There was an error in this gadget

Friday, June 7, 2013

Finding Visions and Goals

One does not have to reinvent the wheel, especially when it comes to goals and visions. Not long ago, a hundred years at the most, it was quite clear for most of us what we would be doing in life. The ability to choose a job has come with the greater mobility of people to move around. However, we are still more constrained than we would like to think.
Many of us believe that we are doing the work which we independently and autonomously chose for ourselves. This is, however, often quite far from the truth. The influence of our families, the people we grew up with, our friends and societies is so pervasive that we fail to recognize that they determine to a large degree how we lead our lives. From the interactions we have with other people and with ourselves our goals and visions develop. The information we receive over a life-time, our personalities and our abilities determine the line of work we choose. Information is more persuasive when it triggers emotions in us. Stories we watch, read and listen to, whether in a film, advertisement or a college textbook create more emotional impact and are more persuasive than dry facts, unless we feel emotionally close to them.
Because many people have experienced different kinds of work before us, a good starting point for a quest to find matching visions and goals is to survey the available information. Then you can add your individual image of how you see the world and what you feel your needs are.
I have seen many people who had worked for over thirty years in a job but who never actively thought about where they wanted to go or what they wanted to achieve. This rendered them rather helpless in life, especially when they hit their midlife crisis. It comes to no surprise that none of them was particularly successful in what they did. They may have had moderate success but since work was often a chore rather than a means to personal fulfillment their happiness, quality of life and career success never made it above a certain threshold.
Visions and goals do change over life in a semi-evolutionary process as we adapt to our changing environments and adopt new goals and visions, but the one thing that should tie all our visions and goals together is that they should feel good for us. I could not emphasize this enough. They should make you happy and nothing less. I have seen too many people make mediocre compromises or waver so much as to make it obvious that they never tried to find out for themselves what they feel good about and which vision or goals could get them there.
Formulating visions and goals is to use psychologically very powerful tools. Any successful person has gone through this important process at some point. Remember that the process itself is important, while visions and goals can change over a lifetime. Young people throughout the ages had to explore and go out into the wild. Education and exploration never ends and tends to happen in waves throughout one’s lifetime. Today we travel, work and attend schools thousands of miles from home. They are opportunities to find out what one really feels passionate about. A society is always running a risk when people head out for the woods but it knows that they will be more successful when they know why they do the work they do.
‘Knowing thyself’ should include knowing how you feel about your world, including your work. Visions are just summaries of why we do something and goals a description of the things we do. The magic comes in when we formulate them because it requires really getting in contact with oneself. Many people unfortunately never reach this point, which is responsible for so many burnouts and psychiatric afflictions in our society.
Formulating visions and goals thus requires communication with oneself and observing how one communicates with the world around. This is an important ability we can practice everyday wherever we are.


Books on communication by this and other authors: http://astore.amazon.co.uk/chrihaveltd-21
If you want to find out more about communication and how it can help you: http://www.chrishaverkampf.com & http://www.ivy-experts.com
(c) 2013 Christian Jonathan Haverkampf. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction and/or dissemination prohibited. Please note that no professional advice of any sort can be given in this blog. Always consult a professional if the situation warrants it. Thank you for your interest in my work. This means very much to me. Trademarks belong to their respective owners.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Visions and Goals

In burnout it is usually important to start with a preliminary vision and proceed from their to setting concrete goals.
The vision is more powerful the more the client trusts the coach and the relationship with the coach
because it comes out of this relationship when the coach motivates and inspires the client to have a vision.
The specifics depend largely on the situation and factors that contributed to the burnout and the personality of the client. Some helpful approaches from the coach's toolkit may be having the client
  • playfully imagine how the situation could be different
    • and what this would feel like
  • reflect on similar situations in the past
    • and how the client could resolve them
  • think rationally what happened
    • and how other people might have
      • thought about it
      • felt
      • acted
The key is to get an internal communication going in the client that
  • is constructive vis-a-vis
    • the client's emotional state
    • the environment  in creating a better one for the client
  • furthers the client's (preliminary) vision
  • leads to
    • the setting of adequate and effective goals
    • action instead of passivity

Dr Christian Jonathan Haverkampf
http://www.chrishaverkampf.com/
http://www.ivy-experts.com/

Explore fascinating books on communication: http://astore.amazon.co.uk/chrihaveltd-21.




