When Being Selfish At Work Makes Sense.  Sometimes.

Meet Angela, a past coaching client of mine (not her real name).

Angela is super smart, really great at her job as a senior leader in a mid-size organization.

She loves her colleagues and they admire and respect her. She is known for being a super achiever and a rising star in her organization.

So what prompted Angela to hire a Coach?

She needed to learn how to put herself first.  To learn how to be selfish.  Sometimes.

Her problem wasn’t with a disempowering boss or uncooperative colleagues. 

Her issue was that she was suffering from being spread too thin because she didn’t feel entitled to be selfish.

I know that being “selfish” can have some pretty negative connotations for many of us.

But it’s important to re-frame the word.  To look at it as a positive.  A gift of self-compassion. 

In our coaching, Angela was willing to re-imagine “selfish”.  She discovered some benefits and came up with some simple questions to ask herself along with action steps.  She realized that she had been treating herself differently than she’d been treating her colleagues.  That the expectations she put on herself were much tougher and unrealistic compared to those she had for others.

Angela’s experience with coaching helped support her self- awareness.  And allowed her to incorporate a somewhat higher level of selfishness into her management style.  To grant herself permission to include her needs in the process of decision making.  And that has made all the difference for her.

If you know of someone who has trouble shifting perspective on selfishness, maybe it’s time for them to consider hiring a coach to help explore and re-frame and navigate putting themselves first some of the time.

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