Posts Tagged ‘coaching’

Coaching Through “I Don’t Know”

We live in current times of “I don’t know” –

  • I don’t know what I want to do with my life
  • I don’t know what I want to do with my career
  • I don’t know how to start my own business
  • I don’t know how to deal with my relationship (or any other area)
  • I don’t know how to ____________ (fill in the blank)

What keeps coaches in business is helping individuals to answer this question; leaders also need to help their workers to best answer this question when giving work tasks or when looking at their results of the work.

But do individuals really ‘not know’? Do we think we know the answer when asking this question, essentially setting someone up to be unclear? Does this question frustrate others in your circle when this statement is made (ex: I don’t know,, what do you want to do? I don’t know, I don’t know what I want to eat? et cetera).

From my experience, we do know; we’re just afraid to say it due to a fear of some kind:

  • fear of disappointing someone
  • fear of looking poorly in another person’s eye
  • fear of getting yelled at
  • fear of rejection
  • fear of failing
  • fear of looking inadequate in some way

How questions are phrased can lead to the “I don’t know” response; when someone feels caught ‘off-guard’ or is unsure how to respond, they are more likely to answer with that statement. When emotions come into play, which they do, this answer is more likely to be said. In remembering that it all comes down to perspectives and how each party sees the situation, this will determine a positive or a vague response.

One question to never ask someone is ‘why;’ it is vague and will elicit a vague response. A better question to ask is ‘what led you to do/say/not do, etc. ….. We can make the connections to our actions, or inaction’s, but why can lead to becoming defensive and striking back, or to either being silent or agreeing to something, when you really don’t want to. The end-result is never good as, over time, defenses build and silence leads to withdrawal and other emotional issues.

Here are three questions to ‘coach’ someone through the ‘I don’t know’s”

  1. What do you need right now?:  our actions are driven by our needs – the need to be recognized, the need to feel important, the need to feel accomplished, to name a few; we are often not so good with naming these, however. If we were to probe what the person needs, it can uncover the true source of what they really need/want, which can then be discussed for meeting that need
  2. If there were a solution, what would it (they) be?: helping the person to come up with possible solutions will help their brain to go into this mode, lessening the fight-or-flight area in the brain to not activate, allowing more ideas to arise. The ‘how’s’ will start to get answered, leading to feeling more positive about the situation which then leads to taking action
  3. If this situation can be amicably resolved, what choice would you make that would lead to it?: if we knew we would have a positive outcome to any situation we face, our brain would become more idea-oriented and come up with a host of ways to deal with both our work and our life. It also leads to feeling more confident that we can deal with them, which we most likely have in the past. Another win is helping the person to create a new reality and attracting more positive thinking for any area of their life

An added benefit to coaching through this question is that it creates more positive feelings between the two parties, lessening any defensive or negative encounters. Now, one will feel they can approach others and will get a win-win result. Isn’t that what we all want?

If you struggle with coaching through this question, or other patterns, let’s talk! contact us today at

Are You Planning to Go it Alone in the New Year?

Now that we are just a few weeks away from the ‘ball drop’ to announce the New Year, what is going to change for you? Do you plan to continue on as things have been or would you like to know the secret to having and doing more? Well, here it is: get help.

I think it’s great that we have free will and can do/be anything we want. But there does come a point when we can’t do things on our own, particularly when it comes to moving past the struggles that have dogged us repeatedly. You say you want a new job but haven’t; you say you want a promotion but haven’t; you say you want to finally start that new business, but haven’t. You may have great ideas and intentions but, somehow, they don’t lead to results. And who holds you accountable to get them done?

This is when it is time to reach out and ask for the help you need. A coach (or consultant) can be that help to get you digging deeper into what you truly want, what has been preventing you from doing so, helping you to set really good, manageable goals, and then provide you the accountability until you reach them. Sometimes it can be tough love when you learn that the coach is not a softie  – you say you want something and they are there to make sure you do. Frankly, that why you hire them.

I think being held accountable to someone is a big factor in really getting to work and working the plan you’ve come up with; I myself  have worked with several coach’s and know how beneficial the process is. If you don’t, then you will stay exactly where you are – do you want to be looking back on your career a year from now and find you are in the same place? As Einstein said: “the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over but expecting different results. Why not make 2016 your best year yet and partner with an expert who can help you ensure it is.

If you’d like help on moving forward in your career or business, contact us today for a Complementary Discovery Session to get started:

Ready to Set 2014 on Fire?

Happy December!  With only a couple weeks left of this year, now is the perfect time to plan and prepare so you can hit the ground running in 2014 and blaze into success.  What you do now is predictive of how your new year will start; I think it’s a misnomer that the beginning of the year is the time to set goals for what you want to accomplish throughout the year.  This typically leads to starting but dying out quickly.  Setting a goal is great; after all, it is the outcome you desire for some partt of your life.  But just having a goal is not enough – you need to define all aspects of what it will take to get you there as well as being prepared for any roadblocks, either internal or external, that will arise.

