"I'm just not getting anything out of my coaching. I signed up to work on my business. I need to know what to do and how I should be marketing my product. My coach just isn't telling me how to do that."
What is coaching? According to the International Coach Federation, it is "partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential."
A consultant is an expert in a particular area who is called in for specific advice on a situation. The consultant is there to analyze and understand a problem and present solutions. The biggest difference between coaching and consulting is that a coach will ask questions and help you uncover your own answers. A consultant will tell you what to do.
Let's say you want to learn how to ride a bicycle, so you hire a consultant. The consultant will get on and ride the bike for a while. She will analyze how it works, rides, what to do, etc., and then write you a "how to" manual. A coach, on the other hand, will have you get on the bicycle yourself, and walk alongside you. She will help guide you through the process until you feel confident enough to ride on your own. A coach helps you explore possibilities. A coach is your sounding board who helps provide you with the right questions to come up with your own solutions. She helps you to understand your own potential.
A good coach is a good listener. She will guide a client to see solutions by ASKING, not TELLING. A consultant will focus on the problem. A coach will focus on the client, motivating them to come up with their own solutions and empowering them to move forward. Coaches understand that this is what produces long-term, lasting change. Consulting offers short term solutions to a specific problem.
Coaches and consultants both have their place, and I frequently have clients who are working with consultants as they are coaching with me. If you are looking for someone to tell you what to do about a particular problem or situation, you want a consultant. If you are looking to grow as a leader, to be more confident in your ability to discover solutions for yourself, to be a master at managing your emotional state, and you are ready to invest in yourself and do the work, you want a coach.
It's hard for me to believe that it is almost November already. The best thing about that for me is that, on November 8, this election will finally be over. The bad news is that the 2020 election begins November 9. Right now, I'm so tired of hearing how bad things are, how much trouble our country is in, and how self-serving politicians are going to come in like knights on white chargers, fix everything, and magically make my life better.
Making my life better is my job. I don't want to leave that to politicians. I don't trust them enough for that. Jim Rohn once said, "If you don't have a plan for you life, you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much!" I believe that even more after watching this election--the most hateful, divisive election I have ever witnessed.
So I vote to focus on my own vision and goals. I vote for finding ways I can be of service. As Tony says, what's wrong is always available. So is what's right. I choose to focus on what's right. I choose not to fall victim to the mudslinging and name calling and allegations. I choose not to buy into the doom and gloom handed out by politicians whose only intent is to get elected. I choose to focus on how I can create the best life possible for myself and my family, with the resources I have.
That's my vote. I hope, regardless of the outcome of this particular election, that will be your vote as well.
We are officially on the first day of the second half of 2016! (I'm going to celebrate with fireworks on Monday night.) How has your first half of the year been going? Have you checked your progress so far, and figured out what you need to do over the next six months to finish strong?
Things come up for everyone and life rarely goes according to plan. My June certainly didn't! It was off to a great start, with my first real family vacation since 2008. It unraveled at a rather amazing pace, however, when I had emergency surgery while in Mexico, followed by a second surgery once I got home. Sprinkle that with work obligations, home obligations, family and clients to deal with, happy anniversaries and heartbreaking anniversaries, computer issues, and the fogginess that accompanies strong medications, and you have a recipe for disaster. The cherry on the top was when Apple told me last night that my iPhone couldn't be repaired and I would have to buy a new one. There were moments when that short 30 day period called "June" felt like a lifetime.
But today, I get to start the second half of 2016! I am over the top excited about it. As I reflect on June, it was an amazing month and I am incredibly blessed. My medical emergency occurred at the end of my vacation, five minutes from an outstanding private hospital. It could have happened on the first day. I could have been on a six-hour flight home or two hours outside the city (which was the original plan that day). Once home, my doctor's office went to battle for me, and got me in with the specialist I wanted to see, even though he was already double booked for two weeks. I do not have a life threatening illness and all is well. It could have been far worse. People who care surrounded me: they stepped in to do whatever they could to help facilitate my speedy recovery. I have medical insurance and I have the ability to take care of my co-pay. I have a wonderful housekeeper, whose scheduled times to clean coincided absolutely perfectly with my "revised" schedule. I walked out of the Apple store last night and straight over to a little kiosk with a sign saying, "Cell Phone Repair." They fixed my phone in 15 minutes, for $40. Life is good!
