More about the author My thoughts on coaching and mentoring
29 March, 2016
site de rencontres aquitaine TEN REASONS WHY I GO RUNNING
14 December , 2015
Running has been a huge positive in my life. I started in 1982.I have run 74 marathons and ‘lace up’ 6 days a week. I want to try and deconstruct why I love running and to share this in the hope that it can be a helpful resource to some folks for achieving inner peace, vitality, limitless energy and lasting happiness. Feel free to add to the list😄
Lifts my mood…gives regular doses of endorphins and makes one feel good naturally without the aid of chemical substances
Makes me more resourceful and innovative because running gives me the energy to try things out and more significantly, to keep going…’when the going gets tough, the tough go running’
Stops me atrophying mentally, spiritually and physically
Makes me think about time in a different way and stops me obsessing and having angst about getting old and decrepit and no longer being able to compete. (I LOVE to compete!) My personal belief is that almost nothing in life is about age and almost everything in life is about attitude. Which one do you focus on?
Gives me a sense of meaning and Purpose-I feel like I am doing something constructive and taking care of myself
Creating a space in which I can be mindful, reflective and have a balanced internal dialogue
To build and sustain my self-belief and my confidence in my ability to achieve goals-running (especially marathons!) as a metaphor on life…
To restore energy and vitality, especially if I have over-indulged on food or alcohol
To get up a good sweat and release all of the toxins from the body whether they be toxic thoughts or toxic substances
To ‘think without thinking’…accessing one’s inner wisdom, intuition and elusive gold nuggets suspended in the subconscious. It takes effort to reach those places of the inner soul and the rhythm of running clears a path
next page Building Trust
23 November, 2015
Building trust is a core coaching competence, eloquently covered by many of the great thinkers in our field, with special mention to Stephen Covey. (‘The Speed of Trust)
The coaching challenge is how to create an atmosphere of trust at the beginning of a coaching engagement and to make sure that it is two-way trust.
Here are three methods that I have used successfully when approaching this challenge:
- Try to hold the analogy in your head of you and your coachee climbing a mountain from opposite sides. If you create a narrow base at the bottom of the mountain, the climb up will be very steep and will require crampons and climbing boots to get to the top. If you create a wide base at the bottom of the mountain, the climb up will be less steep and achieved without needing climbing equipment to get there. The purpose of this analogy is to show you that the more you build a basis of trust at the beginning of the relationship by asking the right questions and truly listening to your coachees’ needs, the more likely you are to have a smooth ascent to the top of the mountain, which is the equivalent of helping your coachee to reach their goals.
- Give your coachee time to get comfortable with you and don’t be in a hurry to push for some kind of a result from a coaching session. A common misjudgement with new coaches is to go for a quick result because you are trying to justify the fee and feel you have to give something quickly in exchange for the fee. What will actually happen is that the quality of the ultimate outcome will be affected.
- Don’t be afraid to explicitly highlight the importance of trust at the beginning of the engagement by explaining in your words what this means and how it will affect the quality of the coaching engagement. Sometimes as new coaches, in our desire to succeed, we can over-do the professional courtesy to our coachees, and in the process, not be assertive enough about the need for trust, openness, transparency and challenge to ensure the effectiveness of the coaching engagement.
wandern für singles pfalz Finding opportunities to start coaching
November 16, 2015
So, how does it feel to be a newly qualified coach? Itching to get going but apprehensive about when, where and how to take the first step?
Typically, you wear the label but with strong awareness of the need to climb the ladder from Competence>Capability>Capacity.
Here are three thoughts on how to get started::
- Believe in yourself and in your capacity to make a difference in people’s lives and in your ability to shift their thinking. If you think you can, you can!
- The magic of coaching only becomes apparent when you see your Coachees ‘lights coming on’…something we refer to as an ‘Aha Moment’. You need to be out their practicing to experience this feeling and when you do, this will give you the confidence to keep going and look for other opportunities to coach people.
- Volunteer your services with a charity whose aims you are aligned with. They will often be keen to have your help and can supply individuals for you to hone your expertise with. You will also meet other like-minded people who can point you in the direction of new markets.
Happy Hunting and curious to know your stories!
rencontrer l'amour sur adopteunmec Outer You vs Inner You
It is probably clear to any of you who have been coaching for a while that the goal your coachee first presents with is rarely the real one you finally end up working on. The more authentic goal typically lurks underneath the surface and requires more probing to find.
The coaching challenge is that unless you probe with great care and unless you have a holding environment of high trust, the coachee will be wary of sharing their real goals with you.
I tend to refer to the ‘Iceberg’ metaphor when discussing this challenge. The ‘outer you’ is the visible piece at the top of the iceberg which sits above the water line. The ‘inner you’ is the invisible piece sitting below the water line. This is the part of the iceberg containing the coachees’ fears, values, principles, motivators and beliefs that you will need to access to successfully identify the real coaching goals.
