Weekly Quote and Growth Mindset Challenge

Weekly Quote for Growth Mindset: “Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for…We can discover meaning in life in three different ways: (1) by creating good work or doing a deed for others; (2) by experiencing something or encountering someone in a positive way; and (3) by the attitude we take toward life experiences and unavoidable suffering (learning).” Viktor Frankl

Coaching Challenge: Make your meaning by learning something new everyday and making the effort to do the best you can every moment by challenging yourself to overcome difficulties and learn the lessons provide you in every situation and every difficult interaction in life.

Self-Mastery and Skill Development Using the Plus 1 Mastery Process for Change

The Plus 1 Mastery Process for Personal Change

Here is the learning process: Tell me… show me… let me practice… coach me.

In attempting to change behavior it is important to look at an “old true and tried” principle of learning called the law of frequency. The law of frequency suggests that the more a person practices the correct and desired behavior, the higher the probability there is to use the desired behavior.  This principle is often called “drill and practice”. Most coaches and movie directors use this technique to encourage their players or actors to practice under many different situations until they get it right and the behavior feels natural.  Remember, practice makes permanent only, perfect practice makes perfect.

The key building block in using the law of frequency in training is to create what we call the PlusOne Mastery Learning Sequence:

  • The sequence starts by learning and understanding the specific skill you are trying to change one step at a time while adding each new step to the preceding learned steps until all steps are mastered.
  • The “chucking principle” is a key component of the Mastery Learning sequence. This principle suggests that a complex skill can be learned most efficiently when the skill is broken down into small parts.  Each part is mastered separately and then the parts are practiced together adding one “chunk” at a time until all of the chunks are integrated and the complex skill is mastered
  • Once learned the skill set is enhanced by putting in-place a continuous improvement process which involves a feedback loop on where you are now by examining what you are doing well and what improvements you need to stay at the mastery level.
  • Learning and using this simple and straight forward “Plus 1 Mastery” process will improve your self-awareness of effective behavioral patterns and can help identify areas for improvement so that you can overcome and transcend present limits of leadership styles into a strength based approach for continuous professional development.




Importance of Empathy on Employee Engagement and Satisfaction

Empathy is a building block of one’s interpersonal connections.—for people to cultivate empathy skills, it helps if they can stop and take the time to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. It is also a key ingredient of successful relationships because it helps us understand the needs, priorities and desires of others. Here are some of the ways that interpersonal communication research has testified to the far-reaching importance of empathy. 

  • Empathy is good for bonding and team development: Managers who demonstrate empathy have employees who report greater job satisfaction and engagement 
  • Tied closely to empathy is the concept worker engagement and positive work climate this  recent trend towards positive psychology, where the concern is positive aspects of employees’ behavior. According to Maslach and Leiter (1997), when there is a person and positive job match, employees experience engagement with their work, characterized by high energy, involvement, and positive efficacy. As per Schaufeli et al. (2002), employee engagement is a positive, work-related state of mind characterized by vigor, dedication and absorption. In this regard, attention is paid to human strengths, optimal functioning, and positive experiences at work (Seligmen and Csikszentmihalyi, 2000; Schaufeli and Bakker, 2004) not on negative feedback or focus on weaknesses. While, disengaged employees display incomplete role performances and task  behaviors become effortless, automatic or robotic (Hochschild, 1983). According to the author, disengagement may be result of employees who lack positive social interaction and support, who experience little autonomy in work roles, or who feel their work and contribution is unimportant to others.  

So the question is -How often do you stop to listen to and engage your fellow workers? Or Do you focus on the task and getting the job done? 

Want to improve social-emotion connections cultivate empathy in your relationships.

1 Model empathy. Show people what mens to appreciate them. Observe and show interest in the lives of others. Listen to other people’s experience and opinions. Talk about your experiences practicing empathy, and about the times you forgot to act with empathy.

2. Start with safety and security. Fear and self-centeredness interferes with the development of empathy. Learn to stop and demonstrate consideration and toward others.

3. Practice self-regulation skills. Self-regulation skills are the foundation for empathy. By learning to calm yourself, regulate emotions, delay gratification, persevere, and stay focused on the right things, fellow workers and family members develop the skills which allow them to look beyond themselves.

4. Notice other people’s feelings without judgment or put downs. Talk about these feelings and assure the other person they are okay to share and have these inner experiences. Learn to use words that focus on the so-called “soft things” in life and avoid only the “hard stuff” like project schedules, profit, or task activities.

5. Follow the Golden Rule of relationships and empathy  “ Treat others in the same way that they themselves would like to be treated because relationships matter. Relations emphasizing empathy are built on focused attention, active listening and demonstrated caring and trust. For example, most of us would like to be listened to and understood by others.

Part III: Overcoming Negative Thinking: Case Study On Pete Carroll of Seattle Seahawks

Daily Quote: “Treat each day as if something positive were about to happen”. Pete Carroll’s Mom  

Why I am pulling for the Seattle Seahawks to win the Super Bowl. They are are already winners. Pete Carroll has instilled a philosophy based on John Wooden’s theory of Leadership called The Pyramid for Success. 

During his year out of football the following year, Carroll did some serious self-reflecting. He asked himself what he could do better and how he could successful use his positive philosophy work in the ultra competitive world of pro football. He would often repeat and reflect on the words of his mother, who often told him to “treat each day as if something positive were about to happen”. This mindset and mental toughness was considered nonsense and  “too soft” for the tough guy culture of the NFL, where people tend to focus on things that could go wrong. Carroll would no longer focus on the negative. He would create a culture of respect and “positivity” by focusing on the unique strengths and contributions of everyone in the organization.

He also read Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court, the powerful memoir by the former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden. It resonated with Carroll not only because Wooden needed 17 years before winning his first national championship, but also because he believed in being positive and nurturing.

Ultimately he formulated a blueprint based on Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success. He simplified Wooden’s approach by focusing on fun, fundamentals, positivity, team caring and competition. Carroll’s approach was underpinned by taking advantage of the uniqueness of each individual and challenging them to be more than they thought they could be. He would have themes for each day of the week—Tell the Truth Monday, Competition Wednesday, Turnover Thursday. He would have the first-string offense and defense face off in brief unscripted scrimmages so they would be ready for things they hadn’t prepared for. He would blare music throughout practice to raise the energy level and force his players to focus and refocus to eliminate distractions and focus on the “here and Now” moment.

“I didn’t know I’d get another chance in the NFL—I didn’t think that—so that’s why I went the college route, to try to see what would happen if we applied these philosophies,” Carroll says. “Fortunately, going into SC, I was so ready to go in there. I had had a big change in my thinking and had adjusted things, so that was like the proving ground, and it worked out great. We’ve come here to Seattle and we haven’t done one thing different. It basically comes down to taking care of the people in your program and making them the best they can be—not giving up on them and never failing to be there for them. They don’t even totally know that’s how we are with them, because we do it so completely.”

Self-Coaching Challenge: I challenge you to read more about both Coach Wooden’s and Carroll’s philosophy and develop over the next month your personal Philosophy for Living a More Meaningful and Fulling Life.  

Daily Quote, Reflection and Self-Coaching Challenge: Begin With the End In Mind…

Daily Quote: You must begin to think of yourself as the person you want to be. Dr. David Viscott

Reflection: Once I heard someone say the most powerful thing about accomplishing goals. This wise person who I became friends with when training for the Dallas Marathon said ” When it comes to finishing the race I mean the last 5 miles of the 26,2 mile challenge–Whether you think you can or think you can’t … Your Right”. I must say he was right. I found the last 10 miles one of the biggest achievements in my athletic life. There were so many times I wanted to stop  that I stopped counting. Both physically and mentally I keep running into barriers, like the 16th mile hill that seem like a mountain. As I walked up the hill I told a friend that I was going to finish this race if it was the last “fucking” thing I did. She laughed and that laugh remained a joyful motivator for the rest of the race. The one lesson I learned in fulfilling this running goal was to trust myself. I realized that my body (a knee I could barely stand on for the last 2 miles)and mind would let me know if I needed to quit. I now use this past success when facing difficult challenges and use what I learned about perseverance, practice and mental toughness to help achieve any new challenges or targets in my life. I learned the 5 C’s of trust. Commitment to a goal, Consistency and need for Practice, Camaraderie, Competitiveness with self and Caring.

Self-Coaching Challenge: Identify what you want to achieve in the area of your personal fitness? Be specific about what and how you will go about achieving your goal. Identify the end result you want to achieve. Focus on what past win can you use to motivate you to get going and stick with your plan even during times that are difficult. Good Luck and Keep Us posted on your goal and achievements. If you need help let me know. Coach Mark

Note ” Begin with the end in mind” from-Steven Covey’s book Seven Habits of Highly Successful People

Daily Quote and Reflection: Self-Belief

Quote :“If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the drive, and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done…Every time a football player goes to ply his trade he’s got to play from the ground up – from the soles of his feet right up to his head. Every inch of him has to play. Some guys play with their heads. That’s O.K. You’ve got to be smart to be number one in any business. But more importantly, you’ve got to play with your heart, with every fiber of your body. If you’re lucky enough to find a guy with a lot of head and a lot of heart, he’s never going to come off the field second…I believe in human decency. But I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour — his greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear — is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.Vince Lombardi

Reflection: Coach Lombardi is talking about great leadership being based on individual achievement to give your all and winning. The X factor for him in the success of a leader was to challenge yourself to have a positive mental map that focused on clear thinking, discipline, mental toughness, perfect practice and the desire to be victorious in what ever endeavor you pursue. His philosophy was reality focused based on the belief that we all choose what we do with our lives and that we are responsible for our choices. Responsibility is defined as learning to choose behaviors that satisfy our needs and, at the same time, do not deprive others of a chance to do the same. He was an assertive leader who at times pushed players to heights they did not think they could go. Yet, he was very well-respected and loved by all. He preferred players who were more self-directed and responsible for their development but showed how leaders need to respect the individual strengths of his players in finding the right formula for building a winning team. 

Self-Coaching Challenge:  What is your philosophy of leading? How does your philosophy compare to Vince Lombardi’s “win at any cost” but do it  fairly and within the rules of the game? If you belong to a team what has been your finest hour? 

Part I: Overcome Public Speaking and Presentation Fears–James Earl Jones Story

“Be silent, or say something better than silence”.

“Proper words in proper places make the true definition of a style.” Jonathan Swift

Here is the story of a man who went from silence to absolute wonderful speaking style. This is the story  of  James Earl Jones journey of  courage, persistence and how facing his fear  of failure and rejection was turned into fame and excellence as a public speaker and performer –an excellent actor.

Many of us allow our fear of failure and humiliation to stop us from doing things in life. We have the abilities and skills but for some reason under pressure are overwhelmed by fear and thoughts of doubt. These buttons of anxiety are put in us by ourselves or others; these triggers when present stop us from performing at our best. All that has to happen is for us see or hear their voices and we stop trying and get stuck. For example, some speakers fall apart  when they experience criticism, a negative facial expression, or a less than positive opinion, and we give up before we even get started. We’re afraid of:

• the disapproving look of others because it means rejection
• the whispers and grins because they mean judgment, and
• the absence of support because it means abandonment

Let’s look at these three triggers in relationship to James Earl Jones story of failure to even try to speak or if he did stuttering was the result.

Little James Earl was scared. His father had left the family to become a prize-fighter and actor. His mother had left to earn money as a tailor. The Great Depression had stolen his family and he was about to lose the only life he had ever known. So he remained silent and mute for many of the early developmental years he lived with his adopted grandparents.

Through these early days of abandonment and harsh treatment from his grandparents he was afraid and traumatized  so as a defense he developed a stutter.

His first day of school was a disaster. His stuttering made his classmates laugh at him. It was the final straw for a frightened little boy. He closed his mouth and simply quit talking… for eight years!

James Earl was completely mute – with the exception of conversations he had with himself when he was all alone. He found solace in the written word – creating poetry to release the raging in his soul.

As is often the case, one person who saw beyond his limitations released James Earl from his self-imposed prison. That one person who believed in him was an English teacher who saw talent and potential in the silent 13-year-old. She pushed him beyond his fear by forcing him into public speaking – insisting he recite a poem in front of the class every day. Can’t you imagine his terror when he first stood in front of his classmates? What made him do it? Was it only the teacher’s insistence? No. It was a deep desire to break free from his prison and speak all the things that had sat silently in his heart during all those years. He chose to face and lean-in to the fear – and then recite his daily anyway!

He stuttered. He stammered. He endured the scornful looks of fellow students. He endured the laughing. But he continued to do it. He faced the fear and forced himself to speak. Day after day. Week after week. He hung onto the encouragement of the teacher who believed in him. And it worked. His stuttering became less.


He learned to control his voice. His victories made him look for more challenges. James Earl began to take acting lessons. His early lessons in perseverance and deliberative practice gave him the courage to push beyond the prejudices against black actors. He chose to take as many different types of roles as he could – stretching his limitations and refusing to let fear control him.

