Posts

, , , , , , ,

Maintain Change Through Coaching

 

 

Maintain Change Through Coaching

Maintain Change Through Coaching

I was thinking recently about my own personal philosophy about how to really maintain change when searching for it, as well as how I bring this philosophy into my coaching practice.  As with most things I do, I take a holistic approach, which is the same for my coaching philosophy.   The following ideas can be taken as a guide to maintain change through coaching as well as a guide to understand how I work as a coach.

When working towards change, particularly when it comes to personal development, it is important to see all the aspects that may be helping or hurting progress.  We are complicated creatures.  Working towards the best version of ourselves is not just about thinking in a different way or practicing good habits (although these are pieces of the puzzle).

True change comes from evaluating all the aspects of our human experience.  When we look through all of our different lenses, we have the greatest likelihood for success.  We need to explore how we think, feel, act, take care of ourselves, strengths we have as well what/who we surround ourselves with.

As a helpful reminder for you, I’ve created a way to remember how you can check to see if you are evaluating the different parts of yourself and what may be helping or hurting your progress.  Consider the acronym CHANGE –

C – Cognition

H – Heart

A – Action

N – Nourishment

G – Greatness

E – Environment

Each part of this acronym has some important components to consider –


 

Cognition – The way we think.  Do you analyze, make decisions quickly, not quickly enough, make strong judgments, think poorly of yourself or too highly perhaps?  Both the way we think and what we focus on may be impacting our ability to change.

Heart – How we feel.  Our emotions play a big part in our ability to be successful.  If we can remain confident, happy, grateful, curious and positive then we may have a greater chance to work towards change.  If we are negative, depressed, sad, angry, overly reactive or closed off from our emotions we may have a harder time moving towards the change we are working on.  How we feel can also be related to our relationships and how they impact our ability to change.

Action – Habits and routines play a big role in our ability to change.  Thinking and feeling are important but it is the actions that we take that impact how our feelings and thoughts change.   Our action or inaction can play a big role in our ability to push things forward towards our desired outcome.

Nourishment – How we take care of ourselves.  It is not news that the way we eat, how much we exercise, and our general lifestyle all impact multiple facets of our lives.  This is the same for any change we are after. How we treat our body impacts our motivation, energy, creativity, strength and focus.  Considering how we are nourishing ourselves is important.

Greatness – What are your strengths, purpose, and passion? This is what makes up your greatness.  Exploring what is great about you not only leads to creating better leadership but also fulfillment, higher energy, better coping methods and a happier lifestyle.

Environment – What we surround ourselves with. I believe it was Jim Rohn who originally quoted – “We are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with.” This is a powerful quote and I believe it to be relevant.  When it comes to our own development, our environment goes beyond the people we are around.  Our environment could be our family, work, our city, community, or how our house looks and feels.   For example, if you know you function at a higher level when things are organized then keeping your house clean and in order may be an important factor in your own development.


All of these factors within the CHANGE acronym are important to explore during coaching.  When I work with clients this is part of the process I take them through.  My belief is that unless we focus on all of the potential areas that may be influencing our ability to make a change then we are leaving opportunity on the table.

It is also important to remember that any change one may be working towards takes time.  Remember that there is a particular pace that change takes. Be kind to yourself along the way.

Enjoy the journey,

Michael

, , , , , , , ,

Purpose, Passion and Leadership

 

Purpose Passion and Leadership

Purpose Passion and Leadership

I was recently with a client and we were discussing coping methods.  Coping methods are ways to deal with challenges that we face as well as ways we can help to reduce troublesome symptoms we are dealing with. There are many traditional coping strategies – breathing techniques, exercise, meditation, walking, art, distraction methods, spending time with others etc.  Some of these techniques work well for some people while other techniques just don’t seem to fit.   In my experience, the ultimate coping method is always the one that is most in line with the individual.  This means that for a coping strategy to be most effective it has to connect with the person’s passion or purpose.  What I want to address today is how passion and purpose is connected to leadership.

So what do mental health coping methods have to do with leadership?  More than you think.  Leadership is in the midst of a shift.  This is mostly well known, however, old ways of leading still seem to be prevalent within some organizations.  What we are finding through research and effective training programs is that true leadership comes from inspiration, not from authoritarian demands or unapproachable hierarchy that pushes work downstream without consideration of how it impacts others.  True leaders are followed by those that are happy to be working for them because they feel inspired to do so.  Effective leaders build the next generation of leaders within any system and work in a way that is fueled by purpose and resonance with the mission at hand.

According to research by the Center for Creative Leadership, survey results show that 84% of respondents in organizations see leadership changing in the last 10 years.  The focus is shifting from an individual outcomes perspective to that of collaboration, teamwork and longer term objectives.

Another article by HR Magazine emphasizes that leadership is shifting towards less hierarchy and more inclusiveness and understanding of the needs of others.  To build an inclusive environment, one needs to lead through effective listening, empathy and to be leading through inspiration rather than demand.

Even in some environments where leadership may looked at as a harsher more demand oriented situation, this is not always the case.  For example, I was recently listening to one of Tim Ferriss’s podcast interviews where he interviewed General Stan McChrystal about his experience in the military.   One of the questions was  regarding what was one of General McChrystal’s pet peeves about how military life is depicted in the media.  His answer was great!  General McChrystal went on to discuss how even though he knew the stereotypical “hard” leaders in the military, that were cold, demanding and difficult to approach, this type of leader was less common.   He went on to report that the most effective leaders, and the majority, led by inspiring their teams and those they were leading.

