Archive for March, 2011

I’m a qualified coach – why would I need my own coach?

March 14, 2011

I am an experienced and qualified coach, and yet I have my own coach. Why?

There are 3 main reasons:

  1. It keeps me on track with good coaching practice
  2. Having my own coach accelerates my progress
  3. It provides useful objectivity that I can’t totally provide for myself when working on challenges and growth areas

I’ll come back to point 1 shortly. Points 2 and 3 are valid reasons why anyone should have a coach. You can often ‘get there’ on your own, but it could take a long time and you could give up out of frustration or lack of belief it will happen.

You might argue that coaches have the skills and tools necessary to coach themselves. It’s true they have a certain advantage over those without coaching training, but I return to point 3 above, and state that you can be too close to the situation to really see it clearly. I find that coaching provides me with that objective clarity I seek to ensure a more successful outcome.

Over the course of my time working as a professional and personal coach I have employed 3 types of coaches:

  • A life coach – to help me with my ongoing personal development
  • A social media coach – to get me started on different social media platforms (she is also a qualified life coach)
  • A business coach – to give me clarity and focus in my business, through its changes and challenges

The first two have also doubled up as supervision coaches to ensure I maintain good coaching practices (point 1 above); and all have contributed to my own personal and professional development in some way. One of the most important aspects of quality control for my business is to continually develop my coaching skills, and regular supervision sessions are key to this.

There are a variety of coaches today, many of whom will specialise in a particular business/organisational sector or a particular development area, such as confidence building, stress management, or leadership development. When looking for a coach, it’s important that you choose the one that best serves your needs and who you can develop good rapport with quickly.

If you are a coach:

  • how often do you use the services of another coach?
  • what type of coach do you use?
  • what benefits do you find?
  • do you prefer 1-1 supervision or group supervision sessions?

A postcard from the future

March 9, 2011

If you were to send yourself a postcard from the future, say a year from now, what would you like it to say?

  • What will be different about you?
  • What will your business / career look like?
  • What will have changed about your daily routine?
  • What challenges have you overcome?

… And what does this tell you about what you need to do over the next 12 months?

Although you won’t know exactly where you’ll be, you may well have goals, plans, dreams, or desires; and this is a good starting point!

So imagine what you in a year will be doing, and consider what advice you’d give yourself to achieve what you’ve achieved.

Some examples …

Hi (your name),

Business is going great guns. My clients are loving my newly developed service! I’m much more confident about delivering seminars, and am excited about moving to new premises in 3 months.

My advice? Keep believing you can do it and continue to learn from those around you.

Dear _____

I’ve figured out how to deal with the communication issues at work! I’ve enlisted the help of an expert, who helped me identify why our current systems weren’t working. We now have really effective communication strategies in place, staff are much happier, and there are far fewer misunderstandings.

Advice? Don’t try to do it all yourself. You’re not Wonder Woman / Superman. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness! Learn from it and add it to your skill set.

Hi _____

Feeling much fitter and healthier, and enjoying a well deserved break! Changing my diet has given me a lot more energy, which means I’m much more productive both at home and work. It wasn’t easy, but having small targets spread out over the year was the key success factor.

My main piece of advice: Start making small changes now, and don’t be hard on yourself if you lapse occasionally. It’s all progress, and you’ll get there!

So what would your postcard say?


(Photo courtesy of Anankkml)

28 Day Blog Challenge Learnings

March 3, 2011

YES! I’ve achieved my 28 Day Blog Challenge and it’s time to celebrate!

But before I do this, I always like to look back at what I’ve learned.

My learnings …

I have a Blog chair!

When you compose a blog, do you sit at your computer, do you vary where you write, or do you have a favourite place in your house or office?

During my blog challenge the place where I was most productive …. where ideas flew more readily …. was my blog chair. It’s comfortable and cosy, a bit old and tattered, and offers few distractions. When I’ve tried composing directly on to my WordPress blog, I can be distracted by checking emails / tweets, etc. So for future blog writing sessions, I will resort to my blog chair!

I must admit, though, there were times when the ideas weren’t flowing and I’ve have to resort to blog ironing!

Was it a challenge?

Definitely! I started out quite well prepared, but as the month rolled on my posts were coming out later in the day. A lot of this was to do with working around other commitments (e.g. clients), and it did mean some other things didn’t happen (e.g. not tweeting as much!) It definitely made me more focused, and my time to write blogs did get shorter.

Accountability

Publishing something on a daily basis which other people can / will read ranks up the accountability factor! I was not only accountable to myself, but potentially to anyone expecting to see a post each day. At times, this definitely helped to keep the momentum going.

What about the benefits?

In one of my first blogs during the challenge I identified some potential benefits to achieving the goal. Having completed the challenge I can now say:

  • I definitely feel more confident writing blogs
  • I don’t think my writing style has really changed over the course of the challenge, but at the moment I am happy with what I’m producing
  • Research into some of the blog topics has further developed my subject knowledge
  • From reading more blogs by other people, and getting into dialogue in the comments section, I have learned more about what people like to read and discuss
  • In terms of adding value, I can only say that I’ve had some positive comments, been invited to guest blog, and some of the posts have been featured in online newsletters

Next steps

It’s an ongoing process! My original blogging goal was to developing my blog writing skills and frequency of posts, delivering weekly posts as a minimum by the end of March. I now plan to write 2 posts a week to see how much of what I’ve learned I can retain and maintain!

If you have managed to follow me through this challenge, I hope you found it interesting / relevant 🙂 Thanks also to those who passed on positive comments and encouragement via Twitter, etc. It was much appreciated!

(Photo courtesy of Keattikorn)