Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Who am I-and how many? Using ‘Voice Dialogue' to expand consciousness

Below is the first post of an occasional blog series highlighting the Catalysts and sessions of ICF Global 2012.

Learn and experience a powerful tool to help clients gain a new understanding of what drives their behaviors and emotional reactions.

“Who am I – and how many? Using ‘Voice Dialogue’ to expand consciousness” session at the ICF International Coaching Conference, by Giovanna D’Alessio, MCC and Nadjeschda Taranzcewski, MCC
Giovanna D’Alessio, MCC
We will introduce Voice Dialogue as a powerful tool to assist clients to experience and to integrate different aspects of their inner selves or voices.  Voice Dialogue or The Psychology of Selves invites us to think of “I” or “me” not as one coherent entity but rather as a combination of distinct selves/voices that together make up what we experience as “I” or “me”. Anyone who has ever struggled with making an important decision has first-hand experience of the often confusing dynamic between the different selves, their conflicting positions, needs and aspirations. Often our selves/voices operate in ways that sabotage realizing our full potential. To learn to listen to our selves, understand how they determine the way we see the world, guide our behaviors and influence our decision making creates clarity and expands our choices. Voice Dialogue provides a theoretical framework and methodology for exploring, communicating and working with these many selves. Instead of being driven a limited subset of our Selves, we can learn to choose our response with mindfulness by consulting all of our selves and integrate those parts which we have disowned. Voice Dialogue used in the context of coaching facilitates powerful breakthroughs and shifts in consciousnesses that go beyond learning and developing and represent a true transformational process.
Nadjeschda Taranzcewski, MCC

In this session participants will:

  • The basic principles of Voice Dialogue through explanation and demonstration.
  • Why certain people push their buttons.
  • How to integrate the “disowned” parts of them to become more whole and free.
  • With their selves and experience through playful connection with other participants.
Be inspired…
  • By a groundbreaking and intuitive methodology that can accelerate coaching results.
  • To continue their own learning and development by exploring their own selves.
Giovanna D’Alessio, MCC, and Nadjeschda Taranzcewski, MCC, are Catalysts at ICF Global 2012, October 3-6 in London, UK. Register today!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Executive Coaching: Maslow & NLP

Ram Ramanathan
This post originally appeared here.

In my last post related to the ICF Community of Practice on Global Executive Coaching i brought in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs with reference to coaching. As i said, i and many coaches i know, do use this in their coaching process to understand and make the client understand where the client is coming from.

Neurolinguistic Programming NLP follows a values and belief hierarchy represented by the pyramid at right.  Though at first sight this is quite different from Maslow, i find remarkable similarities between them that can help in one’s coaching process.

Our needs give rise to our values and beliefs. As our needs change these too change. Our needs change as we move on in life.

Gail Sheehy‘s Passages and New passages trace the changes in our needs as we advance in years. NLP techniques allow us to probe further into these need states which seem to be related in several ways to our age and situation.

A dictum in Coaching is to focus on Client needs. What if client needs are unclear or if  unstated needs are as relevant or more relevant than stated needs? This can happen for many reasons. We all like to consciously present ourselves in a manner that others would like to see us. What’s held in the unconscious is held back.

Powerful questioning and probing helps the client understand herself better. Both Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and the NLP values pyramid suggest ways to question and probe. Solutions surface only when the issues are better understood.

Please join me on 1 August and every First Wednesday of the month at the ICF GEC Community. It’s free and earns CCEU for credential renewal.

Link: Linked In Group ICF GEC CP

Forum: Global Executive Coaching Community of Practice of ICF

Facilitator: Ram S Ramanathan

Time: 12:00 PM ET
Date: 1st Wednesday of each month
Bridge: 1-212-457-9879 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting FREE 1-212-457-9879 end_of_the_skype_highlighting PIN 622186

