Some Reality Testing Around Coaching

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Why get a coach? The answer was obvious to me after my eight years as a self employed creator of wearable art. I learned in those years that it was nearly impossible to simultaneously hold a vision, map out a path, walk that path and measure my own progress. I was so often distracted by the apparently conflicting demands of the marketplace and of my heart. Even my body seemed to throw obstacles in my path as tendonitis or other ills appeared to contradict my vision of right livelihood.

As I thought about the kinds of problems I faced I came to understand and accept that it would always be difficult to have both an overarching view of my long term goals, a cogent undersanding of my near term strategies, and a confident and simple approach to walking my daily path. Once I thought about it the reason was obvious: each of these activities requires that I adopt a different perspective. And guess what, it’s hard to be in more than one place at a time, so often I would be conducting one activity from the perspective of another. No wonder I felt confused and overwhelmed.

Coaching offers a solution by providing objective recognition, validation and reinforcement. A coach helps you to clarify your goals, test your plans against your resources and your intentions, and measure your progress. A coach asks you to live up to standards you set together while reminding you to enjoy the grace of being a human being and not a ‘droid. Coaching deals with the human condition: it’s not about being or even becoming perfect.

I think of the kind of business coaching and personal growth coaching which I practice as motivating, instructing, focusing, correcting and encouraging my clients to find solutions to their problems and to achieve a fundamental way of being in the world that flows organically and authentically from who they really are.

It’s easy to see that successful coaching requires a good match between coach and client. If you are interested in getting a coach, start by asking yourself these questions:

– What are my goals and expectations around hiring a coach?

– What’s my time frame for achieving them?

– What’s my learning style? What kind of person is likely to support that style?

– How much can I afford to invest in coaching?

Find at least three coaches to interview. The International Coach Federation has extensive listings of its members coaches. Another resource is The Coaches Training Institute. Ask around among your professional colleagues, inquire at the local Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Administration or business schools.

Select two or three coaches to interview. In addition to the following sample questions, ask any that reflect your personal priorities and concerns. It’s a good idea to write out your questions in advance.

1. Ask about their experience coaching people who have goals and challenges similar to your own.

2. Do they work by phone, in person, by email? How long are the sessions? How frequent?

3. What do they charge? When is payment due?

4. What support do they offer between sessions?

5. Are you required to buy any support materials (books, workbooks, etc.)?

6. What kind of commitment do they require? Many coaches ask that you commit to a preliminary two or three month period after which you decide whether or not to continue working together.

7. Ask for a couple of references and follow up by calling them.

Coaching can introduce you to the self you were meant to be. The time you invest in choosing your coach will be amply repaid by his or her greater ability to recognize, nurture and evoke that self.

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Living Life To The Full

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I am a firm believer that people should try to make the most out of each day that they are alive. We all have to die at some point and even though this may seem a little morbid it is true. Today or tomorrow could be our last day and therefore this is why we should be living each day to the full.

Each day I read and watch the local and international news stories which make me aware of some very sad events. People who are very young are dying each day in a variety of different circumstances and I am very much aware that I am not immune from one of these tragic events. No one can say for sure that they are going to live until lets say seventy years of age, most people I think presume that they will, which could be seen in some quarters as a good thing. Thinking positive they say is the right way to think, which I have to admit is something I also agree with.

My attitude is that I need to work to live where as other people seem to live to work. It is like they would rather be at work than at home having fun or spending time with their family. I know a number of people who have young children but who leave their house at around half six in the morning and do not return home until seven at night. This is not because they are poor but because they will take on any extra hours as way as overtime that is offered to them. I personally would rather spend time with my children than be stuck at work and feel that my life is enriched in this way.

When I am on my death bed in what I hope will not be for a long time yet of course, I want to be able to think and say to myself that I have no regrets and that I am happy with the way I have lived my life. At the moment I am lucky as I am able to watch my children grow and mature as people. From the work that I do, I am able to take my family on holiday each year and can afford to pay all of my bills. Some no doubt might say that I should work a lot more hours than I do, I would then be able to buy a better car and would be able to take my family on two holidays per year. What I would say in response to this however, is at what price would I be able to obtain this? I would have to sacrifice much of the quality time I have with my children, would not be able to take them swimming and to the park as often as I do for example. I hope and think that my children are very happy at the moment and this in my opinion is priceless. I will not compromise this in search for a better standard of car etc.

