Making dreams into reality
It might sound like new-age mumbo jumbo, but the full-time dream coach at Miron Construction is helping employees achieve their best versions of themselves.
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September may be Self-Improvement Month, but it’s not the only time of year we dream big, set goals, or plan for the future.
In January we make resolutions. On our birthdays we make a wish. And virtually every other day of the year we ask ourselves, “What if?”
Miron Construction, based in Neenah but with a strong presence in Madison and around the state, took a radical approach to helping its employees answer that question and many others.
Miron created a full-time dream coach position on its staff in 2014, after Tonya Dittman, a pre-construction specialist at Miron, read Matthew Kelly’s book The Dream Manager and shared it with Dave Voss, one of the company’s owners.
“Dave reluctantly started reading the book but admitted that after a chapter or two he couldn’t put it down,” says Eric Marcoe, Miron’s dream coach. “He said he recognized this as an opportunity to give back to the employees in a way that would be unique and could really help employees grow personally.”
After many discussions with key leaders — some in favor and some opposed — Miron decided to give the program a chance in 2014 by hiring Carrie Garczynski as the company’s first dream coach, Marcoe explains.
“I moved into the role in June 2015 and have continued to grow the program by creating acceptance for it from individuals who originally doubted the program,” Marcoe notes. “Those employees have really helped grow the number of people who participate in coaching discussions.”
The dream coach position is practically a dream job for Marcoe, who’s well suited to his role.
Prior to becoming the dream coach, Marcoe served as an organizational development consultant for a health care company, which he says afforded him countless opportunities to coach on both personal and professional topics. He’s been coaching in some capacity — sales coaching, professional development, leadership, and personal coaching — for the last 12 years.
Marcoe has a master’s degree in adult education and training from Colorado State University and he completed the iPEC Coach Training Program. This coursework, along with his coaching hours to date, allowed him to become accredited with the International Coach Federation as a professional certified coach (PCC).
“I believe coaching found me and I was both lucky and aware enough to recognize that I truly enjoy it and see the value it brings to people’s lives,” says Marcoe.
Reflecting on dreams
According to Marcoe, Miron has created an environment that encourages employees to discover and accomplish their personal dreams. Plenty of companies talk the talk when it comes to helping employees reach their goals; Miron walks it.
“Employees meet with me, the company’s full-time dream coach, during regular work hours,” explains Marcoe. “I don’t provide advice, but instead follow a true coaching philosophy, which views the individual as already having all of the answers they are looking for; they just need someone to assist in uncovering them.
“Employees simply reach out to me when they are ready to see their thoughts, ideas, and feelings in a way that they haven’t before,” Marcoe continues. “I act as a mirror, helping people to visualize and focus on their thoughts and feelings. I’ve lost count of how many times individuals have said, ‘Why couldn’t I see that before; it’s been right in front of me all along.’ People have all the answers they need within themselves, and the coaching process simply helps draw those answers to the surface.”
Among the topics Marcoe discusses with Miron employees are achieving work/life balance, building confidence, finding life purpose, eliminating financial debt worry, fostering forgiveness, relationship building, nurturing self-trust, looming retirement, being “present” at home, volunteering/service of others, becoming a published author, mentoring a child, dealing with the loss of a family member, caring for an aging family member, coaching others, finding happiness, and leadership growth.
Marcoe’s role at Miron isn’t limited to one-on-one coaching, however. He also utilizes his background in leadership development to facilitate coaching skills classes for company leaders, as well as communication skills classes for all employees. Additionally, he brings in subject matter experts on topics like retirement planning, caring for an aging parent, and parenting for company lunch and learn sessions as he uncovers employees interests.
Marcoe meets with some employees weekly, some monthly, and others as the need arises. Some meet with him just a couple times while others meet with him for years. “Employees have unlimited access to me at no cost and they can meet with me on company time as often as they want, as long as they continue to fulfill the responsibilities of their position.”