Thursday, 28 October 2010

Winnie The Pooh Quote - time to think

Another fine example of when time to think is important.

“Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it.”

by A. A. Milne

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Nancy Kline - Time to Think

Today's guest Speaker was Nancy Kline. We have been waiting for this. Kim has built this up to be the ultimate in Coaching.

I used to think that being a life coach was about having to think about all the right questions at exactly the right moment to get to the crux of the clients issue. I'd even read the book and still couldn't believe that you could coach someone in almost utter silence.

Nancy was warm and loving - she could make anyone comfortable in her presence.

It was only when she took a volunteer and we watched in awe as Nancy asked her simple question that the concept really truly became clear.

It was like a work of art. If you ever get chance to see her, do so, and if you don't - read the book.

Time to Think : Listening to Ignite the Human Mind

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Coaching Course Part II

I'm soo tired today.

I've been on workshop 2 of my Coaching Course. Its so hard to believe that 4 weeks have passed since my last one. We pack so much into the 4 days too. Some theory, guest speakers (Nancy Kline, Damien Hughes, Sue Brown), practice sessions, then when we go back to the B&B a few of us are staying at we talk about it all again.

I did want to absorb myself into it, but it does tire me out too.

I have taken the day off work too. This will help. Though having eaten like a pig for the last 4 days I'm having to go to my favourite gym class this morning - Body Pump to see if I can get rid of those few pounds before they settle on my hips.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Book Review - Coaching with NLP - How to be a master coach

As I may have mentioned previously - I'm not a big reader. If I'm lucky I managed 3 books a year and a handful of walking/cookery magazines.

I'm rather horrified that I need to read, interpret and analyse books to enhance my essays.

I have a reading list provided by my course and am desperately searching book shops to try and identify the easy reads. In the mean time I picked a book that's not on the list. This is called "Coaching with NLP" by Joseph O'connor & Andrea Lages. So I thought I'd offer you a book review.

Whether you're into coaching or NLP, this is a great read. I don't consider myself a big reader, but this book has a lovely layout and is well illustrated with coaching models.

Its both an excellent introduction to coaching or to NLP. What I particularly liked is the resource section at the back, contains a number of tools to use with clients.

I managed comfortable to fit it into a bust schedule ans still read it in two weeks, however it is also a book you could dip in and out of, or take more time to really get to grips with all of the aspects.

Thoroughly recommended.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Pin Badges

Removing my Pin badges

Pin badges are a strange thing. They carry words like

One of my personal discoveries when I was being coached was that I chose to wear pin badges. By this I mean I would actually label myself - things like:

“I have no confidence”
“I’m not very good at my job”

Coach made me realise that I was hiding behind these. But what’s worse, the more I stated it the more I reinforced it. They became self fulfilling prophecies.

Now I recognise them. Now I am able to take them off, throw them away or even wear new ones.

They say things like

“I have confidence”
“I can do this”

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Poem - Just One

Just One

One song can spark a moment,
One flower can wake the dream
One tree can start a forest,
One bird can herald spring.

One smile begins a friendship,
One handclasp lifts a soul.
One star can guide a ship at sea,
One word can frame the goal

One vote can change a nation,
One sunbeam lights a room
One candle wipes out darkness,
One laugh will conquer gloom.

One step must start each journey.
One word must start each prayer.
One hope will raise our spirits,
One touch can show you care.

One voice can speak with wisdom,
One heart can know what's true,

One life can make a difference,
You see, it's up to you!


Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Another Coaching Session

Another brilliant coaching session today. I really enjoy coaching Special friend. She really responds well to the sessions and always seems to take something away from them. What more could I want?

We tried some time line methodology today. I learnt lots, particularly this this does not work very well over the phone, however Special Friend still took something from the session so am I pleased.

Monday, 18 October 2010

A friend in need

"A friend is the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out."
~Grace Pulpit

My friends boss rang me today to see Friend wasn't in work today. She once again hasn't replied to my texts so I cancelled my fitness class and called in to see her.