Lesson Learn
James Earl Jones is now known for his deep authoritative and penetrating voice. Perhaps you know him as the voice of Star War’s Darth Vader or as Mufasa in the Lion King. You see him almost daily on commercials. He has starred on Broadway and been in many movies. He has been the recipient of many distinguished honors and awards– the Tony, Emmy and many others.

People look at him today and see a confident actor with a deep, resonant voice. The next time you become nervous or fearful of presenting in front of others remember James Earl Jones because this may push to stretch your talents and successful performances.

My hypothesis of why James Earl Jones’ succeed in public speaking is that he chose to push beyond his fears or learned to accept these fears and just kept presenting. He chose to change the reality of a young boy who had lived in silence for eight years. He chose to face ridicule and humiliation in order to grow and develop into his full potential.

So many of us let our fears stop us. We’re afraid of how we will appear and what others will say and think about us. We’re afraid so we limit our development and possibilities for success. We exchange fear for failure. We don’t believe our fear can be conquered or just accepted. Fear will fade away in the face of  acceptance, deliberative practice, persistence and construction action.

So what does this tender and emotional story have to do with the rational world of business and you becoming a more effective speaker? In two words: acceptance and courage. If we can’t confront our fears of communicating with others we probably have no hope of being a successful leader. Many people make decisions about us every day by the way we do or don’t communicate. Neurological research shows that many—if not most—of our so-called rational decisions are actually driven by our emotions. So we tell a story if we want to communicate in a way that captures peoples’ curiosity and imagination, connects with them at a deeply emotional level, is persuasive and leads to the behaviors we desire. For years he refused to speak more than a few words at a time, even to his family. In school he pretended to be mute, and communicated only in writing. He began to express himself by writing poetry.
” In high school a sympathetic teacher named Donald Crouch saw through Jones’s insecurity. He challenged each student in the class to write a poem. Jones found inspiration in the citrus fruit the federal government had distributed in the area to relieve wartime shortages. When he turned in an “Ode to Grapefruit,” written in the epic meter of Longfellow’s “Hiawatha,” the teacher pretended to believe that Jones could not have written the poem himself, and challenged him to prove it by reciting it front of the class. With his own verses committed to memory, Jones found he could speak without stuttering. Crouch encouraged Jones to compete in high-school debates and oratorical contests. One happy day in his senior year, he won both a public-speaking contest and a scholarship to the University of Michigan. “

Wow!!! What a story when was the last time you tackled a personal weakness and over came your fears?


Manifesto declaring the importance of Self-Directed Coaching

Just wanted to provide my readers with the philosophical and operating principles that make Self-Directed Coaching effective. They are:

  1. Belief in the other person’s ability to change and grow. Establish the connection and mindset that when people are believed in they begin to discover their strengths and believe in themselves.
  2. Trust others; they learn to trust you and then themselves.
  3. Human beings have a deep and unending need to be understood and connect with at least one other person.
  4. The ability to confront disappointments, pinches in expectations, untruths and fears provide the structure to help people think, feel and act more constructively in meeting their needs and changing their day-to-day lives.
  5. Encourage CLEAR AND AGREED TO EXPECTATIONS, accountability, participation and ownership for behavior and results.
  6. Encourage congruence in values, thinking and authentic action that leads to positive behavioral changes and concrete action.
  7.  Establish habit of Continuous improvement

Philosophy of Self-Directed Solution Coaching -The C.A.R.E. Framework

People who are using CARE say: “It helps me focus on my strengths and the future I want, rather than the past or problems”.

CARE®—Stands for:

1. Constructive & Clear Goals

2. Awareness–Self and others (relatedness)

3.  Responsible and Rational Thinking ( Certainty and control)

4. Engagement through Meaningful Self-Coaching practices. (autonomy and independence)  

CARE® is a philosophical and practical, self-discovery and effective communication system developed by Mark W. Hardwick, Ph.D. from research and interviews of people who have experienced business, political, interpersonal and life happiness. The target for this  “process with structure” are people who are continuously trying to create meaning and live a life on purpose through effective mental and behavioral life strategies and tools.

CARE is designed to:

  • Increase caring activities to overcome barriers of self-destructive thinking and behaviors.
  • Challenge false assumptions and perceptions about who you are and where you want to go. Focus on mental maps and mental toughness.
  • Identify and change thinking by accepting the past and feelings. Then executing behaviors to create a meaningful and improved Quality of life.
  • Increase personal empowerment and skills to achieve personal goals and dreams by finding balance between your inner and outer lifes.