Please note that no professional advice of any sort can be given in this blog. Always consult a professional if the situation warrants it. (c) 2013 Christian Jonathan Haverkampf. All rights reserved. Unauthorized copying and/or dissemination prohibited. Please respect the rights of the author. Trademarks belong to their respective owners.

Working with Communication against Burnout

The first step is that the coach and the client build a relationship that gives the client
  • trust
  • a sense of safety
  • space for self-reflection
  • space for enough interactions with the coach
Trust can be built through communication. Often clients who suffer from 'burnout' have had bad interpersonal experiences and they have lost confidence and faith in their own communication abilities. One of the most important objectives is to let them feel again that
  • they have a voice in the world
  • this voice gives them control over
    • their environment
    • their situation
The distrust and lack of faith in one's voice leads to hiding it. This
  • makes defenseless
  • deprives one of a sense of influence over one's destiny
  • makes helplessness
The client communicates this mostly non-verbally but also verbally. To the world clients appear erratic and unpredictable because they often they keep how they feel to themselves.
People with burnout almost always do not communicate
  • how they feel
  • how they see their environment and how they feel about it
  • what makes them uncomfortable and what is not an issue
  • how they see their future
The reaction of the environment, whether in a client's business or private sphere, reacts with
  • a further decrease in trusting
    • the relationship with the client
    • the client
  • withdrawawal of
    • responsibilities
    • leadership roles
    • decision-making authority
  • putting the relationship with the client at risk
  • terminating the relationship with the client
This makes the client's feelings often worse and leads to a further exasperation of the burnout 'symptomatology'. Since communication does not take place on the relevant level the burnout persists.




Dr Christian Jonathan Haverkampf
http://www.chrishaverkampf.com/
http://www.ivy-experts.com/

Explore fascinating books on communication: http://astore.amazon.co.uk/chrihaveltd-21.




Please note that no professional advice of any sort can be given in this blog. Always consult a professional if the situation warrants it. (c) 2013 Christian Jonathan Haverkampf. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction or dissemination prohibited. Please respect the rights of the author. Trademarks belong to their respective owners.

A First Approach to Burnout


Since communication plays an overriding role in burnout, analyzing the different communication angles an individual or a group of individuals is bound into is a first important step in effectively dealing with burnout. Some perspectives that should not be missed:
  • communication in the workplace
  • communication at home
  • communication in the community
  • communication on the internet
An analysis includes the following steps:
  1. Who is the individual in contact with - and who these contacts in contact with? What groups is the individual bound into?
  2. What kind of communication (qualitative) and how often and in what quantity does it take place?
  3. What is the individual's inner communication like? (desires, wishes, aspirations, hopes, visions for the future issues, conflicts, ruminations)
  4. How well does the inner and outer communication fit?
  5. What has the individual done to bring the communication on the inside and on the outside in a better equilibrium?
  6. How well are the communication tools and capabilities developed?


Dr Christian Jonathan Haverkampf
http://www.chrishaverkampf.com/
http://www.ivy-experts.com/

Explore fascinating books on communication: http://astore.amazon.co.uk/chrihaveltd-21.



Please note that no professional advice of any sort can be given in this blog. Always consult a professional if the situation warrants it. (c) 2013 Christian Jonathan Haverkampf. All rights reserved. Please respect the rights of the author. Unauthorized reproduction and/or dissemination prohibited. Trademarks belong to their respective owners.

The Starting Point for Bournout

Burnout seems to be caused by so many factors that they are difficult to sum up in a meaningful way it seems. However, they seem to have two things in common:
  • Communication Overload (in terms of quantity and quality)
  • Loneliness
People suffer from burnout in the following situations:
  • hectic workdays, where 'hectic' usually means that one has to focus on the next interaction or information even before one could have finished the current task
  • emotional stress, which often occurs in the caring professions such as nursing, medicine or customer service professionals; emotions are being communicated that can no longer be handled by the individual alone
  • interpersonal stress, which usually arises because there are incompatibilities in communication and perspectives
  • personal conflicts, which are often the result of an inability to talk about the things which really matter between partners in a personal partnership
  • inner conflicts, which cause stree because the internal talk consumes a massive amount of mental energy and can lead to emotions that consume even more, such as anger, sadness or even a superficial state of numbness.
It is interesting to note that communication problems are at the heart of most types of burnout. If it becomes possible for the individual to resolve them burnout could be avoided or cured.


