Cultivating Confidence Part 1

Cultivating Confidence Part 1

From time to time I ask my audience what it is that they’re struggling with the most and every single time they come back with the same answer.

Confidence, whether it’s confidence to start a business, confidence to go to the next level, confidence to ask for what they need in a relationship, confidence to succeed in a personal goal. It always comes back to confidence.

What is confidence?

I thought I would try and tackle what is actually a huge thing in this short blog. Confidence, for the purposes of this blog comes from a deep understanding of yourself, of ourselves. And I’m constantly amazed at how many of us have not had an opportunity to experience a real deep internal look at what’s most important to us as an individual and not part of a family unit or part of an organization or a part of some other group.

This is a process that I use with every single one of my clients. If you work with me then we go through this process, regardless of how self-aware you are or not. I’m going to walk you through it very quickly just to give you an idea of how you can tap into what’s really truly important and unique to you.

We are just a combination of lots of different experiences, lots of belief systems, lots of values and decisions and memories that we’ve made that have got us to the point that we are now and that can be difficult to unravel.

Just a moment in time

Before I walk you through this process I need to make you aware that this is just a snapshot in time. And what is most important to you right now maybe different to what was most important to you a few years ago and it may be different to what you find most important in the future. What I want you to be aware of is to get comfortable with maybe exploring this process regularly. Certainly if you have a big life-changing event then do it again but also just check in with it from time to time because things do evolve.

What is important to YOU?

I believe this is where our confidence starts from. It’s about knowing what’s most important to you, knowing those key core values that make you who you are. If I was to ask a roomful of people what their core values are they would tell me a whole load of really cool words.  They would say things like security and love and compassion and contribution and health and wealth, education, knowledge.

They would give me a whole lot of different words. But as I work through this process things will start to become a little bit more granular and distilled because a lot of those words that come straight off the top of our heads are things that we have been told are important. We’ve got a lifetime of being told what we should believe and what we should value. This is about laying all of that aside and actually going to a place where you can understand exactly what’s most important to you. 

What can you not live without?

Let’s get started. First and foremost what can you not live without? What physical things and people and places could you not live without? Because this is going to give us an insight into what’s most important to you. So have a think about that, what’s most important to you? What could you not live without? That’s a physical thing; a thing, a person or a place. 

Then the next part is think about what does that thing, person or place give you? What does it do for you? What do you get from it?  Maybe it’s your favorite place and it gives you peace or maybe it gives you a sense of adventure or maybe it gives you a challenge. Now we’re starting to look at those values type words, those words that elicit some sort of emotion or feeling and are not a physical thing. So not things like money – money gives you the ability to do things that you may find are connected to your core values. 

 

First of all we’re looking at what can you not live without. Next we’re looking at what does that thing person or place give you? Usually that’s where we stop, we’ve got a list of values words and we’re like yeah okay so these are the things that are most important to me. And in that room full of people, (because I do this on a regular basis in a group) I will have a number of people who have the same words. Lots of times you get love, you get health, you get security, you get belonging. Lots of times people will share common values but the next step in the process is to write your definition for what that word means to you.

Time to define YOUR values

Now is where things start to get interesting because I might have four or five people in a room with the same values word but I will bet you that their definition of that word is different.

The meaning of the words are actually your vision of that value and once you’ve done that, when you’re sitting looking at your values words that came from things that you can’t live without and your definition of those words, then you should be looking at a piece of paper that’s staring back at you and you can look at it and go yeah, that feels like me.

 

 

Know what is important to YOU

And that is the first step towards cultivating confidence. It’s knowing what’s most important to you and what that means to you. From that place it becomes your guiding light or your moral compass in anything that you want to do going forward.

From that place you can look at the goals that you’re setting, personal, professional and say okay, does that really fit with what’s most important to me?

I hope that’s been useful. When I when I work with clients through this process it’s far more in-depth and we take it much much deeper and further but this is the first step towards cultivating more confidence for you. 

Let me know how you get on with defining your value words and using them to set your goals.

