Strategies to Help You Prepare for a Transition

Facing a Transition?

Will you be facing a transition in the near future? Perhaps a new job, a treatment plan for a recent diagnosis, or welcoming your baby into the world? The transition I am about to experience involves my oldest child starting college very soon. In a different city. Freshman year. We’ll be loading up the family SUV with everything she will need (and probably more!) to drive her to the university, help her move in, and then drive home to what will be a new family arrangement.

Setting yourself up for transitions before they occur will provide you with the greatest likelihood to successfully navigate those transitions. The following are a few strategies I teach my clients who want to grow in this particular area. Chances are I will be practicing them myself in the near future prior to taking my daughter to begin college!

1) Plan Ahead: The more prepared you are, the more you’ll be able to enjoy a clear, relaxed state of mind. In my example, we have a table set-up in the house with all of the items that will be loaded into the SUV prior to the drive. That way, we will know where everything is when that time comes and stress will be minimized.

2) Practice Positive Visualization: This strategy is directly tied to the mindset work I help people with. In short, visualization is the act of intentionally thinking about the outcome you want. It is not fictional or unrealistic. Instead, positive visualization has everything to do with keeping in mind a best case scenario because we tend to become what we think about (metacognition). So, for me I will be thinking about how how my daughter is ready for this, and how I know she is going to thrive in a college environment away from home. It’s what’s best for her, and we will all adapt.

3) Seek the Support of Others: You don’t have to go this alone. Reach out to family and friends who can lend an ear, and maybe even empathize with you. Empathy, as opposed to sympathy, is the ability of someone to relate because they’ve been there before. In my case, I am connected to people who have already transitioned or are now transitioning their kids to college. Sometimes just knowing others are doing the same thing can make a world of difference.

All the Best,

5 Important Strategies for Achieving Your Goals

Dartboard up close

5 Important Strategies for Achieving Your Goals

What are some of the most important components that are necessary to improve the likelihood of you meeting your goals? Most of us engage in goal setting at one point or another (including near January 1, when we refer to it as “New Year’s Resolutions”). Some set goals regularly. Unfortunately, too often people fall short of the targets they set for themselves. Why? Not necessarily because of a lack of determination, skill, or grit, but rather due to a failure to properly set themselves up for success. In my practice as a professional coach and consultant I work with all kinds of people, including organizational leaders, executives, and small business owners who tend to be highly effective individuals. However, many of them find it beneficial to rewind the goal setting process to square one in order to construct a sound template for hitting the bullseye they are aiming for. I use the following strategies with my clients and offer to share them with you, as well.

1) Clarifying Values
What are the principles that resonate most with you? For what concepts will you base significant decisions around? When coaching, I guide my clients in a deep-dive into first identifying, then defining, and finally rank-ordering their core values. This creates an anchor to which they can tether future actions. I also ask my clients to ascribe a name, or nickname, to their values. Doing so can create a memory link and increase the meaning of the values. For example, words such as “Rock”, “Compass”, or “Solid” can help people refer back to their values a bit more easily. Spending quality time and energy working with the values themselves is always worth the effort, because it provides the foundation by which a client can create meaningful outcomes and action steps forward.

2) Establishing Outcomes
This is the stage where I help my clients to articulate and specify their goals. Motivation comes into play here, as well. Specifically, I like to introduce an exercise which allows the client to explore the relationship between self and empathetic motivations. This has the effect of creating additional links to increase meaning both internally and externally by coaching the client to think in terms of how reaching the goal will have an impact on themselves, as well as on others. Conversely, I ask my clients to consider the implications of not achieving their goal. How would that result impact themselves and those around them? The power of visualization can be utilized here to help the client see themselves being successful, as imagining a favorable outcome is a positive precursor to achieving it.

3) Creating Action Steps
In this phase we get very specific about how the client will achieve the desired outcome, accessing their core values and keeping the end goal in view as they do. For example, if someone is interested in improving their health through a more consistent exercise regimen I will ask the client to tell me about the routine they already have (if there is one). We will then work backward in two different scenarios: one in which the result was successful and one in which the result was unsuccessful. I then ask the client what the turning point was which allowed them to follow through with the routine. Perhaps it was setting the exercise shoes near the front door the night before. Maybe it involved packing the gym bag immediately after eating breakfast. Whatever is was, it’s important to identify, highlight, and imbed it into the revised plan. Conversely, I also ask the client at what point the plan broke down. When was the decision made – in this case – to not exercise? Again, identifying that point is critical so we can then address ways to overcome it.

