Myth Busting – What Coaching Is and What It Isn’t!

There are a lot of myths and occasional bad press about what coaching is and what it isn’t – It’s time to challenge!

Coaching is not just a cosy chat

Coaching has teeth and a sense of purpose. It challenges the coachee to think about their desired state, to compare it to the current reality and then plan real life actions that will move them forward towards. It is not about sympathy or a sticking plaster, it is an A to B journey from where you are to where you want to be.

Coaching is not advice giving

A trained coach is very unlikely to offer you direct advice. If they do they are acting more as a mentor than a coach. Mentors have valuable experience that they can share with others, advice and tips that will help others learn the ropes. Coaching is non directive and relies on the coaches skills of listening and questioning to allow coaches to uncover their own next steps

Coaching is not therapy

Coaching starts from a position of strength. It says that all of us have within us the ability and skill to develop and grow. It is not a deficit model. People don’t have coaching because there is something wrong with them, they have to help them improve and build on their current performance so that they can be better. Coaching does encourage us to think back but only so that we can Look Forward. It’s what’s next that’s really important, not what has gone before. Coaching is not about fixing it’s about improving performance.

To find out more about what coaching can do for you please see ‘what’s on offer’ or use the ‘contact us’ page.

You Make the Weather

The lens through which we choose to see the world has a massive impact on our interpretation. In fact you could go as far as to say that there is no objective reality at all and that everything is simply down to perception and interpretation!!

For example if I see myself as an unlucky person then I am likely to perceive situations in a very different way to someone who feels positive and lucky.

If I see a job advertised that I really want to apply for the ‘lucky’ person will go for it with a sense of optimism and hope which will most likely help them create a positive impact at interview and secure the role. The unlucky person starts from a very different place believing that they will probably miss out or that someone else will come along and steal the job from under their noses at the last minute. The reality is that with such a mindset you will probably contribute to just such a series of events.

Lots of writers have talked about mindset and the importance of how we view the world. Carol Dweck introduced the concept of a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. The fixed mindset says that you are who you are and you can’t do much about it. You have a certain amount of intelligence, a certain amount of ability and that’s that. The growth mindset is very different – it argues that the harder you work the better you get. It believes that we can change and grow through practise and effort.

People with a fixed mindset run from possible failure and as such opportunity. People with a growth mindset don’t like failure but they don’t allow it to define them. It’s how you respond to it that matters!

So if you really do make the weather, if you are really responsible for your own happiness that only leaves one question. What type of person are you?

Taking Time to Be a Better Listener – Our 6 Top Tips

Everybody wants to feel connected. They want to valued, recognised and ultimately respected.

As leaders one of our key roles is to create an environment that allows those around us to flourish and grow. Organisations that rely on an all singing all dancing power house leader that calls all the shots can often falter or worse stagnate as a result of the culture of dependence that such an approach can cultivate.

If we really do want to build capacity in others then we have to learn to be better listeners. Remember there is a big difference between listening and waiting for your turn to talk!!! Real active listening requires attention and genuine interest in others as well as a deep desire to help others become their very best.
Here are some top tips on what to do and what to avoid:

  1. Do use open positive affirmative body language (but not too open – allow people to have their personal space!!)
  2. Do make eye contact (but not creepy eye contact!)
  3. Try to repeat back to people the essence of what they have said (but not parrot fashion!)
  4. Seek first to understand then to be understood 9people will be far more willing to listen to you if they feel they have been understood)
  5. Don’t just wait for your turn to talk – tune in to what is being said (and what not!)
  6. It’s impossible to pretend to be interested so make sure you are!

Now get out there and give your colleagues a damn good listening to!!