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I love coaching because…

Last month, we asked our Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/icfhq) fans, “Fill in the blank: I love coaching because _______.” Take a look below to see how our Facebook fans responded:
  • “It transforms the world one person at a time.” (Alison Emory Guinasso)
  • “I feel I make a difference in how people interact with others and understand what is important in all that they do.” (Barbara Perino)
  • “You can energize the client and help them develop skills to achieve their personal and professional best.” (SunnierSideOfLife)
  • “I love people!” (Vasso-Anna Demenega)
  • “Every person that gets ignited will ignite those around them!” (Rafael A. Martinez)
  • “It is empowering!” (Andrea Dean)
  • “It’s an opportunity for growth.” (Maria Elena Casti)
  • “You enable people to create (for) tomorrow.” (POSITIVEENERGIZERS.com)
  • “It’s so fulfilling to see the transformations occurring in people’s lives!” (Ayca Gencoglu)
  • “My clients are super creative!” (Bart Tkaczyk)
  • “It is my passion.” (Neal Houston, PhD)
  • “It always gives me awareness.” (Takeyasu Iwai)
  • “Every coaching session inspires me. I work with some amazing women!” (Michelle Robindell)
  • “It provides people with the ability to go from Can’t to Can, from Can to Will, and from Will to Did!” (Joshua Torres)
  • “It works.” (François Altwies)
  • “Different people inspire me and it’s wonderful to see how dreams begin to fly.” (Teija Björkskog)
  • “Because it’s my destiny!” (Cheryl Roshak)
  • “It is fascinating and powerful.” (Yuri Cardozo)
  • “It’s my passion. Bringing more optimism about our ability to change in this world.”  (Martin Jessen)
  • “It transforms potential into action and has a natural ‘pay it forward’ element.” (6Elements Consulting & Coaching)
  • “Coaching helps people create a better tomorrow.” (Kathleen A. Day)
  • “We co-created a better world!” (Veronique Pigeon)
  • “It is portable and personal; I can make a difference in the moment anywhere.” (Beth Herman)
  • “It helps me discover more about myself.” (Jaya Bhateja)
  • “It makes me alive.” (Jungmo Kim)
  • “It’s a way to contribute and a way to learn.” (SharonTOGETHER)
  • “It allows me to be happy within my career instead of just doing what pays the bills.” (AThomasPhD)
  • “As a business trainer, I love it. I am not a training machine anymore; I am there, totally there to let them choose what they want and how they want it.” (Andrée Ulrich Élan)
  • “As a Certified Professional Life Coach, I love helping my clients live an abundant life! Thank you for asking the question.” (Janicetime)
  • “You facilitate discovery and connect the dots.” (Rhesa Riley)
  • “It changes lives, in the smallest and largest of ways.” (Whole Life Strategies Coaching)
  • “I love coaching because it has made my life easier and it has made it possible for me to help other people change their lives too.” (Åsa Frederiksen)
  • “It makes me happy and it gives me a sense of fulfillment to have made a difference in someone’s life.” (8LEAPS)
  • “It’s transformational. I love seeing people grow, develop, and achieve their goals. It makes me happy, it inspires me, and I’m making a difference.” (Explora, Coaching and Consulting)
  • “It changes lives!” (BT Benskin)
What about you? I love coaching because ___________. What is it for you? We’d love to know—leave a response below or join the conversation at Facebook.com/ICFHQ.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Show that you Care

Have you ever had the feeling you are not being listened to while you’re speaking?

In my experience, I have to admit this is a rather common feeling, especially when I work with clients that expect an immediate solution to their problem or certain answers which they want to hear and when they don’t, they impatiently want to finish the coaching session.
But if we don’t have patience to deal with our own problems, then how can we expect to deal with other people’s problems?
When I worked with Radu, a manager working for an important retail company, the first thing he asked me during the first meeting was for me to “solve” his problems at work. He said that even though he was a professional in his business and knew how to handle tough clients, he wasn’t able to communicate with his employees. As a person, Radu was always preoccupied, mainly because he had a lot of responsibilities and was always in a hurry.

During our meetings, he had this bad habit of constantly checking the time or his phone and always asked me what he should do exactly. But as I talked to Radu, I discovered that he did not actually listen to what I was saying and only reacted to certain key words and mechanically used the phrase “so what should I do now?”

Eventually, he discovered that his problem was not that his employees did not pay attention to him, but that he did not know how to listen to them, because he didn’t even know how to listen to himself. In his team’s eyes, he did not just seem a busy and preoccupied person, but a person who didn’t care about anyone. This obviously discouraged his team’s performance, because he had only a few answers he wanted to hear, which nobody seemed to give him.

It’s not easy to listen to everybody around you, but this one extreme. The other would be not listening to anybody. The challenge however, is to keep a certain balance between the two – meaning that we listen to other people’s ideas while also contributing with our own. It’s amazing how some people can sometimes surprise you with their ideas and it would be a shame to skip that just because our ideas are not the same as theirs.
Rodica Obancea, ACC

Patience is a key competence for any manager’s success and whoever doesn’t know how to apply it for himself, will most probably fail to apply it with others.

