The World Must Learn to Work Together

“The world must learn to work together, or finally it will not work at all.”

—Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States

Image of a team

Image from OD4pic

As part of my preliminary discover process, two of the questions I use to determine the potential value of a coaching relationship are:

  1. What is working and going well in your personal and professional life?
  2. What is not working or going as you wish in your personal and professional life?

Based on the answers provided, a customized coaching relationship can be used to support going from good to great, or from not good to substantially better.

Perhaps no single factor impacts these areas more than the ability to create mutually trusting relationships and work toward common objectives.

EXERCISE:

Given the state of the world and specifically your worlds, what efforts and actions can and will you take to work more effectively and successfully with others?

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?

Turn Within for Guidance

“Turn Within for Guidance.”

—Author Unknown

Road sign reading "Listen to your inner voice"

Image from RamDass

Coaches use powerful questions and engaging inquiry as a means to help clients gain expanded perspectives and insights into their worlds. The time devoted to these discussions can be transformative.

The key to such interactions is based on the concept that virtually all the answers lie within each of us, if we are willing to do the hard work and look within.

By no means do coaches, mentors, trusted friends, or advisors have a monopoly on such questions or the power to create breakthroughs.

Consider yourself as the coach you take with you wherever you go, to always have the ever-ready guidance you seek.

EXERCISE:

Generate a list of your own powerful and provocative questions in a journal or notebook. Take the time to discover the deep and valuable answers within you.

A book that has become a favorite of mine is A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger. Consider picking up a copy to strengthen your capabilities in this area.

the highest expression of love

“Nothing is a stronger influence psychologically on their environment and especially on their children, than the unlived lives of their parents.”

-Carl Gustav Jung, 19th Century Swiss Founder of Analytical Psychology

Image of a father and daughter

Image from Flickr by Michelle Ress

Parenting is perhaps the highest expression of love I can imagine. Having two special kids in Dan and Rachel⏤now 31 and 29 years old⏤I know both my wife and I would do anything to support their happiness.

Jung’s statement caused me to ponder just how good a job we are all doing, coaching our children through the lives we live and the examples we set.

How excited are you when you share your life pursuits and adventures with your children?

How much dismay or regret do you experience as you look back, even on today, or into the days ahead? It’s not too late to turn things around or turbo-charge your efforts. I’m sure your children are still watching!

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can and will you step into living an even more extraordinary life as an example of what is possible for those you love, especially your children?

The Delicate Balance of Mentoring

“The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.”

—Steven Spielberg, American director, producer, screenwriter

Image of Steven Spielberg

image from BBC

Over the past two decades I have had the great honor of coaching close to 100 individuals who were pursuing coaching careers. They all have the common desire and passion to make a positive difference in the lives of others through this special type of relationship.

I am often asked why I have not chosen to build a large organization with dozens of coaches utilizing my coaching approach. The quick and simple answer is that I feel people are better served by finding their own special coaching voice and style. In this way, they create a unique expression of their inherent gift and ability to support those around them.

EXERCISE:

How can your own mentoring and coaching efforts better support those around you in discovering more opportunities to create themselves?

Should you have an interest in pursuing a career in coaching, please feel free to contact me through my website to explore the possibility.

Discover the Truth

“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered. The point is to discover them.”

—Galileo Galilei, 17th Century Italian astronomer & philosopher

Image of a boy in a science center

Image from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

What makes something real or true? Many would agree that perception is reality, and the mental models and paradigms we create throughout our lives lock in what is true for us.

The process of coaching emphasizes the examination of these views and perspectives.  It supports far greater awareness and promotes the discovery that enhances their desired outcomes.

EXERCISE:

Where and on what issues would you benefit most from a coaching process to more fully discover your most important truths?

Find Good Support

“Don’t wait for someone to take you under their wing. Find a good wing and climb up underneath it.”

—Frank C. Bucard, Author of The Trust Puzzle

Image from Flickr by Savannah Sam Photography

Image from Flickr by Savannah Sam Photography

We all need help if we are to fly high and far.

Think back to the recent Olympics in Brazil, and consider the social supports in place for each athlete. Beyond their coaches, there were friends, family, mentors, and sports psychologists directing their efforts toward personal excellence.

In the event you do not have your own team of supportive individuals lined up to encourage and uphold you, begin today to seek them out, and choose the very best. With a champion’s spirit and effort, both you and those with “good wings” will benefit greatly.

EXERCISE:

Once your “A” team of supportive individuals are on board, take the initiative to spread your own wings for others to climb underneath.

Life is Very Short

“Life is very short, and there’s no time for fussing and fighting, my friend.”

—John Lennon, co-founder of the Beatles

Image from storypic.com

Image from storypic.com

I am currently coaching an attorney who wishes to make a career transition to something far more in line with his vision and values. Ask him about what he finds distasteful about his current career and his response is clear: he does not enjoy all the fussing and fighting.

Examine your professional and personal worlds to determine just how much of your time you and others spend fussing and fighting. If the amount is unacceptable, examine the cost to your health, happiness, and overall life satisfaction.

EXERCISE:

What steps can and will you take to neither initiate nor participate in fussing and fighting?  Lennon’s coaching and life is for all of us to appreciate and be reminded of just how short and precious a life can be.

Threshold of your Mind

“The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom, but rather, leads you to the threshold of your mind.”

-Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese-American artist, poet, and writer

image from itu.edu

image from itu.edu

Take a moment to get into an imaginary time machine and go back to your youth.

Specifically, I’d like you to visit your grammar school, middle school, high school, college, and if you had them, post-graduate educational experiences.

As you explore each of these periods in your life, take note of the teachers who have made the most memorable and lasting impact on your life. How many of them challenged your thinking and encouraged greater personal inquiry, rather than simply pouring their reservoir of knowledge into you?

EXERCISE:

Who are the current teachers, mentors, and coaches that lead you to expand the threshold of your mind? How can you be such a resource for others in your personal and professional communities?

From the Errors of Others

“From the errors of others, a wise man corrects his own.”

—Publilius Syrus, ancient Syrian writer

QC #906

A highly notable technique to support personal growth and development is to encourage people to embrace failure. When we fail, we have the opportunity to pick up experiential lessons from the event.

Today’s quote, however, suggests that not all lessons need to occur from our own failures, setbacks, and stumbles. All we need do is pay particular attention to the misadventures of those around us. From them, we can glean additional nuggets of knowledge and wisdom.

Given the fact that there is only one of you, and so many people in your personal and professional worlds, the odds favor the open and receptive mind in picking up a higher proportion of lessons this way.

EXERCISE:

Where and in what ways can you use the errors of others to pursue greater success and mastery throughout your day?