 

And to find out more about working with Lorraine on a one-to-one basis, please click below.

The meaning of communication is the response you get

The meaning of communication is the response you get

Let me ask you, have you ever put a post out on Facebook or social media or sent an email or even had a conversation with a friend that just didn’t go according to plan and you got a really unexpected response? Has that ever happened to you?

It happens a lot with my clients and when I’m working with teens. You know, they will say one thing and then they get an unexpected response that causes them to have a bit of a reaction and it can lead to conflict.

So let me ask you, what does this statement mean to you?

“The meaning of communication is the response that you get.”

I’ll share what it means to me. It means that if we take responsibility for the response that we get from our communication, it puts us in a position of being able to change that response. If we just put out our communication and expect other people to be able to understand it and not take responsibility if they don’t, then we could end up in a bit of a stalemate.

 

The frustration of engineers

For years I was an engineer and then I was a manager of engineers. When you’re an engineer it can be frustrating when you’re trying to explain technical information in a simple way. My team used to get frustrated with me because I would send their emails back to them, telling them,

“You can’t assume that people have the same level of knowledge as you or that people are looking at this problem, at this situation, through the same lens that you are.”

 

And they would get frustrated and say but they are technical as well and should understand this stuff. But I sent the emails back to them over and over and said,

“You have to explain this simply so that when somebody reads it they’re not made to feel stupid. They’re not made to feel less than because they don’t understand the terminology that you’re using, then we will be able to move forward and be able to succeed in our common goals.”

Take responsibility for your communication

So if you take this same approach in your communication, by taking responsibility for the response that you get and then changing how you communicate, then you’ll find that your interactions will go a whole lot more smoothly.

Remember nobody likes to be made to feel like they don’t understand and nobody likes to be made to feel less than. Next time you’re going to post something on social media or send an email at work or have a conversation with a team member, just have a think about the meaning of your communication is the response that you get and that you’re in control of changing that communication.

Let me know how you get on.

 

And to find out more about working with Lorraine on a one-to-one basis, please click below.

Leaning in to build resilience

Leaning in to build resilience

Let me share a little theory I have about the power that we give emotions, particularly negative emotions, and why I think that might be.

This is inspired by the work of Brené Brown and she talks about leaning into the discomfort of a situation, and that inspired me into working with this theory of how we deal differently with what we determine to be positive emotions and negative emotions.

Types of Emotions

For the purposes of this demonstration, positive emotions are things like happiness or excitement or joy; and negative emotions would be shame or sadness or fear.

The Positive Emotion Curve

If we have a situation that triggers a positive emotion then this how the emotion happens. Let’s say it’s happiness.

So we have a starting point, so something triggers that happiness. We start to get happy, and that feeling grows. It doesn’t start off instantaneous. It actually grows. We get signals to our body that tells us to start acting as if we are happy and that feeling grows and grows and grows.

But it doesn’t grow exponentially, at some point it stops because otherwise we would explode with happiness.  

So at some point this curve starts to even out and then it will dissipate because we don’t stay happy all the time.

 

We don’t get one trigger and stay in that emotion all the time.

 

That’s generally the bell curve of a positive emotion.

What happens with Negative Emotions?

Where I think we start to run into trouble with negative emotions because we are taught from a very early age, from people who have the best of intentions, to avoid negative emotions.

If you think about when we were children, when we fell down and hurt ourselves, or if something happened to make us sad or afraid, then our well-meaning parents and caregivers told us to do something else, to distract ourselves, to cheer up because they don’t want to see us in pain. I don’t want to see my children in pain.

But what happens over time is that we never get to experience negative emotions so we become a bit afraid of them.

The Negative Emotion Avoidance

And this is where my theory is. Something happens that is going to trigger a negative emotion, we have the trigger, the process begins, and we notice that we have that negative emotion, but because we have all the conditioning from childhood that says avoid avoid avoid we distract ourselves and we do something else.

So we never have the experience of the fact that negative emotions also follow this curve.

Yes, they build and yes, it’s uncomfortable but they also will dissipate.

