Tough times call for drastic measures — or at least a fresh perspective.

Which may be exactly why the phenomenon of work/life coaching continues to grow as the world economy shrinks.

Different from a counsellor, a coach works with individuals to develop their strengths and realize their potential in the workplace.

Unlike a psychotherapist who works with a client to examine and diagnose past behaviours, a career or work/life coach focuses on effecting change in a client’s current and future behaviour in their professional life.

Toronto-based work/life coach Eileen Chadnick says during economic uncertainty, a coach can help employees develop optimism and resilience.

“Giving people a say in how they bring themselves to their work life is very empowering,” said Chadnick of Big Cheese Coaching.

Learning how to say no, how to delegate or how to manage a workload are some of the things Chadnick works on in coaching sessions — either in person at her home office or over the phone.

The concept of work/life coaching as a recognized discipline can be traced back to the 1970s.
Chadnick works with individuals and corporations on action plans.

The former fitness instructor and marketing professional who now splits her time between communications consulting and work/life coaching says many of her clients are emerging leaders recognized by their employers as “high potentials.”

Corporations and organizations hire Chadnick to work with individuals or teams within the company.

Essentially, she said, coaching is about keeping the keepers — those who keep the organization afloat — and growing the keepers.

“It’s a really smart employer that recognizes that to engage people … you have to invest in your people and not just push and prescribe,” she said.

You have to grow and develop them, investing in them as people and individuals who bring a show of talents to the organization, she added.

“Employees become more invested in it and feel more appreciated,” she said.

The award-winning work/life coach also meets with individuals seeking support independent from their employers.

Some of her clients just need assistance clarifying what a meaningful career path looks like for them, or what their next step might be, she said.

“How do you manage the parts that might be getting in the way, or how do you develop the parts that need a little development,” she said.

Employees can positively impact their “outer game” by changing their “inner game,” she said.

For more information about finding an accredited coach in your area, the ICF hosts a free searchable directory of coaches with an ICF Credential called the Coach Referral Service (CRS) on its website,

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