Only through patience we can listen to the people we work with and even though it may seem like a minor detail, sometimes it is very important to learn how to…show that you care.

Rodica Obancea, ACC, is passionate about change, emergence, living systems. She works within business environment, with managers, teams for achieving ambitious results. For more information, visit www.successcoaching.ro.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Coaches aren’t just for sports teams!

Have you ever wished that you had a coach on the sideline of your office?  Someone who could help you form a career game plan, develop your skills, correct your deficiencies, build your leadership strengths, and cheer you on?  You are not alone. Men and women alike are increasingly seeking the services of executive coaches for a variety of reasons.

Before you determine whether executive coaching is right for you, it’s important to understand the proces.  Executive coaching is a formal engagement in which a qualified coach works with an organizational leader in a series of dynamic, confidential sessions designed to establish and achieve clear goals that will result in improved managerial performance.  The relationship between a manager and a coach is different from other types of professional relationships. For example, a coaching relationship focuses on enhancing performance while a mentoring relationship usually has broader objectives. 

A coach is not an authority figure, but will be engaged with you on all levels to provide assessment, challenge, and support. Above all, a coach is someone who is there for you for collaboration and to offer the type of counsel and support that you may not otherwise receive. A great coach will work with you to assess individual circumstances, strengths, weaknesses, and developmental opportunities.

In some circles, having a coach is something to brag about.  In other situations, a coach may be brought in as a reaction to a certain set of circumstances that indicate a performance deficit.  In today’s business climate, coaches are seeing an increased demand across the board at the ‘c suite’ level. An executive coach is a perk to which some top executives feel entitled and that some leaders negotiate as part of their total compensation and benefits package.  Some companies provide coaching initiatives for new, transferring and high-potential employees, while other individuals seek out coaches and pay for them on their own.  In my practice at Orbacz Strategy Group, I see a variety of circumstances that prompt individuals and organizations to engage me in the role of advisor and coach. 

If you are considering an executive coach, keep in mind that your perception of coaching greatly affects the benefits you will glean. If you have a positive perception of coaching and think that it could help you, you’ve taken the first step toward realizing the full benefits. You should assess your own readiness for what will be a serious commitment and an occasionally uncomfortable experience.  There are coaching readiness questionnaires that I use with my own clients to help them fully understand and assess where they are before the coaching process starts, as well as sophisticated behavioral and competency based assessment instruments.

When you work with a coach, you can expect to change your skills, behaviors and to develop better leadership abilities. Resistance to any kind of personal change is normal, realistic, and to be expected.  It’s not a light decision to engage an executive coach. Only you can accurately assess your thoughts, feelings, and needs. 

If you decide that you’re ready to benefit from coaching, take time to find a well-qualified coach with whom you can relate on a personal level. Selecting the right coach has a dramatic impact on how successful your results will be.  Engaging a well-qualified coach that is a good fit for you will positively affect your individual growth and your future career path. 
Debra Orbacz
Much like an athletic coach, the right executive coach can be the difference maker that helps you reach your full potential.  Having one on your team might be the winning advantage you need.

Debra Orbacz is Founder and President of Orbacz Strategy Group, LLC; a dynamic business transformation, executive coaching, and management consulting firm supporting clients in the private and public sectors. Ms. Orbacz’s combination of experiential leadership knowledge from a world class organization and the latest research and theory on leadership development provides Orbacz Strategy clients with measurable results. Learn more at http://www.orbaczgroup.com and http://orbaczgroup.blogspot.com.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Global Executive Coaching Community of Practice: Are Coaches ready for new age executives?

ICF has invited me to facilitate this CP, earlier called a Special Interest Group. I have great pleasure in inviting you for the next session of this GEC CP.

This community is about its members, not the facilitator; it’s also about what the members want to talk about and learn in terms of practice. ICF objective for the CP is resource development, based on which attendees gain CCEU.

I have been part of this community when Hannah facilitated the interactions and also made a presentation of cross-cultural influences on executives. The interactivity and contribution from members will continue and as possible, enhance. With an Asian executive coach with a spiritual leaning facilitating the community, its direction may perhaps be more international and more transformational.

I have over 40 years of corporate experience, more than 20 as CEO and at least in one case of building a billion dollar plus group with a dozen multinational joint ventures. I now coach executives, train coaches for ICF credentials, teach at Business Schools, write books and work with start up operations and disadvantaged, when I am not spending time with my wife of nearly 40 years and the stray dogs that have adopted us at Bangalore.

