Updated: Jul 24
The workplace can be complex. What was once fulfilling can leave you feeling the opposite after a few years. If you are feeling stuck in your career, chances are you are feeling powerless. Let’s talk about changing that.
First, let us take a moment to recognize that when negative emotions are affecting an executive, their performance at the office is impacted. This harmful impact manifests in several predictable ways that result in changed behaviors that are quickly noticed by colleagues and employees. Three examples include: micromanaging employees, neglecting duties, and being absent (in mind and/or body). Overall, a stressed-out brain does not perform well. So, what do you do when you feel stuck in your career? How does an Executive Coach help in such a situation?
Invest Time to Relieve Stress
There are numerous neuropsychological ways to both relieve stress and change how the brain responds to stress. An Executive Coach will work with a client to find out what works for them. While this seems like a luxury, it isn’t. Investing time to destress is productive. Executive Coach Beth Siegert, CPC, CPRC, ACC, CFAA describes the work more/de-stress tradeoff this way: “Compared to keeping your nose to the grindstone, if you will think 90% better if you take even 30 minutes off, which activity will have the bigger return on investment?”
Clear Your Head
“Brilliant things can happen when the mind is calm,” Siegert advises. In addition to relieving stress, actually controlling the tornado of thoughts in one’s mind is challenging. The more complex the situation, the more challenging this is for a person to do.
“You choose who and what you allow yourself to follow or listen to. One of the best ways to gain control over how to do this is meditation,” says Siegert. “Meditation isn’t emptying the mind of thoughts. For most of us, it is getting physically quiet. For more kinetic clients, I advise walking meditation. When the mind is calm, people can see a situation more clearly.”
Siegert, a daily practitioner of meditation, notes that after 8 weeks, the brain and body respond and overall functioning improves. She notes, “Keep in mind that it does require continued effort to feel the benefits of meditation.”
Perspective & Permission
Be Open to Changing Your Perspective
Change often requires a new perspective. The catalyst for this is to change how you look at things. This commonly requires the willingness to change.
Be Open to Giving Yourself Permission
Culture, society, and one’s expectations or plans for one’s life can be factors in feeling stuck. Executive Coaches often encounter a client that needs help granting themselves the permission to make changes in order to better their lives. Often an Executive Coach consults with a client and serves as the catalyst for the client granting themselves the permission to enact change.
Powerlessness vs. Actionless
No action (which is an action) is a choice in some situations. Sometimes it is the best choice, at least temporarily. How unpalatable this option is to a person is an indicator of the situation itself. If you a feeling powerless, recognize that this feeling is just for the present. A person can decide to change things, and often executives find that working with an Executive Coach helps provide the encouragement for developing more confidence and support for their particular situation.
“Not getting a promotion has been a common concern for my clients across decades,” says Siegert. “If a person is feeling powerless in this situation, here are some places to start to assess:
· Have you had a focused meeting with your boss to relay your wishes for advancement? Such a meeting should be well planned for and last a bare minimum of 15 minutes.
· Assess any skills or training that could assist in both career and leadership development.
· Can a lateral move develop your skill set and knowledge of the corporation to further buttress your qualifications for advancement?
· If logistics to preparing for advancement are an issue, what support can you invest in to make things run more smoothly?
Executive Coaches are a resource to discuss many options and ways to look at a situation. “Sometimes we explore ways to also assess the company my client works for—sometimes the company is simply not a good match for a person at this date and time and we begin to work on other options for employment,” Siegert says.
Having an objective and highly-trained Executive Coach is a powerful resource for development and can help a person prepare for and make changes. Seeing is believing.
To read further about Executive Coaching, read the following articles: