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Thoughts on Coaching and Teaching

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Thoughts on Coaching and Teaching

 Time + Learning = Knowledge

Time + Learning = Knowledge

The more time you spend tinkering with something, reading about it, watching YouTube videos or TED talks, the more knowledge you're going to build. If you're really lucky, you'll also learn and grow through the lessons life gives you as you simply get older. 

At some point, people will come to see you as someone who knows about this thing, and ask you questions. They'll seek out your experience and what you can share with them so they might learn from you. This is valuable information they are willing to pay for, because learning from you saves them time.

That's teaching.

You can teach anyone something new who's not quite as far along on the Knowledge-generating journey as you are - even though they might be older and more experienced in other things. (Of course you can coach them as well by not answering their question, but instead asking them new ones. Personally, if someone asks me a direct question I can answer, I do.)

What about the experts in your field, who have studied your thing all their lives? They might not ask you questions about content, but you can still show them what an inquisitive mind can do, and remind them what it's like from time-to-time to see their field of expertise with new eyes. 

That's coaching. 

Best of all, as you work with the experts, your knowledge will keep growing, too.

Where can you bring teaching and coaching into your workplace or practice? 

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Coaching with your Personality Type in Mind

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Coaching with your Personality Type in Mind

Coaching support in its essence accompanies you through a change process. You're no longer satisfied with where you are, so you take action to reach a new place; physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. 

Depending on your Type preferences, you'll approach change in different ways. You'll have certain needs that have to be met for the change to be successful. You'll be paying attention to certain information and need support with specific areas.

These innate preferences might make it hard to understand that not everyone thinks and feels about change the same way you do. 

If you don't know your Type yet and would like to find out, contact me or find another Master Practitioner in your neighborhood. If you do know your Type, here's a brief excerpt from Introduction to Type® and Coaching, by Sandra Krebs Hirsh and Jane Kise. Use this awareness to prepare for your next change process more effectively, and to provide others with what they need to be on board. 

Introversion-Sensing (IS)

ISTJ, ISFJ, ISTP, ISFP

During change, ISs' emphasis is on preserving what is already effective and important traditions. To adapt and thrive during change, 

  • Explore how to relate the change to past experiences or familiar knowledge
  • Ask about the practical reasons for the change (e.g. cost or time savings, new regulations, etc.)
  • Try to understand the ways in which the changes will be an improvement over the status quo

Extraversion - Sensing (ES)

ESTJ, ESFJ, ESTP, ESFP

During change, ESs' emphasis is on taking action and ensuring efficiency. To adapt and thrive during change,

  • Seek to relate the changes to your specific role
  • Concentrate on the practical results change will bring - ask about what will be faster, more cost-effective, easier, and so on
  • Find evidence that the changes will help you work more effectively

Introversion-Intuiting (IN)

INTJ, INFJ, INTP, INFP

During change, INs' emphasis is on envisioning, or researching how things could be different. To adapt and thrive during change, 

  • Ask for information on books, technologies, theories, or frameworks that are driving the change
  • Seek involvement with the conceptual aspects of the change
  • Consider alternative ideas and concepts as well as "what if" scenarios

Extraversion-Intuiting (EN)

ENTJ, ENFJ, ENTP, ENFP

During change, ENs' emphasis is on embracing novelty or new ideas. To adapt and thrive during change,

  • Connect the changes to themes, theories, or overall corporate goals
  • Engage your imaginatino to envision what good might result from the changes
  • Take an active role in enacting changes, especially if the impact goes beyond your own responsibilities

I'll be presenting on Type and Coaching at the DFW APT Chapter meeting on March 18th, starting at 6.30 pm at the King of Glory Lutheran Church, 6411 Lyndon B Johnson Freeway, DallasTX. If you're in town, I'd love to see you! RSVP here

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"You're a Human Being Before You're a Human Doing"

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"You're a Human Being Before You're a Human Doing"

Entrepreneurs are at risk for depression when they over-identify their self-worth with the success of their business.

Strategies to avoid this pitfall, and "create resiliency against the violence that often happens at work":

  • Practice the art of non-attachment: do your best, give it your all, and don't be hung up on the result.
  • Engage with a multi-generational community. Learn from one another, and realize you don't have to do it all alone. 
  • Adopt the notion of practice. "Practice being a CEO."
  • Allow yourself to *be* (yourself) at work. 

Jerry Colonna, executive coach and former venture capitalist, interviews Parker J Palmer, author, educator, and activist, about "Surviving the StartUp Life". They discuss "standing in the tragic gap" - the place between harsh realities of life and knowing what could be possible; aka the "eternal human yearning to be connected with something larger than my own ego". 