If you want to know a bit more, do look up my profile, blog and tweets at http://in.linkedin.com/in/ramsramanathanceocoach

I look forward to hearing from you about what you would like to discuss in this community and also what you can present or talk about. With globalization of economies, executives across the world have similar concerns on work life balance, corporate social values and environment, as much as the traditional concerns of how to advance one’s career and create wealth. Differences in age, gender, ethnicity and locale add elements of diversity and complexity.

As coaches, how can we contribute to an executive’s awareness in his or her journey of self-discovery? At what point does the transaction of outcomes transcend into the transformation of mind-set?

I tend to combine Western Science and Psychology with Eastern Spirituality and Mysticism, in both of which I have a background of intense learning.

I look forward to our first session together on 1 August at 12 PM US Eastern Time, as always Noon on First Wednesdays. Call and recording access details too are the same as before:

Access Number: 1-212-457-9879
Participant PIN: 622186#

Ram Ramanathan
Playback Access Number: 212-457-9846
Playback Reference: 333726#

CCEU for sessions attended will as before be based on submission of passwords to facilitator. My mail id is ramsram@gmail.com.

The subject for the first 1 August CP session can be viewed here, relating to Maslow's Need Hierarchy as related to Coaching.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Use more video in your marketing initiatives

The use of video in marketing and promotional purposes continues to grow at substantial rates. Even the ICF has its own YouTube channel dedicated to promoting the coaching profession and the ICF. Have you come across it?
With 137 videos across 13 playlists, there is an ample selection of video footage to view on the ICF YouTube channel. Not only can you watch them…you can use these videos on your website, link to them in newsletters and email messages, and share them via social media channels. They are an excellent way to stay connected to the ICF and to the coaching profession. Subscribe to the ICF YouTube channel here.

Want to teach potential clients on how they can select a professional coach? There is an entire playlist dedicated to the topic.

Are you or someone you know interested in becoming a professional coach? There is also a playlist dedicated to this topic.
If you are an ICF member and want to stay on top of ICF related news, events, and topics, there are several playlists you can pay attention to. These include: ICF Member Video Messages (videos are filmed monthly by 2012 ICF President Janet Harvey, MCC), Wednesdays with Whittle (every other week, ICF Director of Membership Don Whittle shares a bit of news or highlights an ICF member benefit in these short videos); ICF Credentialing – Distinctions Matter (these videos feature updates pertinent to current and future ICF Credential holders); among others.

One of the most popular playlists on the ICF YouTube channel right now is 2012 ICF Global Coaching Study. This playlist features videos that explain and explore this most current piece of coaching research and offers tips on how you can use it within your personal coaching practice. Take a look.

You can browse these and all ICF playlists and videos here.

Is video a part of your marketing plan? How do you use it? How would you like to use it?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Storytelling is a gift

It was a stiflingly hot day.

The traffic had been terrible.

The air conditioning was a relief….a noisy relief.

The woman gathered.

The elders; they may laugh at the title, but it was clear to me.

They were happy to see each other, in a shy appreciative way - I could see and feel their connection. They were brought together some years ago, so that they could help others by volunteering for Bereavement and Grief counseling. Their own painful stories are often heavy in their hearts. These women have seen life.

We sat in the story circle and began.

They may have been guarded and skeptical but that soon fell away with the charm of the story.

They may have been wary and closed because of the weight of their own experience, but that soon melted.

They may have been apprehensive and a little worried but the safe space of story made it possible.

There was laughter, tears and that knowing glance shared between people who have suffered but feel the presence of truth around them. It was the true magic of story.

Storytelling and story listening is a gift….to the teller and the listener.

I was honored to be in the presence of such pure hearts and minds that allowed space for our stories. And I'm truly thankful for that.

And I walked away reflecting upon how we create powerful connection through story.
Lisa Bloom, PCC
Creating the space for exploring story is what coaching is all about too. That magic story space is the magic coaching space. It is a gift, for your client…and for you!

Lisa Bloom, PCC is founder of Story Coach Inc. and the Certified Story Coach Program.  Download her ebook ‘Using Stories to Get Great Clients’ at http://www.story-coach.com.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Use coaching research in your coaching business

Earlier this week, the Final Report of the 2012 ICF Global Coaching Study was released.  An astounding 12,000+ coaches from 117 nations participated in the 2012 study. The findings shed new light on the current state of the coaching profession—highlighting global growth of coaching and uncovering the trends that have since emerged since the benchmark study was released in 2007. Get a taste of this study by watching this video.

