COACHd – 31st July 2020

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Historically, I have always found August to be a reflective month. Clients are often away taking a well-deserved break and it is an ideal time for us to recoup. With the challenges that have hit us all earlier in the year, I have noticed that many clients are really in need of this space to re-energise. Roll on September but perhaps being kind to self in August could be a good idea too.

One of my favourite models that I find encourages good outcomes is the use of metaphor. I remember early in my coaching career pouring over “The Magic of Metaphor” by Nick Owen – and I often asked clients to tell me a story about themselves based loosely around the third person or object.

You can work this now by following these simple steps below :

  1. I ask you to think about a challenge or situation that you are pondering at the moment.
  2. Looking around at the environment that you are in now, with this challenge or situation in mind, what are you drawn to? It could be that you are outside and want to walk to something, or it could be that you are in the office and something attracts your attention.
  3. Touch this object if you can and explain or write down what that attraction is to that object to yourself. What is it that attracted you to it?
  4. Whilst thinking about that object, and focusing on an outcome, what else are you attracted to? Why is that and when you explain this to yourself, how do you find the situation getting easier?
  5. Repeat this stage, exploring some of the objects, places or people that you find useful.

Where are you now with your thinking?

In September, we are meeting again face to face (or mask to mask) for co-coaching. This will be outdoors and we will be meeting in Solihull. I will send details out nearer the time for a specific meeting place. With the environment around us, we will run the use of metaphor into a problem or a challenge that you bring along. Numbers are going to be limited (due to social distancing restrictions), so please do book now to avoid disappointment.

I have also been looking at how we can get hold of good quality information about our profession. I couldn’t find this so I have built a news service that will send curated news to your inbox 3 times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) about the coaching profession. The content consists of a balance of tips, news and models from around the world.

The service – called MyLunchTable – is soft launching this month. If you want to be part of this – then please visit here and subscribe. If use Coupon Code –gxc5wgy2 – this will give you an ongoing 50% off. The coupon will expire next Thursday evening though so be warned. You also get the first week free just to make sure you are getting what you want.

Crafted news into your inbox for less than the price of a coffee each month – ideal.

Have a great week

 

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COACHd – 24th July 2020

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As we reach that moment in the year when Schools out for Summer, I just want to take some time to say THANK YOU to you – the community of coaches that have supported each other, grown and developed through a hugely challenging, ‘unprecedented’ and uncertain time. The chatting coaches group, in particular, has been a resting space in the diary for safe exploration and chat.

It is a moment for reflection, a moment for collecting thoughts on what the next 6 months will be.

I will continue to build resilience (both personally and technically), and I will be bringing more concepts and ideas to you to consider;

I am fully aware that we may see the sequel to COVID in the later months of the year and perhaps, we need to build our capabilities to cope with this. How are you planning for this?

Yesterday, I was working with 3 other amazing people and brought to life the Shifting OId Paradigms event – a very very different concept of an event that allowed delegates to explore new thinking. Thank you to those of you that came along and offered to explore something new. If you missed it this time, we will be running again in October as the feedback has been so encouraging and it will be even more global.

I read on the BBC website a method which I wanted to share. If you are working with someone on the subject of diversity – ask them to look at the last 4 people they have phoned on their mobile. Are these people ‘different’ from themselves? Move down to the next 4 and ask the same question and continue until it feels right to stop. How does this method sit with you?

So now is the time to reflect.

  • brew up that nice cuppa,
  • grab your favourite biscuit,
  • open your scribbling pad of choice,
  • reach out to the pen that inspires and reflect.

Have a great weekend!

COACHd – 17th July 2020

On Wednesday, I spoke with other coaches that are registered with The Trusted Coach Directory. We were exploring what leaders want right now and how we, as coaches, can continue to assist in their journey. A discussion that highlighted that there are similarities between us as a coach (and business owners) and the leaders we may work with. They experience the same feelings, emotions, ups and downs. If you are interested, the slide deck I used is here.

At the start of the conversation, I repeated the exercise that I completed on LinkedIn a few months ago when I asked how people feel now.

2 months ago

How are you today

This week

It is encouraging to see that there was a general feeling that we were in a better space now than perhaps we had been. Something that I think I can resonate with despite the uncertain future facing us.

Next Thursday, a small group of disruptors are organising a morning provocation inviting us to think and engage differently with our future.

If this is of interest, we are taking bookings now with all proceeds being given to a small charity, Circles Network. They build inclusive communities on the foundations of justice,
advocacy, empowerment and friendships. So something that really resonates.

