Work Problems

Do you have problems at work?  Or do you have difficulties in finding satisfying work?  I’m a psychologist in London experienced in helping people who have problems with their work.  I offer coaching and psychological help so that you can fulfil your potential and find satisfaction in your work.

We spend most of daylight at work, and in return it can give us meaning as well as money.  But work can also be a place of long hours of effort, conflict, and stress.  Here are some of the problems I have helped my clients with at work:

Procrastination and Time Management

Whatever our work, the most important thing is to do it.  Yet we all put things off and find ourselves with too much to do in too little time.   Procrastination may seem like a little problem but it covers everything that we don’t do that we should do, and everything that we actually do instead. People procrastinate for different reasons: I can help you find out whether your procrastination is about perfectionism, worry, avoidance, poor decision making, rebelliousness, taking on too much work, or even the excitement of living on the edge.   Then I can help you learn to confront the problem, manage your time better, and find room in your life for the things you really want to do. ^Top

Learning New Skills

In this demanding world, we all need to keep learning to keep up… and to keep our jobs!  But our education can leave us insufficiently prepared to cram enough study within a deadline to master new topics and pass those exams.  Happily, I’m available to assess what and how you learn best, and then help you to use the latest and most relevant techniques for learning to take on new information in time, and retaining those techniques over the long term. ^Top

Career Choice

For most of us, our career defines us as a person.  Yet many people fall into their career and end up unhappy and unsuccessful in their work. Many of those people recognise that doing what you love and what you’re good at is a sensible recipe for greater happiness and success.  But in these difficult times it can seem too frightening to consider anything but the safest choice. I think that is a mistake: each of us should at least check out the alternative paths ahead of us, before we keep on the same tired road.

I know about choosing a career; I made several “wrong turns” before accepting that I had to do what I love most. Now I help other people to decide the best career path for them. Together we assess their personality, skills, strengths, interests, values and goals.  Then we put that information together to create a compelling vision of where they would like to get to. We match that vision to the reality of their current situation and what career paths are available to them.  And together we create a realistic plan for exploring those career paths so that they can get to where they want to go in life. ^Top

Managing Conflict Assertively

Wherever we live and work, we encounter conflict, often between people with good intentions and different goals. Yet few of us have been taught in earlier life how to handle conflict well, with assertiveness and grace.  I help people uncover the roots of their response to conflict and what they find most difficult about it.   Then I help them learn relationship and assertiveness skills, so that they can resolve conflict as amicably as possible. ^Top

Motivating Ourselves and Others

We’re all different, but we all share the same basic hierarchy of needs.  When those needs are not met or don’t seem likely to be met, we lose motivation in doing anything else.  Like an elephant that hasn’t been fed, we’re difficult to lead out to work.  I help people to find out what the elephant needs and to lead the elephant to a place where its needs can be met whilst work gets done.  That can involve a combination of tools including “carrots”, “blinkers”, and the occasional prod from a “stick”! ^Top

Goal setting

Setting challenging but achievable goals is one of the best ways to motivate ourselves and others.  But knowing what goals to set and how to measure them is itself a challenge.   I help people prioritise what’s important to them in life and to create a chain of goals all the way up to a peak of fulfilment.  Then I help them keep those goals in view and adjust their goals as they reach each milestone. ^Top

Presenting and Influencing

When people are asked what they fear most, the most common response is “giving a presentation”.  For some people, performance anxiety can make even the smallest meeting a nightmare.  Yet being able to present our case well to others is key to persuading them to do what we want, and influencing others to go along with us will be essential at some point in our work.  I can assess your style of influencing and help you find tactics which will make you better able to influence others.  Then I can help you to manage your performance anxiety and make a more confident presentation. ^Top

Leadership

There are many theories of leadership, with complex models charting how different people should lead others in various situations.  Yet these theories are abstractions which are difficult to hold onto in the hurly-burly of everyday work.  Fortunately, my belief is that all these theories can be merged into a simple image and a memorable story: any leader, like Moses, is aiming to lead his or her people to a Promised Land.  A leader needs a vision of where to go that they can excite their people with, needs to keep on track, and needs to keep their people together so that they don’t split or straggle.  Different skills will be needed at each stage of the journey.  There will be many crossroads where decisions need to be taken: sometimes with participation and at others without.  The skills required will change with economic climate, market conditions, and field of operation.  I help people in leadership positions to create and carry through their vision in their field of operation by helping them elaborate on this basic leadership story in a way that inspires them to transform their work and the work of others. ^Top

Delegation

Every leader needs good followers, and there are few journeys in work that can be taken alone.  Yet delegating work to others and getting the results you want is a difficult art.  I help people to delegate by teaching them to see delegation as movie production.  You are the producer and you know the script.  Now you need to delegate to someone who will direct the production, bringing it in on time and within budget.  With the help of this story you can learn to delegate smoothly and effectively. ^Top

Coping with Stress and Building Resilience

Even with effective delegation, work will often remain stressful.  Stress is what we feel when we notice the weight of our work on our shoulders. A certain amount of stress is healthy and inevitable with any significant workload.  But when the work is too much to bear and we can’t let it drop, we may struggle on until eventually we collapse under the weight of our work, which ends up in a jumbled mess around us.

Stress at work is not going to go away, and is increasing as organisations make fewer people carry heavier burdens.  But we can build resilience in ourselves and our colleagues, by learning to adjust our position in the workplace, manage the burden of work more effectively, find space for rest and relaxation, discard unnecessary items, and discipline ourselves to keep a rhythm in our lives.    I can help you learn those skills so that you have greater resilience under the weight of your work. ^Top

Recovering from Burnout and Relighting the Fire

Even the most dedicated person, working in the field of their dreams, can become burnt out from exhaustion by their work.  What was previously a pleasure or a challenge becomes a chore. What was previously a vision with a clear path to follow, feels like a bleak vista on a featureless desert.  Sometimes it’s possible to turn aside and start a new journey in a new direction. That is where career counselling can provide vital help.  But at other times there seems to be no prospect of changing our path, and we wonder how we will continue to struggle on.    It is at this time that we need time to pause and take time to dig down to the wellsprings of motivation which can refresh us and help us on our way.  I can act as a guide to help you find that refreshment, regather your strength, and head in the direction you need to go. ^Top

Leaving Work

There comes a time at work when we need to leave.  Perhaps we’ve stayed too long to help others out. Or perhaps we want to stay but others want us to go.  That tension between going and staying is something we may feel almost on a daily basis, but it can become unbearable at the end of a job.  Whether we’re retiring, or have been made redundant, we remain attached to our work when there are other things worth doing, elsewhere.  I can help you manage that process of saying goodbye so that you make a smooth transition to a different life.   Handing over work, dealing with feelings of loss, planning how to spend your time after you leave, are all things which are best done with thoughtfulness.  That way you can better focus on the future and move forward instead of forever looking back. ^Top

If you have a work-related problem and would like help, why not get in touch?  You can contact me using the form on the right.  I’ll tell you how I can help.  And if you’d like to know how successful I am, read what some of my clients say about me here.

^Top