Tag Archive for: coaching

Handling Failure

Experience has taught me, that to suffer some anxiety, some stress, some low moods or depression, some disappointment, or even some failure is ๐’๐’๐’“๐’Ž๐’‚๐’.
Let me repeat that…. ๐๐Ž๐‘๐Œ๐€๐‹!
Everyone fails.
Everyone has bad things happen to them at some point.
Every now and then, a really good miserable day, or even a few of them may come along all at once, lined up perfectly all in a row, day after day!
Maybe you have felt days like that?
Doomed to failure.
Defeated, lost, discouraged, possibly even feelings of shame and inferiority may ariseโ€ฆ
You may even choose to prolong the agony by engaging in some mental torture, relentless self-criticism, beating yourself up and continually berating yourself.
When we feel like this, we may even want to hide, to shrivel up or even just disappear.
Have you been there?
Itโ€™s easy to be tough on ourselves. Isn’t it!

If this is you, choose to ๐’๐“๐Ž๐!

It is time to change your relationship with failure.
Take a momentโ€ฆ
Let me assure you, ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ข๐ฌ ๐š ๐›๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ…
What would you do to support a friend through a similar difficult period?
By showing ourselves some kindness, respect and encouragement, we can practice self-compassion.
With self-compassion, we give ourselves the same kindness and care weโ€™d give to a good friend.
โ€œSelf-compassion has been defined as a self-attitude that involves treating oneself with warmth and understanding in difficult times and recognizing that making mistakes is part of being human (Neff, 2003)
Realising that things donโ€™t always go the way you want them to, is a reality shared by each and every one of us.
My experience is to see failure as a step closer to success, not a step backwards.
How can you be kinder to yourself?
Think of a time when you failed at something and someone responded with kindness and reassurance…
How did that make you feel?

In Summary…

In any coaching conversation, one of the most important skills that a coach needs to learn is to reflect, summarise and paraphrase.
๐‘๐ž๐Ÿ๐ฅ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  back is in essence holding up a mirror for the coachee and letting them hear what they said, using their own words and perhaps even how they said it, tone, and all.
It could be several sentences, a sentence, a few words, or perhaps even just one word.
Reflecting provides both clarity and understanding for the coachee.
๐’๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ฆ๐š๐ซ๐ข๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐  on the other hand is when you almost always use the clients words or very occasionally your own words, in a shortened concise overview format, to check that you are both aligned.
Frequently Iโ€™ll begin by saying โ€œIn summaryโ€ or โ€œAs I understand it thenโ€ฆโ€ or โ€œIn my words, I heardโ€ฆโ€ It is condensing the content of what has been said, down to its very essence.
Whenever I get nearer the action points of a coaching session, I usually turn to the coachee and allow them to start summarising for themselves.
๐๐š๐ซ๐š๐ฉ๐ก๐ซ๐š๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐ : According to the Oxford Dictionary, โ€œTo paraphrase is to express the meaning of (the writer or speaker or something written or spoken) using different words, especially to achieve greater clarity.
Oftentimes I find myself paraphrasing the content of the coachees words, which could be several sentences long.
Or you can also paraphrase the emotion behind the words.
For example a way to paraphrase emotion is to โ€œthat sounds really exhaustingโ€ when a coachee is finding a situation particularly difficult. This lets the coachee know that you are listening and provides the
evidence that you have really listened!
It also really helps to build trust and develops empathy.
These three principles are important in developing great communication skills.
What principle will you work on in your conversations today?

Just Ask

After completing my university studies, I encountered Meta-Morphose, a specialist graduate sales recruitment and training company based in southwest England.
I endured a gruelling selection process and qualified for their programme.
Ultimately, with their assistance, I received a few work opportunities and subsequently embarked upon my sales career.
Although I was never the very top salesman, I did enjoy consistent success and over time managed several sales teams.
I also received a few accolades and for many years I was a judge in the UK National Sales Awards.
Sales eventually brought me into leadership, coaching, training and facilitation.
Early on in my career, I learned a very powerful lesson, that I want to share today.
In sales, most people spend the majority of their time and resources prospecting for new business, hunting down and finding new opportunities.
In my early days, there was a lot of cold calling, door knocking, direct mail, advertising etc.
Today, a lot of that now happens online.
However, I discovered that there is an easier and much more productive way.
Itโ€™s simple really, you just really have to remember to ask!

Would you like to know how?

The answer is asking for a referral.
Commonly known as a referral dialogue.
Itโ€™s not what you know, itโ€™s what you do with what you know that counts.
Most of us just arenโ€™t sure what words to use.
You donโ€™t want to come across as high-pressured or pushy.
Or you donโ€™t want to put a strain on a relationship.
With the right words, in a conversation, all of these obstacles can be removed.
The key is to reframe a conversation into something you can easily repeat over and over again.
There are many ways to ask, but you simply need to remember and ask!
๐˜๐จ๐ฎ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ๐ฌ ๐ง๐ž๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ž ๐€๐’๐Š๐ˆ๐๐†!!!
Practice with a peer who wants to generate more referrals too and youโ€™ll come up with some great examples to use.
I know that success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, routines, practiced every day, over and over again.
Go on – give it a go today, you’ll be surprised how effective it is!
Just remember to ask!!

