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To don’t list!

“How about a “to don’t list”” – that’s a new idea I thought.
Working smart has been at the forefront of my mind the last few days. With an increasing challenge of fewer missionaries in country due to COVID-19 set to continue for the next few months, I’ve been thinking how we can work smart to address all that we need to do!
Once you accept that you have more to do than time to do it all, that is actually a very freeing concept.
We all know about to do lists, but creative thinking techniques encourage us to turn things upside down.
A “to don’t list” seems a bit of a weird idea, but actually thinking about it more, it seems to provide a lot of positives! I am starting to recognise that many times what you do not do is far more important than what you do do! Perhaps a little experiment is in order.
For example here are some ideas for starters…
– Don’t thoughtlessly scroll through social media
– Don’t always try to be right
– Don’t stay up too late
– Don’t try to please everyone
– Don’t interrupt others
Consider any bad habits you want to eliminate and anything that distracts you from being productive – that’s the key.
Go on, give it a go and write your “to don’t list” today!

Asking Questions

What will you do differently because of what you learned today?

Asked any good questions lately?

Questions can be extremely powerful. They help us to think, feel and do things differently.

We all need to learn how to ask great questions!

Some professionals like doctors, lawyers and journalists are taught how to ask great questions as part of their training.

In my own professional career through sales and coaching, I have found it equally important to be able to formulate and ask the right question.

Questions aid performance, close sales, help provide inspiration and direction, they even help to build trust and rapport.

“Management teams aren’t good at asking questions. In business school, we train them to be good at giving answers.” – Clayton Christensen.

It’s time to be a little more curious. Asking questions is an important part of life and learning.

As a coach, I am constantly asking questions to help clients move forward.

– What do you really want?
– What do you need most right now?
– So what?
– Why now?
– How can you be truer to yourself?
– Can you tell me more?

What question can you use today to unlock your own potential?

Deep Change

“What is your favourite book on change?” asked a course participant.

I’ve spent the last week talking and facilitating workshops all about change (again).

It is likely you are aware of a few change models, including the Kubler Ross Change Curve, Kotter’s 8 stage model, Bridges Transition model, Prosci’s ADKAR model (lots of models) et cetera.

But if you want to really change in your personal life or in your organisation, consider this thought from Deep Change – Discovering the Leader Within from Robert E.Quinn – “Deep change differs from incremental change in that it requires new ways of thinking and behaving. It is change that is major in scope, discontinuous with the past and generally irreversible. The deep change effort distorts existing patterns of action and involves taking risks. Deep change means surrendering control.”……

This is an introspective journey that will challenge your thinking, you’ll need a reflective journal, in Bob’s words it’ll be like “walking naked into the land of uncertainty”.

You will be introduced to new ideas, new ways of thinking, new ways of behaving and can put an end to the slow death dilemma forever.

Consider this book a masterpiece!

Deep Change reveals the remarkable capacity each of us holds to change ourselves and ultimately our organisations.

Do you think I enjoyed it!?

You will too.

Don’t just do something, sit there!

“Don’t just do something, sit there!”- is a phrase I have stumbled across several times recently.

It’s extremely difficult NOT to do something these days. In the frenetic pace of life, whether it is a work task, an urgent assignment, homework, something needs fixing, the school run – taking time to “sit there” and think, rarely (if ever) tops the list of things to do.

We think far too seldomly. Conversely, we tell ourselves not to think, by saying “don’t just sit there, do something!” In several coaching sessions and workshops recently, this theme has been a topic of some healthy conversation. Ultimately, our discussion peaks at the realisation that we need to think, before we act. The lesson is that we need to put the thinking in before the doing.

In my own life, there have been many times that I have felt a bit harried, time poor and harassed. Then, some years ago, I decided and chose to change. I realised that I needed to simply “sit there” for a while every day and declutter my noisy mind. As an early riser, the first hour of every day is my precious contemplation time. Those 60 minutes of thought and study are a daily gift to myself.

A little time set aside daily to think about what really matters makes all the difference.

When will you “sit there?”

Mind the Gap

In a podcast interview yesterday I was asked, “Why is personal development so important?” I shared a few ideas at the time, however….
On further reflection post interview this morning, I recalled a regular pre-lockdown experience during my travels taking me through the London Underground. The phrase “𝒎𝒊𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒈𝒂𝒑” is both seen and heard every time you board the tube. It’s a simple a safety announcement, a caution to remind every traveller of the small gap between the platform and the tube. That small gap varies from station to station and in turn it helps us to be much more observant and self-aware of the challenges all around.
In a similar manner, personal development is all about being prompted to “mind the gap” in our own learning in life between who/where/what we are and who we really want to become.
Personal development helps to build our self-awareness by bridging the gaps in our learning. It gives you the opportunity to take a long hard honest look at the areas of your life that may be in need of some improvement. It also enables you to get to know who you really are, what motivates you, what you are passionate about, where you would like to go in life and what your true values are.
What gaps do you need to bridge in your personal development?

