Tag Archive for: coaching

How are you being finely-tuned?

Are you being ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ง๐ž๐ฅ๐ฒ-๐ญ๐ฎ๐ง๐ž๐ ?

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 ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ง๐ž๐ฅ๐ฒ-๐ญ๐ฎ๐ง๐ž๐ !

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 ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ง๐ž๐ฅ๐ฒ-๐ญ๐ฎ๐ง๐ž๐?

Discovering your gifts.

A life time of coaching experience has helped me realise that each of us, possesses a unique set of gifts, talents and abilities. We are individuals.

Regularly as a coach, I review personality assessments in order to understand these unique characteristics. In fact one of the questions I ask every coachee I engage with directly is this, “Have you undertaken any assessments on your learning style, or personal style such as indicated by the Myers-Briggs type indicator, Belbin or other methods?”

There are many well respected and scientifically validated personality tests, including, Hogan (HPI), Marston (DISC), Schutz (FIRO-B), Kolb, Handy & Schein to name only a few. You may have taken one yourself. These tests are designed to help you understand yourself. Many coaches like me, must take time to understand and get their heads around different assessments to provide accurate feedback and insights for coachees.ย  These assessments all have their place.

Our gifts, talents, personalities and characteristics differ. Yet, I know that we can all excel at something. I have worked with remarkable lawyers, educators, businessmen, politicians, musicians and scientists.ย  It is in these personal 1-1, intimate coaching moments, that revelations can be encountered.

My experience of coaching conversations is this; latent gifts or talents are likely to be awakened and new discoveries made. Enjoy your journey!

Coaching in style!

Recently I was asked “Where is the best place for a coaching conversation?”
It made me think of all the many places I’ve held such a conversation.
Of late it has nearly always been on Zoom or Teams, but in this last year I’ve had many walking in parks or along the beach front. Other venues have included client offices, hotel receptions, restaurants, coffee shops, cafes, trains, planes, cars, taxis, corridors and many at home in my living room!
Coaching conversations can happen anywhere. However the best place is where your coachee feels safe, at ease and comfortable to share confidentially what is on their mind. Over the years, I have found it helpful too, to mix up the location, for instance by taking a walk in an open space. A change of scenery can help to change the dynamics of the conversation.
What is key is that both of you are present, in mind, body and spirit – you are really there….together!
Finally, the best place was the restaurant at Gleneagles Hotel, where my client also paid for a beautiful lunch!!

Are you asking the right question?

Asked any good questions lately? As a coach, I am constantly asking questions to help clients move forward.
For example…”What do you want?” “What do you need most right now?” “So what?” “Why now?” “How can you be more true to yourself?” “Can you tell me more?” “How are you, really?”
Querying something can be extremely powerful. They help us to think, feel and do things differently. The best ones usually start with “why.”
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. It is a useful skill to be able to ask great questions.
Its time to be a little more curious. Asking questions is an important part of life and learning, it shows that you want to improve.
What question will you ask today?

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?