COACHd – 22 January 2021

learning

Over the past months, many of us have found more time to think about our learning. As we have moved from one lockdown to another, we find solace from pouring fresh knowledge into our minds, partly for learning but partly to feel community.

But

did you know that 60% of people learn more from external sources than they do from formal courses and that the best learning comes from stretching experiences where you can apply the knowledge that you have just acquired?

Many of us are totally committed to our learning. We have good conversations, attend great and highly informative provocations and perhaps scribble copious notes or doodles to help us remember. As we turn the page on that provocation, we turn the page perhaps on embedding that learning unless we take the next step and apply the knowledge.

How we apply that knowledge effectively is deeply personal. We may decide to journal (a process of capturing our eclectic or structured thoughts), we may decide to meditate and ponder the ‘so what does this mean’ question? We may decide to ‘phone a friend’ and complete that conversation, or we may decide to continue that piece of research by ‘googling’ the subject looking for more triggers.

Did you know that workers who spent 15 minutes at the end of the day writing and reflecting on what they had learned that day were 20 percent more productive than those who had not.

Perhaps when we think about our learning, we should also take some time as part of that learning to reflect on the impact, potential benefit, future investigation and opportunity through some form of formal after action review.

You could use keep, improve, start and stop type activities where you actively triage the new knowledge or experience through a set of filters.
You could evaluate what worked, and what didn’t as part of this review

The big learn though is not what you have just attended, it is how you apply it to your future journey.

Co Coaching

CoCoachingWhen we run our Co Coaching, an important part of the outcomes is embedded through post reflection of the session. A template is supplied after the event as part of the certificate of attendance to prompt reflection.

For those that have not experienced co-coaching, this is an activity where coaches come together and practice their coaching on each other. Receiving feedback is one of the gifts you receive, as well as good discussion, support and the opportunity to be coached.

More details on forthcoming events can be accessed here (next event on 8th February 13:30 to 15:30).

Some additional reading?

Over the past week, I have come across some strange, weird wonderful articles that I thought I would share.

On 1st February, we will be launching our curated news service. This will send through some specially curated reads direct to your inbox, as well as giving you access to a really useful search tool to aid in research. Initially, we will be limiting this to 20 users so do get in touch here for more information nearer the time.

Next few weeks

Over the next few weeks, we will be dipping into vast subject of mental health – things that we should be looking out for as coaches when we coach, how we work with the challenges that today brings us, as well as looking after ourselves. If you have anything that you want to share, please let me know – fully attributed of course.

… and remember to check out our recommended coaching magazine, and tools.

Book Launch

Empowerment in Health & Wellness

A book being released in early February (and available now to preorder), is ‘Empowerment in Health and Wellness’. It brings an approach on the mind-body connection with relation to stress and anxiety reduction, building motivation and personal leadership and enabling people to respond to the needs of their current reality.

Thanks to Sue Jackson (one of the authors) for this detail.

More information on this over here.

Your Development

Hot on the heels of the experienced coach cohort that is starting in Feb / Mar ’21, an early-stage coaching development and supervision cohort will start soon. This is aimed at an early-stage coach (think 0-150 hours), perhaps wrestling with coaching hours, setting up a business, accreditation questions as well as having strong supervision need to ensure good coaching practice. You will work with a small group of other friendly coaches over a 12 month period helping to build your practice.

If you are interested in joining, then check out more information here.

Please take care and keep socially distanced.

All my best,

COACHd – 8 Jan 2021

COACHd - 8 Jan 2021

Welcome to 2021 and what a start! Back to lockdown, and democracy under threat in one of the worlds largest economies. Great start!

In 1999, I was leading a business and we were preparing for the catastrophe that could happen as our computers clicked over to the year 2000. Fast forward 21 years and it is only the context that has changed.

So what can we learn from this? The uncertainty changes in context. We are no longer considering a meltdown as we were when the millennium bug was going to hit us, we are now fearful of another risk. The only stable thing is our approach to how we react in such a situation.

