What’s the least I can teach that will be the most useful

“What’s the least I can teach that will be the most useful?”

Michael Bungay Stainer, author of The Coaching Habit

Image from Unsplash by Kenny Eliason

My first career after graduating college was as a science teacher. My second career was as a pharmaceutical representative working with physicians and other medical professionals.

For the past thirty-two years, I’ve worked as a business and personal coach supporting individuals and organizations to reach higher and achieve more, personally and professionally. I suppose in many ways I’ve always been a teacher.

These days I am still a coach and teacher to my adult children and more recently as Pop-Pop to our two precocious and rambunctious grandchildren. Today’s quote is especially relevant for these little ones with their often limited attention spans.

EXERCISE:

Where in your life do you play the role of a teacher?

How would focusing on quality versus quantity in your wisdom sharing efforts make the biggest difference with the people you serve and support?

“Can you stay curious a little bit longer?”

“Can you stay curious a little bit longer?”

Michael Bungay Stainer, author of The Coaching Habit

Image from Amazon

Michael Bungay Stainer is one of the top coaches in the world. His best-selling book The Coaching Habit is among the most widely read books on the subject today with over 15,000 4- and 5-star reviews on Amazon.

When asked during a recent webinar with Chip Conely of the Modern Elder Academy for some of his very favorite questions he mentioned today’s quote.

As someone deeply committed to the growth and development of others, he points to personal inquiry and staying curious as key catalysts for realizing far more of our potential.

EXERCISE:

Consider tapping into your own inner coach by reading The Coaching Habit to see how this skill can be applied in your communities. Please also explore some of Michael’s other books including…

How to Work with (Almost) Anyone
How to Begin
The Advice Trap
Do More Great Work

There are no traffic jams along the extra mile

“There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.”

Robert Staubach, former Dallas Cowboy Quarterback

Image from Unsplash by Kathy

My signature coaching program — Personal Excellence Training — includes six months of weekly one-on-one coaching to support my client’s personal and professional objectives.

Today’s quote encourages each of us to lace up our sneakers and go the extra mile.

It’s not just about reaching the finish line, it’s about how the journey shapes us along the way.

We know we are on to something special when we push beyond our comfort zones, embrace challenges and give our all when so many others settle for less.

EXERCISE:

Where and when do you strap on your determination and ignite your passions?

When traveling these less crowded roads, don’t be surprised if you meet other champions along the way!

“A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be curious, to fight tirelessly for something.”

“A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be curious, to fight tirelessly for something.”

Paulo Coelho, Brazilian lyricist and novelist

Image from Unsplash by Jessica Rockowitz

Being a grandparent is the best! It offers us a second shot of youthful exuberance that many of us missed as parents — probably due to exhaustion.

Spending time with these little ones, often on the floor, only has one drawback — getting back up!

They say that the best coaching is a good example.

Who wouldn’t benefit from bigger helpings of happiness, curiosity, and the focused tenacity of pursuing our passions?

EXERCISE:

In what ways could you benefit from some kindergarten coaching from the little ones in your life?

Feel free to share any nuggets of wisdom you have received over the years.

Bask in the wonderment of being a conscious part of the universe

Bask in the wonderment of being a conscious part of the universe.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Joshua Earle

Over the last 30 years, I’ve met thousands of other coaches who share a mutual commitment of supporting others to lead extraordinary lives.

One, named Jay Perry, has been a pioneer in the field and has influenced and inspired countless other coaches to pursue this meaningful and rewarding profession.

Jay came up with a concept he called a “wondershop” as an alternative to the more traditional workshops many of us have attended over the years.

Exploring new horizons and depths of living turned on many bright lights of insights for those who were lucky to participant.

EXERCISE:

Create your own outline for a wondershop you would like to attend.

Share this concept with people you admire and respect for their ideas to compliment your own.

Set aside some time with these folks to do some wandering and wondering around the universe.

Be a model instead of a mouthpiece. The best coaching is a good example

Be a model instead of a mouthpiece. The best coaching is a good example.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by krakenimages

Who do you want to lead and influence in your life? Perhaps there are co-workers and professional colleagues, or some family members you hope to inspire in a particular direction.

Where would you like them to go and what would you like them to do?

When you speak with them, what types of reactions and responses do you usually get?

How engaged and enrolled do they seem when your actions don’t always line up with your words?

EXERCISE:

Where and how do you model the behaviors you wish others to take in your various communities?

How can you adjust your coach approach to make an even bigger impact on those you wish to influence?

How do the good and bad examples set by others offer you lessons on how to live

How do the good and bad examples set by others offer you lessons on how to live?

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Kenny Eliason

When most people think about coaching, they visualize two people having a conversation, or someone speaking with a group such as a sports team. In both cases, speaking and listening seem integral to the process.

What if far more coaching occurred with a bit more show and a lot less tell?

In this case, our sense of sight and our ability to notice significant and subtle behaviors would play a more important role in what we take away and apply to our own efforts.

Our ability to explore the successful and unsuccessful results of our actions can then be applied to our future attempts.

EXERCISE:

Who are the people that set the best examples to help guide your life?

Where are your seeing bad examples to avoid?

How does an objective examination of the results of your efforts provide the best lessons to carry forward through your days?

Help the world by leaving a trail of who you are

“Help the world by leaving a trail of who you are.”

—Mark Nepo, Author of The Book of Awakening

Image from Unsplash by Universal Eye

A few weeks ago, I was taking my daily walk and my cellphone rang. My natural reaction is always to look at the screen to see if it is a family member or someone I know. The call was from a location in Wisconsin where my son lives and yet the number was unfamiliar. My gut somehow had me take the call.

The woman on the line began her comments “You probably don’t remember me but about 20 years ago you spoke to me about coaching. Our conversation made such an impression, I chose to pursue this as my career as well.”

Although we never engaged in a formal relationship, somehow this initial genuine conversation had altered her entire career trajectory.

For many coaches, coaching is not just we do, it’s who we are. Our daily efforts do not always leave an obvious trail and yet we are all called to keep walking this path to bring out the best in others.

EXERCISE:

How are you walking your own authentic path intending to help and serve others?

What are some of the visible and hidden trails you have pioneered through your efforts?

Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness.  Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.

“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.”

—August Wilson, 20th Century American Playwright

Image from Unsplash by Benjamin Davies

Consider the following statement on a one-to-five scale in which one is absolutely not and five is definitely yes.

I have a clear view of where I am and where I am going in my life.

This statement is part of my discovery process to help determine a potential client’s readiness to move their lives forward with a supportive coaching relationship.

For optimal success, these relationships benefit significantly through the deep and thoughtful process of examining and wrestling with their limiting beliefs and habits. Through careful illumination and generous self-forgiveness, each individual will most likely realize far more of their fullest personal and professional potential.

EXERCISE:

What steps can and will you take to more fully examine your own demons to help your angels sing? Consider picking up a copy of the book Taming your Gremlins by Rick Carson as a way to open this door of deeper discovery.

To explore your own readiness for coaching, please consider filling out my free Coaching Readiness Assessment.

“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.”

“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.”

—John C. Crosby, 20th Century American politician

Image from Unsplash by krakenimages

What is your personal and professional experience with mentoring and coaching?  How many brains have you picked and how many ears have listened to you before they pushed or pulled you in the right direction?

Where have you been on the other side of this equation where you offered to be there for others in your various communities?

What qualities made these relationships most effective and successful?  What lessons have made the most significant and lasting impact in your life?

EXERCISE:

Where and with whom can you be even more intentional and proactive in your mentoring and coaching efforts? Who can and will you be calling today to ask for or offer this valuable gift?