So we are so afraid of them that we run away, we never actually end up experiencing them.

Lean Into Negative Emotions, experience the Curve

And when you do experience the negative emotion curve, it’s incredibly empowering to know that you can survive.

You can survive leaning into the discomfort of negative emotions.

So try it, the next time that you are feeling sad, stick with it, lean into the discomfort of it and have the experience that you will survive and the next time that you experience negative emotions it won’t be so bad.

 

Let me know how you get on….

 

And to find out more about working with Lorraine on a one-to-one basis, please click below.

5 ways a coach helps you succeed

5 ways a coach helps you succeed

What are five ways a coach helps you to succeed?

I’m going to tell you five techniques and approaches that a coach uses. You can apply these to your own challenges and problems so that you can succeed better without a coach. Or you know what to expect when you hire one.  

So what are the five things that you can expect when you work with a coach.

 

1. What do you want to change?

First of all your coach is going to need to understand and really get to grips with what it is that you want to change, because coaching is all about changing.

“Moving you from where you are now to where you want to be.”

A description of coaching that I absolutely hate but it is true.

So the first thing that a coach is going to do is to understand what it is that you want to change.

 

2. Change your focus from problems to solutions

The second thing that your coach is going to do for you is help you to really shift that problem focus to a solution focus. Usually when we want to change something, we’re focused on the problem.  There is actually good reason for this that is backed by neuroscience. You see we are all predisposed to have a negative bias; it’s what keeps us safe, so if you think that maybe you can be a bit of a negative-nelly at times, relax, you’re doing exactly what you are designed to do!

A solution focus is also known as a goal focus and that’s why coaches are always working on goals.

So your coach will help move what you want to change from a problem to a goal or solution.

 

3. Core Values – You know this, right?

Now the third thing that your coach is going to do, which seems a little bit backwards, is that they’re going to give you an experience of understanding what your core values are.

You may think that you know what your core values are.

I have been doing this for 11 years, so believe me when I tell you that what you think your core values are and what they actually are, is more often different than you would expect.

There are reasons for this difference.

Basically we’re given our first set of core values by our parents, our teachers, our influencers and our peers. Then, as we get older and as we have our own life experiences, they start to change.

Often when it comes to the point where clients feel stuck enough to engage my services it means that there’s a bit of a values conflict going on.

So I will always give my clients an experience to find out what their core values are. This is important because that might have an impact on the fourth thing.

So before we get ahead of ourselves, number three is understand what your core values are.

 

4. Goal Alignment

So the fourth way a coach will help you success is to take your core values information and check in with the goal that we created in the second step.  

Let’s make sure that your goals are aligned with your core values, because once you’ve had that core values experience, sometimes the goals have to change so that they remain aligned with your values.

 

5. Progress and actions

The fifth thing that you can expect from your coach? Well that is progress. They will work with you to help design small manageable actions that are going to take you closer and closer to that values aligned goal.

 

So there you have it. Five things that your coach will help you with or that you can have a go at working on yourself.

  1. Understand the change you want to make.
  2. Shift it from a problem focus to a solution focus.
  3. Understand what’s most important to you.
  4. Check in with your values and make sure that your goal is aligned and then
  5. Design those actions that are going to move you towards that goal.

 

Let me know how you get on….

 

And to find out more about working with Lorraine on a one-to-one basis, please click below.

3 Common Coaching Myths…..busted

3 Common Coaching Myths…..busted

I’ve been in the coaching field for 11 years this year, and over that time I have witnessed the growth of both the industry, and the myths that surround it.

 

My passion is coaching, and I want more people to embrace it both as clients, and as coaches, but I also want them to enter into coaching with their eyes wide open. I have been challenged by my friend, client and colleague Debbi Carberry to become more vocal about the truth about both coaching, and the online business of it.

 

Since I know that a number of my subscribers are coaches, or are planning to formalise their coaching at some point, I thought it would be useful to address some of these myths.