Its really tough. I know at a high level what the problem is (friends have tipped me off), but she's so close to tears the whole time she seems unable to tell me. To make things worse, the kids are always there as well.

I couldn't even give her a hug in case that set her off.

I just want to help and don't know how!

Friday, 15 October 2010

Taking Time Out - easier said than done

We've had a brilliant weekend with friends including a trip to the beach. A great forget about it all kind of day.

I'd taken my laptop and a great pile of reading to their house and had every intention of spending a couple of hours studying whilst the boys watched the Grand Prix - it just didn't happen - so now I've got loads to catch up on.

I am starting to worry a little now. Special friend asked a very valid question - how was I going to get clients. I can't say I haven't thought about it previously. I know it is one of my greater challenges, but with Special friend asking it, it just brought it home to me.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

My Second Volunteer Client

I had my second volunteer client today. VC2 had very similar issue to VC1 in that she hates her job, can't afford not to work and doesn't know what she wants to do.

Yet, the session was so different to the first. VC2 talked for ages and it didn't feel like it was going anywhere.

At the end of the session she admitted that she'd voiced thoughts that she didn't even know existed.

This might be a tough one.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

My First Volunteer Client

Ooh, today is my first official volunteer coaching sessions. It certainly didn't go as expected. I knew VC wanted a new career but things got so bad at work she was carrying her resignation letter in her handbag.

So when I coached her, we were dealing with why she'd not handed it in rather than where her future lay.

I'm very self critical - we need to remember this!

My structure wasn't as fluid as I would have liked. I dipped into the GROW model and back out again on several occasions.

But I did learn something.

Firstly, not to rush the client. If they want to stay in the 'reality' bit of the model then that might be right for the client.

Secondly it brought home exactly how important it is not to advise the client. Imagine if I'd said "what I'd do is hand in the letter" - the possible consequences of getting it wrong are huge.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

What is coaching?

Well it was nice to get a weekend finally, even if it did seem to end in just a matter of minutes, And we got loads done. I managed to catch up on some course notes, a practice sessions with Hubby, update my personal learning journal, oh and write my "what is coaching" web page.

Plus we visited parents, took His Royal Doggyness to the vets and painted the conservatory! - Phew!

Monday, 11 October 2010

A lesson in self belief

Every year, Australia hosts 543.7-mile (875-kilometer) endurance racing from Sydney to Melbourne. It's amongst the world's toughest ultra-marathons. The race takes five days to complete and usually attempted by world-class athletes after much training.

In 1983, Cliff Young, a 61 years old potato farmer competed. No-one thought he could do it. He had been used to covering 2,000 acres on the farm and believed he could finish the race despite his lack of training.

The race started, leaving Cliff at the back. He had no sports training and ran with a shuffle.

In order to compete, one had to run about 18 hours a day and sleep the remaining 6 hours but, Cliff Young didn't know that! Cliff jogged through the night.

Cliff continued to run day and night, every morning he came a little closer to the leading pack. By the final night, he had surpassed all of the young, world-class athletes. He was the first competitor to cross the finish line and he set a new course record.

Modern athletes now adopt Cliff Young's efficient shuffle when completing and it is accepted that to compete for such races you no longer sleep.

For the full story:

Wikipedia on Cliff Young
Elite Feet on Cliff Young

Friday, 8 October 2010

Happy Anniversary to me!!!!!!!

Happy Anniversary to me!!!!!

22 years with a single employer has to be an achievement in anybody's books. And if I look back and am honest, its been mostly good, especially the years when I was customer facing - I thrived on it - and of course its paid the bills over the years too.

I'm only unsettled now because I'm bored and in need of new challenges AND I miss dealing with people.

Hubby has been really brilliant at the moment. He's doing more than the lion's share of the housework and I'm getting some of my coaching study done too. Just not quite as much as I would like.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

All work and no play?

Already its seems that I am letting my journal slip slightly. I've not written in it for 4 whole days - its the very thing that gives me my blog fodder. I almost missed blog posting yesterday completely.