I used to constantly worry about what might happen to me in three or six months time. Will this or that happen? If it does how would I be able to cope? I am of course worrying in these situations about things that have not even and may never happen. This I have now realised is pointless and even very silly. I should be living for today, I should be making the most of today, I will think about tomorrow, tomorrow. I will deal with any problems that come my way in the best way that I can at the time when they happen, that is all I can do. By stressing about them before they happen will only stop me from enjoying myself on that particular day.

Now is the time to stop the stress, worry, fear and depression. There is a good chance that we only have one life, so lets enjoy it.

The Power Of Vision In Coaching How To Create Your Own And Help Your Clients With Theirs

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Having a strong, clear vision is the cornerstone of coaching success – both for coaches and their clients. A great coach must not only have a strong vision of their own; they must also be able to help their client or “PBC” (Person Being Coached) developing theirs.

The best visions are clear, useful, achievable and inseparable from who and what you (or your clients) are. As a coach, if you can master the skill of helping to create clear and authentic visions in yourself and others, you’ll be light years ahead of your competition. . It helps both you and your clients with the foundation upon which they can build a successful and satisfying life – both personally and professionally.

FIRST, WORK ON YOUR OWN VISION

Without a clear vision of what you want to do, where you want to go, or what you, success will be much more difficult – even impossible – to achieve.. How can you know what to do – what actions to take – if you don’t know where you’re going?

Not having a vision is like sailing without a destination. You end up on the Sea of Destiny without a port, wandering the ocean aimlessly, getting blown in whatever direction the wind is headed. When a challenging storm bears down, the gale-force winds will likely capsize your latest plans immediately. You’ll end up looking like you were aboard the Ship of Fools.

Having a clear vision and mission is what gives you that destination. Even though gale-force challenges may temporarily capsize your progress, you’ll more easily be able to get back on course and reach your objectives.

Contrary to what many people think, visions do not usually magically appear. They can take time – requiring introspection, self-analysis, and journaling. It also helps to review your past successes and – just as important – your past disappointments and failures. Draw on your dream, talents and desire. Observe your calling to be a coach.

The first place to look when developing your vision is within – to that deeper inner self. You can draw upon your talent, dreams and desires, or whatever other avenues help you uncover those nuggets that will become your navigational beacons in life.

Unfortunately, there are usually no shortcuts in creating your vision. You can’t just “make it up”; it takes WORK. But the rewards for doing this work can save you years – even a lifetime – of frustration by enabling you and your clients to live the life one is destined for.

SEVEN IDEAS TO HELP DEVELOP YOUR VISION

Idea 1: Listen and Look Within

Since vision starts within, it makes sense to listen and feel what your mind and soul really want. What stirs your heart? What is your greatest desire? What do you dream about?

Bottom line: Make sure your vision comes from within. If what you want to pursue does not truly come your inner depths, it will likely be impossible to achieve.

Idea 2: Seek the Help of Others; Make It a Team Sport

We do not live in a bubble. Utilize a team where you can. Heed the advice of a person who has more experiences in you – especially in coaching. Find a coach who works on vision. Seek help from friends who know you well. They can help you confirm or question your own observations and provide a reality check.

Creating a MasterMind Group of 4-6 people also working on their vision can be extremely powerful. Use weekly or semi-weekly calls to support each other and keep the momentum going.

Asking and using others for guidance not only helps you with your own vision; it also puts you on the receiving end of help. This experience will in turn help you when you become the coach helping others with their vision. You’ll have done the proverbial “walk in their shoes”.

Idea #2: Create a Sacred, Inner Space to Go Deeper

The vision you create for your practice begins in your mind and heart. It is something you can feel, taste, see, hear and touch with your soul.

Creating a supportive, inner environment is a powerful way to aid you in developing your vision. To access the inner depths of your mind and heart, find a way to retreat to a serene and tranquil place where your mind is free of the “outer noise”.

