Friday, December 21, 2012

No saboteurs under the tree for me please!

In working with my coach recently I had an “ah ha” moment about gremlins. Usually when I have such a moment, I would be referring to my own gremlins, or saboteurs, whose voices sound in my head telling me things like “I should be better at this” or “I should avoid trying this because…”.  But this time, it wasn’t my own saboteur that I became aware of.  It was the saboteur of my family member, inflicted upon me in the form of compassion and concern! This happened a few months back, when I was explaining to this family member my desire to write a letter of apology to a friend and she was quick to say “I wouldn’t do that. You don’t know what response you are going to get, you either are going to be hurt by the response or not be able to trust the integrity of it." This was a response that came from a place of great love and concern for me on the part of my family member, and I greatly appreciate that love and concern, so I trusted that advice and followed it. But I realize now that this response also came from my loved one’s saboteur! After so much effort at listening to my authentic voice and being courageous to weed out the voice of the saboteur within me, how amazing that I hadn’t even considered the voice of the saboteur in loved ones that take on an even trickier mask; shrouded in love and concern!

Once I realized that my loved one’s concern was coming from her saboteur, I was able to look at the situation courageously again and reconsider writing that letter, which is something that I know deep down I really need to do.  It amazes me though that for three months I had pushed that idea to the back of my mind because of the way I trust the love and concern that this person has for me. I knew that she would never steer me in the wrong direction, intentionally. I trust her. The big ah-ha here is that it is one thing to trust people who love us, but quite a different thing to trust their saboteurs!

So, how do we know when we are getting good advice compared to when we are being victimized by someone else’s saboteur without even them knowing it? I think the answer to this must remain consistent with how we listen to our own voices, and that is to really check in with the message and feel our reaction to it. Does it draw us closer to what we are striving for, even if it is scary, or is it keeping us stagnant or even pushing us back from what we really want?

I think one of the greatest gifts available to us in this situation is that when we recognize the voice of a saboteur coming from a loved one disguised as concern, we can choose to move toward what we know is right for us despite it. When we do so, and act in resonance, we will experience authentic learning and grow from the experience regardless of the outcome. Then, when we do not melt or shrink into nothingness for taking this risk, we not only experience authenticity for ourselves but we also give a gift to our loved one. They get to see that their saboteur doesn’t need to work so hard, that the human spirit is a lot more durable than we give it credit for being, and that there is value even in disappointment  as long as we are willing to accept it openly. By this occurring, even without our ever talking about it, space expands within us AND  between us , opening us to the possibility of daring to be more authentic with one another and with the world around us as well. The more we show courage to live our authentic life and let our vulnerabilities be seen, the more we create a safe space for our loved ones and those around us to do the same.

This year instead of looking for that perfect gift to put in a box to give our loved ones, what if we wrapped up the gremlins that we share with one another and ship them all off to another land far, far, away…like the Island of Misfits…where they will stay forever? What if the gift we gave to one another this year was to no longer let our own saboteurs get in the way of each other’s courageous living? 

For Christmas this year, I am personally going to give each of my loved ones a big beautiful bow that has space running through it, to show my commitment to being conscious of needing to silence my own saboteurs when they are confiding in me and replace them with space to hold their courage and creativity. What gift do you have to offer to those you love?

Whichever festival of light you celebrate with your loved ones, may your authenticity shine on those around you this holiday season.

Regina Hellinger
Regina Hellinger is a certification student in the final stages of certification with CTI, currently working as a coach with aspiring coaches, educators, and gifted individuals, as well as being a teacher of the gifted in Orange County, FL.  You can reach Regina at, or by Twitter @ReginaHellinger.

Top ten reasons to get your coaching clients to journal with you

This post originally appeared on the ICA Blog.

It’s a simple fact. Asking your clients to journal and share their journal with you will completely transform your coaching business. Here’s why:
1. You Gain Access to Critical Information: Reading their journal gives you CRITICAL insight to their values, beliefs, and behaviors. This information is crucial for effective coaching and for helping your clients get past the barriers that stand in the way of their success. When you can read their stories, you can also clearly see how to help them. This source of information is vital for deep poignant coaching that has a long term impact.