As Tony Robbins always says, "What's wrong is always available. So is what's right."
Have you done a mid year assessment yet? If not, what are you waiting for? Take a few minutes now to reflect on the first six months and make adjustments to your goals for the remainder of the year. Grab your journal and consider the following questions:
Today was my brother's birthday. Birthdays are always noted in my family. It's a complete violation of family rules to miss a birthday. My brother was almost always the first one to call me on mine, and I always called him on his. I would always ask, what are you going to do for your birthday? And no matter what else happened on his special day, dinner would always be tacos. He loved them. You would be amazed at how many tacos this skinny guy could pack away.
Monday will mark one year since I last saw my brother. The first anniversary of his death is rapidly approaching. Have I cried this week? Yes. Do I feel like crying today? Sometimes. Do I miss my brother? Terribly. Life rarely goes according to plan. Things don't always work out the way we would like them to, and sad things happen that are completely out of our control. I wish more than anything that I could call and talk with him, wish him a happy birthday, and laugh that he is once more having tacos for his birthday dinner.
But I can't. And I never will again. This is a moment of choice for me. I can choose to suffer, or I can choose a beautiful state.
I choose the beautiful state. To do less dishonors the kind of life my brother lived. It would also just piss him off if he knew I was suffering because of him.
So today I choose to remember a smile that lit up the room. I choose to remember a man who had a keen intellect and a wicked wit. A man who treasured time with his God and his family above all else. I choose to celebrate the memories I have of a brother who loved bad puns, practical jokes, music, and being alive. I choose to honor his memory by smiling and enjoying the sunshine and spending time with my husband.
I will not go to the cemetery, and I will not grieve. Not today. Today, I will celebrate that he lived. And for dinner tonight, I will have tacos with my bittersweet tears.
Happy birthday, Clyde.
I love the new Michael Phelps commercial for Under Armour. It shows Michael training for his final Olympics appearance this summer, and highlights the sacrifice and dedication needed to become a champion. I was reminded of the last Olympics, when my very dear friend and fellow coach, Elaine Holland, and I were talking about the results our clients get from coaching. Why, when all of our clients have access to the same coaching expertise and resources, were some getting breakthrough results while others had mediocre or minimal results? Tony says there are pathways to power, and if you want to make a massive change in your life, do what others are doing to achieve breakthrough results.
How are you playing the game called "Coaching?" Elaine created the brilliant chart below that highlights what Gold, Silver, and Bronze players are doing. After reviewing the chart, ask yourself:
A compelling future, backed by consistent focus, emotional intensity, and massive action will give you the opportunity to create the life of your dreams.
I have been a fan of Dancing With The Stars since season 1. In my next life, I want to come back as a dancer. This season, Bindi Irwin, the 17-year-old daughter of Steve Irwin of Crocodile Hunter fame, is competing. I don't think I have ever been so impressed with a contestant on this show in all the years I have been watching. I absolutely love this young lady!
This little girl's spirit is simply beautiful. She hasn't danced before. She spends most of her life at their family zoo in Australia, hanging out with kangaroos, wallabies, and crocodiles. She isn't a professional dancer. She isn't six feet tall and clothes hanger skinny. She will probably never be Vogue cover material. And she seems to be absolutely fine with that. At 17, she seems more comfortable in her own skin than a lot of 47-year-olds I know.
But the most beautiful thing about this young woman is the way she leaves nothing on the table. She truly plays full out. She gives her all with total abandon, and she works her little butt off to be her best. While I have zero patience for the pampered, spoiled, completely self-absorbed "beautiful" people (yes, their names begin with K), I want to hug Bindi Irwin.
When you go after something, do you play full out? Do you give it your all--damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead? Can you end your day knowing you left nothing on the table?
Or are you a dabbler? Do you worry about what others might say or think? Do you worry that it won't be "perfect" enough? Do you begin already "knowing" it's not going to work?
You are here. You are a player in this game of life, whether you like it or not. Play full out today.