In this sacred space, your heart, mind, and soul can more easily access what might be called Source. What you can find there is your most Authentic Self. Tap into this successfully, and your vision is likely to spring forth easily.

Though your mind may resist with every fiber of its being, try surrender into this emptiness. Check your brain out at the door. A Zen master once said, “You already are that which you seek.” But you’ll find it much easier to uncover that if you are relaxed and can get your mind out of the way.

Positive Mind Successful Life

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It took me a long time to realise the benefits of positive thinking. I had often heard people mention that if you think positive, positive things will happen to you, I used to think they were a bit weird. I now believe they were right and this article explains why.

Growing up through the difficult teenage years and into my early twenties, I felt very sorry for myself. I used to think I was the most unluckiest person in the world. I had a bald patch the size of a ten pence piece on my head, a speech impediment(stutter), I was overweight to the point of being fat, and was short for a male(5ft4).

I believed that I received more mickey taking out of me than anyone else, and life was certainly a struggle. To meet members of the opposite sex when you have a lack of confidence and a speech impediment is not easy. To gain work, order drinks, socialise in general, these were all difficult for me. Everyone else seemingly breezed and eased there way through life.

One day I was at work and a colleague of mine who was about thirty years older than me, commented that I was a very depressive person. I disagreed with him and was quite shocked, I believed that most people worried and stressed about things. He went on by stating that I was always negative about most things in life, always moaning about this or that and very rarely smiled. He went on to say that he had used to be like me, always depressed, moody and stressed until he was given some advice when he was aged thirty. He then proceeded to give me the same advice.

THE ADVICE:

When you feel down, depressed and sorry for yourself, watch the news and read the newspapers and you will see that there are many people worse off than you, and that you are actually one of the lucky ones.

I thought about this and started to follow what he had said. I now realise how stupid I had been. To be born and live in the Italy, I am one of the lucky ones.

Life Coaching Information And Advice

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In this article I write about how we can become content with life by learning to like ourselves and by appreciating what we have in life. There are far too many people who are comparing their lives to that of their friends and neighbours, and who then think that they are not good enough. This can make them become jealous and even depressed.

I have to admit that I was like the people I am describing above. I was not happy with the car I drove, or at the company where I worked, or at how much money I earned per year and even with the girlfriend I had. My friends seemed to drive much better cars, worked for much better employers, earned far more per year than I did and had much better looking girlfriends, sorry Claire!

I have since managed to change my attitude to life and am now very happy with what I have in life. I now look at the bigger picture and instead of concentrating my thoughts at people who I feel are better off than me, I watch the news from around the world and hear about people who are far less fortunate than I am. I certainly now feel that I am actually very lucky compared to most people who live on this planet.

I also did not really like myself, I wanted to be taller, stronger, a better communicator (I had a stutter), and a lot fitter than I was (I was quite fat). I have since accepted that there are various things that I can not change, such as my height and have therefore accepted that I am shorter than the average male. I have also thought about the positive aspects of being short, more leg room on a plane etc. Other aspects of my life at which I was not happy with, but felt I could change or improve, I have worked very hard on, and am now at a weight I am happy with and have overcome the stuttering speech impediment.

I now like myself and if other people choose not to, that is fine by me, I have enough people who do. In any case it is what I think that counts, therefore if they think I am an idiot, thats fine, because I believe I am not.

I now have an opinion that what car I drive or how much money I earn is not important. For me, health and happiness are the two most important things in life and these are things which money can not buy.

I have decided that stressing or worrying about a situation does not help me to succeed, it just makes things a whole lot worse and more difficult. I now think to myself, that all I can do in life is to try my best and if I do that I can be proud of myself.

I used to be very hard on myself, my own worst critic. I am now a lot easier on myself, I have realised that I will make mistakes and always try to learn from the experiences. My body and brain are temples and I need to be nice to them. Hopefully if I am they will reward me with my continued health.

I am now far happier than I have ever been and am determined not to slip back into my old ways of depression and negative thinking.

I hope this article helps you in your quest for a better life.

