“A problem is nothing more than an opportunity in [pink collar] work clothes.”
– Michael Milchalko[i]
Whether the leader, a human resources manager or a team member, considering life coaching as a creative intervention to the pink-collar challenges women in the workplace face can minimize their personal barriers and maximize their best professional performance.
COVID 19 continues to present pandemic-related career challenges. Even before the coronavirus appeared on the global stage, working women faced “wicked problems” – those open to interpretation and that don’t lend themselves to simple solutions. [ii] Wicked problems need redefinition, the result of which places them under the “ds” description of barriers: death, debt, depression, diagnoses (including undiagnosed), diet, disasters, disease, divorce, dysfunctional relationships, domestic disputes, etc. Working through a global pandemic made dealing with the ds more complex than ever. Women may consider their children a blessing, but even the most doting found working with dependents at home a mixed one during the shutdown and continue to as the world attempts to navigate a new normal!
These ds call for leaders, human resource managers, and organizations to construct new innovative intervention methods to prevent their female talent from derailing. Life coaching can keep them on track!
Consider Coaching Intervention
Coaching meets a real need, and it offers real benefits to the coachees and their organizations.[iii] As opposed to leadership or executive coaching, life coaching fills a gap for those who haven’t made it to the office with the corner view. The life coach serves as a change agent who works within this unique coaching niche to empower the coachee to work toward creating a better life today and a better future tomorrow [iv].
Choose Coaching Implementation
Leaders or human resource managers must determine who will provide the coachees with life coaching to move forward with the intervention. Organizations may opt to 1) train internal HR talent, 2) tap into external interns (Masters and Doctoral candidates from local universities, 3) try remote or virtual formats), or 4) turn it into an investment and hire outside coaches to offer as part of an employee assistance program (EAP) or professional development (PD) opportunity. With the latter, organizations will see a good return on investment (ROI) when the life coaching proves effective and yields positive changes in the employees’ personal life that enhance their professional performance [v].
Create Coaching Innovation
When it comes to the coaching curriculum, an organization’s internal professional development team could develop a tailored format to address personal problems negatively impacting professional performance. The organization’s leaders and human resource managers could also research external options that best fit their employees’ needs and align with organizational values.
Master trainer and pioneer in Christian coaching, Tony Stoltzfus, created a broad range of coaching resources, including powerful questions to ask coachees during sessions. Life coaches can ask the following six *“change questions” [vi] of women in the workplace dealing with the ds:
Change Questions to Deal with the ds
- “What would need to change in your attitudes or responses for you to function at your best in the midst of this, even if the circumstances don’t change?”
- “If this circumstance is hard to get rid of or is beyond your control, how can you choose to experience it differently?”
- “If you can’t change this, how can you make peace with it?”
- “What is this experience teaching you? What is the gift this pain brings?”
- “What good could come of this? How could this teach you compassion, or grace, or endurance, or character?”
- “Research on survivors found that we are either broken by suffering, survive it and get life back to normal, or it becomes a defining moment in our lives. How could this experience become a defining moment for you, where you rise up and engage it out of what you were made to be?”
Caution to Coaches
Because the lines between coaching and counseling can get crossed, coaches must distinguish between the two at the onset of the coaching engagement, including setting appropriate boundaries to ensure the lines don’t cross. Ethical coaches also know when to refer the coachee to a counselor when their needs fall outside the coaching boundary [vii].
Christians Called as Coaching Change Agents
Women of faith in the workplace share an obligation to make the most of God-given strengths and talents by serving those with whom we work [viii]. Accepting the charge to participate in the innovative intervention of life coaching may engender doubt (another d) that you’re qualified for the job. No room for the Imposter Syndrome here! Reliance on the God who not only calls you to the task but Who will pull you through it can turn doubt into doubling down! Now those are good Ds!
To learn more about Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Coaching, please click the Services link below. Thank you!
Be savvy & chic,
Pink Collar Coach
[i] Milchalko, M. (2006). Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative Thinking Techniques. (2nd Ed.)
Ten Speed Press.
[ii] Oster, G.W. (2001). The Light Prize: Perspectives on Christian Innovation. Positive Signs Media.
[iii] See Endnote # 1.
[v] Jones, R. J., Woods, S.A., & Guillaume, Y.R.F. (2016). The Effectiveness of Workplace Coaching: A Meta-analysis of Learning and Performance Outcomes from Coaching. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 89 (2), 249-277. 10.1111/joop.12119
[vii] Orenstein, R.L. (2007). Multidimensional Executive Coaching. Springer Publishing Company.
[viii] See Endnote # 2.