4) Setting Accountability
Building in accountability significantly increases the overall success rate of goal achievement. I prompt my clients to consider carefully those who could help them along the way by holding them accountable. Often, those closest to them are chosen (e.g. a spouse, close friend, etc.). As their coach, I am a part of this accountability cycle too because reporting out to me (i.e. “homework”) is typically how we begin every session. Occasionally a client will actually choose a future version of themselves as an accountability partner. This may seem, on the surface, ineffective. However, an individual may be sufficiently motivated to become a better version of themselves at some point in the future. That future self may even be expecting it. Regardless of who the accountability partners are, what is important is that the client must know others are aware of their goals so they may both report to and celebrate with those people.

5) Allowing for Revisions
Sometimes the action steps, or even the goals themselves, need to be revised. This is okay. Better to address something that isn’t working than continue with a plan that is doomed to fail. Usually I’ll take the client back to the action steps and review what parts are serving them well, and what parts are not. Think of it as the cycle of improvement: create, implement, review, improve, (repeat).

One of the key principles I share with my clients is that slow and steady wins the race. Just as in the classic story of the tortoise and the hare, the one who rushes the goal-setting process to get quick results is likely to end up tired, burned-out, and defeated (just like the rabbit!). Instead, I encourage my clients to methodically work through the process and stay committed for the long haul to win whatever race they have chosen to enter.

If you would like some help in achieving your goals with a trained, certificated, and professional coach I invite you to contact me for a complimentary 30-minute design session.

Chuck Sheron
Executive Leadership and Career Coach
Reimagine Success Coaching
[email protected]

Feel Like Your Career is in No Man’s Land?

The definition of No Man’s Land is a wasteland. This phrase was originally said to describe an area of land that was either in dispute, or used as a dumping ground for refuse. An apt description! If you have ever experienced the disequilibrium, confusion, and hopelessness of feeling as though your career were in jeopardy (I have), you may be searching for strategies to help you navigate these times. Here are a few you may find beneficial:

1) Lean Into Disorientation. This is probably a time in which you feel as though you are upside-down, and flipping around inside a washing machine. William Bridges, in his book Transitions, refers to this time of adjustment as the Neutral Zone. Although your reaction to disorientation may be to fight against it, try to gain from this unique, temporary perspective. You may be able to learn something about yourself you wouldn’t have otherwise been in a position to discover.

2) Expand Your Network. There is a whole world out there of connections to be made. Utilize this opportunity to learn from others – who they are, what they do, and how they got there. Chances are, they have something to learn from you too. The point is, get outside of your comfort zone to meet new people and create new experiences.

3) Seek Help. There are professional career coaches out there who are skilled at providing their clients with the tools they need to make informed, confident decisions about their careers. However, not all coaches possess the same level of training and experience, so I recommend thoroughness and discernment when vetting them for effectiveness. That said, a high-quality career coach is worth their weight in gold.

All the Best,

Are You On The Right Team?

When working with people to help them become more successful leaders, I also provide my clients the tools they need to enhance their professional effectiveness with their teams. After all, improved outcomes are the natural result of better teamwork, right? Yes. Except when…

The exception occurs when someone realizes the direction their organization is taking is no longer in alignment with their values. In such a case, you must decide if you are still on the right team or not. As an illustration, this once happened in my own career in education when I was an assistant principal. The principal of this particular school was an ineffective micromanager and untrusting of everyone around him. Meanwhile, the district office was a rudderless ship, having had no fewer than six superintendents in the eight years I was working there. Add it up, and it made for an extremely toxic work environment for many teachers and principals (including myself!). I eventually realized my values were no longer compatible with this organization (as did two other principals I was closest to there), and I accepted an offer from a private school in my own hometown to become their middle school principal.

