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Habits That Can Help You Succeed

by Coaching Out of the Box

Although success is rated highly as a goal most people in business and life have, it is hard to measure on a set of singular scales. Everyone’s vision of their own success is slightly different, however, there are some basic habits that can be developed which may prove useful in an individual’s journey to success. Implementing all, or even several of these, could make a difference to the obtainable level of success.

  1. Work on being confident. Belief in oneself can be instrumental in developing a winning strategy for success.
  2. Get up early and work hard. Successful people don’t get to where they are by sleeping in and taking long spans of time off.
  3. If something isn’t working the way it was intended, that doesn’t make the plan a failure, it just means it needs to be creatively altered and tried again. Failure isn’t an ending but a beginning for a new outlook.
  4. Focusing on others rather than gaining material possessions. Having and gaining assets isn’t a bad thing to dream of, but making it the primary focus can be distracting. Instead, try focusing on how other’s lives can be improved as well.
  5. Stay active. Energy is a necessary part of any successful person’s journey and as such, staying active is a key component of the plan. Exercise regularly and eat healthy to further enhance vitality and health.
  6. Have a plan with goals and values – stick to these. Be consistent with the approach and reasons behind the plan.
  7. Take calculated risks. Change helps to move things forward and change can come with risks. Weigh out these risks before proceeding, but never shy away from a risk because of fear.
  8. Learn to be a leader. Impacting others in a positive way and stepping out ahead of the curve can take one to the next level in any business or personal endeavour.
  9. Work on having a positive attitude and a sense of gratitude. Be thankful for what has already been made available and focus on positive things for the future. Dwelling on issues and negativity will only lead to destruction of the momentum.
  10. Keep family and friends close. These people will show their love and support no matter what and this can be crucial when setbacks arise.

There are many resources, books and blogs written on how to be successful, but there are common threads to all of these. Success, although highly personal, is a motivation for most people and as such, countless hours are spent looking into how it can be achieved. Without a basis of proper habit and motivation, success will likely remain out of reach but not an impossibility for those who set their mind to it.

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How to Remain Positive During Difficult Changes

by Coaching Out of the Box

Oftentimes, people view change in a negative light and some are even scared of change. Something new and different is the unknown and uncomfortable; most people like to remain in their comfort zones. Unfortunately, there isn’t much room for growth in the comfort zone and change provides a way to make progress. Even in some of the more difficult changes, a silver lining can usually be found. If the focus is put on future potential or gratitude for blessings, instead of current issues, a new way of thinking may begin to form. Here are some tips to help keep a positive outlook:

  1. Find a supportive friend or group of friends to help during difficult times.
  2. Be grateful and keep remembering those things that are a blessing.
  3. Be a help or support to others.
  4. Remember to exercise as it boosts endorphins and can raise the mood naturally.
  5. Accept the challenges that come with change and find a way to solve them.
  6. Take time to relax and do something enjoyable. Focusing on something other than the issue for a brief time can bring a much needed break to an overworked brain.
  7. Create positive thoughts about the situation and possible outcomes that are beneficial. Retraining the mind to view the situation from a different perspective can create the positivity necessary to move forward with peace and hope.

Since change is inevitable, one must always be working to remain flexible and adapt. If the focus for the change becomes negative, people can become trapped in their situation or their mind and miss out on opportunities to grow and develop. Just because the change comes in the form of a negative experience, it can open up a world of new possibilities and even lead to a happier, more productive life. Remember that despite the difficulty of the transition, a caterpillar turns into a butterfly.

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How to Help Clients through a Crisis

by Coaching Out of the Box

Grief and pain can have long lasting impacts on everyone they touch. People may often try to handle their pain internally and wait for time to heal them. Unfortunately, this is less likely to be a solution and clients may come to their coaches for assistance. Not every coach will have a client who is going through a crisis, however, chances are that some degree of crisis, whether professional or personal, will come up in a coaching session at some point. These clients are often scared, hurt and confused. The way to handle these situations differs from client to client, but there are some basics to keep in mind:

  1. Be supportive. Offer positive reinforcement and let them know they aren’t alone.
  2. Be understanding but not judgmental. It doesn’t matter at what stage they are in their grief, the client will be moving through at their own pace.
  3. Be authentic. It isn’t unusual to be at a loss for words, but don’t try to fill the gaps with platitudes.
  4. Don’t avoid. There doesn’t need to be an avoidance of the elephant in the room – get it out in the open and discuss patiently.
  5. Don’t fix it. Just listen to the client and give them the space to air out their concerns and hopefully hear themselves to discover their own solutions.
  6. Offer hope. The client should know there is something beyond the current darkness, but they don’t have to be there just yet.

