Mindset for Self-Coaching— 4 Critical Elements for Getting Started.

4 tips on how to see ourselves from other people’s point of view.

Daily Quote:

“We never see ourselves as others see us…”  Eric Hoffer 

” O would some power the gift to give us the ability to see ourselves as others see us. ” Robert Burns, Scot Poet (1759 – 1796)   

Self-Reflection: How do we see ourselves? Effective self-coaching involves seeing ourselves as mixture of our ability to think clearly, see ourselves as others see us and being open to learning and change. Many times in life our mental set about ourselves and how we impact other people can be taken for granted or mis-perceived. Many times in our busy day to day activities we are operating in a vacuum or on automatic pilot and in order to move forward and continue growing we must work on developing open and flexible ways to gather more information. Our ability to develop this open perspective toward ourselves is the foundation for all self-coaching. This open approach to personal change allows us to use self-coaching tools, such as feedback to not only adjust our thinking but to enhance our effectiveness to change habits and behavior.

For example, the art and science of public speaking or presenting are learned, as well as the skills to handle different situations and audiences. When this is recognized you can use deliberative practice tools by yourself or in conjunction with a good coach or teacher to figure out the steps to do something better by using your time and space to practice and learn more constructive ways to reach our full potential as a fully functioning person. With time and good support, every person can discover their own ways to become a more effective and efficient communicator.

1. Reflection

Self-coaching also involves an ongoing process of reflection. We need to view our lives as an ongoing exercise in experiential learning, and we need to obtain the necessary critical distance to be able to observe and reflect upon our experiences, while also fully inhabiting those experiences in the moment. The precise steps we take in this process will look different for each of us, and they will vary over time, but it’s critical to regularly engage ourselves in conversation and to develop the habitual practices that support this reflection.

2. Self-Awareness

An important product of this reflection is increased self-awareness, by which I mean both a heightened in-the-moment perception of how we respond to various situations and a deeper understanding over time of who we are as individuals. Our immediate perception of our physical and emotional responses to situations is often blunted–it’s only in retrospect that we fully understand what we were feeling. Honing this in-the-moment awareness of our responses allows us to expand the range of options available to us and to make choices that will best support our goals in any given situation.

Over time this heightened perception contributes to a deeper understanding of ourselves. We learn more about our tendencies and preferences, and patterns in our behavior (with certain people, in certain settings, at certain moments) begin to reveal themselves. We can then capitalize on these patterns, exploiting those that work to our advantage and challenging (or avoiding) those that work to our disadvantage.

3. Committment to Personal Change

At some level self-coaching is all about change. Changing how we spend our time so we’re more fulfilled, and changing our behavior so we’re more effective. Doing more of what’s working in our lives, and doing less of–or stopping entirely–what’s not helping us reach our desire results.  We may even want to change the direction of our lives in a more comprehensive way, and all large changes result from a series of small smart steps using the Plus1 performance technique.

4.  Clarity of Personal Values and Vision 

Our self-coaching efforts occur within a context defined by our personal values and our vision for ourselves. If self-coaching is a sequence of steps to help us effect positive change in our lives, then our values and our vision are the source of meaning and purpose in our lives, the underlying rationale for the changes we seek to make.

It’s important at the very beginning of self-coaching to identify the critical values that drive our action and to establish a vision of the future. Where you want to be after your self-coaching experience? Values and vision are the underpinning for self-coaching success because they ground us in what is important in our lives and where we we want to go. These values and vision will be rechecked through your self-coaching actives and will be refined by the end of your experience. Although we will be working on many of the elements that roll-up into a vision or provide clarity on your priority values in life through smart-step activities and structured exercises I think having an overall direction and “big picture” for self-coaching  is critical for your success.

Self-Coaching Challenge: Over the next week reflect on these 4 elements for Self-Coaching. Use the scale 1 -not ready to 10 absolutely ready. After your evaluation commit to either finding a coach to get get you started or if you are ready for self-coaching do something to get started, like reading articles or a book on self-coaching.  

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.

 

 

 

Part1: New Year Resolutions–What does Evidence -Based Research Reveal About Secrets of Willpower

The start of a New Year is always special. For me there is always a feeling of renewal as we look to a new year, a reflection back to the year that has passed and a new beginning. I have a sense of excitement for keeping things that are working, making changes or adopting new habits to make the year even better than the last year. However, do you ever find yourself making New Year’s resolutions and setting goals only to abandon them as the New Year tick docks away.

So I decided to check the research and selected the nationwide survey done in 2013 by Opinion Corporation of Princeton, New Jersey which I found to be very interesting and insightful on this topic of setting and completing resolutions. The bottom line is that 3 out of 4 people are not successful in completing their resolutions In addition, according to this research study, if you are happy you probably don’t set any resolutions. Unhappy people set resolutions more than happy especially in regard to money goals, 59% to 41%. So if you do not complete your goals for the New Year you are not alone.

So the question becomes what are some of the secrets and ways to set and fulfill your New Year Resolutions?

Studies now show that self-control is a limited resource that may be strengthened by the foods we eat. Laughter and conjuring up powerful memories may also help boost a person’s self-control. And, some research suggests, we can improve self-control through practice, testing ourselves on small tasks in order to strengthen our willpower for bigger challenges.