 

Here are 3 of the most common myths I see regularly:

 

3 Common Coaching Myths

 

Myth 1: You need to be an expert to coach

One of the things that I come up against whenever I am talking to people about coaching is that you need to be an expert in your field in order to be a coach.

 

This is absolutely not the case. In fact, you could argue that you can actually coach better if you are NOT an expert in the field that you client is looking for develop in.

 

How so?

 

Well, coaching is a set of skills that are not ‘context dependent’. That means that you can apply the same skills in ANY environment, in any context.

 

How does that work?

 

Well it works because at the heart of the philosophy of coaching is that the client has all the answers.

 

When you truly believe this, and work from this place, then you use the skills you have to elicit those answers from the client.

 

This has an interesting result for the coach and the client.

 

First up the client – when they embark on a coaching experience, it’s because they need help to find the answers so they expect their coach to tell them what to do. What actually happens is that their coach will help them to come up with their own solution which is far more compelling for the client.

 

What happens for the coach is a little different…

 

When they are not required to know the answer, but are confident in their ability to elicit the answer, there is no pressure to have to know anything other than the core skills of coaching. This is why even brand new coaches can get amazing life changing results for their clients.

 

So, this myth is BUSTED. You DO NOT have to be an expert to be a great coach.

 

Myth 2: You can’t make money as a coach

 

Aah this old chestnut.

 

Well the short answer is yes of course you can make money as a coach, otherwise the industry would have died many years ago, when in fact it continues to grow.

 

What might be a truer statement is that some coaches find it hard to make money.

 

With coaching being such a client led process and each client’s goals being unique, it can be a challenge for coaches to communicate their value in order to attract clients who pay well.
It can also be challenging for coaches, who are inherently ‘behind-the-scenes’ people who just want to help, to step up and promote themselves and their services.

 

But I have found this to be true in all ‘helping professions’.

 

The bottom line is that you need to DUC to make money from coaching…

 

    • Discover the results of your coaching
    • Understand the value that it has for your clients
    • Communicate it in a way that they can connect to

Is this myth busted? I would love to say it is, but I may have to concede that for some, it is busted.

 

Myth 3: Everyone can benefit from coaching

The final myth for today is that everyone is coachable – or everyone can benefit from coaching.

 

Sadly, that is not the case.

 

In order for coaching to be effective, the client must WANT to change. That’s why some coaching in organisations is less than effective.

 

If you have someone whose manager has sent them to be coached and they haven’t chosen coaching for themselves, then they may resist the process and therefore not get the results that they could otherwise.

 

That is why it is so important to pre-qualify your clients.

 

You see the best clients get the best results, so the best clients are the ones who are really motivated to change. And as their coach, you cannot want it more for them than they want it for themselves.

 

Time after time I see coaches, particularly new ones, settling for any client to work with and then being disappointed in the results of the relationship.

 

Instead of realising that the client wasn’t coachable, they begin to question their skills as a coach.

 

It’s a tricky catch-22 and the way out is to be very selective about your clients.

 

Don’t hunt them, you need to hire them.

 

You need to work out who the very best and most motivated clients are that you can help and position yourself for them so that they can find you, rather than attracting clients that are simply not coachable.

 

So this myth is busted – not everyone can benefit from coaching.

10 Questions to Ask Your Coach Training Provider Before You Enrol

10 Questions to Ask Your Coach Training Provider Before You Enrol

Just as not all coaches are created equally, neither are coaching schools and training programs.  Here are 10 questions to consider or ask your coach training provider, before you enroll on your coach training certification.

1. Is the program accredited? And for how many hours?

Whilst accreditation is not a requirement for coaches, it is advisable to select a coach training program that is. This means that the program has been assessed and regularly reviewed by an external body. As with all industries that are not regulated though, there are some pitfalls to look out for.