My life has become a whirl of work, sorting volunteer clients, trying to sort some of the business and web stuff out and doing my homework, re-reading course notes, ordering books and filling in university forms. At last after working 12 days on the trot I've now reached the weekend. Hubby has got stuck in and tidied the kitchen and we're planning to pain the conservatory.

I do know that all work and no play makes Snowdrop very dull, so we took His Royal Doggyness to the local canal side pub for a baguette and chips tea. For 13 years of his life I've never fed him anything that might be harmful, but I've relaxed this rule in the last year. At almost 14 I'm not sure a handful of chips will do him any further harm.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Flinging yoya mats - its the new sport

I've had a brilliant 4 days on my coaching course, full of highs and lows. Its a post graduate certificate so I've loads of reading to do and the writing needs to be formulated in a certain way. This will take some time and is one of the bigger challenges for me.

I guess I will sit down and plan it out in a nice logical way like I do with most things.

Going back to work went ok too. I'd anticipated I might have had trouble changing my mind back from life coach to analytical mode. But it was when I got a bit over emotional at pilates it came as a total surprise to me. I get very frustrated with myself sometimes when I struggle with some of the more difficult moves.

Yes, I know I'm too hard on myself, Yes, I know everyone finds different things hard
but in my head I need to be able to do it.

My poor instructor must have wondered what on earth had happened when I threw down my yoga mat and stamped on it - but she's very lovely and understanding and gave me a big hug.

Now I'm just embarrassed about my outburst.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Peaked and Troughed.

I've already talked about been on a roller coaster recently, and if I'm honest I knew this was going to happen. Its all the change curve stuff kicking in. I've peaked and troughed.

Day one of my course has been great. I've met great people, had some great practice coaching sessions, some covering the basics that I already know the theory for and others on totally new content, interesting and exciting. I've even learnt a little bit about being a sole trader and how to deal with my tax.

Then day 2 came along. We covered the exam, well course work for the exam. The assessment bit doesn't bother me. Neither does the thought of essay writing. Its the style of reading that's the issue.

Because its a post-graduate certificate I am required to read, understand, challenge and assess what I am reading and then communicate that effectively in an essay or 3. I've never worked like this before. I went straight to denial and I think my actual thought process was "I don't read". In actual fact I do read, 3 novels and half a dozen magazines a year.

I do find non-fiction difficult. Full of heavy language and concepts and then get bored very quickly. How on earth am I going to manage text books.

Fortunately a fellow student grounded me in one of the practice sessions. So I now know I need to crank up my reading, do a bit at a time, plan it and take it from there, but as I'm going to need time to do this, I need to push some of my business plans back a bit to free up some time.

Good stuff this coaching!

Monday, 4 October 2010

Santa is coming!

I barely slept last night. I think I was just too excited. I think last night I had a night like that, Santa Claus was on his way or I was going into hospital to have my wisdom teeth out.

I think its the former, I don't feel nervious or scared just very very excited. The drive is bothering me a little and the packing is mithering me. What if I 've forgotton something? I'm going to a village called Diseworth, I don't think it will be the end of the earth so should have some amenities.

I keep worrying about undies and shoes. I know I have packed more than enough undies and I certainly never leave the house without shoes on my feet so why do I go through this irrational thinking?

Friday, 1 October 2010

Choices choices.........

Despite a busy day at work, I've managed to follow up a couple more enquiries for volunteer clients. The first one, I met face to face and although I could see why he might want life coaching, I didn't get the feeling that he really knew what he wanted. The conversation was a bit stilted, we simply didn't gel at all. So I decided not to coach him. Why make things difficult for myself, maybe I'm wrong, maybe I should have seen him as a challenge.

The second was an email. Her partner has recently given up work and relocated here and now wants to earn a living from writing. Now that will be a challenge!!!!

Then I have someone whose work is making her ill, but she needs to work to earn money etc etc...

Choices choices ..........