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Coach Paradise: Speak Now, or Forever Hold My Peace?

Dear Coach Paradise,
I work in a small department at a university. We have agreed to rotate chairmanship every two years, and I don't have a good feeling about the person who would take over when my term ends. I just don't think she is capable of doing a good job. I have lots of examples from the three years she's worked with us that support my feelings. I like her and think she's great at certain things, but I don't think she is up to the chairman's role. I am confused about what to do.
Signed,
Eenie meenie minie moe
Dear EMMN,
This smacks of the ethics column in the New York Times — you have a dilemma. It might be helpful to really lay it out — from her being hired and trained to now, three years later. Including all the times this very thought passed through your mind. Review the details and, if possible, consult with the others who hired her. Maybe the rotation rule could be updated? What outcome do you want to see? What do you see as obstacles to this?
I can tell that you are a person of integrity and of compassion. You want to do the right thing, and you don't want to cause her problems. You do want the department to run smoothly each time the chairmanship changes. How to do the right thing while causing the least distress.
It is always good to run things through your head and notice your own distress first. As you picture any number of actions (or non-actions) and outcomes, notice how each one feels to you. Create a scenario in your imagination in which the problem is solved. Perhaps a new position is created to accommodate and reward her skills and talents, and she has no longer wants to be a chairperson. Perhaps she ends up being a pretty good chairperson — or at least OK, and has a great assistant.
Play with as many perspectives as you can come up with. Talk to others if you can. Its good you're writing to me. Cliché, but think outside the box, consider all angles. Acknowledge yourself for being a loyal and committed professional who really cares … and for knowing that it is important to listen to your inner guidance in asking for solutions.
Try putting it on the Universe's To-Do List. Truly turn it over and know that the universe will take care of it. You don't have to worry about how.
I am confident that if you are called upon to do anything, it will be inspired action and will feel like the right thing for the highest good. Let me know how the Universe is doing.
Warmly,
Coach Paradise
Editor's note: Coach Paradise (AKA Anne Nayer), Professional Life Coach, is a member of the International Coaching Federation, an MSW clinical social worker-psychotherapist and a medical case manager with 30 years experience working with people of all shapes, sizes and challenges. For further information about her services, call 774-4355, visit her website or email her.

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