Life in a startup (anywhere, really) is hectic, and it's easy to forget self-care. Unfortunately, our bodies and minds are more likely to break down when under prolonged stress. Clinical depression becomes a real issue. 

Here's Palmer's description of how he experienced depression (transcribed-ish):

He is not surprised when he hears someone under depression commits suicide. Clinical depression is utterly exhausting, and eventually you just want a rest.

The faculties he (and most of us) usually depends on are:

  • Intellect
  • Emotions
  • Will
  • Ego

In depression, each of these are rendered utterly useless. 

Intellect: You can think yourself into a depression, but you can't think your way out of it. 

Emotions: A depression is not about feeling bad, it's the terrifying knowledge that you can feel nothing at all. 

Will: It barely exists. At the advice of a therapist, he kept track of any minor gains he made every day. He learned something about using a gentler metric because his will was non-existent.

Ego: While living in ego is lonely, a depression will shatter even that. 

What he came to see is that he has another faculty, the Soul. He learned to honor his being and how to hold the other faculties more modestly. They were no longer the main tools. Nowadays, his intention is to be in the world in a more soulful, authentic, truthful, way. He is honoring his potential and his limitations. At 74, he feels it more important to be in the world as he truly is. 

The video continues with a Q&A with the audience. Here's an excerpt.

What is the one thing that stops entrepreneurs from being successful?

(Jerry) The fear of failure.

First, be sure you know how you define success. There's so much pressure, but if you apply the notion of practice to the startup and you find a way to pay the bills, then the definition of success starts to change. Take the fangs away from the monster of fear and failure. 

(I would add the old coaching adage: "there's no failure, only feedback". Didn't get many signups for the call? Try a different marketing strategy. Didn't get a high opt-in conversion? Try a different call-to-action, or change the color of the button. And for the love of chocolate, don't define yourself by the number of Twitter followers. Building a business takes time.)

How can I hold myself together in the multiple roles I play? What if I succeed as an entrepreneur but fail as a father? 

(Parker) Community has healing power. When I struggled with depression there was one phrase I needed to hear: "Welcome to the human race; we're all in this together." This experience doesn't set you apart, it pulls you closer to us. The failure or the success don't define you; they're both equally toxic. We're often taught to play different roles and segmenting our lives, but we do have control over whether we're the same person everywhere we show up. As we do it, we incrementally add to our own sense of well-being and wholeness. 

(Jerry) I went to watch a movie with my son, and was moved to tears. A part of me said, "I can't do this in front of him" - I was afraid he would love me less. But what he expressly said was, "Dad, it makes it easier to love you, knowing that you struggle."

It's ok to share your struggles with your family and kids, because you'll be modeling the wholeness of who you are

(I would add Brené Brown's books as a resource, they are powerful tools to help put vulnerability and courage into perspective.)

Here's the video:

If you can't see it, the link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlSp16ZhiXg.

"Violence is what happens when we don't know what else to do with our suffering." Parker Palmer

The violence that happens at work can be a harsh word (self-talk or said out loud), not taking a lunch break (denying yourself basic nourishment), withholding information, feeling resentful (envy and greed both have green eyes), sabotaging yourself or others. I invite you this week to be kind to yourself, and to recognize your (or, if you are) suffering.

Sad Clown image from flickr by Shawn Campbell, Creative Commons license

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Coaching for Interaction Style Stress

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Coaching for Interaction Style Stress

Knowing our personality Type preferences or our Interaction Style can help us better understand what triggers our stress, and how to move out of it quicker. 

For example, the In-Charge™ Interaction Style is driven by a need to accomplish. Shit needs to get done, or we get nervous. As the name implies, we like to be in control, and our energy tends to come across as determined and assertive. When things don't go our way, our first reaction might be to apply a little more pressure, to see if we can push through the resistance and get it done anyway. 

 Meme from Pinterest

Meme from Pinterest

If sheer force can't will our goals into existence, we might get more and more demanding, eventually turning to point fingers and unloading a torrent of abuse at the next available person. (Or object. Many are the tables and chairs I've kicked in frustration.) Since this approach rarely works, our stressful situations of non-accomplishment usually end in a devastating anti-climax of pouty and petty "whatever"'s.

We don't really not care, we're just stressed and at a loss how to get it where it needs to be.

Remind you of anyone? Personality Type patterns that share this Interaction Style are ESTJ, ENTJ, ENFJ, and ESTP. 

Here's where we want to remember that the one thing we can always control is our response. Awareness of Interaction Style stress won't stop it from ever happening again, but you'll be able to come out of it quicker. Think about a small thing you can do, and go do it. Check something off your list. Even if it's not related to the project you're working on; you'll still need a sense of accomplishment. 

