Oak Communications
June 2014
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Do you feel engaged at work? If yes, count yourself lucky as according to a 2013 Gallup report, only 30% of Americans do. I am fortunate that at this point in my career, I am extremely engaged. But that was not always the case.


In one of my past jobs, I worked for a large cable company in the Training and Organizational Development department. After about two month in the position, we got a new manager whose style rubbed me the wrong way. In addition, I didn't believe that the training we were providing was making a difference in the work lives of the supervisors or their employees. So I quit. I knew that I could find a position that was a better fit for me.


In a recent New York Times article, Tony Schwartz and Christine Porath outline a study they conducted to understand the factors that influence people's engagement at work. They discovered that workers are more productive and satisfied when the following core needs are met:


  • "physical, through opportunities to regularly renew and recharge at work
  • emotional, by feeling valued and appreciated for their contributions
  • mental, when they have the opportunity to focus in an absorbed way on their most important tasks and define when and where they get their work done
  • spiritual, by doing more of what they do best and enjoy most, and by feeling connected to a higher purpose at work."


In the position I describe above, I was missing both the emotional and the spiritual components and sometimes the mental.  


It would be a rare workplace where we experienced each of these components all of the time. The question is how to advance these core needs more of the time for ourselves and others.


Are you a leader or supervisor? If so, are you ensuring that your organization or department supports these core needs? Then you will most likely have a staff that is loyal, involved, committed, satisfied, and displays positive energy at work.


Here are a few suggestions:

  • Make sure meetings last no more than 90 minutes.
  • Reward managers who exhibit empathy and humility.
  • Hold managers accountable if they display anger or create a toxic climate of fear.


For additional ideas, check out this article on the Tony Schwartz website.


I love my work today, and I would like to help you feel that way too. (See more about this below.) If you are an employee or executive who wants to feel more engaged in your work and life in general, coaching may give you a boost.


Feeling engaged,




Lagniappe (a little something extra)  


New York Times article mentioned above: Why You Hate Work: Excessive demands are leading to burnout everywhere


Minnesota Public Radio story about coaching: Could a work coach save you from burnout   


Healthy abundance 



Quote  about coaching 


I recently received the quote that follows from a coaching client. While I didn't need this note to know that my work was making a difference in her life, it certainly put icing on my cake.  


She wrote, "For our last session together Sue took out her notes and we reviewed a year's worth of coaching sessions. As she read the things I had written and her own observances, we reflected with amazement at the tremendous changes that had occurred.

I walked into the first appointment, a bit lost and frightened and not sure what coaching could mean to me. I was overcoming a major and heartbreaking change in my life and I didn't know how to proceed. She asked questions and I answered them. She gave me reading material and I read. She assigned writing assignments and I wrote and wrote and wrote.  


She challenged my self-perception. She gave practical steps towards tangible goals while also guiding me through a sort of existential shift in my thinking. Sue, along with friends and family guided me up from the well and back into the light and reminded me of who I really am. By the end of our time together, I was a transformed person.  


I believe that with what I have learned and achieved, I have the tools to not only reach tangible, practical goals but also to right myself when I'm thrown off-kilter, with confidence, peace, joy and dare I hope, grace. This is possible to a large degree to Sue's coaching.

Sue is warm, friendly and encouraging but also stern and persistent when it's needed. She was nurturing and uplifting while also giving me a few gut-checks that challenged me. Her coaching was exactly what I needed and I am forever grateful for her contribution to my life.

I very highly recommend her to anyone facing any kind of challenge. If you are willing to work, grow and change, Sue can guide you towards achieving the goals you set forth."  


(With permission of Nicole L.)



The Key to the Castle - Book  
Key to the Castle: Zen and Travel Stories of Trust



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Coaching Services  

Photo of Sue Schleifer
Photo by Robin May


Have you been thinking about working with a life/career coach? Want to connect? 


Give me a call to schedule a complimentary coaching consultation.   


Check out what a few of my clients have said about the coaching experience. 


"Sue truly cares about her clients' goals and brings that passion to her work as a life coach. With her fresh perspective and eye for possibility, she helps me find creative solutions to seemingly intractable problems.
Plenty of professional and creative people would benefit from working with Sue, and I particularly recommend her to anyone who needs to get 'unstuck'."
Medical Editor and Fabric Artist


"A year ago I met Sue for our first session. Through her probing and listening we pinpointed areas that, with specific attention to my thinking and choices, help me:


  • be personally more effective
  • move towards a more balanced life

My spouse and employees have noticed a positive change, as have I."

Sales Manager-Fortune 500 Company


"Since I first hired a coach I have been a happier person and a more successful businessman. My company has become much more successful, our employees have had the opportunity to grow to the fullest of their capabilities and everyone seems to enjoy each day of life much more than in the past."



I would love to be a resource for you too!

Let's talk. 


Sue Schleifer, M.A.


510.316.3319 - cell
Oak Communications

Lafayette, LA and throughout the country

510.316.3319 - cell

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