Category: Getting on track

5 Reasons WHY You Can’t Get Things Done…(…And how to deal with them!)

By , March 13, 2013 3:36 pm

iStock_000012995878SmallThe No. 1 common challenge for many of my coaching clients is the problem of getting things done!

Most of us have been on numerous time management workshops and read books on the subject. We know what we should do, but we still can’t seem to apply the strategy consistently.

Having the tools, processes or strategy is one thing…Setting your thinking and programming your inner dialogue for success is another!

Here are the top five reasons for not getting things done that I’ve experienced when coaching and training my clients (Oh! And I’ve observed a few of them in myself too!):

Overcomplicating things – It’s easy to become overwhelmed and create a complex strategy for something that is relatively simple. If you have too much to remember: doing this, not doing that and worrying about the other, then you become anxious and worn out and nothing gets done. You’ll look for other distractions.

You keep a complex plan in your head – You add to the problem by trying to keep a complex plan in your head. Relying on your brain as a storage device to remember EVERYTHING doesn’t work! Have you ever thought you’d remember stuff, then when you’ve gone back to it later, you can’t remember the detail and have to start all over again?

“I’m just not very organized…” This label is an excuse to give you permission to stay stuck. The reality is that you are VERY organized at being UNORGANIZED: You are following entrenched old habits and patterns. They just take you to a negative outcome. You’re just organizing the wrong things! See the pattern here? You may feel out of control, perhaps your emotions have taken over.

Quality of your inner dialogue – If I say to you: ‘Don’t think of the colour blue…’ What do you do first? You think of blue before you decide not to think about it! So if you’re saying to yourself: ‘I mustn’t forget to…’ you are programming yourself to forget! This is known as a bad command in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) terms. If you repeat this to yourself, you are likely to forget! You are focusing on forgetting rather than remembering!

You are too busy to think about it – You are stuck in the ‘do-do’ of doing and don’t take time to think something through to decide how you might do it differently. You wallow in procrastination. Thinking seems too easy to do so you resist or you perceive that it’s not a valuable use of time.

Here are some potential solutions:

1. Clear out the mental clutter – You can over-plan and over-strategize. So step back and get rid of the clutter. You might have far too many steps in the process, or you’re going into too much detail.

  • Lighten the load by simplifying your process.
  • Place high value on simplicity!
  • Look for an easier route. You have to choose the right strategy for the situation.

2. Get out of your own way – Are you fighting with yourself, getting caught up in drama and creating feelings that are sabotaging your progress? Notice what is going on inside – write it down. You don’t have to put so much pressure on yourself.

  • Become organized at being organized!
  • What needs to change?
  • What would being organized look like for you?
  • Lose the label and dump the excuse of being unorganized.

You can do this!

3. Change your language – Listen to your inner dialogue. Are you giving yourself bad commands? Remember if you’re saying to yourself: ‘Don’t forget to call Jenny.’ You are actually saying: ‘Forget to call Jenny.’ You are more likely to forget! Change the quality of your inner dialogue by turning it around to something like: ‘I will remember to phone Jenny today.’ Give yourself commands in a positive way.

4. Make time to think it through – Allow thinking time! Use visualization as a tool to set your mind for success. See yourself making the call to Jenny:

  • What are you saying?
  • When are you calling her?
  • Walk this through in your mind several times.
  • Then take action straight away to make it happen.
  • Make a post-it note and keep it in sight so this call is your mental radar today.

You are re-training your brain to get things done. Simple strategies work well. Think simple!

5. Attitude changes everything – To change your thinking you need to change your perspective towards the situation. The situation IS the situation, it doesn’t change – you are wherever you are right now. If you know that this is something you should do, then change your attitude towards it. This is what is holding you back.

  • What would it be like to be in control or on top of this situation?
  • What are you doing?
  • What are you saying?
  • How are you acting?
  • How will you feel when you’ve completed it?
  • What difference will it make?

Having a coach can help take responsibility for getting things done.

Clear out the rubbish in your current strategies for getting things done, stop fighting yourself, listening to your negative inner dialogue, and getting lost in the mountain of steps in your process.

Simplicity is everything! Look for a more effortless path and don’t be so hard on yourself!

 

 

 

 

 

Success Needs a System – Here’s How to Create Yours!

By , February 20, 2013 5:01 pm

We all have ideas right?

Some of us have LOADS of them!

You may see yourself as an Ideas Person. Ideas just pop out of your mind all the time and it’s hard to keep track of them all. You feel like you might burst with excitement! But how many ideas actually leave your mind and make it into the real world?

