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Create possibility.

Should Your Work Speak For Itself?



You work hard. You got the education and training required to be great at your job. You are a subject matter expert. You care about what you are doing. You think that you are quite good at what you do, and that things should go well for you.

And yet, things don’t go well. You have all the credentials and training, but you just can not get the kind of job you want, or feel you should have. Or get a job at all. Or, things do go well in your work, but not as well as you would like, and you do not know why.

What If What Will Help You Succeed At Work Is Neither Strategic or Tactical?

This is true for many people who come to see me for executive coaching. They are bewildered about what the problem is, and yet, certain that the issues they need help with are strategic or tactical. Often, as we begin to discuss the issues that brought them to see me, I notice that they are not mentioning the relationships they have with the people they work with – clients or patients, subordinates, colleagues, superiors – they are talking about everything but.

Just because you have what you need to get the job, doesn’t mean you have what you need to do the job. And, just because you have what you need to do the job, doesn’t mean you have what you need to get the job.

A Typical Conversation With A Client Looking for Executive Coaching Help Looks Like This:

Me: How are your relationships with the people you work with?

Client: What do you mean? [perplexed]

Me: How are your relationships with the people you work with and for?

Client: They are good…but what I really need help with is what do I do about these people who just don’t understand how good I am, and are preventing me from moving forward.

After a few rounds of this, people essentially say to me, “I wish all these people would go away so I can do my work.” And, “Why should I deal with relationships? My work should speak for itself.”

Sound familiar?

There are many issues with this approach, not the least of which is that it is a recipe for failure. There is no such thing as “itself.” Everything, and everyone is connected. Whether you work in your own practice, or in a lab, you are a consultant or a banker, a gardener, a clerk, a coder or cab driver, your work occurs in a complex web of relationships.

Relationships Are the Cornerstone of All Business

If you cannot do your relationships well you can not grow and be successful. Sounds obvious, but it often isn’t.

Regardless of the intention and care and training that people have, they are often ill-equipped when it comes to professional relationships (and others, but that is another post); they do not know how to build them, or how to see or understand how they relate to others, and how others relate to them. Being agile in the relating and relationship space makes the difference between success and failure.

People often say, “How did I not see that, or know that?”, when I point out things that seem like they should be obvious, or come naturally to them. Most of us are not trained in relationship building or in being attuned to, and making use of them. I am fortunate to have always been very attuned to those things, and have spent my life helping people to do the same, to their benefit in their personal and professional lives. It is in this space that I, and The Possibility Practice work, and where professional development occurs.

Executive Coaching Group Begins April 20th

A new executive coaching group is starting on April 20th and there is room for a few more people. Do you want to grow professionally and get better at building relationships in your work/personal life? Learn more here. 


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Karen Steinberg