Part III: Career Audit-Measuring Your Career Network’s Viability

Daily Quote: “Your core circle and the way you treat people will have a dramatic impact on your ability to achieve your purpose.” Tom Peters 

A portfolio of experience and learned skills allow you to take your career in multiple directions, which is ever more important in constantly changing job market. Yet an even more important factor in moving your career forward is the viability and relationship you have with your network.

George John, Founder & CEO of Rocketfuel puts it this way:  “The present value of my network has always eclipsed the value of my current assets by millions… I just tried to be helpful, and the result was that all of my favors were repaid 10 times or more.”

Clearly, networking with successful individuals is a key element in furthering your career. Your responsibility and ultimately the responsiveness of your network is the special connection you have with them and your ability to giving service to others before any reward is given back.

“Your core circle and the way you treat people will have a dramatic impact on your ability to achieve your purpose.” Tom Peters

Self-Coaching Challenge: Over the next few days of the New Year write down the names of the top ten people in your network and schedule a coffee, lunch or drink with them. The purpose of this meeting is to catch-up with them and see how you can be of service to them in the new year.

Part 1: Assess your Career Status–Reflect on Where you are and where you want to go.

Take responsibility for Your Career and Challenge the Myth that “job hopping or explore other opportunities” is bad for your career”

Daily quote: ‘First they welcome you, then expectations are pinched, then they break promises, then they take you for granted, then you assert your rights and ask for fairness, they fight you, and then you leave to find a new challenge and win… Peter Newport, Career Counselor

To keep growing as a professional you must have a clear goal of building your talent and experience portfolio. To be “stuck” in a job that has had broken promises or missed expectations because organization interest come before employees is a missed placed loyalty and potentially damaging to your long-term goal of wanting to run your own company or being a CEO. The quiet loyal workhorse who never makes demands or keeps the organization honest in its broken promises for promotion, bonuses or other perks will get bounced around like a bottle a float in the ocean. You won’t get what you want by just bending to an organization first philosophy. Being out for number one doesn’t mean you are not a team player or disloyal, it means you are engaged in assessing how the present job experience is fulfilling your need to be always growing and learning as a productive person. If you are in charge of your career as everyone has been saying for years, you can’t sit back and wait for the company or your bosses to recognize the contributions you are making because they are usually busy and focused on their own success. To take this career responsibility seriously I recommend a yearly company and job assessment by you just like the company makes annual performance reviews.

You may avoid this personal career review and reflection but do so at your own peril. This self-directed career approach may not always be greeted with enthusiasm by bosses and spouse but to keep fresh and developing as a fully functioning and responsible person you must be clear on what you need and want to do with your life because that is the essence of being responsible.

In this new economy, moving from job to job every 2-3 years means you are being responsible and pro-active in your career. Part of this pro-active approach to career building means you must stay connected to colleagues and keep your network activities vibrant and up to date and in your profession al development you must be visible and attuned to market place opportunities because you never know when they be presented. Don’t get to comfortable making a nice salary or benefits because that made be the wrong focus for expanding your skill set and broaden your experiences to move to a more challenging and rewarding job. This method of career management where you stay alert to opportunities and updating your career portfolio through new experiences has been mislabeled by some career experts self-centered “job hopping”. The fact these days, is that talent is scarce and employees who stay in a job just to be loyal or are worried about their security or that they maybe labeled a “job hoppers” or disgruntled employees is nonsense because surveys report that employees who stay for longer than two years earn 50% less over their lifetimes. So yes, be engaged at your work place and be respectful to each and every one of your employers, but certainly don’t stay in a position for fear of being labeled “a job hopper or an unloyal employee. It is your perfect right and responsibility to manage your own career and life not your employers responsibility.

