ISSUE 20 / APRIL - MAY 2016
SURE-FIRE WAYS TO BE
GENUINELY PRESENT FOR YOUR CLIENT POOJA LOHANA
ARE YOU DOING
AND GETTING NO WHERE FAST PINA CERMINARA
ARE YOU SPEAKING
Liar? MARIA PELLICANO
THE MINIMALIST’S GUIDE TO BEING
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3 SURE-FIRE WAYS TO BE GENUINELY PRESENT FOR YOUR CLIENT
Pooja Lohana 4
ARE YOU DOING IT ALL AND GETTING NO WHERE FAST
Pina Cerminara 8
ARE YOU SPEAKING LIAR
Maria Pellicano 15
THE MINIMALIST’S GUIDE TO BEING SUCCESSFUL: 4 SIMPLE STEPS 19
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Online Business Coach
Writer & Editor
SURE-FIRE WAYS TO BE
GENUINELY PRESENT FOR YOUR CLIENT
POOJA LOHANA IS AN ONLINE BUSINESS COACH + FREELANCE WRITER & EDITOR. SHE HELPS ENTREPRENEURS SHINE THEIR BLOG AND COPY, AND SIMPLIFIES ONLINE MARKETING SO THEY CAN MAKE MORE SALES AND LIVE THE UN-9-5 LIFE. REACH HER AT WWW.GHOSTWRITERPOOJA.COM. Let me guess. You are a driven coach. You want to make a difference in your client’s life and empower them to make a change.
It’s obvious that coaching can only work if the client trusts you and is able to discuss every issue that’s on their mind.
But here’s the thing.
This calls for building rapport and genuine interest in the client, being fully present with them during a session, respecting their map of their world, and holding a non-judgemental space for them.
Coaching is all about co-creating a supportive relationship where you seek permission to ask engaging questions and make meaningful suggestions. Unlike sports coaching, where a coach may use their technical skills andtell the athletes what to do, there is no such thing when it comes to executive, life or business coaching. Coaching is a permission-based relationship where the focus is to help your client discover answers for themselves. Because the best answers come from within.
A mature coach understands that there will be differences in how the coach and client see the world. It’s not about the differences though – it’s about whether or not you can respect their map and get out of our own way. If there’s no respect, the client will sense this and become guarded due to possible judgement. page 4
There are 15 ICG core competencies in total. Last week, we discussed the core competency category of “Self-Management”. Let’s explore “Communication Skills” in this post. “Communication skills” is further divided into three parts: 1. Calibrate your client and maintain rapport 2. Maintain effective communication 3. Genuinely support the client
WHY SHOULD COACHES WORK ON THEIR COMMUNICATION SKILLS? In order to coach your client effectively, you need to be fully present, recognising the indicators of where the client is at. You adjust your communication, demonstrate genuine interest in the client, respect their experience of the world and enjoy the process. Only then can you facilitate and help bring about a positive change toward meeting your client’s goals. One of the things to acknowledge is that your client will communicate beyond words. They may become silent, sighs, tap their fingers, make sudden shifts in their seat, look in a different direction, close their eyes, frown and breathe rapidly. We are, as coaches, required to pick these indicators. This level of sensory acuity involves calibrating your client for the minute changes
3 SURE-FIRE WAYS TO BE GENUINELY PRESENT FOR YOUR CLIENT 1. CALIBRATE YOUR CLIENT AND MAINTAIN RAPPORT The first step is to calibrate your client and maintain rapport. You effectively recognise their verbal, tonal and physical indicators as they talk during the coaching conversation. And then, you adjust the communication based on calibration. This also includes building rapport based on matching and mirroring skills as well as shared beliefs and values. Shared beliefs and values tell if you’re a match for your client It’s a little tricky to coach someone who has a completely different set of values than you. The best coaching is done when there is an easy flow of ideas based on similar beliefs and values. For example, if you value honesty and integrity, you’d ideally be a great match for someone who values the same. When a client shares their deepest concern, they are going to do it with more than just words. They are going to widen their eyes, frown, shift in their seat or breathe rapidly. It’s easy to jump to conclusion and claim that you “get them”. But it’s likely that you’re interpreting it based on your own beliefs and experience.
