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2019 Highlights – 2020 Preview – Arc Integrated

Arc Integrated - 2019 Highlights - 2020 Preview

Arc Integrated – 2019 Highlights – 2020 Preview

Greetings and Happy New Year!

I hope that the first few weeks of 2020 have been a success.  It was an exciting year in 2019 and there are some wonderful upcoming releases and events from Arc Integrated in 2020.

As I look back on the last year, here are some the highlights of 2019:

  • Traveled the country serving a wide variety of leaders, teams, organizations and events.
  • We continue to learn the client that we serve best. We have been doing our very best work while serving organizations and leaders that are driven to create and maintain cultures with purpose, accountability, sustainability, empathy and collaboration.
  • In May I launched my book – CHANGES: The Busy Professional’s Guide to Reducing Stress, Accomplishing Goals and Mastering Adaptability.
    • It hit best seller status in three categories!
  • I also launched the audio book a few months later.  If you’re not yet an Audible user, you can get a FREE audio version of the book here.
  • Earlier in 2019 I graduated from a 9 year martial arts program which continues to influence ways in which we train, facilitate and coach teams, leaders and organizations on how to be their very best. Stay tuned for some more posts about how martial arts influences the work we do and how some of the philosophies get incorporated.
  • There have been a number of podcast interviews done in 2019 which set the stage to do many more in 2020! These interviews have acted as massive resources for our clients. If you’d like to browse our list of interviews- https://www.arcintegrated.com/about-us/
  • Later in the year I went through a certification program called XCHANGE.  This has been the most powerful professional certification I have received in my career thus far. I’ll be doing an upcoming blog post about this approach and how we are incorporating it into our work with clients.
    • This training led to a number of work engagements, including an all employee company retreat, an executive leadership summit and a industry wide collaborative.
  • We continue to have an impact on the lives of the leaders and organizations we are honored to serve. Here’s what one of our client’s said in 2019 –

“Our Executive Leadership Team has worked closely with Michael for the past year and the results of this engagement have had a profound impact on our company. We utilize the many of the strategies that we have learned from him on a daily basis as what he has to offer is practical and implementable Individual and group coaching has helped us to improve our communication skills and function on a higher level as a leadership team.”

– Stand for Animals Executive Team

As well look ahead to 2020, here are some of the exciting things we have in store:

  • Continue to travel, internationally, serving a wide variety of organizations, leaders, teams and conferences!
  • The launch of the CHANGES CARDS. Available for order now (discounts for bulk!). Available on Amazon by end of Q1
  • Releasing my book in hard cover
  • Developing the Changes Journal.  There has been much feedback about the valuable exercises within the book.  Because of this, we’ll be releasing a book with just the exercises and places for reflection, so people can optimize their work.
  • Speaking a lot more! There are a number of events already lined up. We have been getting great feedback about the high levels of engagement and experiential nature of Michael’s events. To inquire about Michael’s availability in 2020, schedule a time to chat today!
    • See some previous speaking reels as well as testimonials here – https://www.arcintegrated.com/consultation/speaking-engagements/

What I’m most excited about are the surprises.  I am consistently in awe of how much can change, every year.  Certainly not all surprises are welcome, but I continue to learn the value of perception and how all experiences can be teachers.

Looking forward to a year full of growth, success, excitement and education.

Wishing you all the same.

With Gratitude,

Michael

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The Best Listener at Work

 

The Best Listener at Work

The Best Listener at Work

You may wonder why being a good listener at work is really valuable.  However, if you experiment with improving your workplace listening skills, you will see changes.   In the fast past, high demand jobs so many of us have, really good listening may be something of a novelty.  This may because of the ever-impending deadlines, the many distractions we have or the workplace stress.  If you commit to being the best listener at work, you may notice that some of these challenges shift.

So how might listening skills impact your work place experience?  Well, consider your experience now.  How well do you feel heard at work?  What do you notice about people how are really present with you when communicating vs. those that are anxious to move to the next “to do”?  I would imagine that when someone is really present with you that it is easier to talk to them, you may feel more connected or more at ease. What if you were that person for everyone else?  How might this impact your workplace experience if people knew that when they spoke to you, that they could count on you to really pay attention?

Particularly if you are a leader, really good listening skills go a long way.   Being able to connect, understand and communicate effectively with your employees is a crucial component of an effective leader.   According to a study in The Journal of Occupational Health, it was found that… “psychological stress reactions were lower in subordinates who worked under supervisors with high listening skill, while no statistically difference was observed among older subordinates.” 

