“When you counsel someone, you should appear to be

“When you counsel someone, you should appear to be reminding him of something he had forgotten, not of the light he was unable to see.”

—Baltasar Gracian, 17th Century Spanish Jesuit philosopher

Image from Unsplash by Nik MacMillan

Coach-ability is the quality of openness and receptivity an individual has to the input, ideas, and general support of another individual or experience.

We all wish to be helpful and contribute to others, but on some occasions our intentions seem to miss the mark or can be dismissed or rejected.

Encouragement and enrolling an individual in being far more receptive and coach-able works better when their own thoughts and ideas are brought forth or drawn out, rather than simply showing them the light of our wisdom.

EXERCISE:

Where in your life have your efforts to counsel others fallen on deaf ears? Who in your various professional or personal communities is dulling their axe on you? How would the wisdom of today’s quote generate far more coach-ability and progress through these valuable interactions?

“Mentors are like potato chips: You can’t have just one.”

“Mentors are like potato chips: You can’t have just one.”

—Eric Barker, author of Barking up the Wrong Tree

Image from lays.com

Whether you call them potato chips, crisps, or something else, potato chips are big business, accounting for sales north of ten billion dollars per year.

Countries around the world have unique flavors of chips – all adding to our waistlines! For example:

  • Canada: dill pickle, jalapeño, ketchup and wasabi
  • Indonesia: spicy chicken, nori seaweed, and salmon teriyaki
  • Columbia: lemon, chorizo, sirloin steak, and mushroom sauce
  • Japan: consommé, soy sauce, plum, chili, and scallop
  • United Kingdom: prawn cocktail, beef and onion, spicy sriracha, and aromatic curry

What flavors have you tried? What type of chips do you crave during those naughty moments of self indulgence?

Mentors and coaches, meanwhile, are almost always beneficial and support you in leading a happier, healthier, and more successful life.

EXERCISE:

Where might adding a few more mentors and coaches support your progress towards greater personal and professional achievement?

Even if you don’t formalize these relationships on a one-on-one level, consider the books, blogs, seminars, and other resources from such individuals and how they can support your efforts.

“If you do not change directions, you may end up where you are headed.

“If you do not change directions, you may end up where you are headed.”

—Lao Tzu, ancient Chinese philosopher

Image from Unsplash by Jammie Templeton

As part of my coaching discovery process, I ask prospective clients to answer a number of questions that help them fully examine the potential value of us working together.

These questions help them expand what is working, and impact what is not. For many individuals, the following question provokes considerable interest:

What do you expect to achieve in your professional
and personal life, given your current plans, strategies,
and general direction?

Given time to explore this question fully, most people see the need to change course if they are to fully realize their highest priority goals and not end up where they are currently heading.

EXERCISE:

Consider answering this question for yourself and discussing any insights and potential actions you plan to take with a friend, colleague, mentor, family member, or coach.

Feel free to reply to this post with what value you create.

“Wisdom is often times nearer when we stoop than when we soar.”

“Wisdom is often times nearer when we stoop than when we soar.”

—William Wordsworth, in The Excursion

Image from Unsplash by Mark Pan4ratte

Achieving new levels of professional and career success is almost always a primary reason people seek coaching. They of course wish to soar, create more value for others, and better provide for themselves and their families.

In the course of pursuing these goals, most people see considerable spill over into their personal life priorities, sometimes right within arms reach.

It turns out that wisdom is far nearer than they thought. Reaching out to serve their friends, colleagues, neighbors, and other communities helps them experience greater passion and purpose in their lives.

EXERCISE:

How might you gain far greater wisdom by doing a bit more stooping rather than soaring? What actions can and will you take today?

Questions can be like a lever

“Questions can be like a lever you use to pry open the stuck lid on a paint can.”

—Fran Peavey, late political Author

Image of The Coaching Habit book cover

Image from Amazon.com

Michael Bungay Stainer is a masterful coach whom I greatly admire. I’ve read most of his books and look forward to his daily “Great Work Provocation” blog, which you can explore for yourself at https://boxofcrayons.com/great-work-provocations-series/. His most recent work – The Coaching Habit – includes seven core questions that can help all of us pry open the lids of new possibilities in both our personal and professional worlds. I fully agree that the seven questions provided below will help us all say less, ask more, change the way we lead our lives, and better support those we wish to serve.

  1. The Kickstart Question: What’s on your mind?
  2. The AWE Question: And What Else?
  3. The Focus Question: What’s the real challenge here for you?
  4. The Foundation Question: What do you want?
  5. The Lazy Question: How can I help?
  6. The Strategic Question: If you are saying Yes to this, what are you saying No to?
  7. The Learning Question: What was most useful for you?

EXERCISE:

Please consider applying these questions to build your own coaching habit to open up your relationships and your world and lead a more vibrant and beautiful life.

You can also learn more about Michael’s books and his work at www.boxofcrayons.biz

 

Go where you’re celebrated not where you’re tolerated

“Go where you’re celebrated, not where you’re tolerated.”

—Author Unknown

Image of confetti topped by a sign that says, "Yeah!"

Image from Unsplash by raw pixel

The journey and process of becoming the best version of yourself is one of the primary reasons people seek the support of a coach. If it is good enough for Olympians and professional athletes, why not the rest of us, who also desire gold medal lives?

As we have discovered through our self-awareness and mindfulness efforts over the years of The Quotable Coach blog, our internal environment, including our perceptions and beliefs, has a great deal to do with our success.

At the same time our external environment, including our personal and professional communities, also has a tremendous impact on our views, our efforts, and of course, our success and life satisfaction.

EXERCISE:

What strategies and approaches can you use to shift and improve your communities to environments that celebrate rather than tolerate you and others?

If You are Not Willing to Learn

“If you are not willing to learn no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.”

—Zig Ziglar, 20th Century American Motivational Speaker

Image of a man holding a large lightbulb

Image from Unsplash by Riccardo Annandale

The term “Coach-ability” is used frequently in my profession.

Individuals who are coachable have a voracious appetite for their own growth and development, a passion for learning, and of course, an open and receptive disposition.

Perhaps no other mindset or quality is attributed to achieving greater success than having this unstoppable determination to advance oneself and the world at large.

The technical term for trying to coach, teach, or mentor another individual who is close and unwilling to receive assistance, on the other hand, is “nagging.”

Only you and your perceptual filters can seek and find the coaching from others and the world around you. After all, being nagged by those hoping to contribute to you is a real drag.

Please conserve your energies and efforts with others in your communities that see you this way.

EXERCISE:

In what ways can you be far more open and receptive to the contribution of others, and learn all you can from these relationships?

How can you facilitate and engender greater coach-ability and subsequent learning with others in your personal and professional communities?

Do the Best You Can

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

—Maya Angelou, late American poet, author, and civil rights activist

The process of coaching kicks many areas of life into a higher gear, given its experiential and interactive nature. Regardless of whether we are a senior citizen or infants, we all interact with the world, receive feedback, and then determine how to proceed in the future.

Through its emphasis on self-awareness, constructive feedback, and experiential learning, coaching expedites this process. It allows individuals and organizations to know more and do better at a more robust rate.

EXERCISE:

How and where can you do your best in a more intentional learning environment? How would the assistance of a teacher, mentor, or coach help you do and be better every day?

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 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?