I ascribe high value to teamwork, and its place as a component of successful leadership. That said, teamwork can be worthless if you discover you are playing for the wrong team. As I often say, “Life’s too long to work a job that does not provide meaning”. If you are finding yourself stuck in such a spot and are looking to transition to a position with an organization that more closely reflects your values, I invite you to click below and reach out to me. Since the initial consultation is free, the only thing you have to lose is a job you are probably interested in leaving anyway…

All the Best,

3 Ways to Make Transitions Your Ally

Transitions are your ally - Success Coach Chuck Sheron in Vancouver WA

3 Ways to Make Transitions Your Ally

Transition, the process of change which occurs when shifting from one situation to another, can be challenging. Most of us are able to navigate minor, expected transitions without too much effort. For example, shifting gears from the weekend to Monday morning and the routine of work, or from winter to spring and the change in weather. However, other, more significant transitions can require more skill to address: A new job (or lack thereof), the loss or addition of a new family member, a diagnosis, retirement, or moving to a new city are all examples of important changes in one’s life. In my work as a professional coach and consultant I provide my clients with tools to assist them in the perceptions, interpretations, and decisions they make while in transition. Although certainly not an exhaustive list, I offer these three general strategies to help you in your own journey:

1) Let Go of Whatever Needs to be Released
At its core, transition is the bridge that connects the gap between what is old and what is new. We naturally remember, identify with, and have a connection with the familiar. For instance, you are moving away from life as a single person toward a new life as a married spouse (or vise-versa). You can relate to being single, because you lived that lifestyle for many years. The wedding ceremony provides a dramatic event by which you leave the realm of a single and instantly transports you into the realm of a husband or wife. Along with that new role comes new opportunities, responsibilities, challenges, and experiences. Everything is different! It is not uncommon for a person to think about how much has changed, and to compare life now to what it used to be. However, the transition is generally a bit smoother if the individual is able to leave that previous life in the past in order to walk forward into the new life he or she has chosen to begin. As a professional coach and consultant, I have many tools I teach my clients to use that help them to accomplish this.

2) Embrace Disorientation
Let’s face it, that sense of feeling lost, confused, or both is not particularly enjoyable. In fact, it can be quite paralyzing. Why? I believe it is because we inherently want to experience a semblance of control in our lives. An internal locus of control allows us to mold the narrative into, “This is what I am doing” rather than, “This is what is being done to me”. Of course, there is a tremendous difference between the two. When we feel as though we are somehow being prevented from charting our own course or don’t know what course to chart, an uncomfortable disequilibrium is created. Fighting against that disorientation usually makes it worse. Instead, I advise my clients to remind themselves this current state is only temporary and there is actually a great deal to be learned during this time. Additionally, I encourage them to ride it out because it is precisely because of and during this confusing phase that one can later experience meaningful growth, which leads us to the third strategy…

3) Utilize Change as a Catalyst for Growth
Often, navigating change becomes more difficult as we age. We become more naturally set in our ways and, over time, tend to trade novelty for predictability. Change is inevitable. It is sometimes easy to forget that the process of change is not an obstacle to growth, it is the pathway to growth. I think one of my college professors put it best when she said, “Change only takes place when you are out of your comfort zone”. How true that is! Personal growth doesn’t occur when times are easy. The hard work of becoming, adapting, and changing happens when we are struggling. It happens when we are off-balance and asking ourselves, “Can I do this? Will I be able to hang on long enough to get to the point where I have ‘arrived’?”. Of course, reaching the destination is not the end, but a new beginning in the next change that unfolds. That is precisely why learning new skills to promote growth through the cycle of change is so valuable, because those skills can be applied toward other situations too.

Are you currently in transition? If so, you are not alone and do not need to experience it in isolation. Why not avail yourself of a trained professional to help guide you through it? If you are looking for help in navigating your personal and/or professional transitions with an experienced, certificated coach I invite you to contact me for a complimentary 30-minute design session.

Chuck Sheron, AELC
Reimagine Success Coaching, LLC
[email protected]

What Are Some of the Benefits of Career Coaching?

Two men talking at a table.

What Are Some of the Benefits of Career Coaching?

Perhaps you are considering seeking the services of a professional career coach, but are not sure what to expect for the return of your investment. “How can a career coach help me?” you may be asking. “What is the value added, and what are the skills and tools I can acquire from working with one?” As a trained and certificated professional coach, I can tell you the benefits are numerous. The following are just a handful of them. Keep in mind that a quality coach will tailor their approach for each client, according to their specific needs. However, the services of a career coach do tend to fall into these general categories:

1) Job Hunting Assistance
All things related to improving and refining one’s resume, applications, interviewing skills, networking tactics, and negotiating. I call these the Nuts and Bolts of finding a job. It always helps to have an extra pair of eyes and ears to notice ways in which you can improve yourself so you are able to put your best foot forward. Usually, many applicants are vying for the same position, and any advantage you can attain over your competition can be well worth the effort. I will note that career coaches should not be confused with recruiters, or “head-hunters”. The basic difference between the two is that coaches help and empower their clients to act on behalf of themselves, while recruiters aim to match job-seekers with employers.