Daily Quote and Self-Reflection: Embracing Change and Openness

Daily Quote: “Things do not Change: We change.”  Henry Thoreau

Self Reflection: When “IT” comes to change and upsetting the “status quo” I am a searcher. Searchers look for problems that can become opportunities. They are open-minded about how to solve problems and do not think they have all the answers. The main tools searchers use are a “growth mindset” seeing problems as challenges, experimentation and piloting potential solutions.  Their change mantra is:: “Whoever Tries The Most Stuff Wins.” Always be open to try new ways to find the right answers. I believe one must never lose time in vainly regretting failures nor in complaining about the changes which cause us discomfort, or making excuses because the essence of change is shaking things-up.

Self-Coaching: What are you facing in your daily life that needs changing and you have been procrastinating from doing it. Listen to Graham Hill, feature speaker at TED, talk about how to create more happiness in your life. Then reflect on the TED talk and pick one thing in your daily life that will make your happiness soar. Good Luck and have fun.

Self-Coaching Challenge: You are what you think

Daily Quote

“Our minds influence the key activity of the brain, which then influences everything; perception, cognition, thoughts and feelings, personal relationships; they’re all a projection of you”. Deepak Chopra, Philosopher 

Self-coaching is a skill that can be learned. It is the basic skill that underlies what we mean when we speak of having emotional and social intelligence. When you develop the skill of SC, you actually change the physical structure of the brain, your thinking and action. Dr. Dan Siegel in the book Mindset says: “This observation and revelation is based on one of the most exciting scientific discoveries of the last twenty years: How we focus our attention shapes the structure of the brain which impacts thinking and then behavior. Neuroscience has also definitively shown that we can grow and create new connections in the brain throughout our lives, not just in childhood. ” This finding provides a positivity not known in years before these new brain discoveries.

Self-Coaching Challenge:  Seek first the goal of personal development and reaching your full potential then everything else will take care of itself. What do you want to develop over the next 30 days. Make and plan the execute it.  For support read about Dr. Rock, a noted neuro-leadership scientist,  who has put together a practical model called SCARF for enhancing how to use the new research on the brain to improve leadership and workplace climate.

Positivity–How to get it and eliminate negativity

Negativity affects ourselves and everyone around us. It limits our potential to become something great and live a fulfilling, purposeful life. Negativity has a tangible effect on our health, too. Research has shown that people who cultivate negative energy experience more stress, more sickness, and less opportunity over the course of their lives than those who choose to live positively.

When we make a decision to become positive, and follow that decision up with action, we will begin to encounter situations and people that are also positive. The negative energy gets edged out by all positive experiences. It’s a snowball effect. Although negative and positive thoughts will always exist, the key to becoming positive is to limit the amount of negativity that we experience by filling ourselves up with more positivity.

 

Daily Quote: Optimism Quotient

Daily Quote: ” Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” Dr. Seuss

 

Optimism, which produces these positive, brain chemicals, reduce many anxiety symptoms and can provide presenters with the ability to focus and concentrate on the activity at hand.

 

By learning to “look on the bright side,” of challenges and seeing stressful situations like presenting or professional acting as opportunities for growth you increase the likelihood of producing a positive mental and arousal state.  This positive mental state leads to a chain of biochemical events that mobilize the brain and the body to cope more effectively with the situation.  A positive reaction to stress can then lead to what Dr. Loher, calls the challenge response which counteracts the negative effects of stress and improve your performance and enjoyment in any performance art. Specifically, presenting and speaking to groups becomes more pleasurable and produces positive energy. The challenge response helps presenters to be more calm, relaxed, energetic, inspired  and open to audience needs and reactions. 

