(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)

The phrase ‘He’s a work-in-process’ is used to describe someone who is still emerging into a new state. Not fully formed, their cake not yet baked. To others they can look disorganized, uncertain, confused, lost even. Sometimes the phrase can be said with a little judgmental eye roll. Whatever; it’s their journey to take, their destination to arrive at. They are In-Process.

The other side of this Distinction is ‘work-in-progress.’ The implication is that there are visible results of their actions, discernible increments, measurable outcomes. They are In-Progress.

Both sides of the Distinction have their place.

Sometimes we take a step (or steps), and we see results, or we don’t. Being in process is powerful. Not stuck. In action. It leaves little room to suffer or feel overpowered by externals. Chop wood, carry water.

Other times, making progress is key. Not settling for less. Being energized by results. Seeing that things have changed for the better. The power of progress is such that even if you are mainly a work-in-process you will benefit from occasionally checking to see your progress.

Coaching Point: Where are you making progress?

Copyright 2022 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.