A Coaching Journey – Pt. 12

One of my assignments following my most recent coaching session with Marielle was to review the “Personal Checklist” that I filled out prior to beginning this coaching journey. I discovered that, in many of the areas, I was improving, a work in progress (aren’t we all?).

It would be easy to take the idea of a checklist lightly but, as with many things that are meant to give us a wake-up call, information about the importance of checklists have been bombarding me from all sides recently.

Now, I tend to be someone who works things out in my head. I visualize articles almost fully blown before writing a word. I work out next steps in all (or most) areas of my life in my brain, rarely writing these down (unless pushed to do so by something like this process that Marielle has me going through, or when I am so overwhelmed that I need to look at what is coming down the pipe). Even budgeting is done by looking at the bottom line in my chequing account and working out what I can pay from that (most of my regular bills are on automatic payment).

So, when Marielle asked me to review my checklist, it was a “yeah, sure” reaction, done mostly because I am committed to the process.

Then I was listening to a TED Talk about the benefits of checklists in the operating room. Did you know that, according surgeon and public health journalist, Atul Gawanda, deaths during surgery can be reduced by up to 47% just by using check lists? That checklists help catch a problem before it happens or highlight some item that is easily missed? Checklists reinforce teamwork and create a different set of values and discipline, says Dr. Gawanda.

That same day, my exercise coach suggested that I write down my commitment to getting to bed early, and to be specific. I laughed and said that I know I am supposed to getting to bed earlier. Why would I write it down? He insisted that something changes in your brain when you write it down. It becomes more concrete.

On top of all this, I have had two recent events that required checklists for them to succeed.

So, here I am, a person who doesn’t normally write things down, rethinking my approach. With messages from Marielle, Matt and other sources suggesting that it is important to write it down, I am “working on it”. Not only am I improving in other areas of my life, I am also “a work in progress” with writing my best dreams, my goals and my vision down. Using the simple technique of checklists, I expect that I will move forward another step or so.

 

 

 

 

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About the Author:

The above entry is part of a guest blog series titled “A Coaching Journey” written by my friend, client, and talented writer, Linda Epstein. She has graciously agreed to write on her experience with the coaching process as she navigates it, to give a first-hand view of what the journey is like. Visit weekly to find out more!

 

Read the rest of “A Coaching Journey” by clicking below:

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4 – Part 5 – Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9Part 10Part 11

 

 

A Coaching Journey – Pt. 11

It has been said that life is what happens when you are making plans.

As I complete session #9 on my coaching journey with Marielle Gauthier, life has definitely been happening to me. When I discovered that I had been thinking of it as “intervening”, I spoke with Marielle about it. After all, some of the recent curve balls had been moments to savour. After speaking with her and reflecting on my attitude, I realized that life will always be intervening. It does for all of us. In fact, that is part of what coaching is all about – learning to take life to the maximum whatever the circumstances in order to achieve what our thoughts can conceive.

Taking that revelation to heart, I looked back on what I have accomplished on this coaching journey. So far, I have created vision maps, widened the cracks in my procrastination wall, and taken baby steps toward bringing in some income (look back at my previous guest blogs to find more information on some of these goals). Although I am not always on track, I know that I schedule more, get to bed earlier, continue to take care of my body because it houses the dreams and visions of my mind. If I slip up, I just go at it again.

Even more importantly, I am replacing unhelpful habits with new habits. These have provided the tools for me to handle life’s “intrusions”, recognize that they will always be with me, and turn them into the joyful moments they are meant to be (or handle the difficulties that may come my way). I remind myself to celebrate and enjoy.

In my last blog, I stated emphatically that I CAN do this. This time around, I realize that I AM doing this. My life is definitely changing for the better – slowly, incrementally – but it IS happening. My attitude is changing. I am grasping opportunity with both hands. I remain committed the process and to living my best life.

 

 

 

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About the Author:

The above entry is part of a guest blog series titled “A Coaching Journey” written by my friend, client, and talented writer, Linda Epstein. She has graciously agreed to write on her experience with the coaching process as she navigates it, to give a first-hand view of what the journey is like. Visit weekly to find out more!

 

Read the rest of “A Coaching Journey” by clicking below:

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4 – Part 5 – Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9Part 10

 

Are You Living In Purpose?

gotpurposeDo you know what your calling in life is? How are you making a difference in the world? In other words do you know what your purpose is? If you do not, then how can you authentically lead from who you are – your core purpose?

Perhaps you have had an opportunity to participate in the creation of your organization’s mission statement but have you ever thought of developing your own personal mission or purpose statement?

Developing and living your purpose statement are very powerful and important actions you can take in order to be in control of your life and lead from your authentic self.

According to Bill George, author of Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value, your core purpose will act as your “true north” that will keep your career and life decisions in harmony with your authentic talents, values and meaningful contribution.

