Fine-tuning the soul

by Alex Lai

Make more time for self-discovery

Dave Rogers, head coach, XL Results Foundation
Photo: Edde Ngan

High stress levels resulting from long hours and intense pressure are often cited as the major shortcomings of a position in the finance industry and for one man, at least, they were enough to make him change careers.

Dave Rogers, head coach for XL Results Foundation and an author and speaker on entrepreneur coaching, personal and professional self-development and reaching peak performance, now spends his time helping high-powered people live better lives.

"I work with executives to figure out how stress can be a friend instead of an enemy," Mr Rogers says. "It's about improving their quality of life." He finds that most people usually have three aims: improving results such as company profits, improving time management and improving relationships. "Our work and home lives are interconnected and if one is not going so well then that spills over into the other so we examine all sides," he adds.

Working with executives, Mr Rogers says, is quite easy. "They tend to be focused people and are often hard workers. I just help them design the type of life they want to have or, in other words, achieve a work-life balance." This means being able to appreciate that life has its ups and downs, often by taking a step back in high-stress situations and choosing a reasoned response.

Making time

The business world's unofficial mantra "time is money" has real and often detrimental effects on many people's lives. "Finding a few extra hours free from work is a common goal," Mr Rogers says. "People want more quality time with their families, or for things like starting an art class. If they can attain this they can have more happiness. I am here to let them open up and share with me what they want to, and then we work out a strategy towards achieving this goal. I encourage them to allow themselves to have a relationship with time so they can respect the time they have and work with it, rather than chasing after it."

Mr Rogers says the people he coaches often just need a helping hand. "I ask them simple questions because questions are a key to discovery and awareness. Often small changes can have much larger consequences. For example, in one 10-minute session I helped a German executive in Australia break down his schedule to allow time for a date with his kids. He became a much happier person."

He also encourages people to take responsibility for all sides of their lives, including their personal lives. "Often my clients are high-powered professionals in charge of lots of money or a large staff, but they don't make enough time for themselves. I employ aspects of different cultures and philosophies to facilitate a shift from their current state of excessive excuses to an empowered one, helping them to embrace the simplicity of time, focus and being," he says.

"There is a movement now to bring spirituality into the workplace. This spirituality does not have religious connotations, it's about increasing awareness to reach a state of divine wisdom. Whether you can see beauty and talent in another person, for instance, is an indication of your spirituality or soul at large," Mr Rogers remarks.

Expressing emotions

The value of creativity and innovation has been a key emphasis in many of Mr Rogers' seminars. He says by focusing their energy on these, people stretch their emotional muscles and discover the power of their minds, and are therefore able to implement desired changes in their lives.

As well as dealing with executives, Mr Rogers coaches a wide range of people including multimillionaires, entrepreneurs, medical professionals, internationally renowned artists, athletes, singers, dancers, as well as retrenched workers who are dealing with dramatic changes in their lives. "The sessions can get quite emotional — really purgative stuff," he says. "Sometimes I act like a marriage counsellor. Once I was talking with a chief executive of a sizeable banking institution and within 15 minutes he was sharing things with me he had not been able to share with others for the last 15 years. He began to cry and it was touching," he recalls.

Taken from Career Times 28 December 2007
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