A Coaching Power Tool Created by Valerie Jones
(Professional & Life Coach, UNITES STATES)
I’m a volunteer for a non-profit organization that is focused on mentoring Millenials, and have the honor of mentoring a group of young professional women. We select different activities throughout the year and read a book for discussion, “Essentialism, The Disciplined Pursuit of Less”, by Greg McKeown. This book really spoke to me and inspired me to develop this power tool.
How many of us feel overwhelmed with the number of things we have to keep track of, decisions to make, things to do? What about all the noise around us – the influences from others and messaging from social media about what we should be doing? Everyday we are surrounded by choices we need to make – from simple to complex.
We have so many choices! Peter Drucker said, “In a few hundred years, when the history of our time will be written from a long-term perspective, it is likely that the most important event historians will see is not technology, not the Internet, not e-commerce. It is an unprecedented change in the human condition. For the first time – literally – substantial and rapidly growing numbers of people have choices. For the first time, they will have to manage themselves. And society is totally unprepared for it. McKeown, 2014, p. 13
It is not just the number of choices that has increased exponentially, it is also the strength and number of outside influences on our decisions that has increased…… Today, technology has lowered the barrier for others to share their opinion about what we should be focusing on. It is not just information overload, it is opinion overload. McKeown, 2014, p. 15
Definition for Overwhelmed:
- To affect (someone) very strongly
- To cause (someone) to have too many things to deal with
- To defeat (someone or something) completely
When we feel overwhelmed, we can become polarized – unable to prioritize or make decisions.
Definition for Selective:
- Careful to choose only the best people or things
- Involving the selection of people or things from a group
Everything changes when we give ourselves permission to be more selective in what we choose to do. At once, we hold the key to unlock the next level of achievement in our lives. There is tremendous freedom in learning that we can eliminate the nonessentials, that we are no longer controlled by other people’s agendas, and that we get to choose. With that invincible power we can discover our highest point of contribution, not just to our lives or careers, but to the world. McKeown, 2014, p. 25
When we are selective, we are evaluating and discerning what is important and significant to us, which leads to making choices.
As coaches our goal is to help our clients obtain a fulfilling life. When our clients are overwhelmed we want to help them discern what is really important to them. This process can be empowering for our clients as they might not be able to control their circumstances, but they can control the priorities and choices they make.
To help our clients shift their perspective from being overwhelmed to a selective process, here are a few questions we can take them through:
- If you were free to arrange your life today to align with your values with no obstacles or barriers, what would your top priorities be?
- What percentage of your time is in alignment with your top priorities
- What could you eliminate or change?
- How would you go about that?
- How can you allocate your energy on your top priorities?
- What would you like to focus on in the short-term?
- What support do you have in place to meet your goals?
Based upon the response to the questions, we could branch out many questions to get to underlying beliefs, any fears, etc.
Depending on the client, I would also use the Wheel of Life to identify areas the client wants to devote more energy and focus and what they want to eliminate or reduce.
Employing visualization is another option I would use to help clients visualize the outcome of their goal to create action to get there.
McKeown, Greg, 2014. Essentialism, The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, Crown Publishing Group