Two sides of the same coin

I was running a coaching session today.

True to form I was using the GROW model:

  • Goals: what do they want to achieve?
  • Reality: what’s the current position?
  • Options: what can they do to achieve their goals?
  • Will: the will to do something about it

We were exploring the current reality and I began to notice something strange.

When the person I was working with talked about their team, his eyes lit up, he became enthusiastic and very, very animated.

When the guy talked about his career and what he wanted for himself he became downbeat, quiter and a little bit aggressive.

This needed a bit more exploration… so I did.

The thing is, the guy was very proud of what his team had achieved in the year he’d been in the job.  By his efforts they had transformed themselves from a team that simply took orders from customers to a team of true outbounders, making proper sales calls.  He’d transformed the culture in the team, too… from downbeat to excited – they even work late without having to be asked.

The problem is, that when we talked about his job, he found it boring.  He’s done what he set out to achieve… and he’d completed the task in 12 months instead of the 2 years he was expecting to do it in.  He’s even questioning himself: am I missing something, because this has been too easy.

Okay, no great issue, I hear you say.

But it is an issue, because there’s nowhere for him to go in the organisation he’s in right now.

This leaves him in a quandary.  He’s really proud of what he’s achieved with his team and loves the business he works for but he thinks he is going to have to leave because there’s no ‘next step’… in short, he thrives on challenge and he ain’t got none no more.

Apologies for the grammar.

As a result, when he talks about his career, which, to date, has been pretty stellar, he get all depressed.

So, what’s to do?

I asked him, ideally, what he needed to do to get out of this situation, he said (and I quote): ‘I don’t know, it’s all dark.’

Well, I think the first thing this guy really needs to do is actually decide what he wants to do next.  When he knows where he wants to go, he will find that the lights come on to chase away the dark… what he needs to do to improve will become much clearer.

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