Time is Life

๐“๐ข๐ฆ๐ž ๐ข๐ฌ ๐‹๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž.

It is irreversible and irreplaceable.

This year has been very different from others gone by.

For the last 10 years, Iโ€™d coach circa 15 people one on one, and have around 100 โ€“ 200, sixty-to-ninety-minute coaching conversations a year, in amongst my many other professional activities.

This year, Iโ€™ve coached circa 150 people one on one, and have had around 1000 โ€“ 1200, twenty-to-forty-minute coaching conversations, in amongst my many other missionary activities.

Itโ€™s been a little busier, very different, more intensive and a little more tiring too!

However, I absolutely love it!

In amongst all of those coaching conversations, there have been many incredible discoveries made.
Amongst the many coaching techniques, I frequently use, is a very simple one, itโ€™s akin to judo.

The word judo consists of two Japanese characters, ju, which means โ€œgentleโ€, and do, which means โ€œthe wayโ€.

Judo, therefore, literally means the gentle way.

I did say it was simple!

This is the model.

โ€ข Invite them to share their story
โ€ข Ask questions, to create curiosity and to explore their journey.
โ€ข Share a personal story as an alternative view.
โ€ข Review – what can I do better?

As you review 2022 and reflect upon all that has gone by, perhaps you can ask yourself this question tooโ€ฆ

โ€œWhat could I have done better?โ€


Looking at Christmas fairy lights this week, reminded me of a tangled story!
Life happensโ€ฆ
It was our first coaching session together.
In fact, it was my client Annieโ€™s (changed her name to protect her identity) first ever coaching session.
We started off with our introductions and pleasantries and then got into the coaching session to address a number of personal and work concerns.
The session went very well.
I did a lot of listening, observing, paraphrasing, summarising and as usual asked a few questions.
Annie found some answers for herself as she dealt with a number of different issues.
I was starting to draw the session to a closeโ€ฆ
โ€ฆAnd then it happened!
She reached forward, gesturing her wrists together and said, โ€œCan you help please?โ€
Puzzled, I looked closely at her wrists.
Seemingly, midway through our session, Annie had somehow entangled her bracelets together and sheโ€™d been stuck for a good while!
I untangled her wrists.
We laughed and joked together.
It was so funny.
That one moment created a unique bond and memory for the two of us, that neither of us will ever forget.
My experience of coaching is that it can help untangle lifeโ€™s challenges โ€“ sometimes quite literally!
Are you ready to be untangled yet?

Don’t forget to laugh!

A fun experience from Belgium last week.
Departing our hotel room, on the second floor, fully loaded down with all our luggage, we arrived at the lift.
Our unspoken plan was to take the lift to the ground floor reception and checkout.
The visual indicator showed that the lift was on the ground floor โ€œ0.โ€
We both looked at the lift call buttons and independently of each other, we pushed the call buttons.
One button pointed upwards, the other button pointed downwards.
One of us pushed up, the other pushed down.
Quizzically, we looked at one another, thinking โ€œWhy did you do that?โ€
Do you remember the classic book on communication styles, โ€œMen are from Mars, Women are from Venusโ€ by John Gray?
The book highlights the key differences between how men and women think, act, and communicate.
I must admit โ€“ that was my first thought as we stood waiting on the lift to arrive.
We turned to one another again and laughed!
It was a silly moment, but one that highlighted the simple differences between our thinking.
Stepping into the lift, we did finally arrive at our destination, after a short detour upwards, to the third floor!
After 28 years of marriage, our conclusion is thisโ€ฆ
No two people ever see all things precisely the same!
Understanding and appreciating one anotherโ€™s differences is the key to healthy relationships.
And donโ€™t forget to laugh โ€“ often!! ๐Ÿ˜…
๐€๐ซ๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฅ๐š๐ฎ๐ ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ž๐ง๐จ๐ฎ๐ ๐ก?

Are you being tested?

Many things look good until they are ๐ญ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐.
Many theories look good until they are ๐ญ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐.
Many software applications look good until they are ๐ญ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐.
Many people look good until they are ๐ญ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐.
Any piece of rope will hold when there is no weight on it, but we also need to know that we can count on it, when the heavy weight it was designed to carry, actually holds.
We have to test everything that we produce because things can go wrong.
And like things, we too are frequently tested in all kinds of ways in life.

Life is the field of tests.

