One of the main challenges freelance translators have to face is isolation. Working alone for hours on end, day after day, can have a negative impact on our mood, while in the absence of a boss looking over our shoulder focusing and staying productive can soon become quite tricky. But there’s an even greater danger, as Stephen Covey explains in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: isolation prevents us from being truly successful.
Covey’s Maturity Continuum shows how, to be able to realise our full potential and reap the rewards, we need others. We need to connect and move from Independence (something many freelancers value) to Interdependence (the highest level of maturity): “Dependent people need others to get what they want. Independent people can get what they want through their own effort. Interdependent people combine their own efforts with the efforts of others to achieve their greatest success.”
We start life in a state of Dependence. We are fed, looked after and shown the way. Without this level of support, we wouldn’t last very long. As the years go by, we become more and more independent — physically, intellectually, emotionally and financially — until we are totally in charge of ourselves. For many, this state of Independence, or Self-Mastery, is the ultimate goal. It is often seen in our society as the epitome of success. Few consider the next stage.
As a higher level of maturity, reaching Independence is a major accomplishment, but it isn’t the ultimate ideal in effective living. “Life is, by nature, highly interdependent. To try to achieve maximum effectiveness through independence is like trying to play tennis with a golf club.” Yet the concept of Interdependence is often misunderstood and many see it as regressive, as a step back towards Dependence. As a result, many relationships come to an end when partners, for fear of losing their hard-earned Independence, seek to re-affirm themselves.
Moving from Independence to Interdependence is not moving back to Dependence. Interdependence is a much deeper concept which implies a higher level of maturity. People who enter interdependent relationships (in business and in life) are self-assured, confident and self-reliant. They know that what they can achieve through Synergy with others is much bigger than the sum of what they would achieve independently.
“Interdependence is a far more mature, more advanced concept. If I am (…) interdependent, I am self-reliant and capable, but I also realize that you and I working together can accomplish far more than, even at my best, I could accomplish alone (…) As an interdependent person, I have the opportunity to share myself deeply, meaningfully, with others, and I have access to the vast resources and potential of other human beings. Interdependence is a choice only independent people can make. Dependent people cannot choose to become interdependent. They don’t have the character to do it; they don’t own enough of themselves.” (Stephen Covey)
What level of maturity have you achieved at work, and in your life? What could you do to move to the next stage? What could you do to connect more and increase your chances of success and fulfillment?
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A coach believes that individuals possess huge potential to resolve their own issues.
(The coach doesn’t give advice.)
The coach brings no pre-conceived ideas or judgement but acts as a catalyst for change.
The coachee remains responsible at all times for the situation and the solutions.
The focus is always on what the coachee thinks and experiences.
A coach believes that coachees can generate perfect solutions.
Coaching is about helping people to learn rather than teaching them.
Coaching focuses on future possibilities, not past failures.
A coach believes in the value and uniqueness of each individual.
What has been your experience with coaching so far? How would you feel if a coach offered you the time and space to think creatively about something you want to change or achieve? What would you use it for?
With over 9 million views, Shawn Achor’s fast-moving, highly entertaining presentation ranks among the 20 most popular TED talks. Based on his research and 12 years of experience at Harvard, Achor explains how happiness can actually inspire productivity, and reveals a formula which is proven to train the brain into seeing the world in a more positive way, thus making us happier and more efficient at work.
Shawn Achor is the CEO of Good Think Inc., a global consulting firm with a mission to teach the principles of positive psychology. He is a leading expert on the connection between happiness and success, and is the author of The Happiness Advantage.
One of the roles of the coach is to help the client become aware of his/her limiting beliefs and overcome them. You may for instance believe that in order to have a successful career you have to be an extrovert. Someone who’s great at networking and has no difficulty engaging with lots of people. If you think that being an introvert is holding you back, take a look at this list of successful introverts: J. K Rowling, Bill Gates, Abraham Lincoln, Christina Aguilera, Eleanor Roosevelt, Courtney Cox, Albert Einstein, Emma Watson, Mahatma Gandhi… the list goes on (16 Outrageously Successful Introverts, Huffpost).
Still not convinced? Then have a look at this video. “In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.” (ted.com)