      • Just as not all coach training programs are not created equally, neither are accreditation bodies. The requirements for accreditation vary widely from organisation to organisation, and some courses that are accredited are not as comprehensive as others.  It pays to review the criteria for each level of accreditation to ensure that you investing in a credible and comprehensive program.  The most widely respected coach accreditation body is the International Coach Federation.
      • Even with ICF accreditation there are a number of things to be aware of. There are 3 main paths to achieving credentialing with ICF; ACTP, ACSTH and the Portfolio path.  ICF requires a minimum number of coach specific training hours as a major part of credential application and those courses that are CCE or ACSTH marked may not have the minimum number of 60 hours. It pays to check if credentialing is something that you are planning for. (ACTP courses all meet that criteria)

2. How is the training delivered?

Is the course delivered in person, or online?  Check if there is a requirement for you to attend any live workshops or trainings as part of your certification. This may mean additional costs both in time and money.  It’s also important to understand how much live training is provided with online courses; are you left to study alone, or do you have mandatory class time that you need to commit to?

3. How big are the class sizes? What level of attention will I get?

Whenever you are learning a new skill, the amount of feedback that you receive whilst you are honing it, will directly impact your results.  Think of a mass exercise class vs working 1:1 with a personal trainer – the more individualised the attention, the better your form, and therefore the more confident you can be about your results.  Check to make sure that the class sizes are small, and that you get plenty of time to ask questions of your trainer.

4. What is the curriculum?

A better question may be, what is the focus of the program? Your coach training provider should be able to provide you with an outline of the topics covered so that you can see if the course fits with how you wish to use your coaching skills.  

5. What experience do the trainers have? Does the provider help you with the business end of coaching?  To what degree

Do not assume that because someone is teaching a subject that they are an expert in the subject.  Check that the lead trainer is, in fact, qualified and experienced.  Also, look for references or testimonials from their coaching clients as well as their students; teaching and coaching are not the same thing.

How much real world coaching experience has your trainer had?  And in what fields? If you are planning to launch an Executive Coaching Practice, and your trainer has never coached in a corporate environment, is that important to you? Be aware of the level of experience of your trainers, and if this information is not readily available, then ask.

Gaining your skills and certification is one thing, but what do you do with it after that?  Arguably a larger learning curve for a lot of coaches is how to take those skills and earn a living from them by consistently attracting quality clients, and learning the skills that make a business profitable.  Does your coach training provider offer this type of training as part of your course, and if so, to what degree?  

6. What practical 1:1 feedback will I get on my coaching skills?

Getting feedback on your skills as a coach is key to becoming a masterful change maker, and supervised coaching sessions are one way to receive feedback, as is peer coaching where you are coached and coach your fellow students. Be sure to ask how much feedback you will receive on your coaching skills, and by whom.

7. Can you get support after the training is complete?

Just as passing your driving test is the gateway to really learning to drive, your coaching qualification heralds the beginning of your coaching career, and there are bound to be bumps in the road as you shift into gear.  Will the organisation offer you support as you grow your coaching experience and business, and at what cost?

8. What is involved in achieving certification?

If completion of the course materials is the only prerequisite to achieving certification, then the value of the qualification is questionable. A credible course should require a level of assessment and evaluation of the coach’s skills before issuing certification. Be clear on what is required to graduate. Stringent criteria is not a bad thing, (and is a requirement of ICF accredited courses.)

9. How much does it cost?

What is the total cost of the course and options for payment? Do you need to pay extra for assessments? Is there a payment plan available? And is there a surcharge for paying by installment?  Are there necessary textbooks or course materials that are not covered in the advertised cost?

10. Is there a refund policy?

Sometimes, even with the best of intentions by both parties, things turn out to not be a great fit.  What is the refund policy?  Can you get your money back if it turns out that the course or trainer is not for you?  Also, what will happen if you are unable to complete the course due to personal reasons?  Can you receive a partial refund, or be credited with time to complete any necessary live training?

Make a list of what is most important to you in a training provider and add more questions as necessary to ensure that you choose a great fit for your development into Life Coaching.

Embarking on a coach training certification is exciting and something to look forward to. By asking these questions at a minimum, you can be sure that you are entering into this stage of your career with your eyes open.

 

Keen to see how Coach School’s Certified Professional Coach certification program stacks up to these questions?  Find out here