It is fine to feel a bit on edge as we enter another lockdown, and we will get through this. Every month (at present), there is a Chatting Coaches call. This is a space that allows coaches to just chat and support each other. Check out here for the next one that is scheduled for 18th January at noon. Oh, and did I mention that this is free?

CoCoaching is also back on agenda. The next 7 months are now out here. Mark the dates in your diary and I look forward to seeing you and celebrate your coaching practice. Some subjects/areas have been set but do let me know if there’s anything that you want to focus on in more detail.

Articles you might be interested in

I have also come across a really interesting article from Harvard. This article invites us to think at a more systemic level about how productivity can work (or not work) at an organisational level. This took me to two places – first, as we work with our business clients, there is a reminder that the best system is a system that will work within the organisation (and not by textbook) and second, that we are in a privileged position when working with leaders. We can hold a place for them to explore new cultures that can really drive productivity.

Do check out the two new coaching groups (details below). There will be one group that will work with newly qualified coaches (<150 hours) and one for more experienced (>500 hours).

Also a big shout out to Choice Magazine. This latest edition is about awareness.

Finally, please do take care. I am involved (through scouting), in a COVID group in Solihull. The vaccine is here and it is just logistics that need to happen. We do need to dig deep and stay safe just a little bit longer.

All my best for 2021.

Your Development

Hot on the heels of the experienced coach cohort that is starting in Feb / Mar ’21, an early-stage coaching development and supervision cohort will start soon. This is aimed at an early-stage coach (think 0-150 hours), perhaps wrestling with coaching hours, setting up a business, accreditation questions as well as having strong supervision need to ensure good coaching practice. You will work with a small group of other friendly coaches over a 12 month period helping to build your practice. If you are interested in joining, then check out more information here.

Co Coaching

New dates for 2021 are out with ‘themed’ events such as Gestalt, walking coaching and others to mention a few. As usual – all details here

Choice Magazine

Access a really good magazine on coaching. Choice magazine is a quarterly delve into topical coaching subjects. It is available digitally, in print and as both so check out more info in this great coaching magazine here.

 

 

 

COACHd – 18 December 2020 – gratitude

Christmas COACHd

This is the last ‘get COACHd on a Friday’ for 2020 and I thought it was a good time to pause and reflect on what 2020 has been. I am driving straight through the COVID experience that has surely affected us all and looking at this reflection from a position of gratitude.

I ask you to pause and reflect on the question

What is it that I am truly grateful for in 2020? 

To those that have been on the journey with me over the past 12 months, be it through being a participant in cocoaching, the development groups, coaching, supervision, a walking pal, another chatting coach, another community leader or member or someone that I speak to regularly about nothing in particular – thank you.

To you, if you are a person who likes the content of this eclectic prose and allows it into your practice – thank you.

We have done some good stuff.

We have grown as a community and have come together in the face of adversity making us stronger – a strength that alas I feel we will need to exercise as the financial challenges of 2021 start digging in.

Through the past months, your attendance at activities I have been involved in have helped to support some great charitable causes including

  • Unicef
  • a charity that supplies glasses to third world countries to help educational attainment
  • the Sparkhill Food Bank
  • Circles Network and
  • The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.From these charities – thank you.

But I am picking up from friends that we are now weary.

We are tired of the call to attend another Zoom or Teams call, or another online conference or seminar.

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We crave for that face to face engagement again – we are social creatures after all.

We are needing a break, to take time out, to exercise gratitude, to pause and simply say thank you.

To celebrate the good bits and take time to reflect the lost.

To think what 2021 will be, not in terms of resolutions, but in terms of plans remembering that there are some things that we can control and a lot that we cannot. Remembering that what we can control is how we turn up, who we turn up as and when we turn up, what it is that we are doing what we do for.

I wish you all a very ‘reflective’ Christmas, whatever celebrations you are having.

Recharge and I will see you in 2021, perhaps for co-coaching on 5th January- Visit here to book in.

All my seasonal wishes.