from moment to moment. Your job as a coach is to step out of your map as you hold the space for your client and be there for them 100%. page 5
Check in with them and ask: What just happened? By doing so, you get a clearer picture of what meanings your client associates with their movements and words. As you get better at it, you can begin to “mind read”. You’ll know what just happened for the client, and what to do with it, without having to ask. This is when you’re in deep rapport. Without it, the client will resist conversation and the questions. Based on this new knowledge, you can adjust your own communication – for example you may pause to allow for reflection. As you continue this practice, you’ll become an expert at picking up when the client isn’t being honest, consciously or unconsciously, because their words aren’t matching their body language. You can then challenge them.
available to your client especially when they are hanging out their “uglies” so that they see there is no judgement. As a coach, you also want to be curious and open, and focus on what matters most. Effective communication is not simply gathering information like we did in school. You want to be curious to encourage personal exploration. Being open in the face of uncertainty is particularly important, as it sets an example for your client how to react in the face of fear. A coach is not there to “behave” like regular people – regular people are serious in face of problems, because problems scare them. You want to show them how to contrast that and bring neutrality (even fun and quirk) to a dark time. This is when metaphors can come handy – you provide an alternative point of view or reinforce a new learning and insight.
2. MAINTAIN EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION When we talk with someone, we want them to be engaged with us. We can tell when they are not fully with us. We may not even be aware of it consciously, but find ourselves pulling back from the conversation. When we’re without pretence and genuinely there for someone, we cause everything around us to become “invisible”. We become engaged in a “bubble” that deletes all distractions. If you’re not fully present, you are the distraction. As a coach, you want to be page 6
3. GENUINELY SUPPORT THE CLIENT One of the differences between coaching and other traditional therapeutic models is the relationship between coach and client – we’re equals and not here to “fix” them in any way. We’re there to guide them to be their best selves. There is no “insisting”. You don’t tell your client how to be or what to do. Yes, you will guide them, but if their choice is to take the long scenic route, you should accept that. This is where coaches need to get over themselves. The client is not there to make us happy or agree with us. It takes a sense of willingness and adventure to go to such uncharted territories and do it with a smile and acceptance. To bring about effective communication, a good coach will always magnify the possibilities and increase choice. One choice is not a choice. Two choices is a dilemma. Three choices is “getting there”.
Clients feel stuck if they feel there is no choice. Highlight the number of choices for them because it brings a sense of freedom. Be playful about the whole process. Your client may experience many ups and downs, swings, roundabouts, peaks, troughs, challenges confusion, excitement during the process. This is normal. But it may not seem normal to them. Be sure you acknowledge their willingness and progress through the session. Avoid saying “but”, “however”, “yet” or anything that doesn’t validate. They may have started a new action, let an old behaviour go, changed a limiting belief, taken a risk, liked themselves – all of which is a big deal. Validate them. And when they have such a breakthrough, celebrate with them. As you practise the above steps, you’ll see your client as more than the momentary or current experience. You see their true wholeness and embrace all they are and wish to be.
ARE YOU DOING AND GETTING NO WHERE FAST WRITTEN BY
PINA CERMINARA ICG International Credentialed Master Practitioner of Coaching
PINA CERMINARA IS AN EXPERIENCED PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL COACH WHO UPGRADES AND ACCELERATES PEOPLE’S SKILLS, TALENTS AND BEHAVIOURS TO BRING THEM TO A BETTER THINKING SO THEY CAN LIVE A PURPOSEFUL, FULFILLING AND HAPPY LIFE BY IMPROVING THEIR HEALTH, WEALTH AND WORK. WWW.PERSONALPOWERSOLUTIONS.COM.AU As a solo entrepreneur, I had been doing it all
my journey that a tired, worn out, grumpy,
in my business for the past number of years.
stretched and even overstretched coach is
From having my accounting books in order, keeping up with sales and invoicing to mastering marketing and promoting, lifting
hardly going to be a source of inspiration, energy and guidance to clients or to anyone around me.
my profile, understanding and getting my
My mother would always refer me as the
head around social media…
“most organised person” in the family.
Then it was doing my own rebranding,
I was always the one organising social and
upgrading my website, writing articles and
birthday events and getting it all happening
and sorted. Back then, I thought that events
And the list goes on and on. Gosh, I am tired just writing about it.
got handballed to me because nobody else in the family wanted to do it. I have received comments and feedback from
When I think about the amount of time,
other small business owners and coaches
energy and effort that I put into my business,
who would ask me how I keep myself so
it’s a wonder how I haven’t burned out or
organised and on track.
given up yet. Perhaps it’s because I realised quite early in
Recently, I got a lovely email from a colleague who congratulated me on “being able to page 8
juggle so many things and always being so
If something has a high impact on your
upbeat and successful in your business”.
business and takes up a short amount of
How interesting that what you think of as your
time then get it scheduled in your diary.
