Friday 23 July 2010

Coaching in Organisations Explained in 3 minutes of Video!

Many people ask me how to explain the work I do and finally I distilled this down to a short 3 minute video Let me know what you think and get in touch if this can help you or your business.

Monday 19 July 2010

Contracting....THE Essential Skill in Coaching

It's a known fact that the ability to 'contract' is THE most important skill a Coach possesses. Sure there are other things he/she needs to be able to do and indeed excel at, however without a solid and comprehensive contract the quality, depth and outcomes from Coaching are very likely to be both flawed and compromised.

The truth is many Coaches are not skilled enough in how to contract with a Client, an Organisation or in any other circumstance they find themselves in. Also, it's just damned hard so why take all that on as well?! However I have to say when I do this properly and carefully not alone do Clients do better, they actually soar....!

Coaching's about change, you cannot make an omelette without breaking a few eggs and that's often why Coaches and Organisations procuring Coaching services avoid tough yet obvious questions. As a Coach sometimes your own "ego" can get in the way. (Not the great "I am" ego, more like the "I don't want to rock the boat" or "Don't want to look foolish here" kind of ego). Sometimes clients just want to move very quickly and seem very sure of their ground on an issue that requires Coaching. A good Coach should feel comfortable slowing the pace down when this happens and asking the somewhat dull but essential questions. There are many ways to conduct this exercise effectively. My own view is when I facilitate what should be happening between my Client(person being Coached)and my Customer (person paying for the service = often the boss)then I'm most effective. I realised that's what works best....Why...?

"I don't work there and the problems are theirs not mine"................

I ask 3 routine questions that work for me and support any process or situation I've come across in my own practice....Thought them worth sharing with you whether you're a Coach or acquiring Coaching services.

1. Does the person requiring Coaching have a full understanding of why Coaching's being requested for them at this time....?

2. Has everything you discuss with me been discussed and understood by the Coachee already...?

3. How will we know this has been successful and what does that look like for all parties concerned here...?

A lot of the time we "ASSUME" the client has this "covered" or the Coachee somehow "intuits" what's meant and expected. As a Coach that's too high a risk to gamble on not clarifying. That's all part of Contracting. This is an expansive process that looks at EXERYTHING involved from, how you'll work together to timing of sessions, payments, logistics and all the emotional and psychological work that's involved here. The Coach needs to lead this process and communicate early if it's going off track. It's a reproducible skill that once mastered will serve you well in other areas of life also. It's particularly powerful in managing the expectations of other and managing performance....Will support this weighty topic with further posts in coming weeks..... Your comments are as ever very welcome.

Monday 12 July 2010

"Dream, Believe, Dare, Do" - The Walt Disney Formula

The best things in life happen where an easy flow and minimal effort meet. This allows things to flow uninterrupted. This flow is invariably supported by positive energy. Came across this 4 part formula that Walt Disney used to bring ideas to life. His biggest idea would no doubt have been "Disneyworld".

- He was a very visual person and could see this clearly in minutely accurate detail in his own mind's eye.
- He checked in with his own core beliefs and Values to assess how much they overlapped with the opportunity he was considering.
- He would consider a series of never before tried out audacious moves
- Turn that into a robust plan and bring to life (His brother was essential to make that happen)

People who make things appear like they can be achieved are the ones who say "I have a dream". The people who make it happen say "I have a plan". You need the former group to unify people around a common cause. You then need the doers to ensure the dream becomes a reality-They always produce the plan........!

They say less than 5% of the adult population have a plan with goals written down and mapped out that they believe in and and regularly review........No wonder we're in such trouble, mot of us are busy playing small......! Take a step back and look at what you're doing and how it's all going. What changes would you make if you could...........?? What could you create that does not already exist...?

Take a leaf from Walt Disney's book and start your own internal revolution of Dream, Believe, Dare, Do.

Let me know how you get on...

Wednesday 7 July 2010

If You Want Something Done......

.....then ask a busy person, all others simply have no time! This is a quotation that was often attributed to my own father. He understood intimately the role of service and contribution in having a fulfilled life. He was a real role model. He walked his talk. It caused me to reflect on what my own contributions in this area have been of late and I have to say I do come up short.
Like many Coaches, I give freely of my time in my line of work and am generous sometimes to a fault but commitment to a heartfelt cause has been missing for a while. It's also the hallmark of a real Leader. So what's the human resistance to committing to a worthy cause and making a difference through service and contribution....?

Some would say sheer sloth and selfishness. No doubt that's a factor, but I'd also cite fear of failure, the potential for ridicule and also running out of steam and the will to finish what's required as genuine concerns. I've recently been offered the opportunity to make a difference in the Caching profession and despite all the reasons why not getting involved, I'm going to commit and test my own ability to attach to a worthy cause and perhaps add some depth to whatever spine already exists. This will be interesting! As Coaches, we learn how to 'contract' for things we want and don't want to happen. The ability to state our own needs is something we help clients with but in reality, we don't always do this well ourselves. I'd like to use this opportunity to contract and make a difference. That will be a first and perhaps a new template for involvement generally will be borne from it.

There are several key things required to get a successful outcome with anything new. The key one for me is what Jim Collins (author of 'Good to Great')said ...get the right people on the bus... Once that happens you can decide where to take it. Technically with the right people aboard it can go anywhere

There's never been a better time to get involved and commit to a cause that doesn't profit us directly. That's my rationale and I look forward to updating you. What have you committed to recently that did not prosper you directly...?