CARE is a structured system with proven and powerful tools and processes to monitor uncomfortable and distressing symptoms. The system can help you modify or eliminate those unwanted responses and behaviors by using clear, concise solutions and constructive daily actions. This includes methods for how you want others to treat and respond to you both in ordinary circumstances and difficult situations. These new behaviors and responses will help you grow, develop and live your life on purpose and with meaning.

Self-Directed Solution Coaching (SDSC) is a personal development framework focused on present realities, personal strengths and new mental maps to meet the demands and desired wants for the future. The framework uses cognitive behavior change process and reality ‘target coaching conversations’, as a new way of thinking, feeling, self- talking and behaving.

This coaching framework is grounded and based upon neurology research, social psychology and rational-emotive change philosophy. It focuses on what clients want to achieve through coaching rather than on past issues or problems. The approach focuses on the past only in order to activate conversations about solutions, resources and past successes. Predominantly, it purposefully activates and focuses conversations on the present and future.

Critical developmental tools of the SDSC “structure with process” are  “plus one exercises” and “smart-step change” methods designed to challenge old habits and  invite the self-directed coaching process to envision a preferred future. The self-coach learns by focusing on self-awareness and insights into personal strengths that motivate the person in the direction of positive small dose activities for constructive and continuous personal change. To support this, questions are asked about the self-coach’s  story, strengths and resources; and especially, about any exceptions to perceived problems and reasons for not taking action. In the “structure with process” system focus on what you will do and not on what you won’t do is a powerful source and motivation for personal development and change. Get specific. Be realistic. Be optimistic. Have clarity on end point and how many steps it will take to reach your goal. Be mentally tough in recognizing and removing distractions. Train your inner critic to be more self-compassionate when things fail or don’t go as you desire they would.

The Self-Directed Solution coaching framework believes personal change is already constant. By helping people identify positive directions for change in their life and to attend to changes currently in process they wish to continue. The SDSC structure help people construct a concrete vision and a purposeful plan to create a preferred future for themselves.

Self-awareness, self-determination, personal responsibility, empowerment, and self-advocacy are essential to implementing the Self-Directed Coaching Process.

The following core assumptions are at the root of Self-Directed Solution Coaching and provide key ideas that drive the practice and techniques of this coaching framework:

  • Change is constant, inevitable, and contagious. And successful people need to learn how to deal with change and embrace it.
  • Self-Directed solution-building conversations identify, elaborate, and reinforce positive change in behavior.
  • You are THE “expert” on your life. The Self-Coaching “structure with process”  framework is designed to support and amplify this expertise by building on self-awareness and strengths of the coach–YOU
  • The presumption that change is all we can count on in life and that it will occur, creates an atmosphere empowerment and autonomy  of “when,” not “if.”
  •  You have strengths, resources, and managerial coping skills that drive change while generating optimism and hope for living a more constructive and meaningful life.


Self-Directed Coaching Challenge: Goal Setting–One method to help manage time and energy

Self- Directed Coaching Challenge–Goal Setting: One method to help manage time and energy.

 Although I have been doing coaching and career counseling for more than 35 years, the leadership lessons I have learned have come from both experience on the job, and more importantly have come from observing and asking questions from other professionals and friends. These “tips” and wisdom from others have usually shorten my learning curve in most situation as a manager, CEO and business consultant. These lessons learned remain pivotal to my life as a life long-learner. Adult learners prefer to learn from their own experiences, and this largely explains why your kids and other less experienced people need to make decisions and then live with the consequences of those decisions. Your hope is that they learn the lessons from these experiences and if one doesn’t work they put it put on the out bound slide in their brain.

Today I am going to share some of the lessons I have learned and hope if they fit your situation you will find the helpful, if they don’t fit just move-on and learn for yourself better ways to be productivity or solve the issues facing you now.  

1. Set constructive, clear and concise goals for your professional development. In setting your development goals establish priorities by setting no more than three goals per quarter. Never work on more than three things. Doing this goal setting is crucial to your success and helps reduce stress and feeling overwhelmed every time you look at your things to do list that has 10-20 things weighing down your mind and draining your energy reserves.   Here is my formula for goal setting —


  1. Do a private brain storm and create a list of every goal or task that you are now facing. Pair the list down by establishing which ones are the most important ones to do right now.
  2. Prioritize this list down to the three most important goals to accomplish over the next quarter.
  3. Right a detail plan of action and list the steps or activities that will support completion of these goals by the end of this quarter. Write these goals down and make a commitment to getting started today.
  4. Once you have your top three goals put the rest of the list into a drawer and forget about it until next quarter.

