The Butler Bag

The Butler Bag

I bought my wife a new purse for her birthday.

Let me be clear — she picked it out; I paid for it.  The fact is that she insisted this purse be her birthday gift.

It’s called a Butler Bag.  Evidently these are all the rage.  The selling point is that these purses have a place for everything.  Simple little compartments in the bottom of the purse organize the contents and make finding stuff  much easier.  Very nice.

What’s this have to do with coaching???

Some coaching clients live a life that feels too full.  You hear such clients say things like I’m overwhelmed, I’m juggling too many tasks, or I have more things to do than I have time to do them.  And things to do aren’t the only clutter.  Relationships, priorities and direction can get cluttered.

These clients need a Butler Bag.  Not the purse, but the concept.  They need help taking out all the stuff, sorting it, throwing some out and deciding what’s worth carrying around.  They also need help with a system for organizing what they keep.  Coaches can help clients with all of this: unpacking, assessing, organizing and developing ongoing systems for keeping things tidy.

I remember my first coach aiding me with this sort of thing.  Scott Eblin (a corporate coach in VA) guided me through a process for unpacking all that I was doing, clarifying the three roles I really want to play professionally (coach, writer, trainer) and how I could use those roles as an organizing force going forward.

Ever since that coaching engagement (way back in 2002), I’ve known much better  how best to show up in order to get done what I need to get done.  Simply having these roles as an organizing force to apply to my work helps me: know what’s worth doing, get to my work more quickly, direct my efforts for greater impact, and know when I am done.

What about you?  When have you helped coach others toward a Butler Bag of their own?  When has someone coached you toward this?