Living in purpose means that you are driven by something internally rather than allowing external influences to hinder you from living your life more clearly.

 

Purpose is not:

  • a goal to be set
  • something we create or
  • a great idea we come up with.

 

Purpose is:

  • something we discover inside ourselves
  • our role in life
  • what we have been prepared to express.

 

According to Stephen Covey, a mission statement is developed with a focus on:

  • what you want to be (character)
  • what you want to do (contributions and achievements) and
  • the values or principles upon which your ‘being’ and ‘doing’ are based

 

Discovering your purpose and developing a purpose statement requires you to do some introspective thinking about your priorities in a deep way. To do this, you may want to reflect on some of the following questions:

  • What is my life about?
  • What do I want from my life?
  • What do I stand for / believe in?
  • Whom do I value?
  • What is my reason for being?
  • What is important to me in my life?
  • What will I contribute to the people in my life?
  • What are my talents?
  • At the end of my life, what do I want to have accomplished?
  • What do I believe in?

 

So how will you make a difference in all aspects of your life? How will your gifts and strengths serve something bigger than yourself? How are you expressing your internal sense of purpose in all of the many different roles and life circumstances? As a leader, how are you showing up?

The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.
– Eleanor Roosevelt

 

 

Marielle’s new group coaching program, Up Your Game! Propel Your Career or Business to the Next Level will help you get clear on your values, strengths, vision, mission and much more to propel your career to the next level.

 

 

Marielle Gauthier, owner and principal of Redworks Communications, is a certified Results coach and is accredited as an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) by the International Coaching Federation. 

To receive updates about Marielle’s coaching program, training and webinars or for more information on coaching services contact Marielle at (306) 955-3205, marielle@redworkscoaching.com or visit www.redworkscoaching.com. She is based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Are Your Core Values in Action?

core-values[1]Our personal values are deeply held beliefs of what is truly important in our lives. They are the guiding principles that form the foundation of our personal standards and guide our decisions and behaviours in our day to day lives as individuals and leaders.

Each of us has his/her own personal set of core values that are usually instilled in us at a very early age. Influencers include our parents and family, friends, peers, teachers, coaches, religious leaders, education, and our own life experiences.

Subconsciously or consciously, our core values impact every aspect of our lives. If you truly know what you stand for and what you value, you will be more focused and able to make decisions more quickly, and with clear direction. If you don’t know what your values are or if they are ambiguous, you will struggle in making decisions in your life.

Our values are in action through our personal and work behaviours, decision making, contributions, and interpersonal interactions.

Do you know what you stand for as a person and as a leader? Have you thought about what is truly important to you?

Kevin Cashman, author of Leadership From the Inside Out,  says that many of us could automatically recite a list that would include family, working hard, making a difference, serving others, etc. But are they really your most important values? Or, have you blindly adopted them from your family, organization or the latest business book? Cashman states that:

…our authentic values and sense of meaning are deeper than this. Authentic values are forged in the traumas and privileges of our unique life story.

In other words, what is important to you is based on the lessons from your life experiences.

What are the top five values from your unique life story? What is truly important to you based on your life lessons? What gives you the greatest meaning in life or work?

Once you know your top three to five core values, think about how you are expressing them in the various areas of your life:

  • In your personal life with family?
  • Friends?
  • Intimate relationships?
  • In the community?
  • At work?

How will you make your core values a more present part of your daily life? What will you do to put your values in action every day at home and at work?

“Your beliefs become your strengths. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.” –Mahatma Ghandi

Marielle’s new group coaching program, Up Your Game! will help you get clear on your values, strengths, vision, mission and much more to propel your career to the next level.

 

 

Marielle Gauthier, owner and principal of Redworks Communications, is a certified Results coach and is accredited as an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) by the International Coaching Federation. 

To receive updates about our coaching programs, training and webinars or for more information on our coaching services contact Marielle at (306) 955-3205, marielle@redworkscoaching.com or visit www.redworkscoaching.com. She is based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

A Coaching Journey – Pt. 10

This past week, I hit a wall. Some may call it “brain freeze”. Others may call it “overwhelm”. All I know is that I felt lost, confused and frustrated. My schedule was overloaded, and I wanted so much to make giant strides towards the changes that I have been working on with Marielle that I simply hit a wall.

When I discussed the issue with my physical trainer, Matt Jodouin, from Fortitude Fitness (see Blog #1), and with my life coach, Marielle Gauthier, from Redworks, both helped me step back and take a look at what I was doing and how I might get back on track. Earlier bedtimes will lead to better sleep patterns and strengthen my ability to handle obstacles (I’m traditionally a night owl). Continuing my scheduling (one of the “almost there” habits that saved me during this time), and becoming even more specific in what I plan to do during those blocks of time, might help me handle the overwhelm that I was feeling. And recognizing that there will be times that my progress will slow or even reverse. After all, I am changing, in some cases, habits that I have hung onto for decades. I need to just remain committed and that wall will crumble. Eventually, the new habits will become second nature, and the changes will be there.