Self-Coaching Session–#1 Rule for Getting Started

The odds of having a successful self-coaching session increase when you set a positive tone for a session right up front.

You might ask how do I do this? You do it by being aware of what would make this next 45-60 min time well spent because you learned or accomplished something of value.

Specifically, you need to do the following to increase the odds for a productive session:

1. Ask what would make this hour the best hour of my week? Set a goal for the session.

2. Specifically define a Point A (where you are now) and a Point B (where you want to be by the end of this self-coaching session). Note that this is also important to do before each and every coaching session.

3. Confirm why getting to Point B matters to you. Doing this check makes it clear on why this session is worth your time and energy and provides a time for evaluation.

The self-coaches who don’t do this tend to get lost in a hairball of events, circumstances, and problems, without focusing in on a goal or result that matter. The session meanders without measurable traction or progress, and often the client gets frustrated or feels like they are in therapy. The coach sometimes has fun, but the client suffers.

In contrast, with a clear Point A and Point B, you the coach can dig into why the gap is between the two points of where you are now, where you want to be in the future and how to move forward toward insights, results, and value.

It’s simple a simple process but to execute and focus as your own coach you need to find a program that provides structure for your self-coaching sessions.

Similarly, never end a self-coaching session without a things to do action lists–reconfirming the value of the session by asking:

What was the most valuable thing you got out of today’s exercise or session? How is what you discovered going to change your daily activities or interactions with others? This type of self-reflective coaching re-grounds the value of self-coaching, and keeps momentum going into the next session. It also provides important information for your next personal journal activity. Remember the executive part of your brain and thinking is more focused when you capture and write insights and things down in black and white.

Next post I will share some excellent sites and other resources  you can review to help you get started in taking control of your personal development through self-coaching. For example, take a look at some of my posts on smart-steps and the plus-one coaching framework for personal change. technique.


Self-Coaching: Power of thinking, discovery, and choice for improving the Quality of your Life

“The quality of life that you have is determined to large extent by the effort you put into giving your life value, purpose and a reason.” Eric Hoffer

Self-coaching is a “structure and a process” for high performance levels.

When ever we begin to think about things we trigger a specific (structure) or mindset for our thinking. The mindset maybe based on a certain concept, feeling or experience stored in different areas of the brain. Once one of these areas is activated then we take action (process). Our appropriateness and effectiveness depends on how congruent our thinking is with the action. Thinking with one part of the brain which is not congruent with the right action leads to inconsistency and low performance. Self-coaching and monitoring through reflection provides you with a frame of reference or structure and necessary processes for taking right action at the right time. Together the “structure with process” work together to encourage consistent, patterned decisions and aligned behavior leading high level performance.  Self-Coaching is a proven and satisfying way to change bad habits and make more effective person to person connections based on self-awareness and cognitive decisions that allow you to discover and choose more productive ways to live your life.

Benefits of Self-Coaching:

– Recognize your strengths and areas needing improvement or change.

– Be more aware of interferences and barriers leading to unhappiness, lack of success, and interpersonal conflict.

– Identify ways to be more aware of bad decisions and habits that can be changed one step at a time.

– Coach, motivate, and true happiness and meaning comes through choices and ownership of our actions.

– Understand that discovering life as it comes at you is more beneficial than trying to control people and demanding certainty which causes disappointment, frustration and many other problems in life.

– Realize it’s never life circumstances and other people’s view of life that causes issues and problems –it’s your attitude, perception and interpretation of life events that leads to stress and other psychological and physical issues.

Daily Quote and Reflection by Bill Bradley-Synergistic Teamwork Formula 1+1 =3

Daily Quote: Bill Bradley, a great basket ball player for the New York Nicks and US Senator, once summarized teamwork saying, “Respect your fellow human being, treat them fairly, disagree with them honestly, enjoy their friendship, explore your thoughts about one another candidly, work together for a common goal and help one another achieve it.”  

Reflection: Following his thoughts, I feel will help you go along way to building a truly effective and transforming team. You will address employees’ needs to feel valued and respected by creating the climate for trust and support of a synergistic team being able to accomplish more than they could by themselves. I call this the Synergistic Team Effect.