 

Most of us are familiar with the popular definition of an optimist as a person who sees a glass as half full, while a pessimist sees it as half empty. Optimists have the self-awareness to stop, challenge their thinking and choose to feel hopeful about how they see a situation and its outcome.  Optimists are positive thinkers who practice positive “self-talk.” They tell themselves “this is fun”…I can…I want to”.  Pessimists are negative thinkers who “make stuff up” which is detrimental to their confidence and ability to perform at high performance levels. Their self-interference and attention to the darkish side of situations lead to poor performance.  Pessimists have a tendency to get in their own way, by distorting their perception and acting on these distortions to produce results they do not want. For example, they see audiences as adversaries; worry about how they are being received; lack confidence that they can speak without a complete text or from copious notes.  This lack of self-confidence and negative messages about our ability to perform increases self-doubt and leads to trying to overcontrol situations, which interferes with the natural learning process.  Positive thinking, can help presenters to make a conscious effort to enjoy presentations and overcome a surprising number of fears and anxieties.

Recommendations and Action Steps for building your Optimism Quotient

 

  1. Find a role model. Find someone who seems to make the best of any given presentation situation. Find out how that person maintains that attitude, and copy the behavior. This is called “Best Practices”.  Chances are, even during difficult times optimism helps your role model get through the battle with fewer negative effects.
  2. Practice positive self-talk and affirmations. Tell yourself positive things every day for a month (“I can do the job,” “I like myself,” etc.). Practice positive self-talk for at least one month before judging how it has affected your attitude. Affirmations are positive, motivating statements.  Use short “I am” statements: “I am happy with my job.”  Say the affirmation out loud several times, then imagine it happening.
  3. Fake it till you make it—Practice Being Positive. See your presentation as a challenge for development rather than a treaded activity.
  4. Here and Now” focus—Clear your mind of poor past performances and concentrate on your goal and message. Before presentation visualize your audience, speech and outcomes. Enjoy the moment and have fun.
  5. Practice the Stop—Think—Choose technique for focusing attention
  6. Relaxation techniques—Fully prepare to remain mentally, physically and emotionally tough through positive thoughts. Achieve momentary relief by practicing deep breathing, flexing and relaxing different muscle groups. Be committed to remain flexible, responsive and respectful of participants.  Try to practice the 10 second stress reduction response when you feel nervous, anxious or stressed.

10 Second Stress Reduction Response:

  • Take deep breath and say to yourself
  • My body is relaxed
  • My mind is alert
  • My eyes are twinkling
  • And there is a smile on my face.
  1. You perform like you eat—always have a nourishing meal before presenting; consume some form of carbohydrates and fiber two hours before the presentation. Be careful of caffeine. Drink only one or two cups before presenting and have plenty of water before and during the presentation.
  2. Find a coach or build a support system for change. Put together an action plan for change. Commit to prepare and practice speeches at least twice before the performance.  Find a psychologically safe environment like the Toastmasters Club to practice improving your speaking techniques, attend a two or three presentation camp or training session for presenters.  

 

Conclusion

No one is optimistic all the time.  But anyone can learn how to adopt a more positive, healthier attitude.  When you practice being an optimist, you’ll be on your way to be more confident, relaxed, humorous and effective as a presenter.

Daily Quote: Are You Stuck and Unmotivated?

Daily Quotes to Get Going-

” We do no great things, only small things with great love.”—Mother Teresa

“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble.”—Helen Keller

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”—Anne Frank

“Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.”—Churchill

“To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.”—Henry David Thoreau

Reflection: 

  1. Find inspiration. Inspiration, for me, comes from poetry, quotes and using others approaches who have achieved what I want to achieve, or who are currently doing it. I read other blogs, books, magazines, exercise and observe other people. I Google keywords like motivation, happiness and success stories.
  2. Develop a “trigger” This a mantra, quote or method for jump starting your motivation juices. Here is the simple method I use when feeling “stuck”:  I focus on my goals for the day, accept my feelings (positive and negative) and then just start doing what I need to do.

Self-Coaching Challenge: 

Motivation is not a constant thing that is always there for you. It comes and goes, and comes and goes again, like the tide. But realize that while it may go away, it doesn’t do so permanently. It will come back. Just stick it out and find a way to keep moving forward. Your coaching assignment for this week is to focus on developing a goal and method plan for increasing your motivation for growth and sustained personal development.

