At this time of year, the natural world presents a magical opportunity to explore the meaning of change and transformation. Living in Ontario, the autumn colours remind me that it’s time to pull out my woolen socks, hit the hiking trails, and take one last plunge in the lake before the frost sets in. Perhaps more than any other time of year, I am in awe of the magic of the changing season and draw inspiration from it. How does this season inspire you? What does it signal about the changes you are contemplating? What new path do you [...]
According to recent reports, an increasing number of people are making significant career changes at mid-life, including resigning from jobs without another one secured.
A year ago, I facilitated a conversation with the awesome Catherine Chang on how we can make space for diverse voices to be heard in our work places. How are leaders doing one year later to foster more inclusive conversations at work? One senior executive I’ve been coaching is an expert in his field who moved up through the ranks at the same company over 25 years. With in depth knowledge and expertise, he’s known as the “go to guy” in the room. Recently he acknowledged the extent of his privilege, and how it enabled him to progress into leadership with relative ease. He’s spent [...]
Last week an article on languishing in the NYTimes caught my attention. Authored by Adam Grant, a professor of management and psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, he named languishing the new emotion of 2021 and referred to it as the "neglected middle child of mental health". Its not as bad as depression or burnout, but it is taking its toll as the pandemic wears us down. "Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield". * Put another way, languishing is the [...]
Several of my clients are women leaders in corporate and community-based organizations, mostly women who give more than 100% of themselves every day – at work and at home. They are extremely competent and passionate leaders, driven by purpose and a commitment to serve. During the pandemic, the familiar pressures of trying to do it all without enough resources has multiplied. Non-profit leaders are especially vulnerable to feeling overwhelmed and isolated. One client described the countless sleepless nights she has spent worrying about how her organization will survive another year and questioning her capacity to continue to serve as [...]
When I was a kid, I loved to dress up, gather my siblings and friends, and put on plays for the local parents. It was my favourite past time. Throughout my early teens I continued to seek out the stage, landing my first breakthrough role as Anne, in Anne of Green Gables in the high school musical. I thrived when I was part of a fun and creative project, whether it was academic or extracurricular. I didn’t enjoy solo pursuits as much as creative, collective efforts. My early experiences reflect the way I still prefer to work – creative [...]
“Imagine I wave a magic wand and you wake up tomorrow excited to be going to work and making enough money to enjoy your life…describe what you will be doing differently?” This question can prompt a variety of responses. Some clients resist and describe what they don’t want rather than what they do want; some go silent; some are too stuck to imagine anything different from the current reality.
I’ve been reading a fascinating book on the social, emotional and environmental causes of depression and anxiety. Lost Connections, by Johann Hari draws on years of research to show that depression is often a reasonable response to prolonged challenges in life circumstances. As a career and leadership coach, I was particularly intrigued by the research that shows an absence of meaningful work over time can cause depression and anxiety. It turns out that integrating what matters to you in your career and life is of utmost importance if you want to stay healthy. The disconnection from meaningful work is [...]
Change is hard. More than ever we are constantly reminded of this. Our capacity to respond and to grow through change is challenged daily. It’s hard to imagine embracing change, especially these days when things feel so out of control. But what if change is exactly what you need right now to find more meaning and enjoy your life?
It’s been awhile since my last post, and hard to believe I’m gearing up for fall programs and reopening my office! Despite the challenges of 2020 so far, I have seen many clients adapt successfully and find creative ways to continue to deliver professional services and build their businesses.