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    From the Journal of Employee Assistance, 4th Quarter 2003


    Underemployment: What EA Professionals Need to Know
    By Beth Bloomfield

    Melinda, a 1998 graduate of a prestigious engineering school, lost her well-paying high-tech job a year and a half ago when the company folded. She has been unable to find work in her chosen field, even at a reduced salary, and reluctantly took a job as a sales associate with a national retail chain. 

         Brian, a software engineer in his mid-40s, was called into his manager’s office one recent morning and told that his salary was cut in half because the company could no longer shoulder that cost. With two teenagers on the way to college, he has decided he needs to find another job, but worries about losing his benefits if he quits or is let go before he has one in hand.

    To download a copy of the complete article, click here.


    Reprinted with the permission of The Advisor published by the Society for Human Resource Management (www.shrm.org), Alexandria, Va.


    Are You Considering Executive Coaching?
    Many human resource consultants are adding executive coaching to their toolkits. Is it right for you, too?
    By BETH BLOOMFIELD

         If it seems like every other person you meet these days is a "coach," that might be because coaching is one of the fastest-growing professions, with the numbers of new coaches continuing to rise despite (or maybe because of) the sluggish economy of the past few years. Within the field of coaching, "executive coaching" is sometimes seen as the top of the pyramid, where coaches work in the rarified air of the executive suite and command top dollar for their efforts. Maybe you, too, have been thinking about joining the ranks of executive coaches or adding executive coaching to your list of consulting services. It's a natural fit for many human resource consultants.

         But before you rush headlong into your new endeavor, let's take a closer look at whether executive coaching is in fact the right path for you and, if so, how you ought to go about retooling yourself for this new practice area. What exactly is executive coaching, anyway? How does it actually work? Are you really prepared for that first coaching client? Here are some important questions for you to think about, along with some answers that I hope will stimulate both careful consideration and educated enthusiasm.

    To download a copy of the complete article, click here.


    From the Maryland Daily Record, March 2, 2002
     

    CORPORATE STRATEGY: Get Ready for the Recovery -- Starting Now

    By BETH BLOOMFIELD
    Special to the Daily Record

       Sure, there's a recession on and your business is slow, but remember - business is cyclical, and sooner or later things will be rolling again.  Depending on which economic forecasters you listen to, that could be as early as late this spring. Businesses that are positioned to move, and move quickly, when the tide turns will outpace their competitors and stand to reap substantial rewards.

       Underlying problems in a company tend to stay hidden in boom times, but a recession makes them obvious, providing opportunities to find and implement lasting solutions that will strengthen the company and give it the edge in a more competitive marketplace.  Here are a few things you can do now to tune up for the faster times ahead.

    To download a copy of the complete article, click here.


    From the Maryland Daily Record, December 8, 2001

    ON THE RECORD With Beth Bloomfield
    By NANCY KERCHEVAL
    Managing Editor, Saturday

    Beth Bloomfield started her own executive coaching firm, Bloomfield Associates, after 25 years of federal government experience. Since the Sept. 11 tragedies, she has turned her attention, in part, to employers and employees who are taking their reactions to the terrorist attacks into the workplace. Bloomfield talks to The Daily Record about the problems and solutions in light of the world events.

    The employees who lost co-workers are the ones we would expect to be affected by Sept 11. Are there others?
      
    Well, I think first of all, we've all obviously been affected. We all have seen the images on CNN and so on of the planes crashing into the towers and all that over and over and over again. As I did research around this, I discovered that there is now quite a big body of research data and understanding of what is called post-traumatic stress disorder. And you and I probably think of that mostly from the Vietnam era and Vietnam veterans, but what they've discovered is that it's very much the same mechanisms at work for people who have witnessed catastrophes, whether it's a natural disaster or the Oklahoma bombings. It affects different people different ways.

    To download a copy of the full interview, click here.

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    From the Maryland Daily Record, November 10, 2001

    COPING -
    Helping your workforce cope with the aftermath of terror
    By BETH BLOOMFIELD
    Special to the Daily Record

    Terrorist attacks are intended to cause harm, both physical and psychological. The terrible events of Sept. 11 attacked the national psyche, and like many Americans your employees may be feeling anxious, afraid, angry, overwhelmed, and powerless in the wake of the attacks.

    According to one survey, nearly three-quarters of Americans report feeling depressed, nearly half have had difficulty concentrating, and one-third have had trouble sleeping. Medical professionals are being inundated with a wave of patients with physical and psychological complaints.

    You can ill afford a loss of employee focus fight now, but as a manager you may find that that is exactly what you are dealing with.

    To download a copy of the complete article, click here.

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    From Potomac Tech Journal, October 29, 2001

    Helping workers cope with terror's aftermath
    By Beth Bloomfield

       The terrible events of Sept. 11 attacked the national psyche, and like many Americans, your employees may be feeling anxious, afraid, angry, overwhelmed and powerless in the wake of the attacks. According to one survey, nearly three-quarters of Americans report feeling depressed, nearly half have had difficulty concentrating, and one-third have had trouble sleeping. Medical professionals are being inundated with a wave of patients with physical and psychological complaints.

       You can ill afford a loss of employee focus right now, but as a manager you may find that is exactly what you are dealing with.  And as the recent rash of anthrax-related incidents underscores, you are likely facing a prolonged period of chronic stress in your workforce. Emotional burnout is a very real prospect in the weeks and months ahead, and it could take a heavy toll on the physical and emotional health of your employees.

    To download a copy of the complete article, click here.

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    From the Federal Times , May 24, 1999

    Government's Leadership Issues Mirror Private-Sector's
    by Beth Bloomfield

       Sometimes you don't recognize what's right under your nose until someone else points it out to you. From our unique vantage point as federal consultants to senior leaders in the federal government, we often see the same issues crop up here that bedevil the private sector.

       Here are three clear trends that are showing up at our doorstep lately: growing demand for the soft skills of managing and leading people; systems and structures that increasingly don't support the needs of today's organizations; and confusion about the identity of the customers on whom agencies now must focus.

    To download a copy of the complete article, click here.

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    From the Federal Times, August 2, 1999

    Coaching Boosts Executive Performance
    by Beth Bloomfield

       Coaching is a concept familiar to all of us. The coach is that ubiquitous figure on the sidelines or offstage, yelling or whispering encouragement and last-minute reminders to the player or performer on the field or in the spotlight. But when coaches start showing up at the office, why do you feel like you're living in a Dilbert cartoon?
       Executive coaching has invaded the federal workplace with coaching programs popping up in human resources and training offices like daffodils in springtime. Is this just the latest management fad to hit the government?  No doubt there are a few senior executives who have acquired "trophy coaches" to telegraph peers and rivals that they are the comers who are being groomed for corner offices. But there are many more executives wondering whether the coaches they were mysteriously assigned are actually there to start easing them out the door.
       There is a lot of confusion about what an executive coach does and why anyone would want one. Is the coach there to prepare the executive for advancement? Or to rescue an executive at risk? Or to provide support to those who are lonely at the top?
       The answer is: It depends.

    To download a copy of the complete article, click here.

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