Here are three methods that I have used successfully when approaching this challenge:
- Before attempting to unearth any coaching goals, invest time into understanding your coachees values, principles and beliefs and what truly motivates them. When you finally get to asking what the coaching goals are and this seems in dissonance with their values, principles, beliefs and motivators, flag this and say you are curious to know why the goal seems to you to be not aligned to their deeply held beliefs.
- Using sensitive coaching dialogue, ask your coachee if this is their goal or of it is the goal that they believe is expected of them by the key stakeholders currently in their lives. (friends, family, work colleagues)
- Ask your coachee this question: ‘if money was not an issue and their financial security was guaranteed, would this still be their goal’?
These are three great ways to open up the dialogue and promote a rich conversation. Only through this type of quality interaction will you get into the zone where you can ultimately create genuine sustainable change for your coachees.
http://belgianhomebrewersassociation.be/?festoper=rencontre-gay-vivastreet-com&19a=db The Art of Mindfulness
Mindfulness; a definition: ‘The intentional, accepting and non-judgmental focus of one’s attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment.’
These days, ‘Staying Mindful’ is commonplace advice in both the business and private sphere. What does it actually mean, and how do we accomplish this state of being?
Here are some quick observations. Being mindful takes work and discipline. Our brains have not yet adjusted to the warp-speed changes brought about by the technological advances of the last few years (Smartphones, social media etc.) A myriad of tools and devices exist that have drastically changed the method and speed with which we communicate with each other, most of which require an instant response devoid of the advantages of human touch, feel, and empathy.
We can all be mindful if we sit on top of a mountain communing with nature; the trick is being able to stay mindful in the hustle and bustle of the typical everyday external environments that we now live in.
Statistics point to the need for us to develop our own systems around mindfulness to cope with modern environments. A survey for the NHS in the UK in 2013 showed that 25% of the adult population (around 18 million people) had reported an issue with their mental health in the previous 12 months, the majority being either for depression or anxiety.
Of course, these were only the reported cases.
What can we do to self-manage in this area? I have found one great technique which has been advocated by many of the leaders in the self-help field: concentrate on ‘controlling the controllables’, or CTC.
What falls under the category of ‘controllables’? That which we have full command over. In the practice of mindfulness, the first and most crucial controllable is your attitude.
Attitude is always a choice. For example: ‘Getting older does not mean that I cannot continue doing most of the things that I have always done.’
What can I control? I can assure that I eat and drink moderately and take plenty of exercise. I can focus on all of the positive things in my life and avoid ruminating about the past or catastrophizing about the future because the past and the future are uncontrollables.
There is nothing one can do to delete the past, and there is nothing one can do to control that which has yet to occur. What we can control in those spheres is our attitude towards these uncontrollables.
I have to trust myself and back myself that I will have the knowledge, experience, intuition and inner strength to deal with whatever happens in the future and to do so with enthusiasm, humour and dignity.
I have found that CTC is easier if you take things day by day and break things down into small chunks. Our minds don’t do well with big leaps, and most of us get disheartened and demotivated by setbacks.
If we can set ourselves a number of small and manageable tasks on a daily basis, this becomes an easier way of shoring up our inner motivation and keeping centred and mindful.
Celebrate each small, daily win and congratulate yourself on staying mindful and in the moment. There is nothing better for the human psyche than a modest dose of regular self-congratulation and nothing more destructive than self-loathing. No good ever comes from self-criticism.
Nature’s Law means that for every positive there will be a negative, and for every negative there will be a positive. If you can accept and adapt to this knowledge, you will be amazed how mindful and centred you can become in your everyday life. Whenever I am faced with a setback or a challenge, I always immediately ask myself: ‘What good can come from this?’
My default question remains: where is the silver lining in this cloud? This is Nature’s Law which cannot be broken, and my attitude plays a primordial factor in the speed and effectiveness of the recovery.
One of the huge positives about being in ‘midlife’ is that I have seen most things before. Humans are creatures of habit, and by and large all of the situations we face are the same as they have always been, only in different guises.
I want to end this piece on Mindfulness by retelling a famous Taoist story from thousands of years ago. The telling of this version is adapted from Carol Deppe’s ‘Taoist Stories’:
Once upon a time in a village in ancient China, there was an old man who lived alone with his son. They were very poor and had just a small plot of land outside the village to grow rice and vegetables and a rudimentary hut to live in. They did have a lovely mare. It was the son’s pride and joy and their only possession of value.
One day, the mare ran away.
The old man’s friends came to him and commiserated. ‘What a wonderful mare that was!’ they said. ‘What bad fortune that she ran off!’
