What is Coaching

Coaching in a nutshell is opening peoples eyes to the choices they have to get the most out of their lives, careers, businesses, or relationships.

As we travel through our lives we have a habit of restricting our choices in what we are capable of, either by listening to people that tell us we cannot do something or as a consequence of a failure resulting in us telling ourselves that we cannot do something. This dismissing certain paths is designed to improve our chances of success by allowing us to concentrate on activities that interest us. 

However these restricting behaviours can prevent us from trying activities that we may be successful in. Coaching challenges these restrictive behaviours and gives you the permission to try out that activity or idea that you have always wanted to give a go.

The Dance

Knowing when not to speak is a crucial approach when coaching. It sounds cliched and a little obvious, but it is not as straight forward as it seems. First you have to establish the rhythm of the coaching session. Create an environment where the client is able to speak with freedom. 

I start with my introduction that is often a positive enquiry, followed by either a request for a recap or an introduction to the process of coaching depending on which session it is.  What happens next is dependant on how the client is feeling. If they are relaxed then I sight back and give them the space to take the session where they want to take it. If they are a little tense and self conscious, I will start a gentle holding conversation to allow them to relax into the session.  The important thing is that we both enjoy the conversation.

At the beginning of a coaching relationship there is always a period of self consciousness, and I find by having a gentle holding conversation allows that self consciousness disperse quite quickly as we get immersed in the conversation. 

Once we have both relaxed I can then pick up on the rhythm of the conversation and allow the quality questions I want to ask come to the fore. I find the most useful and insightful questions are the ones that enter my consciousness first. If I over think them or force them they are less useful and can distract the client from where they want to go. 

As the rhythm develops I find myself using the silence between the clients statements to ask the questions themselves. By not filling the silence with my own thoughts it allows the client space to examine what they have just stated and they ask their own quality question. When this happens it is wonderful to see as they examine and critique their own thoughts.

Don’t get me wrong I don’t sit there in silence and let my client do all the talking. The art of silence is knowing when to get the most out of the coaching session. Once I have relaxed into the rhythm of the conversation and can respond to the clues from the client to know when to fill the silence and when to give them the space. It is often described as the coaching dance. 

We can all benefit from being coached. Having that space to plan and evaluate our present and future lives is so important if we want to succeed.

Get in touch if you want to make a difference to you life. Email matt@mattycoach71.com

Pay Attention to Your Mental Health

It is scientifith1tf681xlcally proven that if you are stressed, distressed or depressed your productivity and creativity decreases and can even stop.

We all have those times when our workload outstrips our resources, when this happens our stress levels rise and our productivity grinds to a halt. Despite this we feel we have no choice but to carry on.

This results in a drop in productivity, an increase in risk to your organisation (you are more likely to make a mistake) and you pay the price in physical and mental exhaustion.

The human body is amazing and can deal with high levels of physical and mental stress, so you can get away with this lifestyle for a while. However we are not super human and eventually we will reach our capacity.

Nobody chooses to put themselves or their organisation at risk.

Working long hours and not taking breaks should not be worn as a badge of honour, they should be considered as reckless.

Here are some ideas for reducing your stress levels and increasing your productivity:

  • Get enough sleep before you go to work (on average most people need about 8 hours but you know how much you need to feel refreshed)
  • Have a nutritious breakfast
  • Plan your day (to the best of your ability, plan for what you know will happen and leave flexibility for the unexpected)
  • Make sure you plan breaks (make sure you take them)
  • Make sure your breaks are not used to do paperwork (make them sociable and involve eating and drinking)
  • Ask for help if you need it
  • If you are overwhelmed, stop, take stock, gather the information you need and prioritise your plans
  • When you are thirsty drink water
  • Eat when you are hungry
  • Review your list and tick off what you have achieved
  • At the end of your working day go home (you should not be working for more than 12 hours)
  • When you are at home talk about your day, but don’t do any work. (keep away from emails and laptops, it can wait until you are at work)
  • By all means have a drink of alcohol but don’t over do it and don’t rely on it.
  • Make time in your day for 20-30 minutes of exercise evenĀ if it is a brisk walk to the sandwich shop at lunchtime.

Remember you are the most precious person in your life, how can you look after the ones you love if you haven’t looked after yourself.