We are living in times of great testing. No one is exempt from lifeโ€™s trials.
I do not believe that it was intended that our earthly experience would be a smooth and easy one.
It is my experience that tests always come.
Accidents, illness, old age, the loss of a loved one, death, unhappiness, depression, tragedies, financial loss etc.
How do you see you life now?
Sometimes it may seem that life will bring some unexpected challenges โ€“ almost daily at times.
Tests are designed to show our strengths and our weaknesses.
We cannot choose most of the tests we face in life, we can however choose how weโ€™re going to face them.
Facing up to every challenge, every test, is a chance for you to become the person you are meant to be.
These moments truly define us and prove what we are really made of.
Personally, I know that when you face the tests of life, when you learn from them and grow with them, you can become that person you are meant to be.
Always remember to put things into perspective, tests always eventually pass.
I am grateful for well proven guiding principles of faith, obedience, work, morality, honesty, persistency, integrity that always prove themselves when they are tested โ€“ when they are required to perform.
Turning to a family member, a friend, a work colleague or to your faith can help.
Who do you turn to or what principles do you follow, to help you through your tests in life?
#tests #life


โ€œOn a ๐ฌ๐œ๐š๐ฅ๐ž of 1 to 10, where do you currently rate yourself?โ€.
As a coach and mentor, frequently I use the ๐’”๐’„๐’‚๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ approach to measure progress.
As the coach, it can provide me with some really valuable insight into the coachee, their thinking and where they are at a given point in time with any specific situation.
Here are some examples:
On a ๐ฌ๐œ๐š๐ฅ๐ž of 1 -10โ€ฆ
โ€ฆto what degree have you made progress towards this goal?
โ€ฆhow satisfied are you in this area?
โ€ฆhow determined are you to take this action.
There are always powerful benefits of ๐’”๐’„๐’‚๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ too in turn for the coachee, by helping them to assess their position in relation to their ideal outcome i.e. their 10/10.
Many follow up questions usually follow on, as I probe further in any given situation where someone is trying to progress…
For example here is one situation to consider:
โ€ข You said that you were a 3 in regard to your confidence when providing feedback to your team member.
โ€ข Tell me what makes it a 3 for you, what is your experience?
โ€ข What does it feel like being a 3?
โ€ข What are you thinking about as a 3?
โ€ข What are the reasons for a 3?
โ€ข What feedback have you had to suggest you might be a 3?
โ€ข What are the reasons you are a 3 as opposed to a 7?
โ€ข Whatโ€™s the difference for you?
โ€ข …….And many other questions follow on too!
It is more important to focus on the differences and then on the progress that can be made.
I have found ๐’”๐’„๐’‚๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ to be a particularly helpful tool and use it frequentlyโ€ฆ
Itโ€™s great to try it out!
How can you apply this tool in your coaching conversations?


๐–๐ž ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐›๐จ๐ซ๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ž ๐ก๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ฒ โ€“ ๐ซ๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ญ?
Yet, sometimes life happens and it can be discouraging.
At times things we hope for and dream about just don’t turn out that way.
– the pay rise didn’t happen
– you didn’t get the expected exam grade
– the relationship you worked hard at didn’t work out
– you didn’t get the job
– the house purchase fell through
– redundancy became a reality
– ill health sets you back
– you just can’t understand that new language
– its just been a really tough day
When things don’t turn out the way you expected, then discouragement can settle into our minds and can make us feel sad.
None of us are immune from discouragement and especially in these difficult times, reality frequently does not conform to our wishes.
Discouragement does not have to mean defeat!
See it as it really is and donโ€™t blow things up out of proportion.
Overcoming discouragement is absolutely critical for all of us if we are to bounce back and move forward in life.

So, what can you do?

First and foremost – you can change your attitude. Rather than focusing on what you can’t do, focus on what you can do.
Secondly, find something that you are good at right away, get on with it and dispel any negative self-talk, feelings or emotions that may be impacting upon you.
Thirdly – don’t compare yourself with others, remember you are on your own unique path in life.
Fourthly – turn to a friend.
Fifthly – count your many blessings, name them one by one.
Finally โ€“ pray about it, to understand and find the lesson.
โ€œThen shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I amโ€ (Isaiah 58:9).
To receive comfort and guidance from our Father, we simply need to reach out to Him. I know He is always listening.
It is through the experience of disappointment and discouragement that great treasures and pearls of wisdom in life frequently appear.
What do you do when you feel discouraged?

Do you care?

Do you question your motives?
The crux of my personal philosophy in life, the nucleus of my personal motivation, is centred upon a core belief that โ€œnobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you careโ€ a phrase attributed to Theodore Roosevelt and crafted so purposely by him.
In thousands of coaching conversations, I have learned a little.
As youโ€ฆ.
๐‹๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฎ๐ง๐๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ง๐
๐€๐ฌ๐ค ๐ฆ๐ž๐š๐ง๐ข๐ง๐ ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ ๐ช๐ฎ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ
๐€๐ซ๐ž ๐ ๐ž๐ง๐ฎ๐ข๐ง๐ž๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐œ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ข๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ
๐„๐ฑ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž
๐˜๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐š๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ, ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐๐ž๐ฆ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐œ๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐œ๐š๐ซ๐ž.
Showing interest in others is about being yourself,
being genuine
and sincere in your interest in another person.
๐‡๐จ๐ฐ ๐ƒ๐จ ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ ๐’๐ก๐จ๐ฐ ๐‡๐จ๐ฐ ๐Œ๐ฎ๐œ๐ก ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ ๐‚๐š๐ซ๐ž?