How To Promote Your Coaching Business Online

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Many of my coaching clients are coaches themselves, and quite a few of them have asked me how to promote their coaching business online. Here is some of the information I have shared with them. Use these tips and ideas to promote your own coaching practice online, get more clients and make more money:

– Have a Professional Web Site. In order to attract online clients, you need to present a very professional image online. People who find your web site will equate the professional look and feel of the web site to your own professionalism, since the web site is the only piece of information they have to evaluate your business.

The web site should have professional look and feel and have information about your business, as well as your products and services. There should be a way for customers to contact you, as well as subscribe to your newsletter.

– Explain What You Do on Your Web Site. Not everyone knows what a coach is, so in addition to calling yourself a coach, make sure you explain what a coach does. For example, if you are a dating coach, explain that you help men and women find that one perfect person.

If you are a career coach, tell your web site visitors that you help them figure out the perfect career, and then you help them find a job that reflects their career choice. And if you are a business coach, tell them how you can help their business succeed.

– Publish a Newsletter. Not everyone who comes to your web site will immediately become a coaching client. Not everyone who comes to your web site will buy your products immediately. You need means to keep in touch with people who come to your web site, but are not ready to hire you or purchase your products.

A newsletter is a great tool to keep in touch with your web site visitors, share information with them and educate them about your products and services. Make sure that you have a newsletter subscribe form on every page of your web site, and that you offer a compelling reason for your web site visitors to subscribe to it.

– Optimize Your Web Site for Search Engines. Search engine optimization is the process of modifying web page content and meta-information to improve the search engine ranking of the page. Successful search engine optimization will greatly increase the number of visitors that come to your web site since over 70% of people who are looking for products and services use search engines to locate them.

– Publish Your Articles Online. Publishing articles is a great way to show off your coaching expertise, as well to drive traffic to your web site. When you write and publish your articles, other web site owners pick them up and publish them on their web sites, while giving you a link back to your web site.

Use the five techniques we outline above to drive targeted clients to your coaching practice. Effective promotion of your coaching practice online will make a difference between your coaching web site sitting idly and a coaching web site that drives leads and clients for your business every single day.

What Does It Mean To Be An Expatriate Part 2 How To Choose Your Paradise

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As mentioned in Part 1, there are some countries that are very popular now amongst the expat community. They all have their own appeal and it can be quite confusing and stressful deciding as to where to start.

My proposed 10-step program is designed to help you decide on a country you would like to make your paradise.

Make a list of the world’s top overseas havens.

Step 2: Write down a list of your personal preferences and priorities. Write them down in order of priority. The list may include things such as climate, cost of living, taxes, culture, language, healthcare, accessibility to your home country infrastructure and government incentives for foreign investors.

Step 3: Consider the pros and cons of each of these countries according to your priorities. Make a tally sheet for each country.

Step 4: With the information you have gathered, limit your choice down to 3 countries.

>Step 5: My next step and motto is always: “Try before you buy”, so plan to spend time in each of the countries chosen.

Step 6: While you are in each of the countries use your time wisely and look into, living costs costs, employment or business possibilities, transport means, education standards, schools, personal safety issues, postal services and banking services, Internet availability etc.

Step 6: Meet with seasoned expatriates who are living and working in the country.

Step 7: Look at as many properties for sale as you can.

Step 8: Set up meetings with experts on residency for all 3 countries.

Step 9: Look at all your facts and identify which country aligns most with your priorities and preferences as well as your values and the kind lifestyle you want to live.

Step 10: Make your choice, plan an extended stay if possible, don’t look back and enjoy the process.

To summarize, I am not saying it is easy not to look back, but always keep in mind that you’re not alone and not without a plan. Use the outline of the 10-step program, do your homework, speak to experts in the field and if you really want to live a different and better life, commit yourself to getting into action and maybe this is the year that it will make happen for you.

Next week, in part 3, I will post suggestions for what you need to do to when you are about to take up residency.

Quote of the week

“Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once, whether you are ready or not to put the plan into action.”

We would love to hear how your plans for expatriation are progressing? Which country are you moving to? What helped you make your decision? What difficulties have you encountered if any? Your share could help someone else in a similar situation.