Co Coaching is also back on 24th July from 09:30 to 11:30. A slightly different time. Check out here for more information about this also the dates/arrangements for both virtual and face to face co-coaching from September. The first face to face session being in September and will be outside…. don’t you just love walking coaching!!!

Click here to book on.

Hope you have a great weekend and perhaps see you next week either at the unconference event, and/or co-coaching.

 

COACHd – 10 July 2020 – #9

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As I woke this morning, the dawn chorus was in full flow. The beautiful sound of the birds warbling was beautiful to listen to. As the sun rays started to penetrate the cool air, I was thinking about gratitude. The last few days have been particularly challenging, I have not been able to settle, and that word productive had dropped out of my vocabulary. I have come across a post by a fellow coach, Heather Moulder, that powerfully talks about life not being the same after a major illness. I share this, as, in these times of great change, this has resonated with me. I have not met Heather, and I have not had a serious illness, but this really resonated. She talked about “It’s human to want things to return to normal.” and that

“Don’t waste your time looking back on what you’ve lost. Move on, for life is not meant to be travelled backwards.”

~Unknown

 

On 23rd July, a small group of disruptors are organising a morning provocation inviting us to think and engage differently with our future.

If this is of interest, we are taking bookings now with all proceeds being given to a small charity, Circles Network. They build inclusive communities on the foundations of justice, advocacy, empowerment and friendships. So something that really resonates.

I have also come across a new coaching model built on the Mnemonic SUCCESS. I particularly like this as it can be applied with our clients, and also as a personal introspection tool. SUCCESS stands for

Self-Mastery

Unbounded Self-Love/Care

Client Can Be

Energy Focus

Strengths

Spirit Acknowledgement

I have not used this in a coaching situation yet, but this resonates with perhaps how many of our clients feel at the moment, One question from Energy Focus particularly jumped out to me – What fuels your passions?

Have a great weekend.

 

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COACHd – 26 June 2020 – #8

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I wake up this morning having watched a game of football last night that saw Liverpool crowned as Premier League champions. It has taken 30 years, £1.47Bn spent, 239 different players and nine permanent managers to achieve it. But it means so much beyond just the field of football.

We see a manager, a leader that has pulled together the culture of the club, the temperaments of the players and the ego of future achievement and capability.

Isn’t this what we need in business?

The ability to get the best band of people together to do the job. To adapt to the changing scenarios, to celebrate the wins and defeats as opportunities to learn, grow and become even more higher performing.

As small business owners, it is unlikely that we will have the same spending options as Liverpool, but we do have the capability to act in the way of champions by defining who we are and how we work with our clients. We too, can beome champions in our own right by adopting a passionate and focused path to what is our objective.

Along the way, we will pick up some skills, some knocks, some disappointments and some wins. This experience invigorates us to be the one we are.

What I am trying to do through this weekly COACHd piece, is to share tips, tricks and thoughts that have helped to get me to where I am. Although this is very much still work in progress and far far away from me being a champion, my route is clear.

Although not specifically coaching, a great example of a hand down technique – a few years ago, I was designing an intervention with a friend that was going to be delivered by email to clients on a regular basis. Now, of course, we have an abundance of the online capability to help us formulate approaches – but then email was about as good as it got. When we were researching for a particular sequence, we came across an online piece by the American Jim Rohn. Jim is epitomized in the quote

“Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenge, wish for more wisdom.”

One method that has stuck is a story about financial choice. He suggests a robust method to deal with money. For every cheque he earnt, he suggested:-

  • 70% of the money is used to live off
  • 10% on active investment (savings)
  • 10% on passive investment (nest egg space)
  • 10% worthwhile causes

Adapting this for business is therefore straight forward and leads to some financial prudence. I use a bank account from Starling Bank since it opened. In Starling, there are areas called spaces and you can have as many of them as you want. I have one for VAT, reserves, savings, Corporation Tax, and paid clients but not yet delivered. Every time I receive an invoice payment,

  1. I put 20% straight away into the VAT,
  2. 10% into reserves, and
  3. at the end of the month bump anything above running costs into the savings space.

If I pay myself dividends, I take 20% and put it in the corporation tax space. Similarly, when I receive payment for programs, I place this into the paid clients not delivered – transferring it only to current when I have delivered.

Next month we are meeting for Co-Coaching but this is walking outdoors. Usually, we meet in a pub and walk from there but having contacted a few pubs, some are focusing on just getting their COVID service sorted out – so we will revert to the street wisdom idea of guided self-reflection in your area… please come and join the fun over here.