2) Strengths-Based Assessments
A high-quality coach will help a client to discover, recognize, and apply personal and professional attributes to a given situation. Examples of exercises a professional coach may use include increasing a client’s awareness of values, motivations, systems, and assumptions. I usually introduce a personality assessment to my clients during the course of our sessions, as this opens the door to empowering them to use the tool as a means for self-growth. For example, a client may identify strongly with tendencies toward helping others. I will then leverage that information to help him or her to explore related attributes, such as communication styles, leadership styles, and suggest exercises to counterbalance potential pitfalls. This is also the category of coaching that best lends itself to helping a client to consider more long-term career pathways, as opposed to shorter-term jobs.

3) A Mentor and Advocate to Walk with You on Your Journey
Whether you are near the beginning, middle, or last leg of your career, a trusted confidant to accompany you can be invaluable. Let’s face it, job and career transitions are tough. Why go it alone when you can enjoy the advantages of a guide who can help you navigate these challenging waters? A mentor speaks to someone with the ability to assist another, based on experience. In my practice, I incorporate a healthy mix of challenging my clients to persevere and achieve more beyond their comfort zones with championing, or reminding my clients of their potential and the possibilities that exist just beyond the current doubt they may be experiencing.

As someone who has both gained from the services of a career coach and provided career coaching I can tell you the benefits can be extraordinary. If you would like to explore a relationship with a trained, certificated, and professional coach I invite you to contact me for a complimentary 30-minute design session.

Chuck Sheron
Executive Leadership and Career Coach
Reimagine Success Coaching
[email protected]

How to Help Your Team Communicate More Effectively in Remote Settings

Remote working - Reimagine Success offers tips to help your team communicate better while working remotely.

Communication is the key to building strong teams to achieve common goals. The pandemic meant that teams could not meet in person. As a substitute, web conferencing software became the main way to communicate. If your teams are challenged by poor communication and a lack of face-to-face interaction, here are a few suggestions to get things moving again…

1. Keep in Touch

A key component for promoting cohesion among teams is to encourage regular communication. If meeting in person is not an option, the next best mode is video conferencing, as opposed to voice-only (or telephone) communication. The reason video communication is preferable to voice-only is because it allows for more authentic interaction. The act of seeing each other – and being able to read facial expressions – not only improves the quality of communication but also helps to strengthen bonds more than audio-only. It is easy to feel isolated when you do not go into the office. Scheduling weekly progress meetings is an excellent way to make sure everyone stays connected.

2. Make Yourself as Accessible as Possible

Although nothing can truly replace the benefits of an in-person workplace environment, you can make it a point of emphasis to be as consistent as possible in other areas. For example, offer to your team to be there for them via video, phone, and text when they need you. Sending your people the message, “You have access to me” is a powerful one that reinforces your commitment to them. Now, more than ever, it is even more important to welcome feedback and suggestions, if only for the reason that it promotes a feeling of connection. Perhaps someone has an excellent idea of how you can work together more effectively even though you are remote. Ask for the input. It will generate a greater sense of buy-in, and you may even implement some of those ideas which will strengthen your team.

3. Define Roles and Clarify Processes

When managing remote teams, everyone must understand his or her role. Set clear expectations and make sure the processes are clear. For example, when meeting via video you may want to consider requiring everyone to have their cameras on (see above). When team members are sitting at home feeling lost, it promotes a feeling of isolation. Encourage team members to reach out to each other and update each other on individual progress.

I’m a Certified Executive Coach specializing in building strong teams that maximize their potential to achieve breakthrough results. I can help analyze your team and help them embrace their strengths to overcome the challenges they face. My coaching methods get to the core of the issues, address limiting beliefs, and encourage reflection that strengthens each team member. I meet with people both in-person (locally), and through video communications. Contact me directly to set a complimentary consultation to explore the possibilities and potential. I look forward to hearing from you!