10 things I’ve learned from a week of coaching

Use Pareto’s 80:20 rule as a model for making changes in what you do and how you do it.

“New year new me” is something people at the start of the year think is possible. Instead, smaller 20% changes are easier to sustain and don’t involve the same identity shift which is often the challenge with larger changes.

For example, instead of overhauling your diet, water, fitness, mobility and breathing just focus on one habit in one of these areas and do that consistently before you add something else.

Focusing on what you do have control and power over will help you avoid being overwhelmed and will help you make bigger changes over time.

I’m often guilty of wanting to save and change the world. I lose so much power here though because compared to where I’m at today, it’s overwhelming and disempowering to focus on the insignificant impact I can have today.

However! Instead, focusing on what I can do today and being ok that that’s enough for today is where my power, and yours, is. This keeps me feeling like I’m making progress rather than comparing to the macro change I want to have and getting no signs of momentum.

This isn’t easy but I don’t know of a better frame to hold.

Getting clear on the outcome you want and then detaching from it is a more useful path to the outcome than holding on tightly to the outcome, realising it’s not yet yours and losing hope that you’ll hit it!

This is one I’m working on but attachment to outcome is one guaranteed way to disappoint you continually because you won’t have the thing until you have it. So until that time, you’re disappointed because you’re more likely focused on the lack, than what you do have.

Clarity of the outcome is helpful as this avoids unnecessary movement and action but the guidance I’ve had and try to embody is to get clear and then let it go. Enjoy the journey towards the outcome but detach from it being the only possibility you have available to you. “If not this then something better” comes to mind.

Hope and hopefulness is a great feeling but it’s also dependent on the outcome feeling more and more likely. So I’d suggest a little more detachment so that you can keep moving forward without hope it works out or despair/worry in case it doesn’t.

Enrol and excite people you’re working with about a possibility that you can see for them. Get good at the storytelling and energy transfer to bring people towards that AND it’s an invitation not a demand.

Enrolling people means telling them a clear, emotionally engaging story about something that they could experience. This means you must be clear and able to link emotions to a possibility. This work takes time and it’s something I’m working on.

This also means you need to understand and be able to manage your own emotions and those of other people so you can walk people through the emotional journey involved. Walking the path ahead of people means you can speak with conviction but also compassion.

Stories connect us with each other, but also to ideas. Developing the ability to tell stories that energise, connect and excite people is going to be a superpower for coaches in the future.

A big lesson from Non-Violent Communication, a brilliant book by Marshall Rosenberg, speaks about the difference between an invitation and a demand. An invitation you can say no to, a demand you can’t. Make sure in your coaching work that you make invitations not demands.

Create a landscape of behaviours that move and develop yourself and others vertically e.g. power, peaceful etc.

Vertical development is across a number of spectrums e.g. perspective taking, emotional maturity etc. Knowing the actions, behaviours and insights that can be copied / embodied by others will help you walk people through those landscapes of being that develops and evolves us.

An example to help navigate and understand power is to go to the gym and develop strength. When you can hold power, hold your own strength, you can more easily see the spectrum of allowing versus enforcing using and not using your strength.

This landscape I’m trying to create for myself and others and one such practice is just a focus on “Cultivating positive emotions with awareness and intention.”

Allow things to arise rather than forcing your memory to be better will help you perform better on stage and in interviews

So often in interviews, public speaking engagements and any other pressured situation, we lean heavily on memorising multiple statements and phrases. Under pressure and when we feel anxiety and nerves, our pre-frontal cortex doesn’t get blood flow because it’s being redirected to our amygdala and survival system and so our memory cannot be used.

A way through this is to trust and allow things to emerge once you can settle your nervous system so that your pre-frontal cortex can switch back on.

This takes work but it’s absolutely possible. This insight and statement came from a coaching client I’m working with to get a senior leadership position in the coming weeks.

Do work from a place of service rather than a place of ego – ego is when it happens you’ll feel good, from a place of service is ‘this is the right work’

Ego work is doing things so that you feel good, so that you feel ok. This work will increase the chances you’ll be more swayed along the way by what happens because more of you is caught up in the work.

Instead, doing work from a place of service means there’s less of you, and more of other people in the frame and so you’re less likely to take things personally, more likely to be energised and determined because doing things inservice of others is way more energising than doing things so you feel ok.

If you reframe difficult people as opportunities to develop you and your leadership you’ll interact with them very differently – be grateful and focus on the learning.

You will encounter difficult people along your days and weeks. This is inevitable. Marcus Aurelius had the below quote which came to mind when this insight came to me this week:

“Say to yourself first thing in the morning: today I shall meet people who are meddling, ungrateful, aggressive, treacherous, malicious, unsocial. “

So because of this, I invite you to consider that these people that challenge you are the teachers to you and your development. They will test your leadership, test your development, and your emotional management. There is so much wisdom and development in these people. Invite yourself to focus on what you’re grateful for and what you’re your learning from those people will change your frame and relationship with them completely. Enjoy!

Trying to move away from negative emotions is a sure way of holding onto them longer. Allow negative emotions their time but cultivate positive emotions with attention and intention.

When you try not to worry, or feel anxious, or feel anything, those feelings will just increase because even though you’re trying not to feel them, that is still directing your attention.

Instead, just feel what you feel, notice the nuances in each of the emotions you feel and they will feel understood and so pass you by. Emotions are transient, meaning they come and they go. So allow them to come, and then watch them go. Do not crave the absence of emotions so much that you pull them closer for the longer than they want to stay.

You can let negativity gravitationally pull you down or you can choose your focus and attention on the things you want to pay attention to – the choice is yours.

Create accountability to stop discussing negative topics or people, create conditions where you’re so clear on what you want that you don’t have time for anything else. Protect your time, energy and attention and redirect it towards the stuff, things, people you want it to be focused on. Otherwise, it will get caught up in the things you don’t want to focus on.

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