Have a great Friday and I hope to see you soon.

COACHd – 19 June 2020 – #7

It has been wonderful this week to hear how some are adapting to the world of COVID. Understanding, Adapting where appropriate and reshaping our offer is, I believe, going to be key in our future survival. But perhaps understanding what is going on locally and UK wide might be useful.

On Wednesday, I attended a chamber of commerce briefing on Q2 performance (you can access a recording here). It drew into focus the challenge that we face as we dig deep and help to pull out of the COVID pandemic. 

For interest, the 10 priorities for the West Midlands recovery are as below.

The Bank of England has also published its summary of business conditions for the same quarter.

Some of the key points were

  • More companies are reopening as lockdown restrictions ease, but activity remains very weak
  • Some businesses will need to borrow more when they reopen. Government schemes are helping to support that
  • Redundancies are likely to increase in the coming months as demand remains weak and the Job Retention Scheme is phased out
  • A number of (service-based) companies said they don’t expect to return to onsite working until the autumn, and even then only to a limited extent to ensure social distancing.

This creates hope in some cases, but also realism for the challenge that we all face.

We have seen how our industry bodies are assisting in our coaching space. For example, the ICF has an online video series that is entitled “Making the Shift to Virtual Coaching”, and the Association for Coaching has suggested some resources : –

I have also attended a webinar this week on converting hourly-paid customers to value-based charging models. Start by asking,

“What value do I add to the client?”

From this work out a share of this value. A big step and something that I am trying to get my head around. If you are doing this already or are interested, please get in touch as it might be worth a group call?

The next Co-Coaching is on 6th July. As it is the traditional walking co-coaching session, the session will be based around self-coaching using the street wisdom technique. If we can meet in a pub, or meet up for a walk then of course we will do that. Please do get booked on.

If you know any events that might be of interest to the community, please do register them here so that we can share the message to more.

I hope you have a fantastic Friday – and please stay safe.

COACHd – 12th June 2020 – #6

Wow! I am still on a high from the Open Space meets Co-Coaching event that ran on Monday. It was wonderful to witness the richness of conversation, exploration and discovery that so many enjoyed. I was nervous about the ‘networking’ – but didn’t it work well. If you missed this event, another one will be run later in the year perhaps on a slightly different topic.

The next Co-Coaching is a walk and talk. I am hoping that as we withdraw from lockdown that we will be able to meet outdoors. If not, then I have an alternative plan… More later but do please get booked on.

Earlier in the week, I dropped something up on LinkedIn – asking people howHow are you today they are feeling at the moment. The results do tie in with what I am also hearing from clients, so perhaps there are some opportunities there.

  • The question though is how will you show up?
  • How will you help your clients to satisfy some of the feelings that they have at the moment?

There is a new page on The Coach Zone. The page lists some of the services, tools and providers that I use in my day to day activities. I mention them because I just find them to work and offer a very simple to understand interface. From web hosting through social media scheduling tools to file organization – I have these listed. I realise that I am PC centric so do let me know of anything for other platforms.

I started listing events last week. You can find these across at the website here. To be honest it is a bit scant at the moment so please do remember if you are aware of any to drop the details here and subject to a few checks, they will be put up.

Massive shout out now to our friend Rachael who is hosting the next Coaching Central event where Fiona will be running a session on Transformational Coaching- adding value by connecting with our values. More details on event and bookings here.

Stay safe, and enjoy the weekend.

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COACHd – 5th June 2020 – #5

COACHd - 5 June 2020

I am often asked by my friends and acquaintances how I am at the moment. They know that I run my own business and that as such I must be finding it tough (and it is). Things that we have long taken for granted are now not achievable, and we do not really know for how long the situations are on us. But the counter is also true. Things that used to not be achievable are now.

The people that understand me, recognise that I view these times as an opportunity or as one of my coaching clients explained to me – a free experiment.

In an article, the author talks about a note that she found that said “Life may put you down, but staying down is a choice”.

We can design, we can think, we can choose and we can build what our future will be.

Remember also that the power of mindfulness can help keep everything in check. New techniques such as Online Mindfulness-Based Therapy and some conventional apps such as Headspace and Brain.FM can really assist in accessing good mindful techniques

But not everyone is on the same path as us. Some are struggling with isolation, lockdown, illness and mortality. As a coach, we will and are coming across these situations where our boundaries may be challenged. In a webinar as part of this years WBECs, Peter Hawkins suggested that contracting needs to be frequently revisited especially at times of massive change. Are you still operating as you should as a coach or have your interventions become blurred?

