Out of the Box: Play or Sit?
Life is a wonderful game to be played and not watched from the sidelines. That means we have to be willing to take chances and get in the game or we'll never know what it feels like to score a goal, sink a three-pointer, or make a touchdown.
OK, enough with the bad sports analogy. Think about it though, as coaches in order to challenge our clients to play a bigger game, we have to be willing to challenge ourselves. So, when was the last time you took a chance? When was the last time you threw caution to the wind and just went for something?
If your answer is, "I have no clue." OR"Gosh, I don't remember." Don't you think it is time you got off the bench and stepped into a bigger game?
To support you in doing so we want to share the following thoughts to ponder...
- You have much more to gain than you do to lose. It's true, because if you go after what you want and get it, you gained. If you go after what you want and don't get it, you haven't lost anything - instead you have gained some knowledge, right?
- Speaking of knowledge, every experience, good or bad is an opportunity for growth and learning.
- When you allow fear to stand in your way, you are just handing your power over to the fear. We all know it is no fun being powerless.
- Create some awareness around what holds you back. In creating that awareness you have the capability to remove the obstacle or jump over it.
- If you follow your heart, you can't go wrong.
- If you follow your heart, and someone thinks you are silly for it, that says more about them then it does about you. Besides, it really is none of your business what others think of you. It is your business what you think of you.
- Did we mention that you have more to gain than you do to lose?
So what's it gonna be; are you going to sit or are you gonna play?
Out of the Box: A Child-Like Perspective
Have you ever watched a child pick up something and investigate it as if it were the coolest thing they have ever seen? They often explore what we might consider the most simple things with a wide-eyed curiosity and enthusiasm. It is a beautiful thing to see; to see a child so present in the moment, learning, and enthralled by the things surrounding them.
Isn't it true that as adults we sometimes get so lost in all the day-to-day that we sometimes don't see what's around us? We forget to be present in the moment, clouding our ability to see the great learning experiences and fantastic opportunities. Heck, we even forget to breathe!
How does the color blue suit you?
We can learn a lot from children. We can learn to slow down and be in the here and the now. We can learn to look at almost everything with a renewed enthusiasm and zest for exploration. Just because we are older and even wiser that does not mean we are too old to learn, too old to explore, nor too old to play.
It is our wish that you gift yourself (if only for the week) the curiosity and spirit of a child. Take time to stop and enjoy exploring your surroundings. Take a look at things through the lens of curiosity and see what you notice. The key is to be curious!
Out of the Box: Silence is Golden
Silence is a beautiful thing. Silence provides us with a break from all the buzz. It affords us some breathing space. It can be a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the day-to-day. As coaches, it can be one of the most powerful coaching tools in our coaching toolbox.
You may have already noticed or experienced this, but when there’s silence there’s a natural urge to fill it. In the coaching conversation, when you use silence you give the other person the time and the space to reflect before responding. Think about it, you have asked that jewel of a question, a real eye-opener, what better way to highlight that question then to go silent?
We encourage you to give yourself the gift of silence in your conversations and take notice of what happens. Did the person you were talking to create a deeper awareness? Did they fill the silence with more information? What happened?
Here’s to the gold that is silence.
Out of the Box: Strategize ; "The smart way of getting somewhere with the least amount of effort or cost."
By Alison Hendren, MCC, CEO
Developing efficient, supportive and enjoyable strategies to help people achieve their goals is what is key to providing value in coaching. Most people really want and need a strategy to make what they are wanting to accomplish/achieve/solve/create happen. Just recently I was speaking with a client who discovered a critical lapse in communication by her team. They implemented a fundamental change but forgot to communicate it to the key stakeholders! The change was a good one but they just forgot to tell people before they made it...sound familiar?
There was a huge missed opportunity to celebrate the very positive change along with so many other pieces. So, what was she to do? We talked a bit and then focused on what opportunities were present and what strategy she could put into place that would support an even bigger change initiative. By the time we were done, not only had she come up with a way to solve this that would be empowering for her team, but she came up with two key strategies that could profoundly strengthen herself as a leader, i.e. collaboration and innovation.
Here are a few provocative questions to help someone strategize:
- What is the most unconventional way to do this?
- What if you had no budget for this?
- What are you willing to do in order to achieve this?
- What's the fastest way?
- What's the easiest way?
- What would be a great way to get there?
- What's the most intuitive, creative, brilliant approach that you could take to accomplish this result and generate six others like it?
AND, here are a few more tips when supporting someone to strategize:
With a strategy, you aren't always working directly on the goal itself, but rather on improving or positioning the environments, relationships, resources, flows, systems or even yourself. So, strategies are very different from a plan. In fact, when you devise the right strategy, the plan becomes obvious. But without the strategy, the plan is merely a set of linear action steps (read: lots of work and often a waste of time). So, as the coach it is critical for you to shine the light on the bigger picture or possibility, take the person up to the 50,000 foot level so that they can really look at what is possible.
Developing efficient, supportive and enjoyable strategies to help people achieve their goals is what is key to providing value. Here are a few elements of Personal Strategies: Integrity strengthened, support structures, fitness/health, community, self-discovery and here are a few elements of Business Strategies: Improved Technology, Pilot Program, Coaching, Strategic Alliances, Incentives, Education, Collaboration, Innovation etc.
Coaching someone to strategize is the ultimate in empowerment. How exciting to be able to support them in coming up with the tools to empower themselves because 90% of coaching happens in between the coaching and years beyond.
Out of the Box: Action Planning: A key to getting things done!
We all do it. Some may call it action planning, others may call it strategizing. Regardless, it is something we do on a daily basis to accomplish our tasks and goals or to get from Point A to Point B.
Think about it.
If you like to write out your grocery list in the order that the items appear in the store, you are action planning in order to ensure that you get everything you need. OR
If you schedule your day from appointments to downtime, you too are action planning in order to make the most of your day.
As a matter of fact, action planning and implementation is one of the key elements in coaching. It helps our coachees to stay on target and to take forward movement. It takes a discovery-type conversation to the next level. Any time we can put a new awareness to use, we are not only growing, but we are increasing our success rates.