Here are some tips to help you get started with getting “unstuck”

Start small Smart Steps for change and reward yourself for successes . If you are having a hard time getting started, it may be because you’re thinking too big. If you want to exercise, for example, you may be thinking that you have to walk or run an hour a day. This is not supported by research that says 10-15 minutes a day is good enough. Starting with small steps makes the goal becomes realistic and doable. Make your goal so easy you can’t fail. For example commit to 5 minutes of exercise a day for this week. Do it at the same time, every day. Just some sit-ups, or 2 stomach crunches or leg lifts and some jogging in place. Once you have done 5 minutes a day for a week, increase it to 10, and stick with it for a week. In a month, you’ll be doing 20-25. Finally, yourself at the end of the week with a treat or something special this will reinforce your new self. Good Luck and let us know how it is going.

My personal change goal is _______________________________________________________.

My method for triggering more motivation is _________________________________________

My reward for completing my goal is _________________________________________________.

Daily Quote and Self-Coaching Challenge–Want to go from GOOD to GREAT as a Presenter Communicator: Focus on Your Strengths

 

Daily Quote:  “One should waste as little effort as possible on improving areas of low competence.  It takes far more energy and work to improve from incompetence to mediocrity than it takes to improve from first-rate performance to excellence.”

 Peter Drucker, Father of Modern Management  

 

Reflection: I don’t think Dr. Drucker is suggesting that we  should avoid identifying and addressing areas for development, but we tend to make weakness and improvement of problem areas a priority at the expense of ignoring or taking for granted our strengths. We need to remember that on any given day we only have a certain amount of  time and energy. So in focusing on weaknesses or problems as the priority we have little energy or time to emphasize and use our strengths to tackle our duties and responsibilities, and I believe that a greater emphasis on amplifying successes is more efficient, more effective, and more fulfilling for living a more meaningful and constructive life.

And the more presentation coaching I do, the more convinced I am that people are better served by seeking to build on their strengths than by seeking to overcome their weaknesses.  As a coach, I have been amazed at the over emphasis in presentation coaching of observing and pointing out weaknesses of what I call “technique rather than substance”. For example, the trainer who focuses on negative things like poor eye contact, hands in the pocket, fill speech (eliminating Uhh’s and Um’s), low energy or just overall nervousness impacts presenters in a negative ways.  We know from research that positive feedback at the ratio of  3 positive to 1 negative comments increases motivation and the probability of positive behavioral change.

One of my fundamental assumptions as a presentation coach is that each client has the potential and abilities within to learn how to be “great”.  They just need to observe and concentrate on their strengths, like their great smile, their positive and contagious passion for their message and ability to challenge and engage the audience. To do this it is essential for the training program to use video feedback techniques like “interjective coaching and self-discovery” tools. When training techniques encourage participant’s active involvement in learning it brings out  insights, strong motivation, and resourceful creative ways to build on strengths. From my perspective nothing is wrong or broken, and there is no need to fix the client,; they just need to belief in and practice what they are best at.  The only problem is that presentation training programs have often focused on “fixing” the presenter rather than helping them find and use their strengths. The challenge here is that people often seek coaching precisely because they or their managers believe that something IS “wrong” or “broken” and something needs “fixing.”  It’s essential for the coach and client  to collaborate on identify strengths and develop an alternative perspective that focuses on the client’s strengths, because their capabilities–their belief, their resourcefulness for seeing their strengths-are the qualities that will generate going from “good to great” as public speakers.

Self- Coaching Challenge:  Since I believe that a greater emphasis on amplifying strengths and successes is more efficient, more effective, and more fulfilling in changing behavior I am offering a FREE NO CHARGE ANALYSIS of your presentation skills. Over the next thirty days,  just send me a u-tube video or home video of your last presentation or of a practice session that you would like feedback on. I will provide a one page presentation evaluation checklist that we will use to observe and identify your speaking strengths and you will be well on your way to becoming a GREAT presenter.