In fact, both Matt and Marielle helped me step back and observe myself in light of the work that I have been doing. They helped me ask myself if things had indeed changed since I began this “self-work”. The answer is a resounding, “YES!”. Has it been worth it? Again, a resounding, “Yes!”.

Ultimately, after having processed my last session with Marielle, and having given myself a shake, I realized that my biggest insight is that, it may take some time, but I CAN do this…and I will.

 

 

 

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About the Author:

The above entry is part of a guest blog series titled “A Coaching Journey” written by my friend, client, and talented writer, Linda Epstein. She has graciously agreed to write on her experience with the coaching process as she navigates it, to give a first-hand view of what the journey is like. Visit weekly to find out more!

 

Read the rest of “A Coaching Journey” by clicking below:

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4 – Part 5 – Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9

 

 

 

 

A Coaching Journey – Pt. 9

These days, I am experiencing a seismic shift in slow motion.

When I began this coaching journey, I told Marielle that I was not a list maker, not a habitual scheduler, and that it might be tough to get me there. She just smiled as if to say, “We’ll see where it goes.”

Well, I now schedule pretty much on a daily basis – in some cases with specific times or blocks of times; in some cases, putting just a “to do” not on the date. The schedule keeps me somewhat honest, and helps me chip away at the many, varied parts of my life that need attention. Oh, I still struggle with that schedule, and often have arrows that “carry over” my scheduled plans; but those are becoming fewer as I work to improve my habits.

They also recently afforded me the opportunity to step away from the schedule entirely for a day to handle a personal issue, without guilt, because I knew that I could reschedule. Flexibility has been key to my needs from the start. Who knew that scheduling would give that to me?

I have also been doing a lot of visioning within the coaching program surrounding what I really want out of life. Not that I didn’t do this before, but I kept it mostly in my head. Writing it down has made it more concrete for me.

It’s kind of like a GPS: When you turn it on, its first instruction is to enter your destination. To get anywhere in life, you need to know where you want to go. If you don’t know what you want, how can you make it happen?

A vision statement is something like that. It encircles your own unique purpose and sets you on the pathway. And if you dream big, it takes you to the next level. It spurs you to action. At least, that is what I am hoping…

 

 

 

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About the Author:

The above entry is part of a guest blog series titled “A Coaching Journey” written by my friend, client, and talented writer, Linda Epstein. She has graciously agreed to write on her experience with the coaching process as she navigates it, to give a first-hand view of what the journey is like. Visit weekly to find out more!

 

Read the rest of “A Coaching Journey” by clicking below:

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4 – Part 5 – Part 6Part 7Part 8

 

Brain Science and Insight

Brain Science

 

Brain Science – What is it?

Coaching is about supporting individuals to make positive, lasting changes in their lives. A Results Certified Coach (RCC) uses on social neuroscience or ‘brain science,’ as the foundation for coaching so we coach with the ‘brain in mind.’
Using a brain science platform means that Redworks Coaching supports individuals answer their own questions and find their own solutions. We let them do the thinking while coaching them on how to change that thinking. In short, the person goes on his or her own ‘self-directed’ learning journey.
David Rock, founder of Results Coaching Systems, says that the individual on a self-directed learning journey, “will learn, think, invent, create, solve problems, visualize, rethink and re-engineer,” and that, “as coaches, our aim is to support coachees to think better by letting them do the thinking and helping them to think.” This all happens within the process of making their own changes.
 

What is the Process?

Have you ever heard, ‘this is what I think you should do?” Were they right? While their heart is in the right place, advice from well-intentioned people isn’t always the best path for you to take. This is because everyone’s brain processes information differently. What one person thinks someone should do is often just what their brain would do. This will most likely not be the right solution for another person.
 

The Redworks Approach

Redworks Coaching focuses on improving the quality of a person’s thinking. Rock states, “if we want to improve the quality of others’ thinking, our best option is to help them process ideas better: things like helping people make their ideas more clear, or find relationships between concepts or prioritising their thoughts.”
Redworks’ role is to facilitate a conversation with the intention to help a person have an insight or an ‘aha’ about themselves. This may include discoveries about their beliefs, attitudes, behaviours or abilities.
 

What Are Insights?

Insights create new neural connections in the person’s brain, releasing energy that fills them with a desire to take action for change. Insights are the Holy Grail of personal growth because they allow a person to gain a deeper understanding of themselves. These insights often come in the form of clarity around long held beliefs or behaviours that may have been limiting them from the life they want. By having these insights, this helps the person find their own answers and solutions which leads to long-lasting change.

