“We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.”Henry Ward Beecher

We’ve got to get away from the idea that asking for help is a sign of weakness.

Not to put too finer point on things but you see this all the time in the world of work where mental illness is simply brushed to one side or hidden from view. People fear that if they talk openly about the subject let alone ask for meaningful help that their career will come to a juddering end.

But even if mental illness isn’t the issue, think about it this way: how many times have you asked for or been offered anything more than a cosy chat, as if the issue is always surface deep and can be cured or ameliorated with such a paltry gesture? Imagine instead a company that invested seriously in its people. Not the sticking-plaster variety but where they listened from a compassionate place to understand exactly why you turned up to work each day (and not just for the money), how they could develop your (genius) talent and help you properly navigate the ups and downs of life.

Can you see a company like this being attractive to work at?

I can.

I really can.

And I don’t say this from a position of what’s possible, but, truthfully, what every company should aim to do no matter its size.

But the problem is we always get our knickers in a twist about pay, productivity and performance, as if business owners would rather employ a bunch of automatons. (You can see why everyone in the ‘Bigger is Better’ school of thought — i.e. how do we keep making great gobs of profit for the very few — are so wired into the not-so-new paradigm of AI.) What you don’t hear much about is the fact that people are being asked to do more for less, work harder than they’ve ever known before (…which breeds inefficiency on an industrial scale) or not been offered the support that’s necessary to help people become the best version of themselves — for me, the sine qua non of an economic entity.

I’m not suggesting that coaching is the only answer to help with this malaise but I’m convinced that if employers could experience the low risk/high reward gained in dealing with the slew of people problems that they wouldn’ be quite so sniffy to the idea that a kind, helping hand is far better than wielding a big fat stick.

What do you think?

Should every company, no matter its size, retain one or more coaches to help its people? In my book it would be a lot better than another night out or corporate bonding session where no one ever lets the mask slip (unless they’re drunk) for fear, particularly in these social media days, they might get themselves into a whole heap of trouble.


If you’re interested, I offer a 90-minute complimentary coaching session. The best way to contact me is by on juliansummerhayes@gmail.com or you Skype me. My user id is juliansummerhayes.


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