Be patient with yourself. Are you multi-tasking again? Trying to concentrate of various things at the same time is a good predictor for not getting anything done at all. Focus on one thing at a time, and figure out who can help you. We're all Extraverts in this scenario, talking it over with a trusted friend or colleague will help. 

And my favorite reminder comes straight out of www.matrixinsights.com

Seek a broader understanding

Just because you think nothing is happening doesn’t necessarily mean that nothing is happening. No matter what your role or perspective, you will not have visibility into every perspective. Seek to understand issues from different perspectives by asking questions and putting yourself “in others' shoes.”

I'm opening a coaching program specifically for people with ENFJ preferences next month. If you'd like to learn more about it, and get a demo of Matrix Insights, visit buildingthelifeyouwant.com/enfj and sign up for the webinar. 

Interaction Styles™ are based on Linda Berens, PhD theory and part of her Berens CORE™ Approach. I've written about them before and recommend you buy her book or visit Linda's website

Image thanks to bottled_void on flickr, Creative Commons license

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Coaching for impact - Leveraging Type

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Coaching for impact - Leveraging Type

Bernie Goldstein, MBA, PCC, gave a presentation at the New York chapter of the Association for Psychological Type (APT NYC) in October. I really enjoyed the session and learned a lot about how different personality types prefer to coach.

Schopenhauer said that people define the limits of their world by the limits of their own vision. What type was Schopenhauer?

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The one thing that does not get easier with practice

 Pic credit: beautifulyf.com

Pic credit: beautifulyf.com

is saying good-bye.  

Whether you're an expat moving internationally, or a student going to school in a different part of the country: every single one of us has had to say good-bye. Even those who have lived their whole lives in one place, like our parents, for example. They've also had to say good-bye - to us. Many times over, after every visit.  

My husband and I have lived in North Dallas since 2007. This is the longest we've been in one place as adults. Now that we're moving to New York, I'm once again reminded of the power of connection and community. Some friends and colleagues in Dallas have been kind to say we'll leave a hole. Other friends in New York have been kind to say they're excited about our imminent arrival.

We're in the middle feeling blessed... and wistful.

Most of our household goods are gone, as we decided to travel lightly. Do over. Blank slate. Saying good-bye to things is easier than saying good-bye to people, I find.

Lucky our hearts expand to accommodate as many people as necessary, both in person and in memory. 

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On Sacred Dreams

white hot truth: what's true for you?

I'm posting another writer's article today, basically because I think she rocks and would like to introduce you to her (in case you don't know her yet.) She is Danielle LaPorte of daniellelaporte.com

Wonder what their dream is

Our dreams and desires define us. Be they broken, scarcely remembered, on the verge of reality, or in full bloom. They pilot our choices. Dreams have the power to shape the entire landscape of our lives. Because they tend to be so precious and potent, many people keep their dreams and aspirations to themselves.

A dream is a very sacred thing to share.

If you knew someone's dream, you might look at that person very differently…with more tenderness, more respect, more familiarity, and more wonder than before. Dream-sharing melts boundaries and it calls forth resources and commonalities.

Look at everyone you meet this week and actively think to yourself, “I wonder what their dream is?” Ask at least one person this week what their dream is. You can do it subtly, and traditionally, like, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” or “What did you want to be when you were growing up?” Or you can just go for it, playfully and momentously and ask, “So, like, what’s your big dream?” So many people never get asked that. And fewer are really listened to. And for those who are stumped by the question, I guarantee they'll be thinking about it for days to come. Just the asking of that question sets essential things in motion.

The guy in the cubicle next to you may be working on novel about unicorns and espionage. Your sister might be fantasizing about her own cabaret break out performance. Your postal carrier may be patenting the next great invention. Make no assumptions about your partner, your workmate, or the bus driver.

Small, mighty, seemingly impossible, or simply pure – when you know what someone’s dream is, your perspective leans toward openness. And every dream needs space to run.

Oh, my dream-stream... Inspire freedom seeking and engagement with life in a big big way for a long long time. That means my next book, White Hot Truth is a stunning success in every way possible, and I'm wearing suede boots and big gold hoops on stage and laughing "you-know-what-I'm sayin'-don'tchya?" laughs with thousands of people.

And I dream of Morocco and France and a koi pond in the back yard of my mod pre-fab house. Collecting art. Magazine coverage. I dream about communion with my man that blows both our minds. I dream of sitting 'round a fire with leaders and lovers of progress. Being able to give yeses and make phone calls that open doors and new dimensions for people.

I dream of children being taught mindfulness in school, and a movement of conscious birth choices and parenting, and technologies that heal. And I dream of invitations that humble me, and more magical connections with people who I recognize on a cellular level, and we band together to leverage change, and to support and care for each other in the way that reminds you how great it is to share space and time. And I dream of feeling more electric and sweet every single day.

