Archive for September, 2007

We Can Only Take People As Far As We Are

Last night I stayed up for a UAC part 2 class at midnight and it worth it. Angela Byrd taught the class and she said some profound things like : “We can only take people as far as we are.” All of the tools won’t help a client if we can’t facilitate their self awareness. Solution focused models work on problems which are symptoms of their (our) lives. If you only work on the symptoms, the client will, at some point resume the behaviors that caused the symptoms. So, the goal is to awaken awareness of the behavior patterns that cause the symptoms.
When we give a homework or fieldwork assignment we should ask ourselves: “Am I giving this assignment so that the client will think I’m a good coach or to awake the client’s awareness?”


Suzy’s 10 Tips for Learning at ICA

Suzy´s 10 Tips for learning at ICA

1. Believe in yourself. Acknowledge yourself for choosing such a unique ICF approved Coach training program full of supportive people. Something like ”WOW, I am such a clever person, I’m really on the “cutting edge!” After you calm down, read the information in the SUPPORT section. Click: Support, Knowledgebase, FAQ’s. After that, click DOWNLOADS and read the WElCOME TO ICA pages, then: Introduce yourself on the Discussion Board in the CAFÉ and SOCIAL AREA under INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO OUR COMMUNITY.
2. Get a buddy or a peer coach early on in your studies, even if you´re not sure what a peer coach is and you think you don´t need coaching. A peer coach can help you get used to the ICA culture. Just do it, even if you feel like you’re out of your “comfort zone”. Read the Discussion board at least once a week and participate.
3. Take charge of your learning, this is YOUR program. This is YOUR life. Everyone learns differently, you get to choose how you’d like the program to work for your personal learning style.
4. Believe in the Process: The Coaching Process and the Learning Process. You won’t necessarily see or feel the changes at first, but somewhere along your journey you’ll notice a positive difference in your life.
5. Ask lots of questions; if you need to know something and it can help your learning, ask for it. Send and email to SUPPORT, to the Coaching Teachers, or ask other coaches on the discussion board. Questions that you have, are often the same questions that other people have, so you’ll also be helping the other coaches. No question is too silly or stupid. This is a SAFE and POSITIVE environment.
6. Learn from your colleagues. In classes you’ll often learn more from the other coaches than from the class materials. Don’t get me wrong, the readings are fantastic (and don’t forget to read them BEFORE you take the teleclass), but sometimes when you hear a technique or skill “in action” in a class, you’ll learn the information easily just from the example. To MUTE your call, press *6. To UN-MUTE yourself, press *6 again. Its always nice to mute yourself if you suddenly need to eat a snack, or for those of you taking classes late at night or early in the morning, if you nod off, the snoring might disturb others on the call.
7. Show up to classes, and do the homework that is meaningful to you. It’s easy to take it casually and then be in a rush to get everything done when you get nearer to graduation.
8. It’s allowed to take a class again if you need to.
9. You get out of the class what you bring to the class. At the beginning, if you’re not used to the teleclass format, at first it’s ok just to listen to get a feel for it. Remember though, that it’s easy to disappear to the back of the class and mentally go somewhere else. Even if you don’t participate, you can practice your “Power Listening” and then maybe even write about the class in your BLOG. After a while, set a goal for yourself to make at least one comment, “checking-in not included”, during every class you attend.
10. Read the assessments page in your first months at ICA, ask questions about what you don’t understand, and then make a timeplan for yourself. It will help you structure your learning so you won’t be under extreme stress close to graduation.

Out Of My Comfort Zone

My coach encouraged me to offer 2 people a trial session, one friend and one person I don’t know very well. I did it, and it felt very weird. Well, the good friend said “yes” and the other person I haven’t heard from yet. After I asked, I realized how difficult it had been for me to ask. I thought to myself, “this must be what guys feel like when they ask a woman out on a date.” I had to remind myself not to take it personally if I was rejected. Actually I had already been rejected once by another good friend so I should actually acknowledge myself for getting out of my “commfort zone” and asking again. So far I am coaching 2 clients, friends, 1 friend didn’t want to be coached and the person I didn’t know but asked anyway is still on the fence, but who’s keeping score?

