In this article you will learn how self-responsibility and Coaching in the VUCA world can look like. After a detailed derivation, we talk about 4 aspects of self-responsibility and how to differentiate it from egoism.
A 2018 press release accompanying the WEF study stated that “Companies will need to use more contract-based specialist firms, find more flexible workplace arrangements for employees, use telecommuters and relocate their organization to access talent to be able to guarantee”.
Many of the aspects mentioned are already a reality. The classic curriculum vitae and thus the security of lifelong employment will no longer exist.
The acronym VUCA originated in the 1985 book "Leaders" by Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus. The term was later adopted by the US Army and ultimately found its way into business jargon.
Work takes on a new meaning
First of all, we will feel this in our aging society in the care of relatives, where there has been a lack of financial support and other recognition and appreciation. Other aspects such as dealing with climate change, the global economy, and the integration of new technologies join the list.
Where is the problem?
With industrialization in the 19th century, work became something external: We may choose our profession, but what we actually do in our 40 to 50 years of work feels outside of our sphere of influence. We have handed over our way of life to an "outside world", have lived in external constraints and obligations and with a "That's just the way it is!".
We knew what we had to do and what the price of hired labor was.
Previously, work was part of the life course: farmers lived on their farms, they worked to sell their own produce and to be able to feed themselves on what they grew. The carpenter, the carpenter, the maid or the innkeeper: the work was a piece of identity that could not be discarded after the day's work.
Digitization and globalization are now giving us a very confusing world.
You can rely on a little more. The corona crisis is showing us this in a massive way. Unfortunately, our challenges are totally at odds with what people actually need: security. There is security when we can build a bridge between cause and effect. If we can comprehend and understand. Targeted coaching can often build this bridge.
Self-responsibility and coaching - when the security on the outside seems unstable?
We can shift security to the "inside" and give stability to our self. We can face this uncertainty with unlimited self-responsibility. Ultimately, it's about being "grown up", thinking, feeling and behaving appropriately in relation to the here and now. In coaching, various methods can be used to support this process. Transactional analysis (TA) can be one of them.
TA describes this "being an adult" as developing an awareness of which old coping strategies, which mainly stem from childhood and are usually unconscious, guide us and allow us to fall back into old behavioral patterns in stressful and difficult situations (Stewart & Joines , 1990).
The question to yourself is then:
"Was my behavior or was my thinking and feeling appropriate for an adult who is sensitive to what is happening around them at the moment?"Stewart & Joines, 1990, p.38
Self-responsibility and coaching – the four aspects of self-responsibility
- self-awareness: The first step is to know yourself well, to develop an awareness of and about yourself. It's about being in the office as a "whole person". Recognizing his feelings and taking them seriously, his Motivation, to reflect and assess his patterns, his actions. So to know who I actually am. And, building on that, knowing what I want and don't want.
- self expression: Since we are not alone in this world, it is important to be able to express our own needs and desires. To be clear and understandable in your own communication. To represent the decisions made well. To act consistently.
- self development: Lifelong learning, mainly in the form of experience-based learning, trying things out and further development, will be essential in the future of work. This also means recognizing and deciding for yourself what and how you should and want to learn. And it means:
- self-management: And finally, resilience is important. It is about taking your own well-being seriously in order to develop a good use of resources and time. To feel and to know what is good for us and to create a balance if necessary.
In coaching, these topics can be worked through step by step, individually and professionally. Each individual aspect is its own coaching universe, so that it is possible to dive deep with the right coach and massively optimize the process of self-responsibility.
Self-responsibility is not selfishness
Sometimes it happens that a coachee in coaching has the feeling that he or she is being selfish if he or she takes on personal responsibility.
Conversely, self-responsibility does not mean selfishness and demarcation. In the word there is already part of the meaning - namely to give oneself an answer. However, self-responsibility does not only mean being able to give oneself answers.
It also means that I give these answers in relation to my immediate life context. It's always about my social responsibility. According to Claude Steiner (1997), the highest level of our "emotional awareness" is "interactivity", the understanding of the interaction of feelings of different people.
It's about shaping your own sphere of activity. Good relationships can only be maintained if we are stable ourselves. If we are clear with ourselves, we can also be clear with other people and engage in good discourse. Self-responsibility provides orientation – also for others. As already mentioned, this world does not become any less complex and unpredictable; perhaps for some the “future of work” is downright unimaginable like working with AI bots, robots and drones.
But if we all follow the principle of personal responsibility - be it with or without professional coaching – we can live together in solidarity, responsibly as a community and shape our desirable future together. We hope we were able to give you an insight into the topic of self-responsibility and coaching. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us!
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