Want to Deliver Memorable Presentations: Pay Attention to Audience Needs and Learn to be Spontaneous and Flexible

Daily Quote:  “Many attempts to communicate are nullified by saying too much..if the presenter sends a message that the receiver does not see as relevant to their needs and doesn’t understand the point of the speech – then who needs to change?”
Robert Greenleaf

 

In this utube, we hear and see one of Hollywood’s great story tellers talk about how to be more spontaneous and flexible, so as to connect with the audience. Many time presenters to not pay attention to audience feedback during a presentation and miss the opportunity for changing the direction or the emphasis of some content over the canned speech. Picking up on questions and body language provides clues of what to emphasize to match audience needs.

The perceived effectiveness of your presentation is many times dependent on your ability to pay attention to what is going right in front of you.

Self-Coaching Challenge: Add to your presentation skills by learning to be more spontaneous and authentic take an Improvisation Seminar or Acting class. Remember the key to being a great presenter is to be awake to the audience needs. So instead of finding excuses to not becoming a better presenter learn to use and say the first Rule of Growing and Improv–is to ‘just say YES … 

Self-Coaching Challenge: Significant Emotional Experience (SEE) and Personal Development

We all have a story to tell..What is your story? Below find your Self-Coaching challenge for the month: Exploring your personal story and the concept of seeing how a “significant emotional experience” (SEE) effects your present thinking and action will be a challenging assignment. A SEE may come at any point in your life. It could result from a positive or negative experience or a missed opportunity at any age. But as much as we all want positive experiences, transformations for many people result only from going through them and then facing the repercussions of the SEE event. SEE is an experience that shapes your personality and outlook on the world and impacts people’s thinking and character development. This type of experience can be triggered by events such as confronting a difficult boss or authority problems at work, receiving critical and devastating feedback, or losing your job. Or it may result from a painful personal experience, such as abuse, divorce, illness, physical or mental health issues or the death of a loved one.

Your SEE tests you to the core of your being. It forces you to look at your beliefs and values, examine your character and your behavior in a new light, and come to grips with who you are. Examined in retrospect, your SEE may become the defining experience in your life, even if you do not recognize it when you are in the middle of the experience.

Passing through the Cycle of SEE–or reframing it later with the benefit of hindsight–you will see the world differently, and thus you will behave differently as well. It is during such a passage that you recognize that your life not primarily about your own success or about getting others to do what you want them to do. Rather, you understand that the essence of being an independent and constructive person is supporting yourself to find more self-belief through self-awareness.

An example, of SEE in the work place, we hear a great deal about downsizing in modern-day organizations or about unengaged and poorly motivated employee or the midlife crisis of an executive. I believe that except for downsizing which is a euphemism for out sourcing jobs overseas, these events show that many people are bored at work. Also, they have loss their passion for what they are doing. Or are trapped in a dead-end or boring job. Dr.Peter Drucker, the management guru of the 20th Century, in the March-April 1999 issue of the Harvard Business Review, an article entitled “Managing Oneself” (reprinted in January 2005 as Classic in Management literature weigh in on this issue when he said: “At 45-50 most executives have reached the peak of their business careers, and they know it. After 20 years of doing very much the same kind of work, they are very good at their jobs. But they are not learning or contributing or deriving challenge and satisfaction from the job… That is why managing oneself increasingly leads one to begin a second career; typically by moving from one kind of organization to another; by developing a parallel career, often in a nonprofit; or by starting a new venture…”

It is a given and known fact that no one can expects to live very long without experiencing a serious setback or some kind of SEE experience in their life or work… At such times, a second major interest–not just a hobby–may make all the difference…In a knowledge society…we expect everybody to be a success. this is clearly an impossibility. For a great many people, there is at best an absence of failure. Wherever there is success, there has to be failure. And then it is vitally important for the individual, and equally for the individual’s family, to have a “plan B” in place which will support them in these times of crisis.  That means finding a second area–whether in a second career, a parallel career, or a social venture–that offers an opportunity for being a more constructive person who is respected for who and what they do in life.