Many of our ideas float around like untethered kites and never crystallize into anything tangible. The latest idea just becomes another distraction as you continue generating more and more of them. They stack up in a holding pattern waiting to come in to land. This stack can become exhausting and overwhelming because you don’t know where to start or what to do with them all.

I often coach creative clients who have loads of ideas. Every coaching session, they arrive with another one (yes… I’m guilty of this sometimes too – you ask my mentor!). And of course, this latest idea is the best one yet! …Until, the next idea comes along a few days later! Months can be wasted dreaming but nothing ever gets done. There’s no action, there’s just the next idea coming along…

 

IDEA          IDEA          IDEA          IDEA          IDEA          Another IDEA

 

If this sounds like you, then you need a formula to create some momentum…

Without a having a system it’s difficult to take an idea and make it happen (even the good ones).

I’ve learned that there are three elements to taking an idea an making it real:

Your idea needs to become grounded if you want to give it a chance of becoming reality.   Creating a system or process helps you to take your idea and plan HOW to create some momentum. You then need to take specific action to make it real.

Here are a few tips around each of these elements:

IDEA

I’ve sat in daylong leadership strategy meetings where loads of ideas are shared and everyone is very excited and enthusiastic. A year later the same ideas are still being talked about, because nothing happened in between.

We often see the IDEA as the sexy exciting bit because it’s fun being creative. There’s nothing quite like that adrenalin rush when you think you’re on to something new and great!

Get clear about your idea understand WHY you want to make it real.

Sometimes we stop at the idea stage because we’re frightened to take the next step and make it happen. If you don’t start then it can’t fail, because you didn’t have to try. Your idea needs your energy and belief if it’s going to germinate into reality. You have to take a few risks and step out of your comfort zone and do some things scared.

SYSTEM

For an Ideas Person, the SYSTEM bit is the painful process of planning and working out how it’s all going to happen.

For some of us planning, thinking it through and then creating a stepped process to make it work is the tedious bit… YAWN!

Why?

Because it involves sitting down and working it out a step at a time. THIS STAGE is hugely important because it’s the difference between your idea staying just a dream or becoming real…

Creating a system/process for implementing your idea will save you a lot of time and energy. Get some help from someone who can help you create a framework for what you need to do if this is not your GENIUS work!

Here are a few tips:

  • Create an Ideas Book if you’re always having loads of ideas. Write each one down in a paragraph as you think it.
  • Re-visit your book every one-two weeks to re-read each idea and cross out any that no longer feel like they are do-able or ‘have legs’.
  • Schedule time to take your idea and break it down into doable steps.
  • See your idea as the vision and the system as your tactical plan:
    • What tactics you will employ to make it happen?
    • What’s specifically involved in making this become real?
    • What individual steps need to be taken?
    • Who else needs to be involved?
    • When to you need to do it?
    • Where will it happen?

Work backwards on a timeline to identify some milestone dates and will help you to break down what needs to be done. Remember, big things are done in small chunks! Breaking it down will make it doable.

Creating a framework and then working through a process gives you clarity and direction. It helps you to feel more confident and in control.

ACTION

This is where the rubber hits the road. You have to actually show up and do the work! Just talking about it doesn’t make things happen – You have to DO it!

  • Schedule small pockets of time in your calendar and take one step at a time.
  • Commit to making it happen
  • If you decide to delegate or outsource part of the work then you’ll need to commit being responsible for leading them to do a great job. There is a difference between delegation and abdication!

Take conscious, deliberate action regularly and this will help you to create momentum towards your outcome. Building momentum will encourage you to keep taking action, as you move towards your goal. You’ll also start to feel a sense of completion.

Review your progress regularly, so you can tweak and modify your plan if necessary.

If you have an idea that you want to bring into the world, always create a system for it and plan ahead for its arrival!

Success needs a system – EVERY TIME!

 

Are You Challenging Your Coaching Clients Enough?

By , January 16, 2013 10:42 pm

 “Effective coaching is about challenging assumptions, examining habits, overcoming barriers, and embedding change.”

~ John Blakey & Ian Day – Authors – Challenging Coaching – http://challengingcoaching.co.uk/

 

A few of my professional coaching friends and I were talking recently about a common coaching challenge:

Why do some coaches shy away from holding up the mirror to show a coachee something that they might not want to see and may be avoiding about themselves?

Have you ever finished coaching someone and then wished that you’d been more direct during the session because you recognised the core issue was but too scared to give feedback or challenge them? So the issue takes up space and is not dealt with directly.