Self-Coaching Challenge: 

Identifying the obstacles that block your team from being more synergistic. Once identify use the Smart-Step model or Plus 1 Principle to help open up constructive dialogue to see if your team can problem solve on how to eliminate these barriers.

Self-Coaching Tip: Be an Anthropologist by Being Present and Observant

” If you think self-belief and being more aware and observant  in life cannot make a difference in your life, think again” Jeffrey Brantley, M.D.  

The greatest thing I’ve got going for me is my ability to be observant and believe in other people’s talents. I am a feedback mirror because I hear and see people doing things they can’t hear or see themselves doing. Every great communicator needs that kind of feedback or they will not be stimulated to change or grow. Blindspots will trip them up on their path to success. Having confidence in yourself is important, but it helps to have someone who believes in you, too, whether it’s a spouse, a friend, a teacher, or even a coach. These important teachers and mentors can keep you from tripping-up in life by providing honest feedback and reality checks.

Challenge Assignment: 

1. List 5 people in your life who could serve as a reality and feedback coach?

2. Contact them in the next 24 hours and ask them to be your coach.

3. Be specific and concrete about what you want from them.

Weekly Self-Coaching Exercise #4–Setting Focused Self-Development Goals

Self-Coaching Exercise #4: Setting Focused Goals for Development 

All those who signed up for the Weekly Challenge are invited to work on this exercise and provide feedback to the http://thewick@wordpress.com

This one of favorite exercises focusing on how to create more life-work balance and growth it is called the

start stop continue” process.

Exercise Directions: In each area of your life,-family, career, spiritual, fitness, finances, personal development, business relationships, and fun/relaxation-ask yourself:

  • What do I need to start doing?
  • What do I need to stop doing?
  • What do I need to continue doing?

After reflecting and answering these 3 questions for each area of you life space use a new page in your Learning Journal and write down your reflections and insights and actions you are committed to take in the next week.  It may sound simple, but these three lists will become the keys for uncovering what goals you want to set for coaching and supporting your desire to become a more effective leader and manager in 2013 and beyond.

Basically, this is about doing more of the kind of things that energize you and less of what moves you away from where you want to be. Sounds easy enough, but the fact of the matter is most people won’t do this. They may make some superficial attempt to reflect on these questions, but will ultimately give up on these changes because their words are not backed up with –clear images of where they are now and where they want to go in the future and a commitment to a focused action plan to take them there.

Challenge: Write down 1 skill you’d like to improve that can help you in your career or family life. Create the Improvement Goal. Lay out the plan for achieving it step by step and commit to act on the plan tomorrow.

How to do it—Smart-Steps Method

Think about your personal goals, whether you’re a seasoned veteran in your field interested in learning new software, a volunteer who wants to explore new ways to help, or a college graduate searching for you’re a challenge job. What’s one thing you’d like to improve in order to nurture your own growth? Write it down. If you like, you can also think about small steps you could take to make it happen.

Why it matters

Too often we get into a rut, performing the same repetitive tasks and doing only what’s required to carry out the basic functions of our job or family life. If you want to move ahead – both professionally and personally – it’s important to step back. By thinking and reflecting about what you’re doing and how you can do it better, you open yourself up to new learning opportunities and experiences.

Goal 1. What Do I need to START DOING?


Goal 2 What Do I need to STOP DOING? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Goal 3. What do I need to CONTINUE DOING that is working ?


Hate Performance Reviews? Here is a Process that works.

The Boss has an Issue: Framework for an Effective Coaching Session.

1. Challenge your assumptions about the person’s ability and shortcomings, gather data and information on both sides of an issue. Thus, avoiding the “confirmation bias” villain that undermines open communication  Be matter of fact in presenting information and ask open-ended questions to find-out other person’s concerns and story about a situation.

2.    Explore Differences and Perceptions about what happened or isn’t happening. Before moving on —Identify Problem to be discussed in this session.

3.   Sharpen the Difference or Agreement–establish priorities for change

4.    Identifying and Exploring– making the relationship a personal win solution for other person

5.   Get Commitment – Identify Action Plan – Follow-Up by using Smart-steps for change

6.   Follow-up with Continuous Improvement checkpoints and Feedback Loops to support change and open communication.

Try this structure for your next difficult performance review, I promise it will provide a powerful and effective way to create a positive climate and promote behavior change.