The Funeral (Question)

It’s the 31st August and I haven’t written this months’ blog yet. I like to write something each month if I can, but I’ve been on holiday for much of August. So, I find myself writing this at the very last minute. Rather tragically I find the inspiration for my blog coming from this afternoon, where I attended a friend’s funeral. He was such a nice guy and his death came as a shock to everyone. The funeral celebrant had taken great care to find out about my friend and shared the joyful details of his life, as well as some of the difficult times.

As I sat and listened to the details of his life, the celebrant spoke of his work and how he put everything into his carpentry work. He always had a long waiting list of clients wanting to benefit from his talents. He was by all accounts brilliant at his work, where he had taught himself. Importantly though, he was also a funny, caring, warm and considerate individual.

I find it hard to remove the psychologist in me during most moments, this one included. It reminded me of the coaching question “What do you want people to say about you at your funeral?” For example, I can’t imagine many people saying they want it to be the huge number of hours they spent at work. I do know that a lot of people would want others to see them caring greatly about their work and having a positive impact on the people or societies their work served.

I think this can apply to all sectors. However, one of the reasons I enjoy coaching Civil Servants is that despite the many challenges public sector brings, they continue to want to do their work for the greater good. I feel so proud when I see a bill become law, that has been led by one of my coachees. Or an independent review supported by a senior civil servant I coach, get praise from the Press for the impact it has. I’m not taking any credit; I just feel honoured to be coaching such impressive people.

It’s important to say that it’s not just the press-worthy achievements that have that feel-good-factor. There are people working behind the scenes saving the environment. Or when I work with someone who perseveres through adversity, such as whistle blowers or those on the receiving end of bullying, I feel equally proud of them and their tenacious courage. There’s also those who want to become role models for others. These might be women, people of colour, LGBTQ+, those with disabilities, those who are neurodiverse… the list goes on. In fact, there’s a lot of reasons to be proud of people in their work endeavours. What’s your reason to be proud of your work?

P.S. I hadn’t met his mum before, but she sure was a proud mama. She came up and gave me and his other friends a huge hug each. It was both sombering and heart-warming in equal measures.

To find out more about the ways in which I work you can look at our events page.

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