One of the common disappointments about coaching is that the coachee isn’t challenged enough by their coach (according to my Masters Research).

Sometimes coaches need to move beyond supporting to give feedback and challenge their coachee to move to a deeper level of self-awareness, helping them to be more accountable. This is hugely important if the coachee wants to break through blockages to achieve their goals.

The coachee may be following a textbook of what they need to do in terms of a step strategy for their business or how to lead a team, but they are still not getting the results. Things aren’t working.

Getting great results is not just about the knowing WHAT needs to be done… it’s also about HOW you do things.

Your coachee might be following the process and doing everything right, however, it is their personality or behavioral traits that are actually holding them back. For example, they might be overplaying a strength and getting in their own way of success.

I call this the Human Factor – how you show up and interact with others is so important. Yet this can be the one thing that stops you getting clients or commitment from your team. It’s also a difficult and sensitive area to coach.

Of course, no one wants to hear that their own behavior is pushing clients away or upsetting their team. Especially when they are trying so hard to make things work…

But who’s going to want to tell you that your behavior is stopping you from getting clients or from effectively influencing your team??  Some coaches are too frightened of upsetting you. After all coaches are meant to be supportive right?? And giving this kind of feedback doesn’t feel supportive.

Here’s the thing…

Whether you coach people for performance as a leader in an organization or you run your own coaching business, you’ve probably learned to coach from a traditional supportive stance. Most coaching books heavily focus on this approach for success.

I agree that being supportive is important for building trust, respect, developing rapport and for creating a safe environment to grow. This environment enables individuals disclose their private thoughts and feelings and develop their self-awareness.

Sometimes being supportive isn’t enough and you need to help your clients reach a deeper level of thinking that takes them out of their comfort zone, holds them accountable, makes them face those issues and roadblocks and take risks to courageously achieve their goals.

Great coaches intuitively know how to challenge and hold the tension until the pressure point is opened up and resolved. It’s like when having a back massage, you feel the tension of the masseur applying some pressure to a specific point, then they hold exactly the right amount of tension waiting for those knotty bits to move (I’m sure there’s a technical term for this!). It almost feels painful, but the relief releasing those knots is worth all the discomfort!

It’s the same with deep coaching…

As a coach, you have to be okay with challenging and pushing self-awareness to a deeper level for your coachee. You hold up the mirror and apply tension through feedback, challenging them to be accountable and take them out of their comfort zone into what Cranfield Business School calls the ZOUD (Zone Of Uncomfortable Debate) so you can get to the core of the issue and resolve it.

Applying and holding tension isn’t always pretty because you are creating discomfort. It might initially create a reaction of tears, anger, anxiety, worry or the coachee may feel tense and stressed.

Intuitively you need to recognize this and apply your supportive coaching skills to re-create a balance, by tapping into their feelings, taking a breath and re-grouping before stepping back into the ZOUD and working through it together. You have to believe that this will lead to a breakthrough for your coachee and provide positive supporting skills to face rather than avoid the issue. This can be a challenge for you as the coach to stay in your power and push further than before.

Working through the knotty-bits can take time, but the release of pressure and clearing the block can create transformational shifts for your coachee.

Staying stuck in a solely supportive style doesn’t deliver the full potential of coaching for your coachee. Going deeper has a much greater impact -increasing self-awareness and creating upleveled performance and results.

I ALWAYS want my coach to challenge me so I can live outside of my comfort zone.

If you coach people – Are YOU challenging them enough?

 

How interruptions destroy your productivity…

By , May 8, 2012 5:22 pm

“I’m embarrassed to admit that I was the cause of many of my interruptions. I didn’t realize that I was opening the door and allowing them in! On average I was being interrupted about every 15 minutes… No wonder I was working a 75 hour week! I’ve now learned how to fight back.”

John, Senior Manager and Client

I started coaching John two months ago when he was constantly staying late and working weekends trying to keep up with his heavy workloads.

He felt overwhelmed, out of control and extremely tired.

As we started working together, I realized that his workloads weren’t impossible. So why was he overwhelmed and unproductive?

The constant interruptions were distracting his concentration and killing his productivity…

Here’s what John realized:

  • He was inviting interruptions throughout his day because he was accessible to everyone all of the time.
  • He was at the mercy of other people’s phone calls, emails, demands and agendas that interrupted him constantly.
  • He relied on extra time to do HIS work: early in the morning before work or after work when he was most productive because no one else is around!
  • His day was filled with distractions and followed this pattern: start-stop-start-stop-start-stop-start-stop-start-stop-start-stop (No wonder he was exhausted!).