Preparation is the key to action as it leads you towards your desire; you won’t be confused on what to do or where to go.  Setting big goals sets the stage but taking massive action completes the scene, so to speak.  If you’re ready to set 2014 on fire, here are 5 steps you can take right now to get you there:

1.  Review this past year’s accomplishments – why they worked, what resources you used, support you received – and build off of those  You want to rinse and repeat these activities.  Challenge yourself to see how you could take that accomplishment and push it to a higher level; for example, if you spoke at a network meeting, go for a speaking gig at a conference or an event.

2. Likewise, review what you didn’t get accomplished or activities that didn’t work and review them to see if you missed opportunities, if you didn’t have the right market/resources/support, or if you allowed fears to get in your way.  Determine if they are still important to you, as needs and desires can change, and let go of what no longer feels good.   With those that are left, decide what you could do to make them work in this new year.

3.Set big, bodacious goals – really challenge yourself this year; this can be in regards to going for that promotion, taking the plunge and starting a business, or setting a money goal.  Big goals need big actions to get them done so really stretch yourself  – we usually can accomplish more than we think; you’ll never know if you don’t go so move forward and look at the bigger picture for what’s possible.

4. Banish the fears – we all have them – fear of failure, fear of not being good enough, fear of being rejected, etc.;  even procrastination stems from a fear (usually includes one of those listed).  Once you identify those thoughts/feelings that hold you back, you can do something to banish them forever.  Challenge your thoughts and don’t allow yourself to perpetuate negative ones through your internal talk.

5. Get support – none of us can do it alone so get some help to review your goals and to keep you accountable to complete them.  You might find a mentor, enlist the help of a family member of friend, or you might consider hiring a coach who can help you to think bigger, help you set and strategize your goals, and give you accountability and support.

One last step – NEVER GIVE UP!  Set the vision, focus on it, and take a cue from Kaizen:  small, consistent steps lead to good habits and to reaching those goals your way.  If you follow these steps, you will have your plan set and will be ready to set the new year on fire!


If you want help to set goals, create a strategy that will work for you – your terms, your way, and be fully supported along the way then contact us today to get started.

What Exactly is a “Wantologist”??

I found a recent article rather amusing; the title of the article was, “Outsourcing Your Life,” which  related various ways that people are using the services of others.  Most of these outsourcing services seem rather bizarre and extravagant, such as someone to maintain a grave site, shop for your food or train your child to ride a bike; you can even rent-a-friend or rent-a- mom (or grandma).  But one “occupation” listed raised my eyebrows since it closely parallels the services I, and countless others like me, provide.  The title of “Wantologist” has me scratching my head.  You can hire someone to help you figure out what you want!

What has me confused is the occupational name – wantologist.  To me, it is no different than what  I, and my fellow coaches, do to help people who help in navigating areas in their life.  Helping individuals who ‘want’ a new job or ‘want’ a relationship’  (or a slew of other needs) are areas that coaches work with.  In researching this definition, it seems to actually be a new term coined this year and taken from the coaching world, but renamed so that those who reject many of the societal values can embrace these services.  Traditional titles, that have held fast for years, are no longer trendy.

For me, I get clients in daily who have difficulty in deciding what it is exactly that they want in regards to their career path or for their life;  they feel ‘something’ is missing but they are not exactly sure what.  Through our work, we have to distinguish between a want and a need to help them expand their mind and to focus on the importance of what they uncover.  I help them to see the possibilities‘ of what it is they want and then how to go about getting them.

Regardless of the name, I respect the services they provide but why do we need such odd names.  If that is the case, I guess I can call myself a “Possibilitologist!”

What do you think?  I’d love to hear your thoughts or experiences!

Do Titles Matter?

During a discussion with the leadership class I’m teaching, the subject of job titles came up, resulting in a lively exchange.  Some opinions were that titles do not matter and are “over-rated”; for others, titles are important and strived for.  Recent studies on the subject are finding that a good majority of employees – up to 68% – stated that they would take a job promotion without the pay in order to have the title.  The conclusion is that if employees want to advance in their career, the job title will enhance their opportunities.  If you aspire to be a Director, it is beneficial to have Director experience but the title helps you get noticed and stand out.

Of course, not all titles equate in the same way as different organizations have different ways of classifying, and naming, positions.  For instance, I have a friend who is a VP in their company but their title is actually Manager.  Would this equate to a higher level if the Manager title is on their resume, when a Director or Vice President title is the one being staffed?  In this day and age where software is being used to scan resumes to see if they are a “fit” for an open position, the actual title would get picked up faster than if not.

But another aspect about titles is if there is a “fit” between the way a person behaves and the title.  I have heard from numerous people I deal with who feel that their boss does not act like a manager, supervisor, director, CEO or the like.  Having a title is something to be earned; but there is a also a necessity to step into the role itself.  That means directing, leading, persuading, communicating, problem-solving, vision-sharing, empowering and coaching; these are the skills – though not inclusive- of skills a leader needs to have.  In the end, titles do matter.  What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your stories.

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