WANTED: 2 New Clients to help with certificate

We are looking for 2 new business clients to help us with applying for business coaching certification with a different institute. The training element is complete, but we need to carry out a business assessment followed by the preparation of a coaching plan.

Since this involves some business details being disclosed to the Center for Executive Coaching (so below the usual standard of confidentiality) we are prepared to offer the assessment, plan and 6 months of business coaching at a substantially reduced rate.

This offer is only suitable for CEOs and business owners, ie for those running a business in any sector within the West Midlands.

If this of interest, please use the form below and we will contact you.

Lessons From a Green Singing Duck

Following the death of Keith Harris, there have been clips of Orville’s Song appearing among the tributes. I am tempted to say that they are mercifully short (strange that nobody has covered it, other than a German cow in translation).

The BBC has a clip of the duo on Top of the Pops.

Not my favourite song, but it holds some lessons:

Orville: I wish I could fly way up to the sky, but I can’t

Harris: You can

Orville: I can’t. ¬†I wish I could see what folks see in me, but I can’t

Harris: You can

Orville: I can’t…….(and so on).

Many of us have limiting beliefs – we are held back by the idea that we cannot do something. As the saying goes “If you think you can, you might; if you think you can’t, you’re right”. This applies even to business: I was listening to someone at Aston Business School last night point out that many new businesses are not nearly ambitious enough.

Years ago I remember hearing UK motor manufacturers point out that exporting was difficult because everybody else drives on the right. Shortly afterwards, the dominant motor industry globally, exporting to Europe, America and all other parts of the world, was that of Japan. And in Japan they drive on the left, just like us. It may explain why the largest British owned car company is now probably Morgan.

Another issue is understanding how others perceive us or our business. For example, it is very easy to make assumptions about how clients or customers view what we provide. There are stories of law firms who think that they are good at client relationships, but the client’s view is that they are not – the only time they contact a client voluntarily is to notify them of an increased fee.

The place Keith Harris play is of a friend who encourages Orville, challenging his beliefs and giving support. As you would expect, I am a fan of appropriate coaching as a way of having someone who is on your side, who is prepared to challenge rather than support unquestioningly.

Lastly, look for lessons and inspiration, without preconceptions of who you might learn from. Even from an uncertain green baby duck in a nappy.

Keith Harris RIP

But I’m an Intelligent Professional…..

…..so why do I need coaching?

If everything in life is perfect and likely to remain so, then coaching will do little for you.

For most of us, though life is full of compromises, doubts and challenges both in work and outside. Here a coach can help you to address what is important to you.

Remember that a coach is not a remedial teacher, but someone who deals with competent adults (if someone needs therapy or counselling, they should visit a counsellor or therapist).

The fact that you are a professional may well mean that you tend to think like a member of your particular profession. What could be more natural? But this can be a limiting factor in coming to the best conclusion. The questions a coach will challenge your way of thinking to ensure that you explore possibilities fully.

Intelligence can obviously be a considerable asset. Yet once again, it can be limiting. Firstly, it can make you see all sides of an issue, but then make it difficult to make a decision. Secondly, while rational problem solving is important, sometimes issues such as emotion and ethics need to be taken into account.

A couch will help you use your abilities, but not be limited by them. And of course, you are the one who makes the decisions as to the direction to take.

Does your Coach tell you what to do?

This is one of those “what is coaching” questions that is understandably asked.

All coaches find themselves coaching decision making, indeed the whole purpose of coaching is to enable you to make their own decisions and to carry them through. The coach is not an expert in either your business or your life. You, of course, are. To use a Rugby coaching analogy, you have to play what’s in front of you.

What your coach will do is to help you structure your decision, and to weigh up the criteria that you will use to make it. They may also suggest resources or tools that others have found valuable in similar circumstances, leaving it to you to decide whether to adopt them or not. The coach will support you in carrying your decision through.

You are an adult who takes responsibility for your actions. A professional  coach will not treat you as a child.

Coaching – Using Reason

I remember speaking to a solicitor once about coaching, and he said “It sounds a bit…….Californian.” And I do not think he meant it in a good way.

Yet the solid application of reason forms a major part of coaching. Any problem needs to be analysed before is can be solved, or processes established to improve performance. Many coaching issues come down to solving a dilemma or making a decision. The simplest thing to do is to decide on priorities and make a list of pros and cons. Other decision-making tools can of course be used. Merely emoting a decision is not sensible.

Thus coaching lawyers on their first 90 days in a new job involves learning from the mistakes of others, and using a research based structure to analyse the situation that the individual faces. The data that they are able to collect feeds into that structure. And structure there is – when you have only 90 days to make your mark, there is no merit in thrashing round aimlessly.

Now, people are not wholly rational, so it would be wrong to ignore the role of emotion. Indeed this will be the subject of a future post. But unconstrained emotionalism means that you make poor decisions and makes you easier to manipulate.