Dr Christian Jonathan Haverkampf
http://www.chrishaverkampf.com/
http://www.ivy-experts.com/

Explore fascinating books on communication: http://astore.amazon.co.uk/chrihaveltd-21.



Please note that no professional advice of any sort can be given in this blog. Always consult a professional if the situation warrants it. (c) 2013 Christian Jonathan Haverkampf. All rights reserved. Please respect the rights of the author. Unauthorized reproduction and/or dissemination prohibited. Trademarks belong to their respective owners.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Burnout



Burnout is very common. It costs many of the larger industrialized economies billions. In developing nations it can also cause individual suffering. Largely it goes unnoticed and is often dealt with when it is already very late.
Burnout does not describe a quantity of work or a quantity or intensity of life events. It is very subjective. Someone can suffer from burnout with a small to do list at work and another can thrive in her work with a high work flow. What makes the difference? Essentially it is a communication issue. How do I communicate with myself, how do I communicate with others? Communication is the sending and receiving of meaningful messages and it always takes two to create meaning. If I sit at my desk and look at my computer screen I read a text from a colleague and what it creates in myself, the thoughts and emotions, depends as much on myself as on him. If I read my own work it depends on myself alone, although what I have seen, heard and read in the world around me will flow into what I write. We live in an intricate web of meaning around us and inside us, and our most important job is to find our place in it. When we experience joy in what we do we experience an equilibrium, a balanced state, between the flow of outside information that can move us and the flow of information from our inside world that can move us. If we can establish this balance we effectively regulate ourselves so well that we do not even notice it, we are in control of our information flow. In burnout we experience a loss of control.
Burnout, which is not a diagnosis but a common term for an experience shared by many people, includes at least the following:
  • feeling of exhaustion
  • loss of interest
What has this to do with meaning? Exhaustion points to a state in which I do not give the messages that come from inside my body the meaning they deserve. Loss of interest refers to a state in which I can no longer see meaning in the messages coming from the outside world, the email or document on my desk. It is a condition in which I get the information from inside and outside but can no longer process them efficiently because I feel exhausted and increasingly disinterested.
Giving the messages from within myself the weight they deserve is necessary to feel good about oneself. It is also necessary for survival. What about the messages from my colleagues or customers and my own work? To be realistic, there will be many messages that by themselves affect little in me, their meaning, which is the propensity to change something in me, is low. But all these little messages taken as a whole should have an affect on me, otherwise I am at risk for burnout. How much meaning from the outside is required is individually different. Someone working on an assembly line or a Zen monk may need little change in their environment, a stock market trader much more. On the other hand, the quiet writer may develop a very rich inner world which is so meaningful to him that he needs little distraction from the world around. So what does this tell us about burnout? Do a work where you can reach an optimal flow of meaning from the inside and the outside worlds. Know when to be a writer and when to be a stock trader. If you are both, find the right mix.
Work itself should be meaningful. This requires that you find yourself exposed to information at your workplace which affects and changes you at an optimal level. Most people feel distressed when what they need and what they get is too different. Often we may not want to hear this message because it seems inconvenient, but if it is there it usually does not go away because one denies it. The fact that there is a message that one gets too little or too much stimulus from the world does not mean one has to change one’s job right away. It just means you should think how you and your work interact and if there are any improvements can be made to bring your communication with your inside and outside world back into a balance that feels right. Of course, if a situation is beyond repair the question whether suffering should be unduly prolonged may be an entirely valid one.



Find out more about how communication can help you: http://www.chrishaverkampf.comExplore fascinating books on communication: http://astore.amazon.co.uk/chrihaveltd-21. Other blogs you may be interested in:
Interpersonal Communication
Communication in Organizations and Groups
Communication and Technology
Please note that no professional advice of any sort can be given in this blog. Always consult a professional if the situation warrants it. (c) 2013 Dr Christian Jonathan Haverkampf. All rights reserved. Please respect the rights of the author. Unauthorized reproduction and/or dissemination prohibited. Trademarks belong to their respective owners.