 

PS – If you are interested in joining the chatting coaches call on Monday 21st December at 12 – please visit here to register first

Interesting Fact

Managers who remember to say “thank you” to people who work for them may find that those employees feel motivated to work harder. Researchers at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania randomly divided university fund-raisers into two groups. One group made phone calls to solicit alumni donations in the same way they always had. The second group assigned to work on a different day received a pep talk from the director of annual giving, who told the fund-raisers she was grateful for their efforts. During the following week, the university employees who heard her message of gratitude made 50% more fund-raising calls than those who did not. (health.harvard.edu)

 

 

COACHd – 11 December 2021

gratitude

Christmas COACHd

I do not like wishing away time, but I shall be glad to get to 2021. Not just because it will see the end of the strangest and most challenging year I have experienced since I was born, but because it gives us an opportunity to celebrate.

2020 has been an ‘annus horribilis’. A year that has seen many friends suffer at the hands of the pandemic at a social, emotional, and financial level. But with this pain, I am hoping that we can also celebrate the small wins. As societies we appear to have come together more and groups (such as chatting coaches) have drawn communities of practice together. It is likely we have revisited our business, formed new business ventures, enjoying new friendships and got used to video conferencing. What have you managed to achieve this year? What can you learn from the hard times that 2020 has taken us through?

I will be closing down 2020 with a recognition COACHd next week so please do share your stories of gratitude here – just so that I can share the recognition for you.

I have also been busy writing. Check out some of my latest thoughts below. Let me know about any subjects that you might find of interest.

Co-Coaching Drinks in December

The next Co-Coaching is on 18th December at 09:30 – so just bring a mince pie and say hi. The focus will be on 2021 and setting goals. We will coach each other on this so also bring your ideas.

On January 5th at 09:30 – we will start 2021 off with a bang and opportunity to coach others on the subject of objectives.

As usual – all details here.

Your Development

Hot on the heels of the experienced coach cohort that is starting in Feb ’21, an early-stage coaching development and supervision cohort will start soon. This is aimed at an early-stage coach (think 0-150 hours), perhaps wrestling with coaching hours, setting up a business, accreditation questions as well as having strong supervision need to ensure good coaching practice. You will work with a small group of other friendly coaches over a 12 month period helping to build your practice. Please see here for next steps.

Choice : Evoking AwarenessChoice Magazine

Access a really good magazine on coaching. Choice magazine is a quarterly delve into topical coaching subjects. It is available digitally, in print and as both so check out more info in this great coaching magazine here.

Interesting Facts

In a business context, it’s rare that companies hire business coaches to address non-work issues (only 3% of coaches said they were hired primarily to attend to such matters), yet more than three-quarters of coaches report having gotten into personal territory at some time. (hbr.org)

Fast Company Magazine did a survey and found that 92% of leaders being coached said that they plan to use a coach again. (focusedleadershipconsulting.com)

A full 50% of the coaches in the survey indicated that businesses select them on the basis of personal references. (hbr.org)

We are also on twitter and instagram so let’s follow what each of us is thinking.

I look forward to seeing you all soon.

Until then, stay safe – and remember hands, face, space… and try and work out what 2 other groups you will see over Christmas…

Have a fantastic week.

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COACHd – 4 Dec 2021

Logo for The Coach Zone

Over the past few weeks, I have been thinking about what 2021 could look like and from that deduce the objectives for my business and personal life. It hasn’t been easy with uncertainty, time constraints, and balancing with my values. Next week, I take this forward to goals – which will make the outcomes more targetted and smarter.

Choice : Evoking AwarenessI also received an email from a friend of mine, Garry Schleifer. Garry publishes a quality quarterly coaching magazine called ‘CHOICE’. The current edition explores awareness. If you follow the link above – I share a 10% off code that you can use when you subscribe.

In the last co-coaching, we explored 2 models. The first model was SPACE, and the second was WAVES. Both of these are acronyms as below.

S – Social P – Physical A – Actions C – Cognition E – Emotions

SPACE can be used to help a client understand something that is happening to them, such as managing anxiety management. More info here

W – Wait and Consider A – Assemble your resources V – Voyage with determination E – Experience the peaks and troughs S – Strengthen to surf again

WAVES can be used in change management and could be linked to other systems such as the Kotters 8 step process.