The Final Report represents the single most comprehensive study that has ever been released on the global coaching profession! Within the 140+ page report, readers will find detailed analysis and statistics on the following topics:
  • Coaching Profession: Size and Key Trends;
  • Profile of Coaches;
  • Training and Accreditation;
  • Profile of Clients;
  • Interaction between Coach and Client;
  • Key Issues and Future Trends; and
  • Technical Appendix.
Purchase your electronic copy of the Final Report here.

This research is an excellent tool to have at your fingertips—weave the findings throughout your business and marketing plans, marketing collateral, website, among other places. You will have such findings as:
  • Active coaches make an average of $47,900 USD per year.
  • 94 percent of coaches offer at least one or more service in addition to coaching in their professional practices. On average the coaches offer almost 3 additional services.
  • More than half (51 percent) hold at least one credential from a professional coaching association. More than 3 in 4 (76 percent) of all coaches agree that "The people and organizations who receive coaching expect their coaches to be certified/credentialed."
  • The majority of clients are female (54 percent) and approximately 1 in 3 clients are aged 46 and over. 
  • Globally, 66 percent of coaches interact with their clients on a face-to-face basis. However in North America, 50 percent of coaches prefer working with clients over the phone.
  • 76 percent of coaches expect to see increase in clients and revenue in the coming year.
How do you plan to use these findings in your business? Tell us about it. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Working my way down to clues

This post originally appeared at www.coachchristinetalks.blogspot.com.

My relationship to the world around me is primarily visual. Some of you will happily join me and note that you are inclined to see things rather than hear or touch them. We even use language like “I see.” as a response to a request or comment or explanation. That’s a clue or cue to how to best work with me.

We are all born with some sort of way to process the world around us. Small children touch, taste, test everything and watch big people … all of the time. When my grandchildren were very small they crawled and I crawled with them … a revelation regarding the world around me. I saw newly what I didn’t know I was seeing when a tiny little girl.

We all process information in all the usual basic ways: visual, kinesthetic, verbal, and auditory. I’m going to add: linear and non-linear, interpretation, meaning, recognition, empathy. It’s all fascinating and doesn’t begin to include personality, morality (ethics) and character. I learned by watching those I admired …visual learning once again.

What does this have to do with coaching? From my perspective, in coaching we don’t need to be complicated or complex … it’s suffices to know that individuals process information in the basic ways. A question can be asked in different ways if we know just this much about our client: “How might (do) you (see, feel, hear, verbalize) the situation?” “What does that mean to you?”

It’s truly important how we speak to our clients and connect to what works for them … the ICF the competency that recognizes this is called Direct Communication. Think about it. If I don’t pick up the clues as to how my client processes information and just push on with a story or recommend a book or expect a particular response … not much is going to happen except nice agreements and a friendly conversation … which is fine but it’s not powerful coaching.

We are now down to clues (the kinds discussed above, for starters). Clues (or cues) are the keys to exploration, discovery, forward progress, the euphemistic “going deeper,” awareness and creativity. Ignore the clues and stay painfully on the surface seeking information, agreement, and a nice experience, maybe even fun. Mostly, the focus of a coaching conversation where clues are missed will generally result in a client not being challenged or engaged in exploration and discovery. From whence might come an important action to take when nothing has been discovered?

The purpose of coaching is to partner with a client in exploring the heart of his/her agenda, to allow that client to discover something new and important, and then to work with that client in designing steps forward in order to act on that discovery and new learning. The client then does the “heavy lifting” while coach is there for support and appreciation.
Christine Martin
A high performance business and executive coach since 1992, Christine Martin, MA, MBA, BCC, MCC, is the Founder of Innovation Coaching, LLC and Innovation Coaching Canada, Inc. With over 8,000 hours of professional coaching as her background, she coaches high performance executives, outcome driven project managers, and professional coaches. From 2003-2010 she coached 300+ NASA leaders. Christine's contributions to the coaching profession include chairing the ICF global credentialing initiative and serving as an ICF Vice President. She has been an active ICF credentialing assessor since 2003. A graduate of the University of Southern California and Pepperdine University. Christine was a grad school professor from 1994 to 2005 when she moved from California to North Carolina and subsequently to Canada.

Learn more: