Thursday, January 31, 2013

Do you have an online strategy to build your coaching business?

When you market yourself online, you aren’t just generating leads for the business, you are establishing yourself as a leader of an online community. (Recommended reading: Tribes by Seth Godin) Your passion and expertise, described through your credo (elevator speech), become the roots of your leadership, and your continuous engagement with the community helps it to flourish.

With leadership comes responsibility, a responsibility to lead as well as you possibly can. You’ll want to put some structure and processes around your leadership, so you can be an empowering leader for your community.

How are you going to stay in touch with your community – the people who are interested in your expertise? A newsletter? A Facebook fanpage? Blog? Videos? Whatever platform calls to you, run with it. But remember, as a leader, you need to stay in touch with your community. For example, maybe you will blog three times a week, spend 10 minutes a day on social medial and send out a monthly newsletter. Put yourself on a schedule to stimulate regular interactions with the community. 

Coaches Challenge: Decide on your top three platforms to communicate with your community and set up the structure and support so that you will be consistent.

A well-tended community can be a real source of joy and inspiration for its members – and a real source of qualified leads for your business.

Teresia LaRocque MCC, is Director of Entrepreneurship and Business Building Mentor for the Erickson Business Center –  www.ericksonbusinesscenter.com at Erickson College International www.erickson.edu. 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.

Friday, January 25, 2013

The new coaching for time management

"Just give 'em a few tips and hope for the best."

When it comes to advising clients in the area of time management, this quote represents the approach that many coaches use. A few may go a step further and slip a book in their client's purse but the truth is, neither option works very well.

What can a coach do? There is very little time management research being conducted, and very few opportunities to be trained as a coach in this area. Furthermore, clients are often resistant, in their belief that time management skills are rudimentary and remedial.

Are coaches doomed to deliver weak advice?

At the 2012 Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD) Conference I had the opportunity to share some solutions to this dilemma with over 170 professional organizers. They learned that there is indeed hope, but it comes from some very unlikely places.

1. Engineering
In the discipline of industrial engineering, students are taught to focus on the fictional "widget" as it makes its way through a factory. It's the smallest physical unit on which to focus one's attention for the purposes of analysis and improvement.

In time management, there's an equivalent: a "time demand," which is simply an individual commitment to complete an action in the future. Anything from a brainstorming session to a broken vase can trigger its creation, and coaches who can distinguish time demands for their clients can focus them on processing them in sophisticated ways that result in successful outcomes, one at a time.

2. Educational Theory
Andragogy, the study of adult learning, includes a key principle: a trainer must begin with the knowledge that an adult already possesses. Clients appreciate it when a coach starts with an analysis of their current methods, with a view to building on them. Good time management consulting starts with a sound analysis of the client's current skills, and doesn't make the mistake of forcing a client to adopt a raft of new measures from the start.

3. Coaching
The old style of teaching time management skills involved telling a client to follow a pre-set collection of practices. The new style uses a coaching approach, in which the client learns new skills, such as the ability to analyze their current skills. Once a client learns how to do an analysis, put together an improvement plan and assemble habit supports he/she is in a powerful place; able to take on future spikes in time demands, plus technology changes, without fear. They know that they can undertake their own upgrades whenever they want.
There are many further innovations to use in time management consulting beyond these three, and they reinforce the lesson. A coach needs to use the latest knowledge, even if it comes from unlikely sources, in order to make a profound impact on their client's success.

By Francis Wade. Francis is a pioneer in Time Management 2.0 at 2Time Labs, whose mission is to make time management easy for everyone, everywhere. He helps coaches, trainers and consultants work with time cluttered clients at http://mytimedesign.com.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Setting ecological goals

First days of the year. A lot is being written and said about resolutions, right?

How can we keep our resolutions, how can we stay on track, how do we set our goals, …?

Setting goals is important. Goals help us to get things done; they help us to get started towards our larger purpose and objective.

They will also help us to evolve or change some of our limiting behaviors and in doing so, will help us learn new skills and develop ourselves.

The first thing that comes to mind, especially if you had to set goals for team members at work, is that goals need to be S.M.A.R.T (specific, measurable, achievable/attainable, realistic/relevant and timely). This is well known, and been practiced for years in our companies.

But I would like to write about is the importance of setting, what I call, “ecological goals.”

Setting “ecological goals” is equally important whether you set those goals for yourself, or for your teams for instance. Ecological goals have 3 main characteristics. Those three are really complementary to SMART goals, or any type of goals you would set to yourself or your teams, really.

In addition, ecological goals are here to support you in accomplishing your purpose and larger vision, assuming you know what you truly want to achieve! Sounds trivial, I know, but would not harm to remind the obvious, right!?

First, ecological goals need to be concerned with the impact the outcome may have on our personal ecosystem: ourselves, and those who could be affected, positively or negatively, and directly or indirectly, by us achieving our goals.

All consequences of achieving the outcome are examined. Outcome needs to fit into the overall plan (both short and long term goals) of the individual (or group). In other words, it is “good for all concerned.”

For what purpose do you want this? What will you gain or lose if you have it? What will happen if you get it? What won’t happen if you get it? What will happen if you don’t get it? What won’t happen if you don’t get it?

Second, intrinsic motivation needs to be taken into account.

Intrinsic motivation is about making sure one will fulfill some of his important needs and drivers in pursing his goals, which will be more rewarding sustainably. To me, having goals aligned with intrinsic motivation will go a long way in making sure we do not drop our resolutions in a couple of months, if not, weeks!

That can be tricky. It is certainly difficult to align our goals to our own intrinsic motivation drivers.

But what about ensuring that alignment with people in your team, if you are a manager setting goals with your team members. Only time and a genuine interest about your team members’ drivers will help you there, I think. And paying attention to the drivers of their intrinsic motivation would be a great start.

“Gratitude check”
Plan for regular checks, and not just to measure progress, change course, or envisage backup plans, but also to be grateful to yourself, and appreciative of what you have accomplished so far.

And if you have small slip-ups along the way, do not throw the baby (and your goal) out with the water, but instead be kind to yourself. Look positively at what you learn so far and about yourself. Even if you are fully on track, keep that regular “gratitude check,” just to fully appreciate what have been done so far. And celebrate!

Today’s corporate environments kind of mold us in a way that we are already jumping to the next assignments without taking the time to celebrate our accomplishments and personal growth. Nor the contribution and growth of others who may have been contributing or impacted as a result of your project being completed.

If you make sure your personal goals (or goals you develop for and with others at work) are ecological, by looking at their potential impact on your ecosystem, your intrinsic motivation and keeping frequent “gratitude checks,” you should be better off.

My resolution for 2013? Trying to set “ecological goals” for myself and for my team!

Happy New year all!

By Eric Marin. Eric has spent 20+ years in the Information Technology industry, and has held several management positions while graduating from an Executive MBA in France a few years ago. He works today as a manager and field CTO (Chief Technology Officer) in a large multinational IT company. More recently, he has been trained in Non Violent Communication, and has started the journey to become an ICF Credentialed Coach. He blogs on "Ecological Leadership." These posts may be accessed a http://www.ericmarin.fr/ and http://ecological-leadership.com/. Eric can be followed on Twitter at @EricMarinGo.

Friday, January 18, 2013

A Time for Success

Making an important resolution this year? I would like to offer you some empowering perspectives as you strive to keep your resolutions and reach your goals:

Clarity: Knowing what you want, why you want it, and what you need to do to succeed is essential for sustained effort.

Ask yourself: 
  • Why is this important to me? 
  • How will my life be affected if I reach this goal? If I do not?
  • What is it that I really WANT for my future? 
  • How does this goal fit in with that vision? 
  • What do I need to start saying YES to? 
  • What do I need to start saying NO to? 
Faith: Ask yourself “how much do I believe this is possible?” If your answer is below 100 percent, then you are likely to give up. Figure out how you can get to 100 percent. It may mean altering your goal or redefining what it is that you really want. Even if you have no idea HOW it is going to happen, you must know that it CAN happen.

Patience: Cathedral builders in Medieval times spent their entire lives crafting masterpieces, many times knowing that they would not live long enough to see the finished product. This did not stop them from working toward their goal. We have become accustomed to immediate gratification. The challenges that are important to us often involve overcoming obstacles that take time. Without patience we will quit before we even recognize that we are ON THE PATH to our goal, which is a fabulously fulfilling place to be!

Courage: Courage to try something that is essential to progress but petrifying, courage to go one hour longer than you ever thought you could in abstaining from something you desire, courage to be vulnerable, to take risks, to be unpopular, courage comes in many forms. These are huge, huge things. Having courage, while also having patience, is even more challenging. Yet, the two must go together.

Forgiveness: Scripture and ancient proverb teach “Seven times I may fall, but eight times I will rise again.” Falling is not failure.  It is an important part of any challenging process. What we do when we fall is what matters. When you fall choose to pick yourself up compassionately. Acknowledge yourself for your efforts and for being human. Be gentle. Take the time to make observations on what caused the fall. Use this knowledge to make new decisions to become stronger and more capable as you rise. 

Presence: Being focused on where we want to end up makes it difficult to be present along the way.  We forget how important it is to be grounded in where we are. Presence is essential to success because it allows us to be aware of what is happening and how it is aligned with our goal. Sometimes the way to get somewhere changes. If we are mindlessly following a road that seemed the right path in the beginning, we may overlook important road signs that tell us “Detour,” “New Road Paved,” or “Dead End.” 

Also, when we reach our goal and look back on our journey, we want to be able to say “I did it!” savoring the memories of the moments along the way that have come to define who we have become. As sages have told us for an eternity, it isn’t so much the destination but the journey that is the prize. Neglecting to engage in the process cheats you out of the fulfillment of being a part of your own amazing journey.

Compassion: The BEST part of digging deep to reach a goal is the way your heart opens up to others through the experience. Whether their paths are similar to yours or not, you know the strength it takes to simply be human. This creates connections between yourself and all of humanity. As your proclivity toward compassion grows, the ways that you are able to enjoy the world around you multiplies exponentially. 

Clarity, Faith, Patience, Courage, Forgiveness, Presence and Compassion, may these be your companions for 2013. May you become so well acquainted with them that you choose to keep them close by always. 

By Regina Hellinger. For access to a free webinar on this topic go to www.ReginaHellinger.com. Regina is an inspirational writer, speaker, and life coach who specializes in working with aspiring coaches, gifted individuals, and educators.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy New Year, ICF!