One looks back with appreciation

“One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings.”

—Carl Gustav Jung, 20th Century Swiss founder of analytical psychology

I recently watched the Netflix documentary, Genius of the Ancient World. The three-part series focused on The Buddha, Socrates, and Confucius.

Surprisingly, they all lived about 2,500 years ago, but worlds apart geographically. Many of their teachings and influences are still very apparent in our world today.

Who are the brilliant and soul-touching teachers from your past? Who are the current teachers and mentors that continue to make a meaningful difference in your life?

Where have you, and are you, that brilliant and perhaps more importantly, soul-touching teacher for others, personally or professionally?

EXERCISE:

Reflect on the questions above, and determine some meaningful way to show your gratitude for the teachers who influenced your world.

My Joy in Learning

“My joy in learning is partly that it enables me to teach.”

—Seneca, first century Roman philosopher

Image from Unsplash by jeshoots.com

My coaching relationships begins with several “discovery” sessions in which my clients crystallize and clarify what they wish to learn and how they intend to grow.

I often joke with them that they are pursuing “A PhD in Me” through this unique and customized relationship.

In the early stages, they may look to me or others they respect and watch how we lead, manage, coach, or communicate. Very quickly they begin practicing and engaging in similar efforts to further their mastery journey. Soon after, or even at the same time, I encourage them to play the role of coach, mentor, or teacher to share what they are learning with others.

EXERCISE:

Where and with whom can you be a teacher to more joyfully experience the pleasure of learning and contribute more of yourself to others?

Life is Amazing

“Life is amazing, and the teacher had best prepare himself to be a medium for that amazement.”

—Edward Blishen, 20th Century British author

Image of an eye and eyebrow

Image from Unsplash by Amanda Dalbjorn

Have you heard of Sam Horn? If not, look her up, and strongly consider reading her newsletter and books.

She often shares a concept she calls The Eyebrow Test, which refers to the ideas, concepts, and life events that literally make your eyebrows move upward, demonstrating great interest, or in the case of today’s quote, amazement.

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can you more fully engage in your own life to experience far more raised eyebrows of amazement?

How can you share such moments or help others in your world experience greater amazement through your potential roles as teacher, mentor, parent, or coach?

The Art of Teaching

“The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.”

—Mark van Doren, Poet and Educator

Where in your personal or professional worlds do you play the role of teacher, mentor, or trusted advisor?

How often do you find yourself sharing your experiences, providing your advice, or simply stating solutions?

In such cases, we remove much, if not all, of the work our students could do to inquire and discover their own answers, which tend to be far more valuable and sustainable in the long run.

EXERCISE:

How would adding more of a “Coach Approach” to your teaching efforts help more of the people you support discover their own answers and realize the progress they desire?

We are all Teachers

FRIDAY REVIEW: TEACHING

We are all teachers at some level. Here are a few teaching-related posts you may have missed. Click the links to read the full message.

 

“Teaching is an instinctual art, mindful of potential, craving of realization, a pausing, seamless process.”

 

 

 

 

“It is not what you do for your children but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.”

 

 

 

“To teach is to learn twice.”

One Can Change the World

“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.”

—Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani Activist/youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

Image of Malala Yousafzai

Image from mirror.com.uk

At some point in life, we all ask ourselves: What is the meaning of life? Why are we here?

Many of us find great satisfaction and meaning realizing that our lives have purpose, that it is to make a difference, and in some way—big or small—to change the world.

What books have you read recently? What letters, emails, or blog posts have you written?
What child’s life have you impacted or touched in some meaningful way?  How have you taught, mentored, or coached others in your life? How have you benefited from those around you sharing their life lessons?

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways do you intend to change your world or the world in 2017?

The Things We Know Best

“The things we know best are things we haven’t been taught.”

—Luc de Clapiers, 18th Century Marquis de Vauvenargues

My first career, fresh out of college, was as a teacher. It was my belief at the time that it was my job to literally pour my knowledge of life science into the minds of 25 sixth grade students. What I discovered was that very little got in, and even less of my brilliant lessons stuck for more than a week or two.

One of my fascinations over the years, and particularly since I began my career in coaching, is what some call the “stickiness” factor. It turns out that most of life’s greatest and enduring lessons occur through experiential learning, in which the student is fully engaged, even lost, in their own inquiry.

EXERCISE:

What areas of personal or professional development are you and others in your world most open, interested, and excited about? How can you structure a deep and meaningful learning experience in these areas?

When the Student is Ready

“When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”

-Gautama Buddha, on whose teaching Buddhism was founded

image from kevingcook.com

image from kevingcook.com

When people say, “perception is reality,” they often mean that the way we perceive something makes it real. What if we don’t perceive an issue, challenge, or lesson to be learned, simply because it is invisible to us?

As a student, we must first see a situation and determine that there is value, opportunity, or benefit in it. Only then is there the potential to hear the teacher and see how they might assist us in understanding the lesson.

EXERCISE:

Where are you stopped or stuck in your life? Where are your efforts to move forward being thwarted? To whom could you go with the challenge you face, to determine your readiness and receptivity to the lesson?

“A Teacher Affects…”

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”

—Henry Brooks Adams, American historian and member of the Adams political family

Photo from Flickr by Anne Adrian

Photo from Flickr by Anne Adrian

Among the core values explored and discussed with my clients is their fundamental desire and passion to contribute to the lives of others.

When we examine the wide variety of roles each of them play in their professional and personal worlds, the opportunities seem limitless.

Who are the teachers, mentors, coaches, and other life supporters who have made the biggest difference in your life? Where have you noticed yourself “paying forward” valuable lessons to those whom you care about?

EXERCISE:

Where and with whom can you share your knowledge, wisdom, and life lessons to influence the lives of others, and more fully realize your unique contribution to eternity?

“The best teachers are those who…”

“The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see.”

—Alexandra K. Trenfor

Photo from bats.blogs.nytimes.com

Photo from bats.blogs.nytimes.com

I have been an active and engaged member of the ICF (International Coach Federation) for almost 20 years. Today, this organization has well over 20,000 members in more than 100 countries. The IFC has been one of the most active in establishing the ethics, standards, competencies, and credentialing criteria for the industry.

Fundamental to the value and impact of the coaching process is how it engages the individual in a variety of learning experiences requiring personal inquiry and self-discovery.

A phrase I like very much that describes this client-centered educational effort is “Coaches let their questions do the heavy lifting.” Although teaching experiences that “show and tell” can be a part of the learning process, it is perhaps when we help others to see, discover, and learn from within that even greater benefits are realized.

EXERCISE:

Think back to the teachers, mentors, and coaches in your life who have made the most significant impact in your life. Examine how many of them helped you discover and believe in your own potential and greatness.

How can you be this teacher or coach for those you care about in your professional or personal life?

Should you have the interest to learn more about coaching and the ICF, please visit www.coachfederation.org