Learning to bring your behavior under control even with arbitrary rules does build character in that it makes you better able to achieve the things you want to achieve later on,” said Dr. Baumeister. “Self-control is a limited resource and is depleted more you use it.. People make all these different New Year’s resolutions, but they are all pulling off from the same pool of your willpower. It’s better to make one resolution and stick to it than make five.”

In Part 2 on New Year Resolutions we will discuss techniques and tools to support your goal of personal change for 2014. Stay tune. Coach Mark

Introducing the Self-Coaching Plus One Model for Self-Development

Plus 1 Self-Coaching for Self-Development

“Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to life for.” Viktor Frankl

Those individuals who are truly growing and happy in their lives are on a quest to discover their purpose for living.  Our self-coaching, person-centered development model, supports the journey for finding and creating a more fulfilling purpose in life. Fulfilling our purpose for being is a natural condition of living and is critical for living a more satisfying life by finding our strengths and gifts to make a positive contribution and difference in this complex and vexing world.

The Plus-One “process with structure” approach is unique in the world of coaching. We have investigated and researched the “best-in-class” ways to create a positive learning approach for personal change. At the core of our philosophy are proven methods to motivate and inspire our client’s to discover  and change their thinking and behavior through perseverance, patience and practice. We encourage clients to uncover and focus on their responsibility to make their own choices in life. The self-coaching activities are designed to emphasize the individual’s inherent right to choose and support their own development focused on their purpose, worth and dignity. 

Unlike traditional one-one coaching the plus-one process  is based on self-direction using the process of discovery and client choice. The individual is his own coach and counselor. The “process with structure” framework support the individual through guided exercises on self-awareness, strengths identification, goal setting and self-development challenges. It encourages individuals to choose what changes they want to make in order to fulfill their needs and reach their full potential. The “process with structure” activities are designed to uncover information and support reflective thinking to establish Smart-Steps and Plus 1 practices to bring about the personal changes and new behavior desired.

Once you understand the Smart-Step Process you are on the road to significant personal change and getting unstuck.  Specific change goals replace other people’s expectations and help you focus on what is really your purpose and important priorities in your life. Being and living in the moment is critical to developing confidence. It means learning to trust and believe in your ability to accept the challenge. Developing this change posture means that you must accept more vulnerability and take more risk. Trust is directly related to your ability to be open and for you to be experienced as authentic by others. Specific approaches are designed in the “process with structure” approach to challenge your present mental maps and behaviors so as to lead you to do what you set out to do to live a more purposeful and fulfilling life.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

 

CHOICE— What Does EXCELLENCE Look Like In Your Life?

 

 

Modification and Update of Tom Peter’s In Search of Excellence 

EXCELLENCE is not an “aspiration.” Or “Purpose statement”

EXCELLENCE is … THE NEXT 5 OR 10  MINUTES

 EXCELLENCE is your next conversation.

Or not.

EXCELLENCE is your next productive presentation and meeting.

Or not.

EXCELLENCE is shutting up and listening—really listening.

Or not.

EXCELLENCE is your next customer contact.

Or not.

EXCELLENCE is saying “Thank you” for something “small.”

Or not.

EXCELLENCE is the next time you shoulder responsibility and give the credit away.

Or not.

EXCELLENCE is waaay over-reacting to a screw-up or other people’s inappropriate behavior

Or not.

EXCELLENCE is the donuts or flowers you brought to work today.

Or not.

EXCELLENCE is lending a hand to someone  who’s fallen behind schedule.

Or not.

EXCELLENCE is  learning  the way folks in finance or HR] think.and feel

Or not.

EXCELLENCE is waaay “over”-preparing  for a 10-minute presentation.

Or not.

EXCELLENCE is turning “insignificant” tasks into one-step at time significant changes and models of …

EXCELLENCE.

Or not.

SELF-COACHING CHALLENGE– How do you SHOW EXCELLENCE IN YOUR DAILY LIFE?

 

 

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.

 

Plus One Technique: Showing Appreciation the MMFI Rule

Daily Quote: “Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, Make Me Feel Important. Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.” Mary Kay Ash

Reflection:
I think that this Plus One technique of Making Others Feel Important (MMFI)is a very powerful way to provide a climate for excellence in performance. Many employees tell me that they seldom or hardly ever receive any appreciation for a job well done from their managers. Appreciation or acknowledgement are at the heart of creating a positive climate at work. Noticing the effort and commitment of employees can be one of the strongest motivators for reinforcing and encourage the highest quality of work. Positive feedback which is delivered immediately after the action takes place sends a strong message that a person’s has been noticed and appreciated. The message from many managers who ignore the good works of employees is that you are expected to perform at high levels and the only time you will hear from a manager is when you screw-up. This “management by exception” method leaves employees in the dark and feels like they are only going to be recognized when things have gone wrong.In my experience this management approach is demoralizing and creates a”cover your ass” culture.

Self-Coaching Challenge: How will you make someone feel important today? Who is it you are going to make the effort to MAKE THEM FEEL IMPORTANT? Remember to be specific in your statement of appreciation and genuine. To see more on the use of the MMFI Rule see my past post http://wp.me/pnKb1-1Vn. This post will provide more specifics on this powerful management concept.
Over the next week keep track of the MMFI you handout and capture the events in your Personal Leadership Journal. Making this type of behavior a part of who you are will not only lift the spirits of employees but also make you feel good.