So the question remains what do coping methods have to do with leadership?  Stick with me, we are on the way.   Since we know that the most effective leadership methods have to do with inspiring and engaging others rather than cold, hard demands, then the first question is this –

How do we build leaders that inspire?

One answer to this is found in the search for finding ones ideal coping method.   To be able to lead through inspiration means leaders have to understand what inspires them.  Being inspirational is achieved through truly knowing your own passion and purpose and then pursuing it.  Through creating congruence between what we value and how it is being expressed, we can explore our passion and purpose.  The days of “do what I say not what I do” are fading away.  Understanding what we are passionate about not only gives us an opportunity to be better leaders but also helps us to cope with stress and challenges more effectively.  If we combine our contagious passion with our ability to self-regulate, people will be truly inspired.

Finding ones passion and purpose may be complicated.  We may have some passions that are present in our professional lives and some that are more active in our non-work life.  For instance, an organizational leader may have a passion for sales in the work world but also have a passion for lifting weights in his non-work life.  This person may also know that they function at a higher level when they are actively pursuing both passions, in a sales role at work while using weight lifting as their non-work passion.  This example of weight lifting may be this person’s coping strategy in dealing with work stress, conflict or anxiety.  This person’s pursuit of this coping method not only impacts their ability to function outside of work, but makes them happier and more productive while in their work role.

Understanding what we are passionate about in and outside of work is important – and certainly impactful in both directions.   Focusing on our strengths and where we exceed, in addition to tapping into what helps us stay balanced, will create a great expression of our passion and purpose, and allow us to become true leaders.

I’ll leave you with these questions below –

What is your passion or purpose?

How did you discover it?

How do you actively pursue it?

Best,

Michael

, , ,

Counseling vs Coaching

Coaching vs Counseling - Arc Integrated

Coaching vs Counseling

There are many different resources regarding what the difference and similarities are when looking at counseling vs coaching.  I see them as definitely more connected than separate.  However, when considering which one to move towards I think this is an even easier question.  When looking for a therapist the issue is often related to a pain or a function that needs to be addressed.  When looking for a coach someone may be more interested in developing something new, improving something already in place or advancing in career, health, finance, leadership or relationally.   When looking for more resources about coaching, a great resource is The International Coaching Federation.  For access to more information about therapy, visit Good Therapy.  However, if you are trying to decide what service to go with, counseling or coaching, then see this article on How to Choose a Therapist or Other Helping Professional.

If you decide that coaching is the route to take, then great! Remember there are lots of options within coaching, just like within therapy.  Some types of coaching may include –

Personal Development Coaching

This may consist of working with individuals to make shifts in their lives that they feel will help them move towards the direction they want.   Personal development coaching can be related to work, relationships, finance or wellness.   This type of coaching may involve exploring strengths and challenge areas in order to build on individual passions, successes and experiences.

Executive Coaching

Executive coaches may work with leaders within an organization around business strategy or how to most effectively work with employees. Alternatively, executive coaches may also help to offer insight into how the personal dynamic of the individual impacts their business.

Career Coaching

Just as it sounds, insight around what kind of career to start, move from, end or change.  This can often be a component of other types of coaching or a specialty.

Similar to therapy, coaching involves setting goals and pursuing specific outcomes.  However, unlike therapy, coaching involves forward facing strategy and is not focused on resolving emotional functioning or processing pain for example.

So how does one decide what qualifies a coach within any of the previous categories, or even other coaching categories?    Just like within many of the disciplines of the mental health field, coaching has and is evolving.  At this point, anyone can still call themselves a “coach.”  This is different from stating “Licensed Counselor, Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist or Licensed Social Worker”, where in fact there is a mandatory license to be able to use this language.  Since coaching is relatively new it is only governed by certification.  So while you don’t need a certificate or license to call yourself a coach, you can obtain a certificate in a wide variety of coaching disciplines.  So does this make it less credible?  I don’t think so, necessarily.  While it is not governed with the level of scrutiny as the other mental health professions, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t highly skilled professionals in the coaching field that bring a great wealth of knowledge and experience.  Ultimately I think it comes back to the question of – Do I identify with, trust and feel like I can gain valuable insight from this person?

In my opinion both coaching and counseling are greatly valuable. I think that the approaches you are looking for as well as what you are trying to change are equally important questions to ask if you are considering signing up for therapy or coaching.  Here are some other questions to ask yourself (or the helping professional) when considering which direction to take –

How action oriented do I want this process to be?

How much time do I want to spend processing what is happening or what happened?

Am I in the process of or still struggling with some kind of traumatic experience?

Is this change that I am after more goal oriented or process oriented?

Am I wanting to gain insight into this issue or am I just interested in changing circumstances?

Good luck on the journey and don’t hesitate to reach out with questions.

Best,

Michael

P.S. If you are curious to learn more about personal development, effective workplace culture, dynamic leadership  and a wide variety of other topics, sign up today! www.arcintegrated.com/book.  It’s totally free.

You’ll also receive Chapter One (for FREE) from the upcoming book – CHANGES.  This book explores seven themes of sustainable change so that you can finally achieve the professional and personal goals you have been striving for but keep missing.