Tag Archive for: coaching

Looking & Learning

“Daryl, I love your object lessons!” said a course participant.ย  “Many years ago you had me construct a periscope, and I’ve never forgotten the principle of lifting my vision.”

You can find lessons for life in everyday items and activities by simply looking around. As you consider your audience, reflect upon the things you do and observe each day. Your surroundings can come alive with answers to help you teach.

Consider using a simple object as a metaphor or an analogy to help connect the learning.

Some of my favourite objects include – Ear plugs, spectacles, a compass, tuning forks, light bulbs, a torch, wool, stabilisers, tools, batteries, eggs, juggling balls, spinning plates, bread, kitchen utensils, remote controls, razors, periscopes – the list is endless! Look around and use your imagination.

Many years ago, my father taught me the power of observation. Sat in the garden he watched and marveled at the industry and work rate of tiny ants. A few days later he shared those observations in a remarkable speech. I have never forgotten the lessons about work, industry and service. I find through small and simple things the most powerful lessons are learned.

What are some of your favourite object lessons?

What pulls you?

In my coaching conversations, regularly I find that individuals feel ๐’‘๐’–๐’”๐’‰๐’†๐’… into something rather than feeling ๐’‘๐’–๐’๐’๐’†๐’… by it.

One of the greatest lessons in life is to find something that ๐’‘๐’–๐’๐’๐’” you! If we are open and willing to learn, life has a way of teaching us by ๐’‘๐’–๐’๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ us towards something.

When you keeping ๐’‘๐’–๐’”๐’‰๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ yourself to do something, oftentimes it feels like something you have to do and then it can become tiresome. You can only ๐’‘๐’–๐’”๐’‰ yourself for so long before you give up. But when youโ€™re ๐’‘๐’–๐’๐’๐’†๐’… by something, attracted by it even, it feels like something you get to do and you tend to become even more passionate about it.

I am ๐’‘๐’–๐’๐’๐’†๐’… by coaching, personal development and learning – I love it! Frequently, I’ll share my insights and discoveries about what I learn with others, to hopefully inspire and help them achieve more.

In life we learn what is most important by finding something that ๐’‘๐’–๐’๐’๐’” us towards it – this is where we should focus our energies.

Oftentimes the most profound insights are really the simplest.

๐‘ท๐’–๐’”๐’‰ ๐’— ๐‘ท๐’–๐’๐’

Consider what ๐’‘๐’–๐’๐’๐’” you. Therein your purpose awaits!

“How do you walk in another person’s shoes?”

“How do you walk in another person’s shoes?” asked the workshop participant…

A great question and one that I have been asked repeatedly in recent coaching workshops.

A big part of the answer is to do with ๐ž๐ฆ๐ฉ๐š๐ญ๐ก๐ฒ.

Empathy is understanding another personโ€™s feelings, thoughts, and condition from their perspective, rather than our own.

In my experience empathy is being very present in any conversation, attentively listening deeply, being open minded without judgement, looking into their eyes and giving someone your undivided attention, in order to sense their emotions. Frequently a human connection is made, resulting in a peek or a fleeting impression into how or what they are really feeling. It is a momentary glimpse of their reality. That’s when I start to feel I am being empathetic.

The good news is – empathy is something that can be learned.

Active or deep listening and asking powerful questions helps us to develop an understanding of another persons situation and in turn develops empathy. As you seek to understand another person, simple responses are very often the most powerful and meaningful ways to help.

Try walking in another’s shoes today, go on give it a go!


“There is no substitute for hard work” – so said Thomas Edison.

It was in my childhood that I started to learn the value of work. Throughout much of my school years, I was up early to deliver the morning papers. No matter the weather, I was up and out on my round by 6 am.ย  An early rise has been the pattern of my entire life.

Even before my early departure, I remember, mum or dad being up to clean out the coal fire, remove all the ash and set it for the day ahead.

There is a certain charm in a real coal fire, but there is also a lot of hard work to enjoy those benefits.

“Work is honourable. It is good therapy for most problems. It is the antidote for worry. Work is the equaliser for deficiency of native endowment. Work makes it possible for the average to approach genius. What we may lack in aptitude, we can make up for in performance” – J. Richard Clarke.

No matter what we do, or who we work for, we should give of our best – always.

By finding something that you really love to do, working will then not be a chore or a burden, it will be a joy.

I’ve seen work without success, but never success without work.

Keep stoking the flames of your own coal fires of life, a strong work ethic, will always keep the fire burning.

One by One

Over the last 30 + years, I have had many opportunities, with 1000’s of individuals to provide coaching, counselling or to share in a mentoring session together.

There are numerous articles, suggestions, models and books outlining what makes a great coaching conversation. In addition, I have also contributed to many discussions in lots of forums on the topic too.

I was however recently reminded again of a blindingly obvious point, it is this – simply stated, these conversations happen ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™š ๐™—๐™ฎ ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™š.