I mention WBECS (World Business and Executive Coaching Summit). This is an online global coaching event that runs each year. You can register now for free for the Pre-summit – something I would highly recommend as sessions are run by some of the thought leaders in our profession. Great & free CPD…

The forthcoming Click and Connect Coaching sessions are as below. I have found these to be highly therapeutic and wonderful to connect on a different level with other coaches that are transitioning through this COVID world. They are for an hour(ish) and start at 12:00 on the following dates : 10th June 2020 , 17th June 2020 and 24th June 2020. For more information on this please contact me.

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On Monday, there is Co-Coaching. Slightly different this month in that we are offering up the opportunity to explore any subject area that you would like in small groups. The theme is Open Space meets Co-Coaching. More information for Open Space meets Co Coaching is here.

Do also let me know of any other events/dates you are aware of and I will try and get them out.

I usually finalise this short prose on Wednesday so please get this to me by then if you want this highlighted that week. Please use this form to let me know.

Please also visit here for an online calendar.

COACHd – 29 May 2020

As we approach week 11 of lockdown, it appears that the tide is changing as certain aspects of our economy and country start to unlock. This is very welcome as I am sure that this will also start materialising in recognition of the benefits that coaching can bring to people.

It was great to see people on this weeks Click and Connect Session. If you haven’t been to one yet – a small group of us meet online every Wednesday at 12 for and hour. There is no agenda but a support group for coaches that are living and experience this COVID experience. Already, the group has built a great environment of support that is helping to see us through.

Details of the sessions can be found by getting COACHd each week.


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In the last COACHd, I suggested asking the question – If you were to make a list of 5 things that you are doing differently or discovering now – what would they be? It would be great to hear what you are thinking. Perhaps as you reflect, it might be time to rekindle your supervision as you reflect on your skills as a coach and how you ‘are going to turn up’ for your coachees.

Thanks to @Mel for highlighting a fascinating article in The Guardian about walking. Like many, I am doing my extra bit of exercise, but this article (Entitled “Walk this way! How to optimise your stride and focus your mind to get the most from your daily stroll”) helps you to walk properly. Some great tips such as lifting your head before looking over your shoulder, passive foot strike and avoiding skaters walk – jeez, I thought I was doing great.

Some events coming up for those interested : –

8th June                     Open Space meets Co-Coaching (This is the Co-coaching session for June so please do book on ASAP). More details on the website

30th June – 1st July  British Psychological Society Conference (Online)

Do let me know of any other events/dates you are aware of and I will try and get them out. I usually finalise this short prose on Wednesday so please get this to me by then if you want this highlighted that week. Please use this form to let me know. It is also the intention to add these to The Coach Zone website.
MORE INFORMATION ON OPEN SPACE MEETS CO COACHING

Stay safe, and enjoy the sunny weekend.  

COACHd – 22 May 2020

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I hope that you have had a good week and welcome to the latest COACHd issue. I am starting to observe that as we are instructed to stay alert that people are coming out of hibernation and that this is starting to have an impact on the wider community. This impact is caused by programmed human nature starting to revert to type.

This could also be happening to us.

Our programmes are starting to kick in, as we jump in that car, or decide to ‘meet’ people again. But perhaps what could be useful is to take a step back before we subconsciously revert.

Ask the question –

If you were to make a list of 5 things that you are doing differently or discovering now – what would they be? Take a look across here for more.

I was also discussing with another coach about reverting to face to face meetings. Perhaps accepting assumptions, or making assumptions could be too early – notice your reactions as you ponder these three questions.

1. When is this going to be appropriate for you?
2. When is this going to be appropriate for your client?
3. Where are you going to meet?

In a previous COACHd, I introduced the June Co-Coaching as Open Space meets Co-Coaching. This is going to be so different with agendas not being driven by accepted traditional thought leaders (apologies if you are), but free-formed on the day through different sessions. For those that have booked on – thanks, you will get an invite to the new platform over the next few days.

If you haven’t booked on, please do and also pass out to your friends and colleagues. The more the merrier.
MORE INFORMATION ON OPEN SPACE MEETS CO COACHING

So how is it going to work? The agenda is on the website, but simply put there is time for networking and discussion. The discussion topics will be decided on the day (and if oversubscribed by vote) and will run in 3 separate sessions throughout the afternoon. You dip in as you want to. Your support would be fantastic.

Stay safe, and enjoy the long weekend.