating that this was coming.  Those of you who have teenagers in the house know exactly what I am speaking of – the growth spurt, the change in attitude, the desire for more independence.  Milestones like this one are momentous and often a cause for consideration on what has happened in your life leading up to this point.  We spent time remembering the birth of our son and sharing some special memories of his childhood with him.  There were also passing comments on the fact that he would be driving within 3 years and going off to school in just 5 years.  I know it’s coming, but I’m NOT ready to think about either of those just yet! I had the honor this week of working with a professional who also has a milestone birthday this year.  She was reflecting on where she is in her career and life at this time in comparison with where she thought she would be.  While her path has been unconventional, she has gained amazing experiences at each stop along the way.  She is currently recognizing how to use her unique gifts to craft the direction of her career journey as she moves forward.  It is exciting to see how many options she has available to her, and I am thrilled to partner with her as she narrows those options and designs her own map to define her steps in making it a reality.   We all have milestones approaching in our lives.  How are you preparing to celebrate yours and continue your journey forward? Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

We had a BIG milestone in my home this week with celebratory cake and ice cream.  My oldest became a teenager!  The typical signs have been there indicating that this was coming.  Those of you who have teenagers in the house know exactly what I am speaking of – the growth spurt, the change in attitude, the desire for more independence.  Milestones like this one are momentous and often a cause for consideration on what has happened in your life leading up to this point.  We spent time remembering the birth of our son and sharing some special memories of his childhood with him.  There were also passing comments on the fact that he would be driving within 3 years and going off to school in just 5 years.  I know it’s coming, but I’m NOT ready to think about either of those just yet!

I had the honor this week of working with a professional who also has a milestone birthday this year.  She was reflecting on where she is in her career and life at this time in comparison with where she thought she would be.  While her path has been unconventional, she has gained amazing experiences at each stop along the way.  She is currently recognizing how to use her unique gifts to craft the direction of her career journey as she moves forward.  It is exciting to see how many options she has available to her, and I am thrilled to partner with her as she narrows those options and designs her own map to define her steps in making it a reality.  

We all have milestones approaching in our lives.  How are you preparing to celebrate yours and continue your journey forward?

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

Are you striving or thriving?

Are you striving or thriving?

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Recently, I had a session scheduled with a client for 8 p.m. Typically, this time has worked out well for me and for my family. However, on this particular night my toddler was not settling in for sleep. At 7:59 as I was trying to dial the phone, he came running out of his room. I reassured him that I was still close by but had promised to help someone that night and needed to honor that promise. He just started with small whimpers that I anticipated would grow into actual cries. I could feel the tension and almost panic creeping in as I began to frantically think through my options. My husband was out at work so I knew I was on my own. 

Suddenly, I recognized how much I was striving in that moment. That's when I stopped for just a second and recognized that I had done everything I could possibly do to make the night calm for my son and to set myself up to be fully present for my client. All I could do was trust that the work I had put in so far would be sufficient for the outcome needed. 

I ended up taking that client phone call from the hallway outside my toddler's bedroom. Sure I heard him singing to himself pretty loudly at one point, but he felt the security that he needed.  At the end of the call, my client had a breakthrough in identifying her next action steps towards advancing her career goals, and as I hung up the phone, I realized that my toddler had fallen asleep at some point along the way. 

When I stopped striving and trusted in the work and efforts that I had put forward, I began to thrive. That's true for so many of us, especially as working mothers. We find ourselves striving to be a great mom, a great wife, a great employee,. While I am a fan of continued growth and development, I also recognize the importance of pausing, taking stock of the work we have done to get to where we are, and simply trusting that these efforts will allow us thrive.

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!