Going Too Fast!

This week I think I’ve taken too many classes. I wanted this experience to find out what’s possible. I am getting more brave speaking on the calls but I still am not completely comfortable listening to myself talk.
I have decided to take the classes from the teachers that I feel the most comfortable with who teach at the times that are most convenient for me. I still need to catch up on the homework, but I’ve also decided to do what is most meaningful to me and not stress about the rest.
Today I asked two people if they wanted trial sessions. I noticed that I was definitely out of my comfort zone while I was doing it. I told them not to feel any pressure and just to think about it. we’ll see what happens.

Row, Row, Row your Boat, Gently Down the Stream

Today I heard a podcast from Wayne Dyer on iTunes from Hayhouse Radio called “Living in Inspiration”, He talked about putting your rowboat in the river, but stopping the “no pain gain attitude”, stop going upstream, stop with the “nothing is worth anything unless you struggle for it”, you don’t need to fight for everything you want. .Realise that there is nothing that you want in your life that’s upstream, you don’t have to fight for it. You have to turn around and go with the flow of the river, the way the currents are moving you, just go along with it, always down the stream and always merrily. It is always just a dream.
What wisdom in a children’s song. I had never thought of it that way.

Reflection: Action vs Delay

What action do you need to take right now to move your life forward?

Well, right now my life is moving forward very quickly. I am taking way too many ICA classes, working, taking care of my family and trying to figure out the coaching situation here in Germany. I’ve also signed up for a workshop on starting your own business in Germany as well as an information evening for a German “business coaching”program.
I’m improving my self care by saying “no” more often so I have more time to myself; I have 3 peer coaches cheering me on and I’m getting a full body massage 2 times a month to celebrate!
This week the most important action I need to take is to call up a German tax accountant and ask lots and lots of questions. I’ve been putting this off, so I know it’s the most important thing that would move me forward.

Which of the approaches to generate Action appeal to you, and why?

I like the “you could die tomorrow. If you did, would you regret not doing this?” perception because it helps the client imagine a point in the future, tomorrow, and he can imagine the loss he would feel if he doesn’t do the action. It helps to clarify how important the action is, or not.

One more approach to create action:

Just getting the client to think more proactively:
What is the action plan? What will you have to do to get the job done?
What support do you need to accomplish it?
What will you do?
When will you do it?

How I would change my life if I were going to die one year from now?

Not much. The only actions I would take would be to say goodbye to everyone I love and tell them again how much I love them. I would write letters to my children to read when they are older. I would spend as much time as possible with my husband and children. I’d travel with them to some places we’ve fantasized about visiting.

Reflections on Powerful Requests

Think of an issue in your life right now where I would like to take some action. What would be a powerful request that I, as a coach would make to move myself forward?

I’d like to fit more cardiovascular exercise and weight training into my life.

I want to wake up 3 days a week 1 hour earlier and get a work-out in.

What would be the minimum that I would accept of myself?

I day a week.

What would be the potential benefits of this request?

Overall fitness would increase.

What would stop a client from being ready to do fieldwork?

Fear of failure
They might not know where to start
Feeling overwhelmed with other issues that they don’t have control over.

If a client continually fails to complete fieldwork, what are some of the possible things that might be going on?
It might not be the right time, or the client might not be commited to the fieldwork, or there might be some fear and resistance i involved.

How can I as a coach balance the need to support my clients with the need to challenge them?

The reason for the powerful requests or challenges is to help the client to keep moving forward toward his or her goal. I don’t think it’s necessary do this every single week. Some weeks a challenge might be just the thing to get the “game” going and nudge the client into action, and other weeks a powerful request, or even a request to do nothing is more appropriate. Sometime people make a leap in learning when they aren’t doing anything active.

September 2007
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