Marcel Proust wrote “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” I encounter this truth over and over again in my own life, and in the lives of my clients. Just today, a client asked me if I believe in coaching more to help a client eliminate their weaknesses, or to help them develop their strengths. The answer (for me) is definitely the latter, and it forms the centerpiece of my coaching philosophy.
I believe that within each of us is what I call “magic.” Each of us is wired to be unique, valuable, and so very worthy. Each of us has gifts and greatness that most of us (myself included) have only seen and used glimmers of in everyday living out of our lives. My job, my privilege, is to help clients see themselves with new eyes. To help them see their strengths, their uniqueness, their value. When I can support a client in doing that, the world opens up for them in whole new ways.
One of my own strengths is the ability to guide clients in walking around problems and seeing them with new eyes, from new perspectives. This may involve helping a client explore his or her underlying beliefs and attitudes about work, the world, or themselves. It may involve breaking down the problem, seeing it in new ways, or redefining it so that it can be addressed more clearly. Sometimes I assist a client to inventory their strengths, past successes, and skills in order to help them approach the problem with courage and confidence.
As some of you know, my father passed away peacefully in his sleep three weeks ago, after bravely battling cancer. Life without Daddy is certainly a new landscape for me. The words used by his friends to describe my father are consistent: decent, kind, witty, and warm. His accomplishments are many and varied, yet Daddy never sought the limelight. He taught me that you could have a great impact on family, friends, and your community in a quiet and unassuming manner. His zest for life, and his grace in dying, taught me so much. Daddy always encouraged my strengths and helped me to see myself with new eyes. I am so grateful for his presence throughout my life, and even now I feel his presence in my heart and in my work.
How can you look at your work, your life, yourself with new eyes this month?
Sharon Keys Seal