Looking for new inspiration?

When people come to coaching they are often looking for new inspiration to help them find their new way forward. We might re-connect them to an old joy such as dancing, drawing or singing, bringing them back to a place where they had good old fashioned fun.  As part of this, they often report that they have more energy for their work, more ways of handling the challenges of work and family.

One of my recent coaching clients revealed a long forgotten joy for poetry and added 20 minutes of writing to her lunchtimes a couple of times a week and she found those few minutes gave her more headspace for her job.  I came across this great resource on @onbeing if you’d like to find a shortcut into the world of poetry.  http://www.onbeing.org/project/poetry-radio-project/2140

What creative passtime might you reconnect to?

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Are you being ‘authentic’ or stretching your boundaries?

I’ve had a few interesting conversations recently with coaching and consultancy clients about being ‘authentic’ to themselves.  I learnt a lot from these conversations – in many of these instances it was more about needing to try out new skills such as presenting or to use a more engaging or coaching style with their teams – helping their individuals to find their own solutions.  Each time it was less about ‘authenticity’ and more about having to move out of their comfort zone to try new skills.  In their minds, feeling uncomfortable meant that they were being ‘inauthentic’ – which was a possible explanation, but I invited them to consider whether it could be that they were learning a new skill and that is often uncomfortable and takes time.   Sharing the “learning stairway” helped to explain this a little more…  Next time you are feeling ‘inauthentic’ why not stop to consider the possibility that you could be moving out of your comfort zone and learning?

learning-staircase

 

https://hbr.org/2015/01/the-authenticity-paradox?utm_campaign=HBR&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social

Start before you’re ready

procrastination

I saw this in Do the Work by Steven Pressfield.   I know a few people who think they procrastinate too much or wait for the perfect solution.  How about this for inspiration?

 Don’t prepare, begin.  Remember, lack of preparation is not the enemy; it’s not the difficulty of the project, or the state of the market or the emptiness of our bank account.  

The enemy is resistance.

The enemy is our chattering brain, which if we give it so much as a nanosecond, it will start producing excuses, alibis, transparent self-justifications, and a million reasons why we can’t/shouldn’t/won’t do what we need to do.  Start before you are ready.

What lies beneath your procrastination?  Extremely high standards, perfectionism, a fear of getting it wrong?  All these can be really helpful – but not when it is our only strategy to move on.  Get help to think it through and try out different approaches  #coaching #procrastination

Stop Calling Every Conversation a “Meeting”

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Helpful clarity in “Meeting inspiration” from @HBR.  I find the following distinctions helpful:

  • conversations,
  • group work sessions,
  • decision-supporting,
  • brainstorming.

In giving clarity on what is meant to happen in the time you have together in the office you can help others understand what is required of them, how to prepare and make the most of precious time.  If you want to make better use of your meetings try these suggestions or get in touch for #coaching.

Are you caught in the ‘don’t know’ trap?

I saw this post recently from @tarasophia and found it quite shocking.  Here is the quote that grabbed me:

When researchers gave women and men a short quiz that tested their financial literacy, men did better. Not too shocking, right? Men are exposed to more informal financial education, and they are encouraged to learn about investing and money management. Women often are not.  But there was another part of the research findings that practically knocked me out of my chair.

“When we took away the ‘do not know’ option [from the multiple choice financial tests] women were no less likely to choose the wrong answer. So if forced to pick an answer, women seem to know as much as men,” Professor Annamaria Lusardi, one of the principal researchers, reported.”

Oh my goodness – the lengths we can go to when we hope to be accepted or we value the opinion of others so much more than our own.  This also reminded me of some recent coaching where female clients wanted to be more influential in work – sometimes they were undermining themselves when the lacked the confidence to share their own thoughts.

So, here is a new experiment to find out if you are ‘pretending that you don’t know’:

At the end of each meeting, ask yourself these questions to increase your self-awareness:

  1. How many times did I say or think ‘I don’t know’?
  2. If I was forced to pick an answer – could I give an answer that I had 80% confidence in?
  3. What do I want to do next time?

For more information read this great article from Tara Mohr or get in touch for coaching.

Stuck in a disagreement?

Are you feeling stuck in a #conflict or disagreement with a colleague or family member?  Too often these can feel that they are consuming too much of your brain-time, too much of your emotional energy.  They can be frustrating and easy to get really stuck into a place where you just don’t want to budge – you and your ‘disagreement partner’ just are not going to move.  It can seem that there is no way forward and you are both becoming even more entrenched – even when you don’t want to.

This is often a topic in #coaching conversations I have with my clients and I like this suggestion from @ThisIsSethsBlog: see if you can have a four part conversation with your ‘disagreement partner’ to explore:

  1. Do we agree on the goals but differ on how to get there?
  2. Do we agree on the facts? 
  3. Do we agree on measurement – how we will know when we get there?
  4. Now we know this – what might we do next to move our conversation forward?

I’ve love to hear your experiences.

What is your first step? Go on, give it a try…

The-first-step-MLK

If you’ve got something you’d love to do, it can seem like you have to get it all right, perfectly ready, 100% complete and confident before you can do it.  In my experience this normally means that you are never ready to give it a try.  This makes a lot of sense – this thing you want to do might be a bit outside your comfort zone, a little scary, pushing your boundaries.  But, if you do want it – there is only one way – take the first step….

I suggest grabbing a piece of paper and drawing a scale – with 1 at one end and 10 at the other.  Imagine that those are your steps towards your goal.  You are at number one – what is your first step?  Try it and tell me how you get on.