Self-Coaching Challenge: Try the following exercise to examine how you have dealt with “significant emotional experiences” in your life. This exercise is straight forward but will provide information which is powerful:

Pair and Share Exercise: Stop and reflect on an SEE in your life. Write your story-up and share it with a friend or colleague to get feedback on your decision-making and behavior in this critical moment in your life. Ask them to give you feedback on how this event stacks up with your present behavior. What are your strengths in this situation? How does this event display characteristics of your present outlook when interacting with others, your attitude toward authority, need for fairness or status in life?

Daily Quote and Self-Coaching Challenge: Increasing Self-Belief and 100% Responsibility for Actions.

Daily Quote: Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about making choices and creating yourself.” 

George Bernard Shaw 

Reflection: To change or not to change that is the “one” and “only question you need to answer in life ? My view is that you are 100% responsible for making changes in your life. Not your boss, or partner. My mother use to tell us : “I don’t know how to make anyone do anything they do not want to do. All I can do is create the best environment for you guys to succeed in. The rest is up to them.”  Her goal was to find our strengths and support our efforts to succeed. She did not hound us to do this or that with our lives but discover for ourselves what we love to do and let the motivation the natural desire to do good and be the best we could be bloom from within. She provided structure and support, but if that structure and support went away, we needed to ourselves up and continue on anyway. My desire to be great basketball player and always learning from my mistakes were never reliant on someone else to motivate me.   And really that’s the whole point of good parenting–lay off the criticism and let kids self-discover what the love to do and support their need to grow and develop. And by the way the “process with structure self-coaching framework I have been using for many years in coaching others is based on this simple philosophy–success in any endeavor in life is not the result of just wishing or dreaming, but clarity on what you value and then putting in the hard work to make your dreams a reality. The critical message is that no one can make you do something. A partner or friend can help, but when it comes right down to it they are not the ones who identify personal change goals,see what needs to be done to reach your goals, dig deep to find the source of distractions or obstacles for change, take constructive action, ask for feedback   persevere and even with failures never ever stop believing in themselves. It is you alone who has to take this type of responsibility. No one else can motivate or fix the things you want to change in order to live a more purposeful and meaningful life.  The “process with structure” self-coaching model provides a framework and activities to help you make choices and commitments for change. This will provide you with more ideas for increasing responsibility as another tool in your self-development behavioral tool box.  Another resource to help you change your life!

Growing and developing into a fully functioning person is a choice. Your challenge is to choose to believe in your self or follow the other path so many people choose—playing to lose in life. You haven’t seen your best days in you life if you “play to win” in life. This is a choice. Choose to believe it or follow the lead of many people getting bored, being unhappy, sleep walking through life and then facing consequences of  poor health and a sad existence just to run out the clock in life without getting scratch or hurt by unfortunate choices .  Who do you want to be?

Self-Coaching Challenge : Read the following point of view by Bella Falconi on life’s purpose and then choose what direction you want to go:

“When the wind is blowing too hard do not try to go against it. Adjust your sail and keep moving forward. We shall never fight the existent reality – see reality as it is, not worse and not better, just as it is. When we change our perception to the point where we are no longer part of life but life is a part of us, we will become fearless of going in the wrong direction. Existence and reality are self-adjusting. Life is made of a chain of purposes and so are us. Believe that the main purpose is not to know how to live, but to be fearless of living”.

Part II: Building a High Performance Team.

Daily Quote: ” Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together for a common goal is success”.  Henry Ford 

 

What are the four most important factors for building a strong team? If you read Part I where I covered more structural features of building effective teams.