John could see a pattern of how constant waves of noise and other people’s demands were eroding his productivity. Even casual conversations broke through any pockets of productivity. He’d get distracted and then find it hard to concentrate back on the task. John worked out that he was only being productive 2-3 hours each day! No wonder he was staying late or working into the evening!

Here’s the thing…

There are many reasons for interruptions – 95% of them are not necessary.

Here’s how to fight back and stop interruptions impacting on your day by protecting your Zone of Productivity

 

1. Work alone. If you’re always being interrupted then you’re constantly mind shifting between tasks. It can take up to 20 minutes to get back into your Zone of Productivity. It’s difficult to focus on what’s important and you end up wasting time. Book a room. Go to a coffee shop (That’s where this article was written!). Work on important things away from any distractions.

2. Limit your access – Stop being ‘nice’. If others ask questions and you’re always there to answer, they don’t have to think for themselves. You teach others to rely on you. Let them figure it out and make the decision. Your accessibility reduces their productivity as well as yours! Teach people how to treat you. ‘Open door’ policies are admirable but they are not practical ALL the time! Create and communicate some ‘closed door’ time too so you can get important things done.

3. Role model productivity – Leadership is NOT about how many hours you work! You don’t have to be available ALL the time. Nor do you have to be first to arrive and last to leave! Get clear on your High Value Work and schedule time to get this done. Be selective, set boundaries and let people know when you’re not available. Leave work on time at least three days a week.

4. Turn off communications – If you’re scheduling time to work alone on a project, then turn off all communications with the outside world: phones, SMS, email etc. It’s easy to become distracted by device addiction. You get to choose when you answer YOUR phone and emails. Don’t teach people that you’re available 24/7 – it’s not realistic!

5. Set a timer – People will steal as much time from you as possible and some like to talk because it’s better than working! Signpost how much time you have available at the beginning of a phone call or meeting and stick to it. If a person needs longer then they can schedule an appointment with you. Doing this helps keep the conversation focused and on track and keeps interruptions to a minimum.

Decide to be productive and fight back against interruptions. You have more control than you think.

 

 

How serious are you about personal development? Seven ways to grow your own success!

By , April 25, 2012 5:49 pm

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

 ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

When I decided to start my own business I was fired up and ready to go! I bought all the books my mentor (and other people) recommended and signed up for numerous online programs and packages.

Then I drowned in an ocean of self-help modules and leadership resources! I felt overwhelmed and scared because I  had so much stuff to learn. I had no plan so the  learning tools gathered dust on a shelf as I got busy doing coaching and trying to be successful!

My personal development stopped. I’d get stuck with some of the basic business challenges because I wasn’t growing. Others around me seemed to be growing faster and getting more success, this hurt!

Here’s what I realized…

Buying learning won’t help you to learn – You have to READ and APPLY the tools consistently! This is where most of us fall down.

I was trying to grow my business without growing myself.

This also applies if you work in the corporate world. You get promoted and take on a leadership role and there’s a whole new set of responsibilities placed on you!

Whether you work in corporate or for yourself, one of the minimum requirements of being successful is your ability to grow. The “Future belongs to learning.” Active continuous personal development separates the successful from the mediocre… and the gap between the two is wide!

Here’s my personal development success formula…

You have to INVEST in yourself on three levels:

  1. Invest money (I was good at buying the books, mentors and resources!)
  2. Invest time – (I didn’t invest the time because I was too busy doing!)
  3. Invest attitude - (I invested in a growth mindset and take my personal development very seriously)

All three need to be present…

I know individuals who have ignored these and it has destroyed their careers by developing fixed mindset and  relying purely on status, ego and past experience to solve future problems. Learning is seen as a weakness by these people!

If you stop learning, you stop leading. You stagnate and you will fail.

Successful people invest time, money and attitude in their own personal development and it pays off.  They take learning seriously because they recognize its real value.

Here’s how to grow your own success from the inside-out:

1. Start from where you are now – You may have loads of resources backed up. Just choose ONE! Commit to working through that one resource, then move onto the next. Begin today.

2. Read for an hour a day – Wake up an hour earlier each day and read each morning first thing. If you do this 5 days a week – that’s five hours of reading! Just think how many books you could read in a year and the advantage you would have over your peers! Make notes and apply one thing you’ve read during the day (Start with 30 minutes and build up. Turn the TV off and read for an hour each night if you ‘don’t do’ mornings!).

3. Listen to audio books on the move – I listen to learning while I’m working out at the gym! I find the gym boring! Now I learn as I workout and time flies by. I make a few notes back in the changing room! You can also listen as you drive, fly or take the train!

4. Have an ATTITUDE for learning – Is your passion and commitment for what you do greater than any inconvenience in timing or travelling? I travel thousands of miles for my own personal development it’s not always convenient – I look beyond discomfort because I’m passionate about being the best I possibly can be. Get out from behind the convenience of your computer and look beyond the discomfort of travelling! Take your personal development seriously – Mean it! Activity seek out specific events and trainings that will help you grow. Group learning can expand your mindset and your skillset. Go to the source of the expertise and learn from the best if you want to be the best!

5. Plan your personal development time – Schedule dates and times for each week and show up! Look for opportunities to learn – Carry a book or IPad with you! Read while you wait for appointments (Instead of wasting time on Facebook!).

6. Apply what you learn – Reading is only a small part of the process. Growing involves USING what you’ve learned and is critical for success. I know hundreds of managers who have read: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, but only about 15% have actually applied any of the content to their life.

7. Work with a mentor – If you want to run a million pound business, then you want to learn from someone who has first hand experience and can provide wisdom, intuition and support. Working one on one will help you to: stay focused, be accountable, keep your commitment and create the discipline and persistence to make things happen.  A coach or a mentor can help you to maximise your potential and be the best in your career or business.

Are you passionate enough about your success to seriously  INVEST in your personal development?

How much do you REALLY WANT to be successful?

 

Six ways to stop resistance kicking your butt…

By , April 14, 2012 5:25 pm

“Resistance is a repelling force. It’s negative. It’s aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work.”

Steven Pressfield, Author

Resistance is a challenge for everyone from time to time.

I’ve helped my clients work through resistance when it has created self-doubt, procrastination, fear, low self-esteem and even self-sabotage in their business, projects or home life.

Resistance is a powerful nasty beasty!

I have been on the receiving end of it many times in my own life.

Resistance can kill your goals and dreams and destroy your confidence all at the same time.

It’s a powerful enemy within that feeds off your Lizard brain – that niggling voice in your head that says: “Do it tomorrow instead.” Or “Who do you think you are?!”  It turns positive momentum and hope into stone.

 

The truth is that EVERYONE has THAT voice in his or her head in the same way that everyone breathes. It’s natural and part of your human defenses. But that doesn’t mean it’s always right!

Resistance holds you back, throws you off course and won’t let go until it takes your ideas and goals and destroys them – you give up.

Perhaps you’ve started a business or you’re working on a project…

You get into a rhythm when good things are happening. You achieve momentum and everything flows. It’s like the Universe is pulling everything together and things are moving at a fast pace. There’s a quickening as things unfold for you.

…Then you hit the wall. Something happens or goes wrong. You lose confidence, despite being two-thirds through the project and the end was almost in sight. You’ve invested so much in time, energy and not to mention money, then it all feels like it’s slipping away from you.

Panic sets in as the tide turns, you feel out of control and can’t stop it. Your confidence drains away as the voice in your head returns to tell you that you’re not cut out for this and you’re the biggest loser in town.

Suddenly failure becomes an option and you’re scared. What was fun now feels very dark.

You can’t negotiate or reason with resistance because your inner Lizard is working overtime.

Resistance isn’t the end – though sometimes it can feel like it! Resistance is just testing your resolve. It’s part of the process. You can get through to the other side.

Here’s how:

1. Recognise your enemy – Resistance is self-created. It’s noisy and feels real but it’s not the big monster you might perceive it to be. Recognising this is extremely important.  YOU always have the power of free will. You can override your resistance at any time by taking conscious action. You get to choose whether you stay stuck or not.

2. Reconnect to your WHY – Your passion is like an antidote. It can de-solve any fear associated with your resistance. Reconnect to your passion and draw energy from it by answering the following two questions and use these as your touchstones as you’re working through:

WHY do I want to do this?

How badly do I want to succeed?

3. Remember it’s just part of the process Resistance is just part of the journey: First you have an idea – then you have resistance – then you create a system or process to work through it and take consistent action.

4. Get help Fight resistance with assistance! Help yourself by setting up a daily ritual or system that gets you into the habit of showing up and taking action. Create affirmations or goal cards and look at them regularly to visualize success. Sometimes it feels harder because you feel alone. Enlist help from others who have experienced what you’re experiencing now. They can guide you through.