But mostly, I dream of being amazed.

How 'bout you?

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Well, I dream of so many things... love, passion, joy, world peace, healthy self-esteem for all, living in a society without money, making a positive difference in people's lives, being a size 10, having conversations with singers and movie stars, having time to read all the books in the world and friends and family to discuss them with, playing the piano, speaking every language on the planet fluently, traveling extensively - and very deep down, I dream of feeling truly 100 % content and rooted within myself.

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The Speed of Success

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The Speed of Success

We all have goals we want to achieve, and some taking much longer than others makes life seem totally unfair at times. Why is it so easy to gain 5 pounds, but then it takes a month to get 'em off again? Running your own business, how come you're networking your heart out, and still can't seem to land that first big account? In times of doubt and frustration, instead of changing goals, a change in approach can be just the ticket.

Here's what I read in Jack Canfield's newsletter recently, he talks about basically becoming aware of negative thought patterns, paying attention to the good stuff you already have in your life, and taking responsibility for your life by taking action and committing to continued action, even if it's in the smallest of increments:

When Success is Slow, What Can You Do? by Jack Canfield

Pop Quiz: Can success be sped up? Is there an antidote to slow outcomes despite arduous planning and actions taken? What's the secret for seeing huge results right now?!

I get versions of these questions frequently from people who feel frustrated at sluggish progress in their success journey - despite all the know-how and principles they rigorously employ.

Let's get one thing straight...

When we admire someone's success, or even our own, we often focus on the end result and not so much on the effort (and time) that it took to get there. This can cultivate unrealistic expectations, especially the idea that overnight success can happen through careful strategy and an execution of sound advice.

The truth be told, success typically follows a series of little events and achievements that can seem to take an eternity, that include a few disappointments along the way, and that challenge everything about you to the core - your stamina, courage, integrity, and even your willingness to keep going.

If you focus on what's not working, guess what: You're likely coming from a place of aggravation as your mind wraps around all that is wrong.

You may even have negative thoughts like "I'm not good enough," "It will never work," or "Something must be wrong with me."

What this mentally does is engender more of these counter-productive feelings. And given what we know about the Law of Attraction, you attract what you are feeling. So negative experiences, people, and results will beget more negative experience, people, and results. There's not much success in that.

The key, then, is to focus on what IS working. To do so, I recommend two simple practices: journaling and meditation.

Maintaining a journal (I call it an Evidence Log, Results Journal, or Gratitude Journal) is a great way to steer your attention to the positive and continually renew your vision for yourself.

Start each day with reflections on what you are grateful for in your life (list them out!) and end each day with notes on what went right (again, write them down), however small they may seem.

Spend time each day in quiet contemplation, prayer or meditation.

Meditation can be powerful tool for arriving at solutions to problems and shifting your attitude so you can attract success sooner rather than later. The magic of meditation is its ability to essentially shut down the outer layer of your judgmental, highly-critical brain and allow your unconscious mind to take over. This is where you enter a deeper state of inner peace and joy, tapping into a higher level of creativity that will help usher in the results you want. (Don't know how to meditate? Lots of books and materials are available to guide you this practice. It's easier than you think. )

Let's say you're doing ALL these things, but you still aren't happy with your results...

I'll ask you then, are you taking real ACTION?

You may be taking the actions you are used to taking. But if you keep doing what you've already done, then you'll keep getting what you've always gotten. It's a matter of practicing some new behaviors. Shake things up a bit and see if you can take new actions or modify existing ones.

Remember the Rule of 5.

Every day do five specific things that take you toward your goal. Change up the five actions regularly and be open to feedback so you know when you're off course.

Lastly, I want to remind you about patience.

It's natural to underestimate how long a certain goal can take, especially a profound one. When I set a goal to become a millionaire the year was 1983. How long did it take? Eleven years. It took time for Chicken Soup for the Soul to hit the bestseller lists. You could say our tenure on the New York Times list was more than a decade in the making. That's a lot of patience for someone who initially wanted overnight success.

So, yes, patience is a virtue. But keep at it, and in no time, you'll be only one week, or one day away from your ultimate success.

Remember... be grateful, reflect on what IS working and continue to take ACTION!

Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul© and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get your FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com

I'd like to leave you with these thoughts: people have to work hard to make something look easy, and there's no such thing as overnight success. In fact, Chris Guillebeau even wrote a great manifesto about the fact. If you believe in what you do, please don't be put off by roadblocks or circumstances that seem to constantly test your commitment, because that's their job. It's your job to stick with it and not deprive the world of your dream.

Image by Brenda Starr, Flickr, Creative Commons License.

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