Every day, we each have at least one opportunity to have a positive impact on another person.
Whether your friend is contemplating a divorce from what appears from the outside to be happy marriage, or a coworker is in a depressed state from not feeling engaged or supported in his job, or your spouse has hit a brick wall in feeling significant in his or her life, there are constant opportunities to help another person appreciate their opportunities and focus less on their limitations.
As a coach, I have a responsibility to help people see past their past and visualize their future. It is a critical part of the coaching process and allows us to identify the goals that are going to allow us to become the people we wish to be. All of us, however, have the ability to serve in an uplifting capacity for those around us. Through other past entries, I have talked about the virtues of being nice (Be Nice) and changing our perspective (It’s Time To Stand On Your Desk). In this entry, I am pointing out that a change in perspective can allow someone to replace feelings of shame and guilt with feelings of pride and potential. By imagining what we can accomplish, we can move past a place of despair and into one of hope.
Here’s a story for you:
Janet has been in and out of jobs for several years. She has risen to positions of prestige in the telecommunications industry and has most recently lost her job. Janet’s success in telecommunications has largely been with a loyal base of customers in the healthcare industry. She has worked with these customers for years, through the various companies for which she has worked, and she is passionate about the people she has worked with for so long.
Brian is Janet’s friend, and he’s talking with her one Thursday. Janet is depressed that her efforts at finding a new job have been fruitless. Brian suggests that Janet may be looking for the wrong job. Brian suggests that Janet has worked in telecommunications for a long time, but he’s never heard her talk about that part of her work. She has always talked about how much she loves her clients and how much she cares about them and their lives. Brian suggests to Janet that she think about changing her career path to something that would allow her to maintain those relationships and serve them in a different way.
Janet takes Brian’s advice and calls some of these long-time clients and asks for their advice. To her surprise, they all have a myriad of suggestions of how they would love to work with Janet in this capacity or another. It gave Janet a whole new menu from which to choose in her job search, and Janet was able to apply her skills with her clients in a completely different industry and find a far greater sense of satisfaction. Now, Janet provides her clients with medical supplies and is far more intimate with them than she was ever able to be in her role as a telecommunications representative.
Janet is not singular in this evolution. Moreover, Janet is not alone in lacking perspective to see the options available to her. Brian was valuable in helping Janet see past her past and visualizing her future. So, too, can we help each other to see options that aren’t clearly obvious in our current state.
I invite you to seek out opportunities to strategically intervene to step out and help someone who doesn’t know what they need. It amazes me how often people are reaching out for help when they don’t even know they are.
If you’re able to help, I’d love to hear how! For each of us, Tomorrow Begins Today!