5. Accept that things go wrong – You can’t always prepare for it but shit happens! Sometimes things don’t work. There’s a difference between quitting and feeling like quitting. Failure means that we have to grow – it’s all about learning. You’re compelled to figure it out. You are presented with the raw materials for your solution. Work the problem to create your solution.

6. Hang in there Completing is not for the faint hearted. Yes it takes hard work and stamina to finish. There might be many obstacles along the way. But all the hard work is for nothing if you don’t show up to finish. This sometimes requires extra energy and drive to see it through and it’s the most difficult bit – but it’s worth it! Sometimes you have to reach in for that extra bit of courage.

Resistance invisibly thrives when self-sabotage, self-doubt, low confidence, procrastination, and fear takes hold. The more important your call to action, the greater the sense of resistance you’ll feel. It’s a natural part of life. You can hide from it and hope it goes away, or consciously work through it.

You ALWAYS have a choice…

 

How to create the best climate for your coaching clients

By , April 11, 2012 4:50 pm

“I care about you. I care about your future. I care about your growth. I’m here to create a climate in which you will blossom and flourish.”

~ Marshall Goldsmith and Laurence Lyons, Authors.

 

James, one of my clients, is a manager in corporate. One of his many roles is to coach his staff.

Two weeks ago he asked me how to create a coaching environment over the phone. He has recently acquired a virtual team that presented him with communication and time zone challenges. He was worried that he’d not be able to coach his staff effectively.

Here’s what we discussed…

Helping others is a natural human motive and is stronger in some people than others and it’s especially important if you are a coach.

The quality of the conversation is EVERYTHING…

I believe that all coaches are motivated by their ‘desire’ to help others. The above quote summarises this perfectly for me (it’s also an awesome intention to set before any coaching session!). A great coach will authentically communicate this all the time.

(By the way, if you don’t buy into the quotation – You shouldn’t be coaching!)

It’s important to create the right climate and hold coaching space for every person you coach.

What do I mean by this?

Have you ever tried to impose your wisdom onto someone else?!

No matter how hard you try, you can’t change someone else – The other person has got to be open to the conversation and WANT to change.

Sometimes the mention of the word coaching is enough to make someone resist a conversation, especially in the corporate world, where coaching is imposed because it’s part of the manager’s job. This could be for many reasons:

  • It feels like it’s something that is imposed and done to you
  • There’s a low level of respect for the coach
  • The person is resistance to change
  • They have a low motivation to learn
  • There’s a lack of understanding
  • The timing is wrong

Some coaches fail because they jump straight into the coaching and try to drive through their own agenda. This creates lip service and resistance to coaching.

Here’s how to create and hold a safe coaching space:

Before any coaching session:

1. Consider your motives – What is the purpose of the session? What are you intending as an outcome? What do you want your client to do, be or have as a result of your time together? Get clear before you begin.

2. Who’s leading? – Who is driving the conversation? Is the session coach led or client led? Or a combination of the two? If you are the client’s manager, this might influence your approach.

 3. Set the scene – It’s good to have a framework for the conversation. Signposting the way helps put your client at ease because they understand what is going to happen to them during your time together. If the conversation is client led, let them set the scene. What do they want to do, be or have as a result of the conversation?

4. The Environment - Choose a neutral environment, private and away from any distractions – other people, phones and computers.

 

During the session…

1. Build rapport – Be yourself! Create a natural conversation where the other person can feel comfortable and safe to speak. Set a relaxed and focused tone. Lead the way here. This will naturally guide you to the purpose of the session rather than jumping right in, “so what do you want?”

2. Lose your ego – Strive for authenticity instead popularity! You might be their boss, but you are both human beings and have the same level of value, worth and dignity. The client needs to feel comfortable and that they can speak freely. If you exert your authority as a manager, (or as the coach) then you’ll create an environment of compliance rather than engagement. Create a sense of leadership in the way that you navigate through the session without being controlling.

3. Be 100% Present – Make your client feel like they are the most important person in the room. Let go of your To Do List, emails and your outstanding challenges. This session is 100% about them. So be 110% present for them.

4. Be ‘genuinely interested’ in the growth and success of the person you are coaching. If you’re a manager and you’re coaching one of your team, you also have vested interest in their success – After all, they help you to achieve your goals!

5. Know the balance of when to help and how much to help is also important in the relationship. If the coach doesn’t act in a way that reflects a genuine interest in being helpful then coaching will be unsuccessful.

 

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