Grief can be all encompassing and often people are so caught up in their own pain that they are unable to imagine a future past it or a way out of it. Time isn’t necessarily the best solution and despair can set in if the client is unable to share their pain. Since most coaches are not crisis counsellors, it is important to have a referral on hand for clients who may be in situations beyond the coach’s ability. There is no shame in realizing a limitation to the coaching process and recommending a client to seek further assistance with a professional, however, some clients may just need someone to listen to them and this could be an opportunity for their coach to make a difference.

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How to Use Metaphors When Coaching

by Coaching Out of the Box

Everyone has their own unique take on life and even the same situation can be seen in different ways by different people. As such, metaphors can bring an insight into how a person has perceived a situation or even their own life and goals. Metaphors can create images in the mind that tap into a person’s creativity and unlock potential they may not know they have. Knowing how to properly interpret and/or use a metaphor during coaching can make a difference in a client’s breakthrough. Every person uses metaphors unconsciously in their conversations, often up to once every 25 seconds. For instance, a client may reference “a light at the end of the tunnel” or that they are “stuck in a rut.” As a coach, it is important to develop the skills to identify the language in the metaphor and formulate the questions to help the client view the situation using their own metaphor as a roadmap. Examples would be “what does the light look like for you?” or “can you describe the rut further for me?”.

In addition, using metaphors as a coach can help the client view the situation from a completely different perspective, which could break them out of their rut and help them find a solution. Using metaphors helps the client consciously focus on the situation with imagination using a story, symbol or object to change their viewpoint. It can help activate their processes of thinking, making new links in their mind and discovering something new about their situation.             

Here are some tips for using metaphors when coaching:

  1. Listen to the client and understand the images they try to convey through their use of metaphors.
  2. Use their metaphors to help them delve into the situations they discuss. For example, if the client has “hit a wall”, have them explain what the wall looks like, how tall it is, what it is made of and how they feel they might get to the other side of it.
  3. If the client does not come up with a metaphor, try to provide one that could give insight into their mindset. For instance, talk about their situation in terms of being a ship on the ocean. Get them to describe visually what that looks like for them. What are the obstacles, what does the ship look like, what does their destination look like, etc.
  4. Once they have a perspective on the metaphor, try to move forward to get to an action using the metaphor.

Although it takes some intuition from the coach to effectively use metaphors to move their clients along, it can be a learned skill. Practice using metaphors often and have a list of ones to use whenever required to change up the client’s perspective on their situation. It can help make the difference between being “stuck in a rut” and being “set free from the chains”.

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How to Coach a Client When They Become Emotional

by Coaching Out of the Box

There are times in coaching when a client may have some emotional baggage that is preventing them from moving forward or making progress in their coaching. These instances may cause a client to overreact, lash out or spend entirely too much time obsessing at the expense of being productive. Although a coach is not a therapist, it may be helpful to have some skills specifically for situations like this. It may also be tempting to ignore these emotions and guide clients away from triggers, but this stance may prove ineffective for the client.

If emotional issues aren’t dealt with, they can prevent a client from being able to solve their situations and cause a continuous loop of behaviour that the client cannot see a way out of. It is worth noting that not all strong emotions are negative and some can be productive to processing events or issues the client has dealt with or is dealing with. The following steps may be useful in helping a client work through their emotional issues:

  1. Be aware of the client’s emotional state. Ask “what” questions when they begin to exhibit increased emotions, such as “What feelings do you have right now?”.
  2. Validate their feelings in a non-judgmental way. Acknowledge what they have said and follow up with other “what” questions, such as “what does that feel like for you?”.
  3. Allow them to feel their emotions. Obviously there is a point where enough time has been spent on the topic and moving on is necessary. This is likely a gut instinct of the coach and unlikely to be a process of an overly emotional client. Once the client has had time to actually process, hopefully they will be able to move forward. Simple questions about how they are feeling now or how that experience impacted them, may be needed to move forward.
  4. Don’t try to interrupt their process, especially if they become visibly upset. This may be the safe space they need to process their pain and interrupting or trying to fix their problems immediately will prevent their progress.
  5. Understand the line between being the coach and being a therapist. If a client has trauma or abuse, is stuck in their issue even after attempts to move on have been made or they become emotionally fragile, they should be referred to a therapist or counsellor. This is beyond the ability of a coach to deal with and takes a professional to get involved.

The ultimate goal is that the client will get through their emotional issues and have a moment of clarity where they can realize the causes and how to proceed from there. Being able to coach the client through to this point is an encouraging and empowering experience that every coach should be able to experience.

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