Intimate one by one conversations enable the most effective and powerful opportunities for change to occur. Giving someone your undivided attention for 30, 60 or even 90 minutes creates a powerful, meaningful, candid and insightful crucible for change. It is distraction free time.

Frequently, during these one by one moments a “reality check” occurs for the coachee. Indeed, a coaching conversation is perhaps the most personal and powerful form of communication and change that there is.

If you want change to happen, then you need to slow down, make time, listen to understand and consider the power of a coaching conversation, ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™š ๐™—๐™ฎ ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™š.

Who will you hold a coaching conversation with today?

Does 9.00 am exist?

“Does 9.00 am exist” I asked the delegates on the virtual time management workshop. Unanimously they responded “yes!” followed by a few whispers and puzzled faces.

As we explored the concept of time together, everyone soon realised that 9.00 am, along with 24 hours, 1,440 minutes and indeed 86,400 seconds were all simply something that mankind had created to manage time better – the study of horology is fascinating! We concluded – 9.00 am isn’t real! In fact the only thing that is real, is day & night, along with the seasons – spring, summer, autumn and winter.

Each of us are stewards of our time here upon earth. Each and every day counts.

Henry B. Eyring captured it well when he said – “Someday, when you know who you really are, you will be sorry you didn’t use your time better.”

I love these words penned by Robert Baird:

Time flies on wings of lightning;
We cannot call it back.
It comes, then passes forward
Along its onward track.
And if we are not mindful,
The chance will fade away,
For life is quick in passing.
โ€™Tis as a single day.

Consider these questions focused on different time frames…

Are you doing everything that you should be doing with your one precious life?

How will you choose to fill the blank pages of your book of life today?


Slowly, …in fact very slowly, I’m beginning to learn that small and simple is much better than big and complex.

Lots of virtual facilitation recently has reminded me of the following…

๐’๐ข๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ฒ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ.

We must eliminate the unnecessary. It cuts through the noise. Great results follow.

When simplifying – consider these five questionsโ€ฆ
1. Will it matter in 10 years?
2. What do I need more of in my life?
3. What do I need less of?
4. Is it essential?
5. How can I make this simpler?

By answering these questions regularly and honestly a new ability, perhaps a skill even – of being able to say no, deciding not to do something, being able to identify the things that are really worth doing and conversely the things that really aren’t worth doing at all – will start to shine through. Things become much simpler, clearer and understandable.

Why not start today and ask yourself the questions!


It was a painful error. โ€œThat one wrong move cost me the gameโ€ said my son, as his younger sister wrapped up Settlers of Catan at the weekend.

Catan is a family favourite in our home โ€“ and possibly yours too.

For the second week in a row, the youngest member of our family was victorious. It was also much to the chagrin of her older brother! Yet, only a few moments previously the game was in the balance. It was simply because of one move made a little earlier in the game, that the damage was done. Ultimately, a short term advantage led to the defeat. It wasnโ€™t until a few moments after making the move, did he realise his error, which ultimately cost him the game.

The learning occurred for my son when he owned up to making the mistake. Yes, he was irritated a little by his lapse in judgement and Iโ€™m sure heโ€™ll learn from the error and think things through more carefully next time.

One wrong move in a game of Catan, isnโ€™t as serious as making a wrong move in life. Yet, in life too, we sometimes make poor choices that can ultimately have life changing consequences.

Mistakes are simply a part of the learning process and are very valuable. Its okay to make them, as long as you learn from them and remember the lesson.ย  So, lets embrace them and keep moving forward!

What mistakes or wrong moves have you made at home, at work, or even in life and what lessons did you learn?


As a youngster, I was always picking up a new sport, entering a race, or trying out for a new team.

Somehow, in my first year at high school, I managed to qualify for the 100 metres hurdles at our annual schools sports day at the local athletics stadium. My hurdling technique was limited at best, and yet I made it to the final. I gave it my all that day, but ended up finishing in last place. That was the end of my hurdling career! However, I did end up playing football, rugby, basketball and badminton through my high school years, enjoying a fair bit of success and failure too in many of the team sports.

The key to success in my sports journey was having highly effective coaches to help us all along the way. I have fond recollections of the enthusiastic guidance Mr Montgomery and Mr Galbraith provided on many occasions.

In a similar manner, I feel extraordinarily blessed to do something I love every day. As a qualified coach I have regular opportunities to help people along their way in their personal life or professional development. Life has a great tendency to keep raising the hurdles that come along. Yet, experience has taught me that working with a coach can help overcome any obstacles.

How can I help you improve your position?


What does the world of tomorrow need from you?

As a coach, I find that many clients arrive weighed down by events from the past. Others are burdened by the things of today – their here and now.

There is much to be learned from the past and the present, but as a coach I help clients to unlock what needs to be different for them in the future.

Before you get sucked back into today’s reality, consider what do you want your future to look like….?