So if we know that our listening skills have an impact on our overall work stress, it seems like a great advantage for us to actively improve these skills.  Below you’ll find three tips to improve your listening skills

1.) Offer more clarity

Repeating something back to someone in the way that you heard it will help to reduce miscommunication.  Repeating a statement also offers the opportunity for this person to add additional clarification if necessary.  This way of “active listening” ensures that this person is being understood correctly and shows them that you are paying attention.

2.) Focus

Sometimes we can get caught up in how we are going to respond to something.  Thinking of what to say next reduces our ability to listen to what someone is saying.  Attending to what someone is saying without focusing on how to respond will create stronger communication.  Remain focused on the present moment and really digesting what it is that someone is communicating. 

3.) Breath

Often times at the workplace we are moving a million miles a minute, which reduces our ability to take in information in any given moment.  Taking a few moments to breath as you speak with someone will help you to be more present and process what they are saying more effectively.  Before you speak or when you are feeling overwhelmed, stop and take a deep breath.  This may sound trivial but can do wonders for not only stress but your ability to communicate and listen effectively. 

After you’ve had the opportunity to put these behaviors to the test, I would invite you to make a comment below.   I would suggest that in order to notice results you may have to practice one or all three for at least four times a week for three weeks.   After you’ve practiced, consider answering the following questions –

How did they work if they did at all? 

What did you learn?  

How long did you practice each new behavior?  

Best,

Michael

P.S. If you want to learn more about how to improve your listening skills at work, in order increase influence, engagement and build effective relationships, we can help.  Schedule a free consult today to see if are a fit to work together

 

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The Power of Personal Development Coaching

The Power of Personal Development Coaching - Arc Integrated

The Power of Personal Development Coaching – Arc Integrated

I was inspired by a good friend who asked me once – “Why would someone hire a coach?”   My thinking is that personal development coaching is relevant to any type of coaching.  It’s relevant because exploring our beliefs, behaviors, aspirations and expectations are reflected in our career, relationships or any change we are seeking.  These are all elements that contribute to the power of personal development coaching.

While there certainly could be many answers to my friend’s question, it had me curious about some statistics.  I wanted to find out specifically who and why people are generally using coaches.  It seems that through my digging, I’ve uncovered some truth to my original thought.   Before we dive into what I found, let’s look over what it means to be a coach.

Coaches can come with a variety of titles but most commonly seen are – Executive Coaches, Life/Personal Coaches, Leadership Coaches or Career Coaches.   Coaching has some similarities to therapy but is definitely different in the sense that there is not an emphasis on processing a particular pain or dysfunction and more emphasis on goal setting and personal optimization.  For more information see this article on Counseling vs. Coaching.

Coaches typically help individuals or organizations identify goals, set commitments and build on strengths to make individual or group changes that will influence improvement.   Coaching is definitely on the rise, as now more than 30 American universities have coaching programs.

The International Coaching Federation (ICF), the leading professional organization for coaches has about 25,000 in its membership.   Also according to the International Coaching Federation, the number of coaches in the nation has tripled in the last 10 years.  As stigma for coaching continues to go down and the coaching profession evolves, this numbered is expected to continue to grow.  Overall the two most reported conditions worked on through coaching are work-life balance and personal growth.  In another study by the ICF, coaching shows to improve many life domains from productivity to self-confidence.

Coaching is often found with organizations or with executives.  According to a study  The Miles Group and Stanford University – nearly 1/3 of all executives receive coaching, while 100% report to want it.   Also in this study, it was found that 43% of executives surveyed report that conflict management was a top priority when it comes to coaching.  It was found that leadership and communication skills also rank high in areas that are being coached on.

Interestingly though it may be some other skills that needed to be focused on when it comes to leadership and executive coaching.  Skills like compassion, empathy and self-awareness are starting to gain momentum due to the coaching field having less stigma.  In addition, according to research by Northwesterns School of Management, it is shown that as power increases, ability to understand how others feel and think, decreases.  This is where coaching on self-awareness and empathy may play a crucial role.  As someone’s responsibility and leadership increases so does the importance of their ability to connect with others, a crucial component of an effective leader.

According to a survey by the Harvard Business Review – while only 3% of coaches were hired to help address a personal issue, 76% report to have assisted executives with personal issues.  This again points back to the fact that even in “executive coaching” scenarios, there is a key focus on personal development.   This survey also found that the most success was found in individuals who were willing to address personal issues and had a desire to learn and grow.

So the question becomes – “is coaching worth it?”  According to a study by Manchester Consulting Group who looked at Fortune 100 executives who had received coaching, there was an ROI six times the coaching program cost.  Coaching resulted in improvements in relationships, teamwork and job satisfaction.

To me it depends on level of commitment and readiness for change.  If someone is certain that they are ready to take a look inward to determine what is creating a barrier to success, then coaching could be a great avenue for this!

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. 

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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.