2. Calls are RICH – no wasted time: Reading their journal in between calls keeps you up to date with what’s happening in their lives on an on-going basis. What that means is that when you are meeting on the phone or in person, there is no time being spent on just catching up. You are already caught up and can jump right into moving forward, delivering high value on each and every call.

3. Continuous Self-Reflection: Asking them to journal daily encourages them to self-reflect regularly. The effect is an increase in attention to the role they play in their own lives and a greater sense of ownership and responsibility for their relationships and their personal circumstances. They feel a greater sense of empowerment with every passing week.

4. No Loss of Momentum in Between Calls:  When you ask your clients to journal, you maintain contact, communication, and a consistent focus on personal development, especially in between calls. This means that there is no sliding backwards, but rather always forward movement. Some say the magic or the growth happens in between calls.  Journaling allows you to share that growth with your client. 

5. Increased trust and rapport in a shorter period of time: Journaling in a safe and secure on-line environment enables clients to share their fears, their insecurities, and even their past experiences with greater ease. Trust is built more rapidly, enabling you to move more quickly with your clients.

6. Faster results: Giving your clients the forum to express themselves in a journal means that you are getting more done with your clients in a shorter period of time. You are covering greater ground and getting to the meat of your coaching with greater speed.

7. Documentation of progress: When clients journal every day for the duration of their coaching period, they are literally documenting their progress and tracking their change over time. They can look back to the beginning of their journey and see how far they have travelled with you.

8. Proof of YOUR impact and influence:  As they are documenting their experience in their journal, they are also creating evidence of their evolution. This is extraordinarily powerful as a testimony of your impact on their success. Your comments are available for their review, and the value of your time together is tangible.

9. Safety Deposit Box for their Story: Their journal lives long after their coaching with you has concluded. This creates a long term bond with you that draws them back over and over again. They have a need to return to the story they created, and you are the holder of that story.

10. Coaching Groups means journaling together: When you coach a group of people, you can ask all the participants to share their journals with one another and spend some time reading and responding to each other’s journals. This adds infinite value to the coaching experience and establishes an online journaling community that stays together long after coaching is complete.

Kim Ades, MBA
Kim Ades, MBA, is president and founder of Frame of Mind Coaching and JournalEngine™ Software. She is one of North America’s foremost experts on performance through thought management. She works exclusively with highly driven, accomplished professionals in their field and uses the unique Frame of Mind Coaching process to ignite significant change and life transformation. Clients say that an hour with Kim has lifelong impact. She is internationally renowned for her innovation and passion in the coaching industry. With clients from Malaysia, to South Africa, Canada, and the US, Kim and her team of coaches have transformed the process of coaching and training through the creation of JournalEngine™ Software. Author, speaker, entrepreneur, coach, and mother of 5, Kim has developed a thriving coaching business and implemented a simple idea into an industry leading company that now coaches leaders in their field worldwide. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Four tips to “auto-coaching”

This post first appeared here.

Very often, managers and individuals will ask to be coached to become better at:
- Planning
- Delegating
- Resolving conflicts, and communicating with others (ex : providing useful feedback)
- Balancing personal and professional lives
- Transitioning to a new job
- …

Profound change with the above will happen in coaching sessions through new behavioral skills being developed as a result of specific actions being put in place, aligned with the person’s values and vision.

That being said, I have found that there are few things managers (as well as individuals) can do to help themselves. You can call it “auto-coaching” !
When you are “struggling” with a task or project, or with “someone” (could be in communicating with a colleague , a team member or another team), I found those 4 tips below to be extremely helpful. And they will certainly make your life easier in a number of situations. 4 tips in 4 questions you can ask yourself:

1. Why am I triggered ?
This question will bring you back to yourself, and as discussed in here, will bring awareness to your very own needs that are not fulfilled in the situation. Developing that awareness, I have found, will bring clarity with yourself, starts to release inner tension (anger, guilt, despair, resentment, ..) and put you in a much better state to ask yourself the next three questions.

2. What do I really want ?
In any difficult situation, I would like to suggest it all comes down to that simple, and yet difficult, question. Difficult, because if you think about it for a minute, we barely ask ourselves that question. What is my intention ? What do I want out of that situation ? Therefore, going back to our true intention will further bring clarity.

3. Why is it important for me to invest time and energy in what I do in this situation ?
Imagine we are all given at the beginning of each day a given amount of energy to spend during the day. And everything we do (words, actions, thoughts, …)  taps into that reservoir. Where would you rather use that energy ? In blaming others or further fueling a conflict ? Or instead, be true to your values, and think about why the things you do indeed matter to you ?

4. What do I do now which is in my power to positively change or influence the situation ?
Once you have asked yourself the 3 questions above, which will bring clarity within you about the situation, the last thing you need to ask yourself is “What do I do about it ?”. Sounds easy, right ? But how often do we get stuck here ? It is about personal accountability and taking responsibility, and positively change any situations. It could be having the courage to talk openly to someone, looking at the situation differently, or admitting our mistakes.

Those 4 questions and tips are not always easy to answer and follow, and will take courage to face. But as you “auto-coach” yourself more and more, you will develop new habits.

And you will find that it is actually liberating!

By Eric Marin

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Busting talent assessment myths - testing the test

The below post originally appeared on the pan blog:

The talent assessment industry has exploded over the last 10 years as paper and pencil tests have migrated online. With hundreds of test vendors and thousands of tests at your fingertips, selecting the right assessment tools for achieving the best possible results for your organization is no small feat. Let’s take a moment to separate fact from fiction when it comes to the testing tools available.

MYTH: XYZ Test Works for Everything
Once you’ve determined what the goals of your assessment program are, it’s no easy task unearthing which testing tools are right for the job. Although many assessment tools can be very effectively leveraged across a number of applications, not every test works for every purpose. There are 100’s of respected test publishers who have developed 1000’s of scientifically sound instruments, giving you lots of options to find the exact tools suited for your program’s unique goals. From skills tests to personality tests, cognitive tests, job-specific tools and more, the options are limitless when it comes to selecting a tool that addresses exactly what you’re looking to accomplish.

Since pan is an assessment marketplace working with a diverse cross-section of the most respected test publishers on the market today, we have vast exposure to how the most popular testing tools are being leveraged. This unique setup equips us with the ability to provide neutral advice about which assessment tools would suit your unique program best. In many cases, we find that it’s a complementary mix of tests from different sources that facilitates the most impactful assessment programs. Another great source for unbiased advice on choosing the right assessments is Charles Handler’s Rocket-Hire Buyer’s Guide to Screening and Assessment Systems.

MYTH: Online Assessment Options are too Restrictive and Narrow
This myth might have you scratching your head after just reading about the wealth of assessment tools available. When we encounter this feedback, it typically comes from organizations that are talking with or utilizing a particular assessment publisher. Working with a single assessment vendor can present limitations, particularly if you’d like to consider using a battery of tests to accomplish your assessment program goals. Some questions to ask yourself when selecting an assessment vendor:

1.Does this vendor offer the best of everything I need to accomplish my assessment goals, or would it be beneficial to cherry pick assessment tools from multiple sources?
2.Does my organization have any custom, proprietary tests, forms or surveys we’d like to incorporate in an assessment program?
3.What level of administration is involved, and how are results reported?
4.Will these assessment results integrate with my ATS or other technology systems?

If these questions raise any red flags for you, the team at pan is happy to provide friendly advice on how to come up with a custom solution that addresses your needs in each of these key areas.

MYTH: Developing a Custom Assessment is More Effective Than Using an Off-the-shelf Tool
To get to the bottom of this myth, it’s important to have a deep understanding of your assessment program’s distinct purposes and goals. pan has found that for the vast majority of hiring and development initiatives, there are a wide range of off-the-shelf assessment tools that can be deployed immediately and leveraged very successfully. There’s no doubt that custom assessments have value in unique or highly proprietary scenarios, but take a lot of time and money to develop, validate and refine.