Are you FITT?

Are you FITT?

The FITT principle is a smart acronym that gives athletes a workout plan to help them achieve their goals – yet, in a very similar manner it applies to our learning and development habits too.

Ask any athlete and they’ll tell you what FITT stands for – as follows;
F-Frequency: refers to how often you exercise.
I-Intensity: refers to how hard you exercise.
T-Time: refers to how long you exercise for.
T-Type: refers to what kind of exercise you do.

The FITT Principle can help you create your own powerful learning & development plan.

For example – let’s consider studying for a new skill or learning requirement:
Frequency – how often you study
Intensity – how hard you study
Time – how long you study
Type – what type of different study tools you use

If you want to improve your learning & development ‘fitness’ – then apply the FITT principle to your plan and routine. It won’t be long before you witness a difference and your learning will be a winner!

New beginnings

I know I can’t turn back time, but this I do know…… it’s never too early and it’s never too late for a new beginning.

“Four young men sit by the bedside of their dying father. The old man, with his last breath, tells them there is a huge treasure buried in the family fields. The sons crowd around him crying, “Where, where?” but it is too late. The day after the funeral and for many days to come, the young men go out with their picks and shovels and turn the soil, digging deeply into the ground from one end of each field to the other. They find nothing and bitterly disappointed, abandon the search……

…𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗻𝗲𝘅𝘁 𝘀𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝗮𝗿𝗺 𝗵𝗮𝘀 𝗶𝘁𝘀 𝗯𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗵𝗮𝗿𝘃𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿.”
– As told by Benjamin Zander in “The Art of Possibility”

Perhaps now is a good time to refine your plans for future harvests.

Is it time to start and dig a little deeper perhaps?
What new beginnings lie ahead for you?

Reflective learning

“So, what have you been learning about yourself through this last year…? I’ve asked that question so many times recently in coaching sessions. So, how about you……?
Consciously I make time for self reflection daily. Although it’s been a practice for a while, it has become much more meaningful during the last 12 months of the pandemic. Reflection has been described as a process that helps turn experience into knowledge. So, what are you learning?
Paradoxically, looking inwards, helps me to look outwards.
As you look in the mirror of self reflection, consider these questions:
…Am I using my time wisely?
…Am I living true to myself?
…What am I doing about the things that matter most in my life? …What do I need to change about myself?
…Have I made someone smile today?
It is so easy to get caught up in the daily vicissitudes of life.
Self-reflection is the key to help you understand what you stand for, what your values are, and in essence what matters most.
It’s a time to consider your behaviour, your goals and whether you are on track. The more self-reflective you are, the easier it becomes to make choices in line with your values which will impact all of your decisions now and in the future.
Our learning in life comes from our daily experiences, so take time to self-reflect, daily!

“How did you get into coaching then…?”

Recently I have been asked several times…”So Daryl, just how did you get into coaching and mentoring”?
Here’s my story.
In 2001, I was busy with a young family, an active sales career and a challenging, but enjoyable church assignment as a Bishop in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All three combined gave me an incredible insight into working with people of all ages in a wide range of circumstances.
My sales career was progressing well and I very much enjoyed talking to people and building trusting relationships. That said, I also enjoyed the many counselling sessions I’d have with church members. In both situations, I was being called upon regularly to give presentations and lead many training sessions on a range of leadership topics. Subsequently, I determined to enrol at night school at my local college embarking upon a CIPD – Certificate in Training Practice. It was one evening per week for several months. I loved it! Below is my graduation photo – wow I was young!
As the years have rolled by, my focus shifted towards coaching, facilitation and training, gaining further Diploma’s and qualifications along the way. I then set up my own consultancy back in 2014. I am so grateful too for my wife Monic’s constant words of encouragement and support throughout – that has always made a huge difference.
My advice, get all the education you can! Get at it, work at it, study hard and go for it!

How are you being finely-tuned?

Are you being 𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐥𝐲-𝐭𝐮𝐧𝐞𝐝 ?

Over the last 2 days, I have spent nearly 8 hours each day on a brand new managing your team virtual learning programme. It has been a stretching experience, long hours, a few headaches and a little bit of pressure thrown in for good measure too. All that said it has been extremely insightful too.

Yesterday, as each of the virtual facilitators took it in turn to deliver a 75 minute section, we carefully listened and participated throughout the learning session. As each facilitator concluded their delivery, one by one, we took it in turns to provide feedback. It was a great experience to receive an in the moment peer review. I came away feeling as if I was being 𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐥𝐲-𝐭𝐮𝐧𝐞𝐝 !

To fine-tune means: “to make small adjustments to (something) in order to achieve the best or a desired performance”

At the conclusion of the day, each of us thanked our virtual trainer for her guidance and assistance throughout. I came away feeling more prepared, more confident, more assured and primed ready to step up into action!

How are you preparing for your forthcoming assignments and how are you being 𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐥𝐲-𝐭𝐮𝐧𝐞𝐝?