p.s. this is a self coaching blog!
Yes, that was the goal a client recently put forward in our goal setting kick off Coaching Session - I want a promotion asap. I deserve it. They just don't know it! We had already agreed on working on a 4 month coaching relationship and this was our first session - the one where we discuss possible goals and agree on which ones we will prioritise.
As I heard that goal, I momentarily hesitated and reflected... A promotion is a factor of so many things isn't it... I mean, the organisation structure, politics, readiness of the candidate just to name a few and to put that as the goal to accomplish in 4 months seemed a tad un realistic? I am as vested as my clients to achieve the goal we commit to and I want to us to win at the end of our coaching relationship, so I needed to really understand this.
So, I delved deeper to understand the context and I listened carefully. Very carefully. I explored and she explored. Finally we agreed to redefine the outcomes whilst still keeping a promotion goal post centre field in our conversation. We agreed we would need to work on some 'inner changes' and 'reframes' to get her closer to that goal post whilst accomplishing bigger wins on how she would operate as a leader and initiate a journey of becoming a visionary. It was a productive start.
4 months later and after some very (yes very!) intensive coaching sessions and hard work by the client (kudos to her!) she said - I have news, my boss has signalled I am going to get my promotion now. As we celebrated I thought...This is stupendous. So cool...followed by a quick Phew! We made it...!
As we toasted her success in our final session we acknowledged not just her achieving her goal post (which had in many ways become 'our' goal post) but the big shifts she had made in her thinking and way of being. The latter dominated the conversation and I have to say I was not only pleased, I was and am inspired. She always was a great person and now she is on her way to scale greatness of a higher level.
It also made me reflect how often in Corporate life we all are looking for that elusive promotion and as we struggle we get stressed, frustrated, disappointed and fixated by it. If you are one of them here are three powerful reframes that can help a person get you closer to the goal post and reduce stress levels dramatically. Perhaps you wish to try it too...? Or perhaps suggest this to someone you know who is in this spot...?
1.Get objective clarity on what is going on - from all angles
We are often caught up in what we perceive as reality at that moment - The boss or organisation does not get it - we are ready for the move - we will be good at the new job - they are being illogical etc etc. It is an emotional mind bender and brain space eater! But hold on - trigger the pause button and speak with someone who can be your objective sounding board.
Explore and understand not just the filters you are using to view the current situation but step into the world of the stakeholders and see what the context is from their vantage point. Interrogate - what are they seeing? what are they not seeing? what is holding them back? how can you make it easier for them? how are they interpreting the scenario? what is a true win win outcome - for the organisation, you and them?
As you look at the current situation from different angles you will reveal opportunities and choices that were earlier hidden from plain sight. Why? Because the truth is that the 'filters' we use to view circumstance or events limits us to see the whole picture. That is why they are called filters. Like a camera lens our brains interprets events through the (lens) filters. Most of the filters were developed through out our life time so we are not even aware of them!
2. Reframe your focus - Broaden the goal.
The need for a promotion is what I call the tip of an iceberg. The are lots of other needs that sit beneath it. Get to know them all. Yes ALL of them. Then carve out the bigger goal in your profession or business. Go a step further. Explore the goal you have in your life. Then answer the question - what kind of a leader, parent, spouse or person I want to be who can live that goal..? You will be amazed at the results. Why?
Because, promotion at the nub of it signals growth however it is just a tiny part and you have the opportunity to use that momentum to answer how you want to grow in EVERY aspect of your life. Second focusing on these new parameters helps you shift your gaze and adds perspective and depth which excites the brain into making connections.
As you reflect you will begin to connect the dots on what must change in different aspects of your life for that bigger goal to happen..and the smaller one will fall into place one way or the other.
3. Reframe your approach - try out new behaviours.
And, as you begin to connect the dots new choices are revealed. You now can make powerful choices as you start to think and feel differently. As you begin to create new thinking pathways in your brain, it triggers a change in behaviour and actions and the magic of influencing circumstances and people in your life commences.
The key is that when you start thinking differently consciously you become consciously aware of the new script running in your brain and as that happens you try out new actions and new behaviours. Success begets success and as you keep at it you realise you are on your way to achieving more ...way more than when you first said, ' I want a promotion!'
Yes, it needs some focused effort and an accountability partner helps. I will be lying to you if I said it is not easier and faster when you do this with a skilled coach (and I mean that sincerely not as a plug for our coaching services :) ...but hey, sure could you do it on your own. Use an accountability diary or a system that works for you.
Go on. Give it a try.
I wish you every success in every goal post you have in life. After all, each of us are wiser and greater than we think we are.
As ever, I welcome your reflections and am open for further dialogue offline. Have a great life...and thank you for reading this through.
Reena Dayal is and Author, Coach, Speaker, Mentor and Trainer based out of India and UK with a track record of 22+ years working as a HR professional across 26 countries before she founded The Collaborators. A transformational coaching firm aimed at Corporate leaders, Entrepreneurs and teams who wish to master the game of leadership - in every aspect of their lives. You can also get access to more key insights through her book on effortless leadership -