Before pursuing the development of such a tool, consult with an unbiased talent measurement expert source such as pan. Our technology platform hosts 1000’s of custom assessments for world-class public, private and government organizations, and we are happy to offer our insights on when and how to utilize such tests either solely or in conjunction with off-the-shelf tools.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Understanding empathy as a mirror neuron tool in a coach kit

There are numerous examples in our day to day life where we relate to other people’s experiences almost as if they were our own.  A person watching a football game can feel the rush and excitement almost to the same extent as the players themselves. While watching suspense movies, we find ourselves totally immersed in the experience of the movie characters. How one is able to tune into other people’s experiences, emotions and intentions so easily and instinctively?

This phenomenon of being able to mentally experience the other person’s experience brings a lot of value to the field of Coaching. Most coaches are skilled, aware and knowledgeable. They do their best to help and support their clients. Still, some have this mysterious ‘human’ factor that makes them more successful with their clients. Sometimes, when we can ‘relate’ to the other person’s experience, conversation seems to flow effortlessly while at other times, it may quickly lose direction and it becomes a struggle to keep it going. While there can be a number of reasons for it, ‘empathy’ is certainly one extremely important attribute of a good coach. An empathetic person will definitely make a great coach. A coach who instinctively understands what a client is going through is more likely to win client’s trust.  Why is it sometimes easier to establish rapport with some people while it seems hard with some others? The connection or the rapport could simply be the empathy factor.

In an interesting study published in Family medicine 2009 by the researchers at the University of Wisconsin, the effect that practitioner empathy had on the severity and duration of cold in their patients was studied. The result showed that the participants whose physicians showed higher levels of empathy had less severe and shorter cold than the participants who scored their physicians lower on empathy. This amazing study proves very well that empathy can have healing effect.  An empathetic coaching relationship can also bring about similar powerful positive transformation in the client.

The important question is whether we are born with it or can we develop it?

A relatively recent discovery in the field of Neurosciences explains quite a bit. There are specialized cells called ‘Mirror Neurons’ which respond at the same level whether the action is performed by self or another person in front. Mirror Neurons help us perceive not only the other person’s emotions but intention behind his action as well. Another fascinating research finding is that mirror neurons ‘feel’ others, rather than thinking/analyzing them. Before this finding, it was generally believed that our brains use logical thought processes to interpret and predict other people’s actions. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have found compelling evidence that people who are more empathetic possess a particular variation of the oxytocin receptor gene. So, Empathy is a genetically determined trait. In this study, the most empathetic were able to get an accurate read on others' emotions. This ability can bestow important advantage in terms of handling people and situations. In contrast, members of the other groups were found to be less capable of putting themselves in the shoes of others and more likely to get stressed out in difficult situations. Those who do not consider themselves as empathetic should not despair as the researchers suggest that it is still possible to be caring and empathetic by sincerely trying harder. Another beautiful promise of recent times is the concept of ‘Neuroplasticity’. Neuroplasticity is the capacity of the brain to change itself by constantly practicing the desired behavior. Therefore, it is definitely possible to train our brain to be more empathetic!

Himani Tyagi is a youth and career coach, currently pursuing her professional coach certification from International Coach Academy. She holds a PhD in Molecular Biology and has a lot of experience in research and teaching. She is passionate about Neurosciences and its implications in improving everyday life. She is seeking to integrate Neurosciences into her coaching approach to help people better their lives. She is a mom to two beautiful boys. Himani loves to read and spend time with her family.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tech savvy coaching

Last month, we asked our Facebook fans to share their favorite apps for coaches. Take a look below to see how our Facebook fans responded:

“TED! I love its broad spectrum from all the people that provide the chats. You’ve got everything from techies to entrepreneurs that talk about everything that you can’t learn inside a classroom. If you’ve got a topic in mind, chances are there’s a TED video that talks about it. It’s just great!” (Francisco Alvarez)

“Eternity for time management issues.” (Dora Hegedüs)

“bLife app.” (Kate Anthony)

“Vision Board” (Suzanne Muusers)

“Coach Pro and Coach Portal and Paypal” (Jason Baer)

“TeuxDeux for keeping track of action steps.” (Andrew Carter)

“Coach Accountable” (Liz Smiley)

“Niggle Pro—good as support for clients, but also useful for the coach. Helps me clear my own thoughts and focus on the essential.” (Heli Rajasalo)

“Appointy for booking sessions—it’s really localized, pretty straightforward, and it integrates well into a website.” (Romain Bisseret)

“Oh and CalenGoo.” (Heli Rajasalo)

“Session booking: timetrade.” (Sandra Trincat)

“” (Becci Martin)

“Pulse to access and organize news, information, and trends at a glance.” (Dan Johnson)

“iCoachMentor is nice for visualizing how one progresses with goals. And MindTools is very impressive, warm congrats to its founders!” (Johanna Tuutti-Kankkunen)

“Google Drive” (David Jones)

“1. Pocket, 2. iMindmap, 3. Co-Active, 4. SuperBetter, 5. iFramework.” (Sridhar Laxman)

“Great question! The coolest app for coaches and their clients will be released shortly, in 4 weeks time. Promise to keep you posted. Coaching enters dynamically the mobile era.” (Katerina Kanelidou)

What about you? What are your must-use smart phone apps when it comes to coaching and running your business? We’d love to know—leave a response below or join the conversation at

Branding Your Business with a Human Face

Should a corporation have the same rights as a human being? Let’s leave that argument to the politicians. As any smart marketer knows, people like to relate with people. When we feel like we're being directly advertised to, we automatically put up a subconscious block. If it's a person making a suggestion to us about a product, we're far more likely to give them a listen.

The transition from print and television advertising to internet marketing presents both challenges and opportunities for a business trying to maintain a human element to its outreach. To close the gap between impersonal direct marketing and subtle yet effective person-to-person influencing on the web, follow these simple guidelines:

1. Write a Guest Post

That's why I'm here, right? I love studying social media and business trends, and sharing the knowledge I've picked up over the years is honestly a real pleasure and one of my favorite parts of my job. The fringe benefit is that by guest posting, you also help to establish your company's reputation as a trusted, knowledgeable source of information. Find a blog that you enjoy reading and offer them your services -- before you know it, you may be a published author!

2. Converse on Social Media

The reasons to market your company through Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and so forth are the subject of thousands of blog posts around the web. But Tweets and Facebook posts from a company should have the same human feel that a post from a friend would have. Instead of putting "Tax services, 20 percent off" for your tax preparation company, try a post like "What do you hate most about tax season?" that sparks a conversation.

3. Be a Style Maker

Don't be afraid to get personal with your company posts online. If your business is big enough or you have a trusted employee (or employees), give them access to the company account and ask them to post, pin and tweet freely to it, from photographs to links. Set guidelines, but remember that you're trying to portray your brand as a collection of living and breathing individuals who have a variety of interests and personalities, just like the people reading your messages.

4. Send Newsletters With Personal Messages

Even more personal than guest posting, a monthly email newsletter allows a business to directly reach customers who have given permission for you to send them content. Don't squander this opportunity with worthless drivel and boring marketing. Instead, make your message a personal one.

Not long ago, the foundation of business was human relationships. In small town America, some people still know their barber, postman, and grocer by name. Take that idea and apply it to your business on the web, and you'll find that customers become more loyal as they form a relationship with you and your brand.
Christopher Wallace

Christopher Wallace is Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Amsterdam Printing, one of the nation's largest providers of promotional products for businesses large and small. Amsterdam specializes in custom pens and other promotional items such as calendars, laptop bags and T-shirts. Christopher regularly contributes to Promo & Marketing Wall blog.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Our Purpose as Coaches

Two bricklayers are working alongside one another at a building site. Someone asks them both what they're doing.

The first bricklayer replies, "I put mortar on these bricks and pile them up in a line. I try to make it as neat as possible’

The other bricklayer smiles and says "I'm helping to build the new cathedral."

We've all met people who focus on the "what" they're doing instead of the "why" they're doing it. It's difficult to feel passionate about something when we're missing the meaning behind what we're doing and why we're here.

The Purpose of Knowing Your Purpose

How a person defines purpose has as much to do with his or her mindset as it does with any other beliefs.

Defining purpose in work, life and business is not about the daily tasks, it's about the reason for the tasks in the first place – the why, not the what. Discovering purpose allows us to create the vision behind the tasks, and knowing that vision can dramatically change results.

For example, a chef's purpose is not to cook food – that's a task. The reason for this task is to help people enjoy life by having a good time with loved ones around a meal they didn't have to prepare (or clean up) themselves.

People who are fulfilled at work know how the work they do supports the company's vision, values and goals whether it's their own company or someone else's.

Coaches who are fulfilled know that whilst they need to know the ‘what’  - the skills and techniques to support clients, they also need to keep in mind the ‘why’ so it all makes sense.  They know what’s important to them as a coach.  

How to determine your purpose?

Determine your strengths.  For example as a coach, find out from clients and fellow coaches what they see as your ‘unique-ness’ as a coach e.g. getting to the key point in a coaching conversation or holding a much bigger vision for your clients. We all have something that makes us standout.

Determine your passions or values. As coaches you’ll know about values and passions – these are the things you love to do - with or without external rewards (like money or recognition).

Determine your causes. What in the world makes you feel discontent or compels you to action?

Find the sweet spot. After determining your strengths, passions and causes, find the overlap between them. That's the sweet spot, where you're likely to find the most fulfilment in your coaching life.

Knowing your purpose helps:
  • Give meaning to everything you do.
  • Guide you through tough times and difficult decisions.
  • Encourage you to follow your instinct instead of following the crowd.
Whether you're a bricklayer, a coach or a CEO it's ultimately through being clear on purpose that makes us be most fulfilled and impactful.

Claire Palmer, PCC
By Claire Palmer PCC, Executive & Career Coach, Coach Supervisor. Claire is passionate about her clients being fulfilled & successful in their career, work and life. She has an innate ability to focus ‘right in’, with deep understanding, to what’s important and from there work with her clients to identify the practical action that achieves results, often more than expected. Claire is a Past President & Board member UK International Coach Federation and a past co-chair, ICF Global Regulatory Committee.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Four simple ways to thank your clients

Do you regularly express gratitude to your clients? People like to feel appreciated…it’s human nature. Here are four simple ways you can express gratitude to your clients today (and every day!):

1. Handwritten thank you notes. Yes, it might be time consuming, but this gesture is well worth it. Technology has changed the face of communication –people text instead of call and email instead of write. Taking the time to write a personalized, handwritten letter is a novelty these days—and a well-received token of gratitude.

2. Develop and implement a customer loyalty program. Maybe this means providing a discount or a small gift to those clients who refer potential clients to you. No matter what works for your practice, this kind of program will show clients that you appreciate their business.

3. Acknowledge your clients’ special occasions. This can mean sending greetings on Birthdays, holidays, and/or other special occasions. These messages will show your clients that you care about what is going on in their lives.

4. Show daily gratitude. Something as simple as looking a person in the eye, providing your full attention when they are speaking, and promptly returning telephone calls and emails are all ways you can express gratitude every day of the year!

How have you thanked your clients this year? Share your ideas below!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Coaching Managers to Manage Themselves FIRST!

In his book “First Things First,” Steven Covey wrote “Where there’s no Gardener, there’s no Garden.”

The Garden can be a place of great energy and great solace, a place to work and to reflect. In the garden we can plough, sow, tend, nurture and ultimately harvest. 

However the Garden will not flourish if the Gardener is ineffective in managing themselves and the Garden. In an organisation a Manager cannot expect to manage the work and results of other people successfully if they cannot manage themselves first.

In my coaching conversations with Leaders and Managers I encourage them to create and work in their own garden.

Self management should be the Manager’s Number One priority.

As an Executive Coach, I am often asked by the Manager “Coachee” for coaching to be better in planning, managing and organising themselves, improving work/life balance, delegation, giving effective feedback and strategies for stress management. 

Managers discuss their feelings such as struggling, being overwhelmed, not able to delegate enough, guilt about hours spent at work, challenged by staffing problems and so on.

Some Managers are so focused on their own battles and survival that they have less energy to give of themselves in leading, managing and developing others.  

What are the Essentials for Coaching a Manager in Self Management?

1. The Coaching process must be a conversation with Coachee objectives and actions. Coaching objectives specifically in the area of self management are essential. The Coaching process needs to demonstrate and replicate “self management” itself with goals and actions, positive focus and motivation, discipline, reflection and reward and celebration.

2. The use of assessment and survey tools can be very effective for creating self awareness of personal style. Throughout their lives and careers, many Managers do not understand how other people perceive them. A diagnostic or assessment instrument can be a great starting point to increase self awareness around style and behaviours. The ethical and responsible use of all diagnostic and assessment tools, especially in debriefing, is a key competence for a Coach.

3. It is important for a Manager to understand how his capability for self management impacts either positively or negatively on his abilities to manage his role, function and build relationships. We focus on self management in relationship to management functions such as Leadership, Planning, Organising, Coaching and giving feedback, Getting Results and Building Relationships with Stakeholders. 

4. Coaching provides a space for Managers to slow their pulse and reflect especially on their own thoughts, actions and behaviours. Powerful and focused questions from the Coach can facilitate the Manager reflecting on specific events and their actions from different perspectives. The space for reflection and talking through issues can also help the Manager to be more creative with options and solutions.

5. Coaching facilitates the Manager identifying self management strengths, obstacles and challenges and options for risk and experimentation. Strengths emphasised can be affirmed by the Coach. The outcomes of risk taking and experimentation can be shared for review, problem solving, affirming and celebrating with their Coach.

6. A Coaching conversation should always come to a close with clear actions. When a Manager has some objectives about managing themselves better outcomes can be realised however it appears that sustainable change occurs when the Manager views their own process more as a marathon rather than a sprint.  

7. Each Coaching conversation is a building block for the next. As a Manager owns his issues, experiments and takes action the Coach is ready to provide support, affirmation and positive reinforcement of efforts made and changes that proved successful. The Managers’ levels of confidence increase. In addition seeking feedback from others such as Managers, peers and staff supplements the recognition and support from the Coach. This augurs for more sustainable change in the identified areas for improvement, development and growth of the Manager.

8. In Coaching we ask the Manager to become the successful Gardener working in their own Garden first. In this Garden the Gardener speaks to him or herself in positive ways, says “ well that was dumb” when forgetting to fertilise in Spring, uses words of encouragement to keep going when digging a soil that is dry and rock hard and to have optimism to sow and nurture again after a storm has destroyed all the crops. And finally the Gardener can reflect upon and celebrate the bumper harvest that feeds himself and others in his life.

In Australia Lisa Baker, ACC, has a long held passion for facilitating individuals and organisations to find their own ideas, solutions and realise potential. Whether providing business coaching, coaching and building teams in organisations, to facilitating with a CEO to lead and implement major change, you will find Lisa energised and sharing her infectious optimism. For more information go to

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Laser Business Mentor Session with Susan Hogarth and Teresia LaRocque

In this laser mentor session, Susan ( identifies the one thing that will make the biggest difference in leveraging her time and maximizing the various business opportunities she is attracting.
Teresia LaRocque, MCC, Business building Mentor, shows how taking 15 minutes to laser focus can make a big difference in your business success. This mini session will help you learn how embracing the habits of blocking and planning your time will increase your focus, productivity and efficiency as an entrepreneur.

Teresia LaRocque MCC
Teresia LaRocque MCC, is Director of Entrepreneurship and Business Building Mentor for the Erickson Business Center – at Erickson College International Teresia is a pioneer in the booming profession of personal coaching, the first recipient of the International Coach Federation’s Master Coach Credential in Canada and cofounder for the Vancouver International Coach Federation chapter. Teresia is committed to supporting coaches to take their talent and passion for coaching and make their entrepreneurial dreams come true.
Teresia is the founder and facilitator of the Passion into Profit Program, a customized business building program offered through the Erickson Business Center. For free business building tips and advice, join us on Facebook at

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Willpower as a key to goal attainment

Willpower actually has three faces, according to Kelly Mc Gonigal,  author of the Willpower Instinct. There is "I Will Power," "I Won't Power," and "I Want Power." Every willpower challenge requires doing something difficult, or taking a path that is opposite what we usually do, or what might be most tempting. Meeting goals require a significant amount of willpower and it requires that the prefrontal cortex of the brain is very active.

The 3 regions of the PFC corresponding to each type of will power are:
1.  The upper left side of the PFC specializes in "I Will." It helps you move forward with or stick to difficult, boring, or stressful tasks.
2. The right side of the PFC specializes in "I Won't." It helps you resist temptations and cravings.
3. The "I Want" region is in the middle and it keeps track of goals and desires.

The prefrontal cortex is the most sophisticated and energy consuming part of the brain. In order or the prefrontal cortex to serve us well, it needs adequate glucose through the foods we eat, sleep, and training via meditation and other mindful practices. In addition, it needs external support by way of removing external distractions, clear definition of goals, and encouragement from others including family, friends, and coaches.

Here are a few ways you can boost your willpower when it is being tested:
1.  Immediately boost willpower by slowing breath to 4-6 breaths per minute. That is approximately 10-15 seconds per breath.
2. Increase willpower by stepping outside for fresh air and a "green break."
3. Take a refreshing power nap.  Even 10-20 minutes can restore and re-energize the PFC.
4. Use imagery to address a craving. Temptation is like a wave on the ocean. Rather than battle it the temptation, allow it to crest like a wave and dissolve gently into the shoreline.

There are many other ways understanding the nature of willpower can help you reach your goals. 

Stay tuned to future blogs where you will learn more about this topic and how it can help you uncover personal potential.

Ann C.Holm, MS ACC CCC. Ann is an ICF certified coach with a lifelong interest in brain science. For 25 years, she coached brain injured clients toward cognitive recovery with an emphasis toward optimal functioning in the community. In 2009, she started a coaching practice in order to serve any client who wishes to uncover personal potential through increased awareness of how the brain works, and knowledge of psychological type preferences. Ann holds a B.A. in Psychology, Speech and Hearing Sciences (1983) and a M.S. in Speech and Language Pathology (1986), both from the University of Michigan. She received Life Coach training from the Coaches Training Institute in 2008.  She is also an MBTI Master Practitioner and currently one of less than 100 MBTI practitioners worldwide certified to administer the newly released MBTI Step III.  Her website is

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My story of light

Whatever you're doing today...

Perhaps you could take a moment to pause..

Light a candle... (you might be doing that anyway)

And create an intention...

And remind yourself of your story.

I searched for a new story about light.  We're all celebrating it, each in our own way.

But I kept coming back to the strongest of images. 

The children's faces as they light the candles for Chanukah.

Counting Christmas trees as we drove through a cold and blustery Dublin night.

The candles lit in the church where I heard my first mid-night mass. 

The Chanukah presents placed lovingly around the table set for Friday-night-dinner.

And I realized that I don't need a new story.

This is my story of light.

This is my holiday story.

And it is a story of gratitude.

Gratitude for those moments and memories.

And immense gratitude to the wonderful people in my life; family, friends, clients, colleagues.

With thanksgiving just passed and the holidays coming soon, this is the perfect time to hold that magical space for story. 

To be truly thankful for the blessings of stories past, present and future; the memories, the relationships which are expressed through story and become your reality. Take a moment to tell that story!  

I can't wait to see what story awaits us in 2013!

What story are you creating during this holiday season?

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