What models are you currently using?

Would you be willing to share?

If so, drop into this page and let us have the info. We will do the rest, publishing it on The Coach Zone as well as social channels – with full recognition of course

Co-Coaching Drinks in December

The next Co-Coaching is on 18th December – so just bring a mulled wine and a mince pie and say hi. The focus will be on 2021 and setting goals. We will coach each other on this so also bring your ideas. On January 5th at 09:30 – we will start 2021 off with a bang and opportunity to coach others on the subject of objectives. As usual – all details here.

Your Development

Hot on the heels of the experienced coach cohort, early-stage coaching development and supervision cohort will start in Q1 2021. This is aimed at an early stage coach (think 0-150 hours), perhaps wrestling with coaching hours, setting up a business, accreditation questions as well as having strong supervision need to ensure good coaching practice. You will work with a small group of other friendly coaches over a 12 month period helping to build your practice.

If you are interested in joining, then check out more information here.

Interesting Facts

  • Did you know that people who reported skipping their lunch break were twice as likely to report feeling stressed or burnout from work (zdnet.com)
  • Did you know that just 6 minutes of good reading can reduce stress by 68% for busy executives? (hbr.org)
  • Did you know that meditation can improve the brains neuro elasticity? (scientificamerican.com)

What other facts could you share about the importance of wellbeing? Jump over to this post on LinkedIn and perhaps add a comment?

We are also on Twitter and Instagram so let’s follow what each of us is thinking.

COACHd – 06 November 2020 – The wellbeing edition

Poppy Appeal

Last night I took a walk with my wife and son.

It was just after 9 pm. A smoggy mist interspersed with the occasional firework added to the eariness of a still and cold Thursday evening. Our walk took us through suburbia and then to Solihull town centre. A centre that is normally bustling with activity from evening diners, to youths pouring out of the fast-food places. But last night, it was quiet. Nothing was happening.

This change was dramatic, for not just 24 hours ago, the pubs, restaurants and shops were open – selling their wares. This dramatic and forced change impacts us all.

We are at risk of not only this virus but also from ourselves. Whether we allow ourselves to doomread the news, hibernate into our homes, or fulfil our life is our personal choice.

I thought to share a few chosen reads on wellbeing for you this week on this subject.

A new coaching development and supervision cohort will also start-up in December. This particular cohort will be working with the more experienced coach and provide a space for personal development, group supervision and growth through regular meetings with the same people. Another cohort will launch in Q1 next year too. If you are interested in joining, then check out more information here and book up for a chat. In this chat, we will explore your motivations to join a group to ensure alignment with others.

Poppy AppealOn November 27th, we will meet up again for co-coaching virtually. This time, it will be a bring and share session. Perhaps using a tool such as mural to collate ideas and thoughts – and then discuss and practice more during the session. As usual please click here to book on. All surplus from this event will go to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal

Coaching CentralIn the evening of Thursday, November 19, I will be cohosting Coaching Central with Rachael McNidder. This session promises to be quite fun as we explore some of the provocative subjects in coaching such as directive / non-directive coaching, is accreditation really worthwhile, and other topics that you may decide to bring along. Check out here for more detail and to get booked in. All surplus from this event will go to The Sparkhill Foodbank.

Also, some latest thinking on

I look forward to seeing you all soon.

Until then, stay safe – and remember hands, face, space. For those of you not well at the moment, I wish you a speedy recovery.

Have a fantastic weekend.

COACHd – 23 October 2020

Thank you to those that joined the chatting coaches conversation on Wednesday, so great to see you and experience the banter of being organised. I feel that this small group really is there for others as we start to dip into more restrictions around the Uk. At present, it seems that the consensus is to stay monthly, but do let me know if you want to take part.

I mentioned last week about The Grid.  The Grid is a model that can help us to priorities the depth that we may want to explore with specific projects when we consider fixed resources. Thank you to those that have provided some feedback on this and other provocations that I have shared recently. An extension to this could be to consider using a time tracking app – such as the fun one on offer from Timeular.