1. Personal Safety. This is genuine belief that we won’t get hurt in participating in this team. The experience will be worth your time and effort.

2. Trust  built on keeping your word and following through on commitments  “We mean what we say and we say what we mean,” you and other members commit to rise and fall together to achieve your collective and shared goals.

3. Self-disclosure as “A willingness to connect both professionally and personally with other members. Team members are supportive of each other and are will to share experiences and stories that make the private public, thus increasing loyalty and bonding.

4. Sense of belonging and acceptance of diversity and differences.

The presence of these characteristics in a team supports the experimentation, risk-taking, shared responsibility and vulnerability that are essential steps toward meaningful learning and growth of team members. When a team develops this type of sharing and supportive culture the team is perceived as a  safer, more trusting and more compatible environment. The value of the team is rated higher than individual accomplishments.  But a challenge is that the steps  required to establish this foundation can appear to take time away from more pressing tasks–and as leaders we can easily get distracted by short-term tasks such as, quarter budget and revenue goals or expenses, project deadlines and request and obligations to bosses or client and other outside distractions. These “do it now” pressures neglect the group’s longer-term emotional and professional development.

In my experience group members themselves sense the need for these factors to be established in the group, and they express that need quite clearly, although often indirectly.  The key for a leader is to listen for and respond to any signals related to members’ needs in these areas, while noting that it may be particularly difficult for members to articulate them in the face of our (perceived) indifference if we seem too focused on just  results.  This aspect of group development is a true test of a leader’s ability to focus on what we know to be important soft skills rather than what appears to be urgent.

Part III: Self Coaching and Career Development: Awareness and Commitment to Personal Change

Daily Quote:  “The degree to which I can create relationships, which facilitate the growth of others as separate persons, is a measure of the growth I have achieved in myself.”  Dr. Carl R. Rogers
Reflection: Developing effective interpersonal communication is self-awareness at its finest. It is all about developing a sense self-efficacy (belief) and awareness which entails knowing who you are, what you can do, and where you are now and where you want to go.  In addition to the above, you must have the ability to access and master self-awareness and reflective thinking by choosing to accept relevant feedback and your feelings or emotions surrounding decisions and taking personal action to change. Your success in self-coaching relies on using a “process and structure” that allows you to discover and choose what fits your needs, time and personal change goals and objectives.Self Coaching equates to the “soft skills” used in counseling such as  observation, questioning, listening, reflection, problem solving and choices. Most of these skills are encompassed in the popular Emotional Intelligence category of Self Management. But most importantly self-coaching can impact all important values and priorities of your life, including health, education, career, relationships and spiritual arenas.To get started with  Self Coaching you must make a commitment to personal change and then assess your readiness for coaching. This process takes a time commitment and a decision to risk exploring who you are and what you want to do in life plus examining life priorities and  values.The first question for getting started with self-coaching is why do you want to begin this journey of self exploration and development. The second question is to consider is what behavior or thinking patterns your want to improve upon. In answering these questions you will need to explore where you are now and what is important to you to live a more fulfilling and meaningful life. By doing this type of assessment you can start living a more self-directed life of choice.

Self-Coaching Challenge: To see if self-coaching is for you it is important to consider something you are trying to achieve right now such as getting healthy, increasing your social contacts or developing a relationship.

Start with translating your self-coaching challenge into concrete actions by answering the following questions:

  • Why is it important for you to achieve this personal change goal?
  • What is it you want to achieve?
  • What actions do you need to take to achieve this goal?
  • What barriers or distractions may keep you from achieving your goal?
  • Who could give you feedback on how you are doing in achieving your goal?
  • How will you know or measure your success in meeting your goal?

By asking these self coaching questions you pave the way for reaching your goal and if need be making adjustments required in your thinking and behavior to achieve your desired outcome.

