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Archive for January, 2012

Give Your Presence

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Last year, (I can’t believe it’s that time already), I received many beautiful presents from my family and loved ones. Despite all these wonderful gifts that had clearly been thought about, I couldn’t help but feel that one of the greatest gifts we can give to each other, including our coaching clients, is not only our time but also the gift of our presence.

In fact as in the training of coaches presence is by far one of the greatest influences on our connection and relationships with our clients. Without presence, made up of a number of qualities that coaches embrace and which become part of who a coach is (warmth, humility, rapport, wholeheartedness, compassion, creativity, honesty, openness, non-judgmental). Without these qualities we might as well say goodbye to coaching that has any chance of making a real difference or impact.

Without presence coaching just won’t have the impact and connection needed. What other qualities would you say contribute to a coach’s presence? When we feel someone’s presence it is indeed a gift. We receive something very special which allows the individual to move into a deeper connection and engagement with themselves. Often receiving and being in the space of another presence gives us permission to really be ourselves. To let down the masks and the defences we so often hold tightly in place in our roles and on our jobs.

Presence should not be overlooked in the development and growth of the coach. By far and beyond all coaching skills and techniques taught to coaches, presence in my book stands hands above the rest. To me it’s the root of a coaches foundation. Perhaps best expressed in a quote by therapist and author Irvin Yaloom who says in his book, Beyond Therapy, “technique is what we use until the therapist arrives.”

1.  What gifts have you received through the presence of someone else’s presence?

2.  How does your own presence show up in the world and in your interactions with others?

3.  What would be different about your coaching if you shared more of your presence?

4.  What do you think about the Yaloom quote? How far does technique get in the way of the coaching?

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Free Personal Life Coaching

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Did you know that one of the best ways to get free coaching is by keeping a journal? In many ways a journal is a personal coach. By writing a journal we can access many of the benefits of coaching for free.

Here are five reasons why your journal can be your own personal coach:

1.  Writing in a journal allows you to slow down and hear your own voice, thoughts and reflections

2.  A journal is a safe place to really be yourself without censorship

3.  By writing freely and getting your thoughts down on paper you will often lead yourself to better ideas, new perspective and valuable insights

4.  You can access your journal 24 hours, no appointment necessary

5.  Its a great way of recognising recurring themes, patterns and behaviours and bringing them into sharp focus

What are the additional benefits or ways in which journaling can offer you free Personal Life Coaching?

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To Be List

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

The start of a new year is always a great time to write out a yearly list of the things we want to achieve in the coming year. But over the last couple of days as I went about reviewing my year, I began to notice a recurring trend. So much of what I had achieved in 2011 was to do with work or external achievements. By writing in my journal and slowing myself right down I noticed that many of the things I was congratulating myself for having achieved were things I did and not about who I wanted to be.

With my 50th birthday only 5 months away I knew 2012 has to be different. So that’s when I came up with the idea of a ‘To Be List’ as an alternative to the usual To Do List.

Grab a pen and paper or a blank page on your computer screen. Write the words TO BE LIST at the top of your page and for 5 minutes freely write down all the things and ways you want To Be this year, instead of the things you want to do.

Your list might include being more of the qualities of kindness, compassion, fun, or more honest. Making it onto your To Be List might be the desire to be more rested and relaxed, have more moments of stillness, more connections with others. Think about how your To Be’s impact not only on how you feel but also on how others feel. How could more random acts of kindness resonate and impact on others around you?

As you move through your year keep adding items to your To Be List. This list is a great reminder of how you want to live your life in a way that feels authentic and meaningful. Living life from this place will be far more satisfying and rewarding than relying on external accomplishments and rewards. You’ll also notice that by generating and applying your To Be List you’ll also be activating and putting into practice many of your own core values, which often get pushed aside or overlooked in pursuit of other goals.

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I Go Among Trees and Sit Still

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Recently I gave myself the challenge of learning a poem off by heart. It’s been over a decade or two since I’ve  a poem or a piece of text off by heart.

I made a note in my journal of this beautiful poem by Wendell Berry which I had come across during some random researching on the internet.  A Sunday morning lying in bed, reading it through and learning it line by line was deeply satisfying. I typed it out and added one of my favourite tree images to inspire my connection with the piece.

Have a read of the poem and see what you think. The questions at the end may also help you to explore your thinking and reflections about the piece. Use the image of the Tree to visualise and meditate on the words. The visual image really helped me to connect with the words.

I go among trees and sit still.

All my stirring becomes quiet

Around me like circles on water. 

My tasks lie in their places 

Where I left them, asleep like cattle…

Then what I am afraid of comes.

I live for a while in its sight.

What I fear in it leaves it,

And the fear of it leaves me.

It sings, and I hear its song.

By Wendell Berry from Sabbaths, 1987, North Point Press

  1. When you look at the image of this tree how does it make you feel and what does it stimulate you to think about?
  2. Which lines of the poem resonates with you most?
  3. Which of your own tasks or items on your to do list lie in places that could be best left to sleep forever in your own life right now?
  4. Where and how do you find stillness in your day or week?
  5. Is there a tree from your earlier life that causes you to stop, pause and reconnect?
  6. What are you afraid of?

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