‘Who can tell?’ the old man said.
Two weeks later, the mare returned accompanied by a fine barbarian stallion. Friends and neighbours all came around and congratulated the old man. ‘Now you have your mare back and that stallion is as fine as any in the land,’ they cried. ‘What a stroke of good fortune!’
‘Who can tell?’ the old man said.
Two weeks later, the son fell off the stallion while riding and broke his leg. Friends of the old man came to him to express their sympathy. ‘It’s too bad your son broke his leg, and right before the planting season,too. What bad luck!’
‘Who can tell?’ the old man said.
Two weeks later, war came to the land, and all able-bodied young men weretroop that contained the men from the village was on the front line of a bloody engagement, and the entire troop perished in battle.
The young man with the broken leg stayed home. His leg healed. He and his father bred many fine horses and tended their fields.
(Huai Nan Tzu)
What are your coping mechanisms for dealing with unexpected challenges?
Wishing you all love and luck on your Mindfulness Journey!
WHAT DO YOUR WORDS SAY ABOUT YOU…
If a picture paints a thousand words, then what can a thousand words paint?
Would your painting of words reveal a little more of the ‘real you’ behind the exterior mask?
And finally, if you were able to see for yourself the selection of words that you choose and the
frequency with which you choose them, could you learn more about the way you interact with
others and what blind spots you might need to be addressing?
WORDLE IS A BLANK CANVAS WAITING FOR YOUR WORDS…
Wordle generates “word clouds” from text that you provide when in written format or for words
you say when spoken out loud. The clouds give greater prominence to words that you use more
frequently – so that the cloud paints a picture about how you communicate and what is currently
of the most importance to you. The words used with regularity appear larger in the cloud and can
reveal what it is that is currently at the front of your thoughts as well as those words that are
permanently embedded in your automatic behavioural programmes.
WORDLE AS A COACHING TOOL…
I am a Master Coach in the Executive Training & Leadership work space- coaching Individuals and
Organizations to pursue mastery in their lives. It dawned on me that this Wordle tool could
provide me with a valuable frame to help my Clients see with their own eyes their speech
patterns. Then we could work through reversal – change the words, change the thoughts, change
the emotional charge, change the reality and change the outcome… a powerful process.
Wordle can be found on the web and can be played by utilizing an App. My favourite is the free app found on the Wordle website itself at www.wordle.net. Give it a try and see what your painting teaches you about the way you think, feel, and act.
I can be found certifying individuals in executive coaching diplomas as a member of the Faculty at
Kingstown College – join our community of coaches and students on Kingstown College Google+
and follow the conversation about Wordle as a Coaching tool.
Beware the Ticking Clock
A major disruptor to the natural pattern of decision-making is what I term the ‘ticking clock’.
It is the classic ‘weapon of choice’ that people use in many areas of life to force a decision. We have all witnessed this on many occasions:
‘Sale ends Friday; last chance ever to get bargains at this price’
‘The other interested buyer is about to make an offer’
‘The stock price will go through the roof after the next analysts meeting’
The inevitable outcome is that our decision-making becomes compromised. Selling with fear works so well because humans are generally more concerned as to what they might lose than what they might gain. This is the psychology that sales people of every ilk have been tapping into for centuries.
If you succumb to fear-based selling, you might get lucky. However, because your decision-making was compromised, you open yourself up to decision remorse and ruminating about whether you did the right thing. This feeling can be extremely toxic and last for years, handicapping the reflective capacities of your decision-making.
What can you do to serve yourself best when a ticking clock situation arises?
Firstly, pause and try to listen to your whole self. Listen to what your gut tells you (it is rarely wrong) and to your inner ear. If you start to feel muddled by the pressure the other person is putting you under, it becomes harder to access your inner wisdom, where the combination of experience and intuition will steer you in your preferred direction using all of your available capacities.
Ask yourself these questions:
‘Why am I being pressurised for a quick decision?’
‘Whose needs are best being served by this?’
‘Is this the best option?’
‘Are there other options I should be considering?’
‘What would my highest self do under these circumstances?’
This pause gives you the space to see the whole picture prior to making a hasty commitment.
It is common to feel you lose your full range of decision-making capacities under manufactured time pressure; a version of mind freeze, which creates a vacuum for less than scrupulous sales people to fill.
What can help is to instigate the ’24 hour rule’. Tell the person you cannot make an immediate decision and that you will respond the next day.
This delay can greatly improve the quality of your decision-making. So often the other party will change tack once they know you are a calm and rational thinker who will not be bounced into a decision.
Ticking clocks CAN serve you well by forcing you to focus on specific issues and brainstorm scenarios and outcomes.
Be sure that ticking clocks remain a catalyst towards action and a lightening rod towards your continued happiness and prosperity.