This weeks experience share is one from the world of feedback. There is a structured feedback model that has been devised by Pendleton. Feedback is essential –to recognise good performance, and to develop awareness around areas where improvement is required. Of course, the learner needs to be open to feedback first, but then we follow the following steps.

  1. The learner states what was done well.
  2. The observer(s) states what was done well.
  3. The learner states what could be improved.
  4. The observer(s) states how it could be improved.

At the end of this process, the learner constructs an action plan of achievable improvement objectives. Pendleton’s model is relatively easy to understand and integrate into our training, coaching and supervision.

What is evident is our communities interest in sharing – what a fantastic community we have. If there is a model or some research that you are interested in sharing or discussing, then let me know and subject to certain provisos’ I will be happy to share with the group.

On Friday morning at 09:30 (you do still have time to book on) – co-coaching is going virtual and going walking. Over two hours, we will walk together and share guided experiences as we use the landscape around us to answer questions about our environment.

As it stands, it looks like a new coaching development and supervision cohort will start in December. If you are interested in joining, then check out more information here and book up for a chat so we can explore your motivations to join a group to ensure alignment with others.

COACHd – 16 October 2020 – The Grid

I hope you have had a good week and are coming to terms of the new levels that we find ourselves in. I am not sure about you, but I think it is going to be a long winter. Chatting coaches chats monthly at the moment. It is a regular support call with no agenda between regular coaches with no agenda backed by a WhatsApp group. I am wondering about moving this to every fortnight as I know that some have valued this over the initial stages of lockdown. Are you interested? If so, please click here and let me know.

As a reminder, the next Chatting Coaches Call is WEDNESDAY at 12:00 until about 13:00.

Please do come along with your coffee and join us.

This weeks COACHd is brought to you deep from within a creative and innovation thinking session. Like many of you, my business is a limited company and I chose to have my year end at the end of October. This forces me to reflect on the year past, and the year ahead – and boy was and is this a difficult exercise this year.

Anyhows, I think in models so I share this with you – I will call this The Grid.

We all have a finite amount of time in a week.

Some of the time is taken up doing our ‘job’, some in enjoying the time with loved ones, some learning and reading, and some having a nice long bath. I would like you to imagine a 10 by 10 grid of square boxes – think chess board with another couple of rows and columns. The columns represent various projects that you are working on, and the rows, the level of activity that you are completing them with. You only have a finite number of boxes.

As a business owner, I find myself distracted. I dive down nearby distractions (shall we call them rabbit holes) only to appear a few weeks later perhaps. This activity is not always wasted and I would describe it as essential in keeping me sane. These daily activities can be defined as the activities in the grid described above.

Now consider a 5×20 grid. There are fewer activities but greater opportunities to engage at a deeper level and perhaps help form more thought-through conversations.

  • What activities am I to drop?
  • What projects shall I pick up?
  • How can I use the greater depth to deliver greater depth for my business plan (and strategy)?

Unsurprisingly, the 10×10 grid and the 5×20 grid have the same area (100 sq. units). If we develop the time metaphor further, this means that we are focussing our efforts to deliver a more effective and focussed solution.

Not only have I used this simple method on my own business, but have also used this type of thinking with some of my clients.

  • How can you use this simple concept to challenge a fixed time mindset?
  • What other fixed area ideas can you use to help your stuck clients?

As we move into October, with the Autumnal fall getting more and more beautiful, take a chance to go for a walk to enjoy the peace. Enjoy the vivid colours, and enjoy the wildlife. Next Friday morning is Octobers co-coaching. It is going to be different as we go for a walk together but in isolation in our own space. Check out here for more details and get booked on. You will be guided by Zoom, and connected to the group as you explore areas that perhaps hold the answers to some challenging questions.

I am also looking to form up some new coaching development and supervision cohorts based on a similar formula that has worked so well over the past 12 months. If you are interested in this, please do just get in touch and we can arrange a chat.

Have a great weekend.

 

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COACHd – 09 October 2020

Welcome to COACHd for Friday 9 October.

This week has been the International Congress of Coaching Psychology (ICCP) conference. This has consisted of several 4-hour workshops. Today consisted of a full day of half-hour thought leadership from some of the leaders in the coaching psychology space. Resilience has been a major topic as you might expect and a workshop led by Ilona Boniwell introduced the SPARK model. Ilona is a great presenter in Positive Psychology if you get a chance to see her in the future.

The SPARK model is another mnemonic.

S – Stressful situation – what are the facts? What has happened?
P – Perception – what is your perception of the situation? How do you interpret what is happening?
A – Affect – what do you feel? What are your emotions like?
R – Reaction – What do you do? What is your behavioural response?
K – Knowledge – What is your learning? What are you walking away with?

Ilona made this real by splitting us into small virtual groups with people we had had very little in common with. She then asked us to complete a Peta Kucha presentation in 60 minutes on the subject of Positive Psychology in an Online Context. A scary but rewarding experience that I am certainly going to build into my deliveries. There were some significant learns from the conference for me.

  • Firstly, a celebration that despite what is happening outside in the world around us, humanity will triumph. Generosity and humility will create an opportunity for those around us.
  • Second, there is a definite link between positivity and what was called psychological flexibility that has a positive impact on our mental and physical wellbeing.
  • Third, we have a lower barrier to achieving better wellbeing when in a positive state of mind.

Some great take-outs and a firm reminder of the need for us to spend time engaging in our development.

As we move into October, with the Autumnal fall getting more and more beautiful, take a chance to go for a walk to enjoy the peace. Enjoy the vivid colours, and enjoy the wildlife. Octobers co-coaching on 23 October is going to be different as we go for a walk together but in isolation in our own space. Check out here for more details and get booked on. You will be guided by Zoom, and connected to the group as you explore areas that perhaps hold the answers to some challenging questions.

I am also looking to form up some new coaching development and supervision cohorts based on a similar formula that has worked so well over the past 12 months. Thank you to those that have already responded – I will be in touch shortly. If you are interested in this, please make contact, and we can arrange a chat.

Have a great weekend.

 

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COACHd – 2 October

I hope you have had a good week.

Remember last week, I asked you your thoughts about directive coaching? The results are now in and thank you to those that responded 😊

On a scale of 0 to 100 where 0 is non-directive, and 100 is directive, I asked you

  1. Where is your coaching on this scale? The average score was 28.9 / 100
  2. What is it that your clients are asking you to be on the same scale? The average score was 67.8 / 100.

I will leave you to deduce what this could mean, although there is perhaps a mismatch in what we provide compared to what our clients want. This advice gap is at odds with what many of us believe coaching is but should we adapt? Should we listen to the market requirement and adjust the style and manner we deliver or should we resist? I regularly fight with my hidden voice, especially if something is not being grasped by the coachee – but should we speak what we see?

I have also been thinking about different coaching models again. This is my own invention, something I am calling the ‘plug’ model…

Picture a 3 pin electric plug. It has 5 elements

  1. The enclosure that houses the inner workings
  2. The earth or ground connection – that ensures that what we do is safe. The analogy I make is linked to values, ethics and morals.
  3. The neutral connection – that ensures that a circuit can be completed. Again, think about the processes that simply need to happen to ensure that there is progression.
  4. The live connection – that is where the work is done. This connection is the stuff that we need to use our energy to complete. It is where the change happens.
  5. The fuse – which if too much energy is used can blow.

Without the 5 elements, the system fails. As we plug into the surrounding system, we become part of the surrounding system so understanding this engagement is really critical. Another example of how you can use metaphor in coaching to safeguard a coachees thinking and space but provide a challenge.

As we move into October, with the Autumnal fall getting more and more beautiful, take a chance to go for a walk to enjoy the peace. Enjoy the vivid colours, and enjoy the wildlife. Octobers co-coaching is going to be different as we go for a walk together but in isolation in our own space. Check out here for more details and get booked on. You will be guided by Zoom, and connected to the group as you explore areas that perhaps hold the answers to some challenging questions.

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