Fri Oct 21 22:30:03 CAT 2016

it's tough on top rungs of the corporate ladder

By unknown | Mar 31, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Maryanne Maina

Maryanne Maina

When an executive has reached the highest rungs of the corporate ladder there is no time to relax - contrary to what many of us might believe.

At that point in their career, with all eyes on them, there is added pressure to excel. This is when they might want to up their game plan and develop their skills to make themselves even more valuable to their employer.

This is where Carita McCallum comes in. McCallum is a life coach who helps successful executives to achieve their goals in life.

"I teach executives various soft skills because when you climb the corporate ladder, some skills become crucial. You need to be politically savvy, know how to resolve conflicts, motivate people, network and be a good listener," she said.

McCallum, whose business's motto is "Inspire you to Excel", has a strong belief that successful people are those who are positive, resilient and do not give up.

"There is an area in your brain that focuses on motivation, error detection and decision making. When you always focus on what is negative you become demotivated," she said.

She said in her professional experience she had found that listening is a tough skill for most people to learn. McCallum, who has a PhD in Psychology, has been a life coach since 2007.

"I am a positive person, that is why I do this job," she said.

The difference between a life coach and a psychologist is that a psychologist usually focuses on the client's past and how to change it while a life coach focus on the present and how to achieve future goals and objectives, McCallum said.

It is essential for a life coach and their client to have a good rapport.

"It is important to know how the client learns and how they view the world. Some people prefer to view issues in a structured language. So you must give them context relevant to them in that format," she explained.

Repetition of newly learned skills and personal motivation make long-term coaching successful for the client.

"A life coach has to be tactful and gentle when giving the client feedback because criticism hurts. Coaches have to be empathetic, act as guides and not advisors so that the client takes responsibility and ownership for their actions.

"Be open minded, read widely and you must improve yourself just as you advise your clients to," McCallum added.

Coaches are required to maintain the same level of absolute confidentiality that exists between doctors and patients.

The role can be challenging as it is very involved, she said, because she gets to meet several clients in a day.

"You have to look after yourself, eat well, and always be positive to avoid feeling drained."

To keep herself updated, McCallum is a member of the American Psychological Association and of several coaching bodies where she meets other mentors and like-minded people.


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