I know. It's not even Halloween yet, for pete's sake! How can I possibly be talking about the holidays? Go to any mall and you will see that, not only are Halloween decorations on clearance, Thanksgiving items are already being discounted to make room for the Christmas displays. Holiday movies are being advertised. I have neighbors who will be putting up their Christmas lights in just a few short weeks. Personally, I would really love it if we could at least have Thanksgiving before we are bombarded with Christmas.
So why, you ask, am I bringing this up on October 25? It's simple. Every year, I see clients getting derailed by the holidays. They get stressed. They get frustrated. They feel pressured to "be happy," or to buy gifts. They put their goals and dreams on hold. For some of them, this is a time of profound loneliness.
I don't want that for you.
It is not too early to think about your outcome for this holiday season. A little preparation in advance will pay off big time in the next few weeks. Create your personal plan following these simple steps:
1. Get clear on your outcome. What do you really want for yourself this season? What is most important to you? What do you want to focus on most over the holidays?
2. Make sure you understand why your outcome is important. Why must you achieve your outcome? How will you feel when you have accomplished it at the end of the holidays? What will it cost you if you don't do it?
3. Go to work on creating your action plan. Make sure it includes time to take care of yourself and stay on top of your other goals. Schedule your gym time and your coaching calls. Get up a half an hour earlier and start each day in a great state.
4. Make sure to spend a little time each evening in gratitude. Celebrate your successes and congratulate yourself for enjoying the holidays, your way!
Would you like to know what it is? Would you like to have it, that little secret sprinkle of magic that makes all the difference in the results you get from your coaching?
The key is consistency: staying on track with your scheduled appointments. I get it. It's a busy time of year. Work is busy, school is busy, family life is busy, the holidays are coming up. But guess what? It's really no different from any other time of year. There will always be something out there to tempt you into putting your dreams and goals on hold. It takes commitment and dedication to achieve what you want for your life.
Consistency is what allows you to measure your results. How can you really measure the effectiveness of your coaching if what you are measuring isn't performed consistently?
Consistency creates accountability. The simple fact of knowing that you have a coaching call coming up next week is often the catalyst needed to move something along.
Consistency builds your belief in your own ability to create results. It helps you to establish a track record of success. Too often at this time of year, I see clients stall in their progress. It isn't because their goals aren't clear, or they don't know what action steps they need to take. It's simply because they didn't stay the course.
Consistency with your coaching calls is a model for the consistency in doing whatever it takes to achieve your goals. If you treat a coaching session as unimportant, don't be surprised to realize you are doing the same thing with your goals and dreams.
While the rest of the world is distracted and rushing around, what if you were focused, on task, and setting up the first quarter of next year to be your best ever? What would you do differently this holiday season?
Fall has arrived. The days are getting shorter and grayer. As I look out my office window at the trees in the woods across the street, I see the glorious colors of fall emerging. Although I miss the lazy, warm days of summer, I love the change of the seasons. This is a busy time of year! School is back in session. Major holidays are coming up. There will be parties and traveling and family gatherings.
It is also the time to pause for a moment and reflect on where you are and what you have accomplished so far this year. As the leaves change, what are the changes you would like to see in yourself, in your results? Are things the way you want them to be? Have you achieved the goals you set for yourself earlier this year? It is not too late to finish the strong. Now is the time to make sure you have your game plan in place to stay on track during this hectic time of year.
Commit to yourself and to your goals. Do not let this time of year be an excuse to lose your momentum. I don't know where this quote came from, but I love it: "If you're tired of starting over, quit giving up." There will always be something to interrupt your progress, if you choose to let it.
Get out your calendar NOW and block out time each week to review your progress toward your goals for this last quarter, and make sure you are taking the action steps necessary each week to achieve them. Take care of yourself. Eat right, get rest, exercise.
Schedule your coaching calls. This is time for you. Remember what you wanted when you made that commitment to yourself and follow through.
Set up your VIP Vision Day to plan your 2016, preferably before Thanksgiving. Then, when the holidays arrive, you can truly enjoy them. And you will start the new year with you plan in place and the knowledge that you CAN make your dreams come true.
Board certified executive coach, mentor and life strategist.
"Change your thoughts and you change your world."
--Norman Vincent Peale