Power of Coaching Interview with Mindfulness Coach, Satyam Chalmers

In my blog series, Power of Coaching, I interviewed Satyam Veronica Chalmers founder and principal of Mindfulness Coaching based in Brisbane, Australia.

Satyam has 14 years experience in coaching, facilitation, mentoring and assessment. She has trained and mentored hundreds of individuals in coaching skills, including working with various large organisations to create an internal resource of coaches.

In this interview we talked about:

•how coaching facilitates another person’s awareness and understanding of what’s happening for them
•how coaching also provides a place of reflection through questioning, listening and supporting an individual to understand what is happening for them and gaining insight about that situation
•what is mindfulness coaching
•how being more mindful can help increase an individual’s productivity and effectiveness
•why it’s important to ‘switch off’ from work
•the 4- day work week and the benefits
•success stories

Listen to the interview.

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A special thanks to Satyam for a very informative interview.

 

Connect with Satyam at
satyamchalmers@neuroleadership.com
www.mindfulnesscoaching.com.au

Satyam

Bio:

Satyam Veronica Chalmers

Satyam has 14 years experience in coaching, facilitation, mentoring and assessment. She has trained/mentored hundreds of individuals in coaching skills, including working with various large organisations to create an internal resource of coaches.

She is qualified as a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the International Coach Federation (ICF). Currently she focuses on supporting busy professionals to develop a sense of wellbeing in their lives, as well as mentoring/training other coaches to achieve mastery.

Power of Coaching Interview with Leadership Coach, Sharon Maher

In my blog series, Power of Coaching, I interviewed Sharon Maher, owner and President of Matrix Point, Inc., based in San Francisco.

Sharon is a Leadership Coach and Consultant specializing in helping experts from various technical industries become expert leaders. She has developed a Leader Personality Model, a useful tool in leadership progress.

In this Interview we talked about:

•how coaching is a method for someone who is highly motivated to accomplish something that he/she has not yet done
•how coaching creates areas of individual possibilities
•the role of the coach
•how technical experts can be coached from expert to leader
•how individuals can identify and apply their “magnificence” into their work environment and how this impacts others and the organization’s overall measurable results
•return on investment as a result of the coaching process
•how the impact of change in one area of an individual’s life can impact other areas
•success stories

Listen to the Interview

A special thanks to Sharon for a very informative interview.

Connect with Sharon at www.matrixpointinc.com

 

SM Portrait 12 Oct2013 Sm-1Bio:

Sharon Maher, owner and President of Matrix Point, Inc., based in San Francisco.

Sharon is a Leadership Coach and Consultant specializing in helping experts become expert leaders.

In her previous 15 years as a successful business leader, Sharon led large technical project teams as well as Finance and HR teams. She learned that a successful transition from expert to effective leader was not intuitive so she became a Leadership Coach to directly impact this increasing business need.

She now coaches experts from various technical industries wireless telecom, academic medicine, national communication bureau, high level judges. She has also developed a tool in leadership progress called Leader Personality Model.

Sharon has a College of Executive Coaching Certified Professional Coach designation (CPC), a BA Psychology, an MS Business Management, and Sloan Fellow, Stanford University

 

Power of Coaching Interview with Cathy Graham

In my blog series, Power of Coaching, I interviewed Cathy Graham, a Registered Certified Coach (RCC), organizational development expert, and a Human Resources executive with over 20 years experience working with leaders and teams. She is currently the HR Director with Strickland Insurance Group and coaches high potentials and newly promoted leaders within the organization.

 

In this interview we talked about:

  • that coaching is about asking the right questions and letting people find their own path forward
  • using assessment tools to assist in the coaching process
  • the impact of coaching on coachees and their direct reports
  • numerous impacts on the organization
  • that the removal of roadblocks or ‘self-limiting beliefs’ can lead to achieving personal and professional goals
  • how the impact of a change in one aspect of your life can impact other areas

 

Listen to the interview.

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A special thanks to Cathy for an informative interview.

Connect with Cathy at http://cathygrahamcoaching.wordpress.com/

Cathy Graham Bio:  Based in North Carolina, Cathy Graham is a Registered Certified Coach (RCC), organizational development expert, and an HR executive with over 20 years experience working with leaders and teams.

She’s certified in Hogan; Everything DiSC; Franklin-Covey; DDI; and Results Based Coaching.

 

Cathy earned:

  • a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) credential from the Society for Human Resource Management.
  • an undergraduate degree from Cornell and
  • a Master of Arts in Human Resources and Organizational Development from University of San Francisco.

Cathy is the principal of Cathy Graham Coaching and writes a blog called  Workplace Navigator.