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Why it’s Important to Keep Learning New Skills

by Coaching Out of the Box

It is a fact that the world is always changing; there are new discoveries regularly in almost every industry and the way people view the world changes with each discovery. Without adaptation, people and businesses can be left behind. Take for instance the impact the internet and social media have had on communication and marketing in recent years. The bulky fax machines have been replaced by efficient fax to email or simply emails with attachments alone. This type of drastic change can greatly impact how a business is viewed by its clients and peers. Here are some of the main reasons that learning a new skill regularly is an important concept to stay ahead:

  1. Learning new skills adds to the value provided to clients and the marketability of the business. For every new credential earned, a business has a new marketing tool and can offer greater incentives to clients who use them.
  2. Doing the same thing the same way will get the same results. If what is offered never changes, neither will the clients. Stagnant businesses are set to fail, although this may take some time to realize.
  3. Discoveries are made regularly in the industries of health and psychology, among may others, which impacts how one might deal with a given situation. Take for instance the increase in understanding and utilization of coaching in a corporate atmosphere.
  4. Learning can help with achieving and creating new goals. Knowledge breeds an excitement for more knowledge and this can lead to a more ambitious outlook. This can help motivate an individual to seek greater challenges.
  5. It can help broaden the scope of available clients. For instance, learning a new language can bring in additional clients who may not have been able to communicate previously.
  6. Keep up with new trends and developments in the industry. Be on top of the game with the latest insights and provide clients with more confidence in the business’s efficiency.
  7. Advance problem solving skill sets. This can also benefit in a greater sense of accomplishment and confidence.

No matter what industry is involved, continually learning new skills and developments can improve performance and profitability; the key things businesses are looking to achieve. To do this, of course, requires an investment of time and money but in the end, good investments are well worth the sacrifices.  

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The Importance of Empathetic Leadership

by Coaching Out of the Box

Empathy is an important part of human interaction. It is the ability to relate to others experiences, thoughts and emotions on a personal level. It goes further than simply sympathy and allows the person to create a deeper connection with other individuals. Leaders of today can show a new level of caring for their teams, employees and others by simply working to improve their abilities to empathize. Having empathy and displaying empathetic behaviours are not the same thing, however. Displaying empathetic emotion means understanding the feelings of others, sharing in their emotions and even experiencing the feelings of others. The direct correspondence between empathetic leaders and their leadership performance has been shown in studies. This is especially true in management positions, as employees are more likely to positively respond to management they see as empathetic to their issues. These employees show a greater positivity in their jobs and a higher satisfaction in their positions, which leads to an improvement in work performance.

Empathy can be an innate trait for some or learned by others. Most leaders and managers fall into the category of sometimes empathetic. Improvement in this skill requires time and dedication, but the payoff can be worthwhile. Here are some ways to improve empathetic responses:

  1. Read more literature – specifically literary fiction, which has characters that people can relate to. The ability to build a connection with these characters allows the reader to feel for them and empathize with their situations, even if they are not real.
  2. Practice active listening – showing an interest in what others are saying and taking the time to properly process their words will help eliminate misunderstandings and build stronger bonds.
  3. View the situation from the other person’s viewpoint – how would they feel about this as opposed to selfish responses.
  4. Validate others thoughts and feelings honestly – try using positive, supportive responses truthfully. Validating others shows a level of empathy that people will connect with.
  5. Allow pain and injustice to make an impact – don’t turn away from the suffering of others, but at least occasionally embrace it. This will likely make a positive impact in future interactions since it can be referenced as a point of personal understanding.
  6. Encounter the world outside the comfort zone – talk to strangers, ask questions, learn, understand what makes them unique. Everyone has a story and truly empathetic people are curious about each story.
  7. Be vulnerable when necessary – in addition to listening, providing insight from deep inside can help others open up. This creates a unique bond with those individuals and strengthens empathetic responses for both parties.

No matter the stage or job title, everyone can benefit from becoming more empathetic. Human interactions would increase in quality and quantity if people worked on being more empathetic and less self-involved. It is a necessary trait to a happier and more meaningful future.

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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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