Leadership Pathway #102: Tug of War

Do you often feel resistance at work? If so, you’re not alone. It was not uncommon for me to find employees who were in this position when I worked in corporate Human Resource departments. 

Corporate coaching required that I creatively seek out a balance between an organization’s needs and the wants and dreams of the people who work there. This was often a challenging and dynamic experience. So what is this resistance or “tug of war” about between organizations and employees? Often this game of tug of war is about values and aspirations. 

The resistance could be caused by one of your values being “stepped on” or not honored. For example, if your manager asks you to work late for the third night in a row, you might feel resistance, so ask yourself: “What is being stepped on here or not honored by me working late three nights in a row?” Your answer might be any number of things; perhaps you haven’t tucked your kids into bed for three nights in a row or you haven’t made it to the gym to exercise.

Whatever your answer, it could be that you’ve uncovered one of your values that is not present in your life due to the demands of the organization. A value is something in life that you find fulfilling and want more of. Family and exercise may be things that you value. What boundaries can you create that will help you to honor your values and lower this resistance at work?

The second most common cause of resistance in the workplace is aspiring to be something more within the organization (e.g., a manager, VP, etc.) and/or to have more or different responsibilities. An organization that is asking you to engage in work that does not align with your aspirations can be exhausting and short lived.

If you can see the connection from where you are today to where you want to go, then you’ll be more successful at this game. But if you are repeatedly denied a transfer or promotion that you’re longing for, the tug of war game will likely be no win for you. 

Coaching Inquiries: Take a look at your situation. Look at the relationship you have with the organization you work for today. What resistance do you feel? What is underneath that resistance? What change are you longing for? To have your values fully present in your life, what shifts need to occur? What boundaries do you already communicate that support your values and aspirations? 

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May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Christina Lombardo, PCC, CPCC (Christina@LifeTrekCoaching.com)
LifeTrek Coaching International
Columbus, OH

Telephone: 614-332-9747
Fax: 415-634-2301

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