Monday, 20 July 2015

Overcoming blockers

Quite often when you are looking to develop someone you find that there appears to be a barrier to them learning through conventional training. An example is where someone struggles with time management, but doesn't seem to learn from time management training. This tool gets to the deeper reasons why some people struggle to change.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

How to develop productivity rituals

After an appaisal or coaching session you will have identified at least one behaviour that you need to work on. At this point you will feel very motivated to make the change but not too sure how to do this, Tony Schwartz talks about introducing daily rituals as a way of developing a good habit. So for example if one of the areas you want to work on is your contribution at meetings. Perhaps you are quiet by nature, more reflective than others and you tend to want to observe first and make up your mind before speaking. You have been told by your boss that you need to contribute more. The next meeting you attend you try and talk but the noisy extroverts drown you out and after a few tries you just give up. So you decide that your ritual (that you will ruthlessly stick to) will be to be the first person to speak at every meeting and you will prepare a statement/ question / observation before each meeting. If you follow this ritual you will find by breaking the ice early you will feed a great deal more relaxed and you will continue to contribute with ease.

This is how Tony Schwartz explain:-
Highly specific behaviours, done at precise times, so they eventually become automatic and no longer require conscious will or discipline.

Tony Schwarz's rituals:-

  • Abiding by a specific bedtime to ensure that I get 8 hours of sleep. Nothing is more critical to the way I feel every day. If I'm flying somewhere and know I'll arrive too late to get my 8 hours, I make it a priority to make up the hours I need on the plane.
  • Work out as soon as I wake up. I've long since learned it has a huge impact all day long on how I feel, even if I don't initially feel like doing it.
  • Launching my work day by focusing first on whatever I've decided the night before is the most important activity I can do that day. Then taking a break after 90 minutes to refuel. Today — which happens to be a Sunday — this blog was my priority. My break was playing tennis for an hour. During the week it might be just to breathe for five minutes, or get something to eat.
  • Immediately writing down on a list any idea or task that occurs to me over the course of the day. Once it's on paper, it means I don't walk around feeling preoccupied by it — or risk forgetting it.
  • Asking myself the following question any time I feel triggered by someone or something,: "What's the story I'm telling myself here and how could I tell a more hopeful and empowering story about this same set of facts?"

Being brilliant every single day

I happened to stumble over these brilliant TED videos. If you or the people you coach struggle to manage your emotions this is a must watch!

Part 1

Part 2

Learning to be more assertive

Many years ago a very good trainer introduced me to the concept of training people to be more assertive. Prior to that I believed assertiveness was a personality trait that you either had or if not you were pretty much destined to become someone else's dogsbody! We started training people and the results were excellent and a great lesson to many of us.

As part of our contribution to the community we worked in we developed a two day life skills course for 15 - 16 year old students and ran it in the Kingston  upon Thames area. It was very successful and ran for 8 years before someone pulled the plug on the programme. The reason I mention this is we built assertiveness training into the programme and it played a big part in getting these kids fired up to do more with their lives. After one run of the course I received a call from a health visitor who had been working with a young girl for 9 months, who struggled with anorexia and she had struggled to get her to communicate.She said a wonderful thing had happened as somehow our life skills programme had opened the door and this young girl was 'alive' again. This was am amazing moment which still brings tears to my eyes.

What I learnt over the years was assertiveness could most definitely be taught!

If you want to find out more we were using the superb work of Ken and Kate Back, please just click on the book to link to Amazon.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

From a feeling of hopelessness to hopefulness

I am busy running our 'Coaching with Emotional Intelligence' programme with two clients at the moment and teaching them how to use the key tools of the programme. All the tools are important but there are three that I think are the most helpful.

In our coaching work we come across so many people that are overwhelmed by modern work. Too many meetings, never ending emails, less people but doing more work. Its little wonder that many people have a feeling of hopelessness! We have developed tools that take coachees from this feeling of hopelessness to a feeling of hopefulness.

The tools take you from the Forest, to the Tree and finally to the Roots. The first tool is The Coaching Wheel which is very simple to use and provides an incredibly powerful and insightful overview of the coachees work and life. The video below describes how you can prepare your Coaching Wheel in preparation for a coaching session.