My 30 day goal for personal change is to  _________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Want to Improve Mental Toughness? Learn these 3 critical behaviors

Daily Quote:  “Create what you really want. It stops you from chasing butterflies and windmills and motivates you to keep on track for fulfilling your dreams”. Dr. William Glasser, Author of Reality Therapy.  

1. Learn to become more assertive and open to feedback.

You stand-up for your rights and confidently assert your viewpoint and perspectives. You know that the key to self-awareness is being aware of your strengths, weaknesses and blindspots so you encourage other people’s viewpoints and observations about your behavior through feedback, whether they’re observations are negative or positive. You welcome other people’s point of views, so you can learn to develop and improve interpersonal relationships.

2. Learn to make practice perfect and become more persistent in following through on your personal goals and objectives for living a more fulfilling and constructive daily life.

You have a strong will power which doesn’t let you give up on things you really want. You keep persisting in small smart-steps until you master the things that are important to you. You keep trying and you don’t stop until you’ve achieved that target. Part of your trying to change is to apply the rules of deliberative practicw to your life. Giving up just isn’t your thing, but looking for alternatives and creating more effective habits is.

3. Practice being more gentle and forgiving of yourself.

Many people are so hard on themselves they don’t have difficulty trusting and accepting their true self. The lack of self-compassion makes it hard to be positive and move on. If you don’t let go, and forgive yourself it is difficult to learn lessons from making mistakes or failing to accomplishing your goals for personal growth and development. The answer is to learn to forgive yourself when you make a mistake and leave the past in the past and focus on the next event. Learning to forgive yourself increases your ability to restore energy and increase positivity in life.

Choosing One’s Way Meaningful Constructive Living Framework and Smart-Step Change Process

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms-to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Victor Frankl 

Constructive Living necessitates the elimination of self-sabotaging thinking and behavior. It requires more self-directed action and the creation of a meaningful life purpose and process.

The technique used to facilitate this transformation is what I call the Smart-Step Centering process. It is all about establishing a clear and meaningful purpose, confidence through positive self-talk and skill development through realistic practice, feedback and execution plans.

Smart-Steps framework is more manageable in developing positive behavior changes then a more general or holistic approach. Smart-Steps allow the client to focus on the goal and the process instead of judging performance (based on fears, false expectations and results). For example, process goals help people to focus on being in the moment and responding in a responsive way to others and their environment. It helps people turn shyness and nervousness energy into positive enthusiasm for interacting and understanding others. Here are some essential components of the Smart-Step Process as applied to interpersonal communication.

1.  Clarify and agree to an agenda and expectations for your time together. Start interaction by asking questions and listening to the other person. Show interest and sincere concern in hearing their story.

2. Monitor and Edit yourself. Sincerely listen and try to meet the other person’s need to share and be understood by not giving advice, judging their behavior or opinions.    Show them that you have their best interest at heart.

3. Soften your “connection”.  Be friendly and welcoming. Too much, too soon and too strong usually leads to suspicion and resistance from others.

4. Accept influence. A presentation succeeds to the extent that the presenter can accept influence from the audience members. Be responsive to audience comments or concerns. Be quick on your feet and flexible to show your care.

5.  Respect and Encourage candid dialogue. Understand how to become a better listener, give positive feedback, and mirror the other person’s gestures and body language. Learned to model the good habits and positive energy you would like others to show you.

7. Focus on the optimistic “POV”. Try to connect with and understand the other person’s view of the world. Interpersonal conversations work best when you are experienced as a caring and respectful listener So make at least three-five times as many positive statements as negative comments.

Once you understand the Smart-Step process you are on the road to significant personal change.  Process goals replace personal expectations and help performers focus on what is really important during a performance – being audience centered and in the moment. Being and living in the moment is critical to developing confidence. It means learning to trust, believe in yourself and developing a sense of being vulnerable and at risk. Trust is directly related to your ability to be open and is experienced as authentic by others. Make sure you leave a good first impression and this could turn-out to be the start of a life-long friendship.