“ordinary state” is extraordinary for someone else!
“You can do anything, not everything”.
I have since come to appreciate and acknowledge that my skills in organisation have kept me moving successfully in my
business and in my personal life. Being organised and productive doesn’t mean that I do it all; it just means I do it well. The other day, I sat down and did a review on how I get things done in my own business as
2. LESS DISTRACTION MORE ACTION.
well as help my clients with theirs. Hee are some tips I’ve personally used that will
When I was in school, I was known for
help to get you stay focused and organised:
“‘getting easily distracted”. I enjoyed looking
1. SAY NO. Getting more organised and utilising your
at the shiny thing over here and the shiny thing over there and would lose time with it. It got worse as I got older with so many more
time better may mean saying “no” more often.
things coming at me at once.
It means saying no to something or someone
I figured that I had to get better at getting rid
that may be important to you.
of distractions if I wanted to achieve more in
This is a tough one for those people who want
my business and in my personal life.
to please everyone. We have to ascertain who
After doing an audit on my day and week,
or what comes into our space and decide. If you want to achieve more in your business, say “yes” to tasks that take you to where you are heading. Say “yes” to people who are aligned with you and your business. Learn to say “no”, or if you can’t say no, start with “not yet”.
I realised I was most distracted by email newsletters, personal phone calls, personal catch
information and spending lots of time on social media. While you should be free to undertake personal tasks and activities, you must
Just because you can do something that may
remember and understand the impact that
not take up a lot of your time, doesn’t mean
it will have on your time and productivity and
you should do it. Or, that you should do it
how it takes you away from your work. Do a
time audit on your day or week and see how
Tasks or activities that have a low impact on your business and only take up a little time should be a “not now”.
much time you spend doing tasks that are non-work or business related. You’ll be surprised with the results. page 9
3. SCHEDULE, SCHEDULE, SCHEDULE. I schedule myself in my diary like I schedule an appointment with a client. I schedule a task in my diary so it’s there as a record and a reminder. This also ensures that I have allocated the time to do what I need to get done and get it complete within the timeframe I have given myself. If you have a large project to get through, work with blocks of 30 days or in months and block out the time in your diary and have it scheduled just like any other appointment.
The key is to build the discipline to keep the appointment with yourself.
4. SEEK HELP. I wasted time on trying to work it out by myself and learn how to do stuff through the “help” option on my computer or my favourite teacher – Mr Google. I’ve long realised that it may not be the most effective way to go. When I ask my network of people for help, they don’t hesitate. If you are confused on how best to market yourself, speak to people who know. If you’re not sure how best to take care of your accounts, get in touch with people who do it every day.
If you are uncertain on what to do next, get a coach or mentor to guide you.
5. GET RID OF YOUR EXCUSES. I work from a home office, so it was easy to blame the telemarketers that rang during the day, or the family member who expected I ran their errands. Don’t blame anyone or anything for your lack of time or productivity. Once you own your results or non-results, you will then be proactive rather than reactive to what you need to do. Time is available for everyone. It’s all about scheduling your time for what you value. Just like you make time to shower, eat, brush your teeth, you can make time to write your book, learn a new language or write that article.
6. DECLUTTER YOUR HEAD, OFFICE, HOME AND ENVIRONMENT. I have a systemised, neat office with an uncluttered desk so that I can see everything at a glance and can access quickly. I don’t have notes everywhere and I make sure that I take a few minutes before I finish at the end of the day to clear off any papers or documents from the desk. It ends up looking pretty nice. I love it when I walk into my office the next day and everything I need is easy to find so I don’t have any down time. My day starts off with a clear mind and environment which allows me to stay organised and ready to go. Decluttering frees up space, energy, and precious time that restores your focus so you can get more done. I recently read an interesting piece of statistic on the topic of productivity —an average page 10
business person or employee spends 1.5 hours per day looking for things! That’s around 7.5 hours a week. I cannot help think what could we be doing instead?
That is something I would not be outsourcing. Remember: Your time equals your money. You are the one who can best decide how much time you spend on tasks or activity.
I have a business principle for my office - there is a place for everything and everything has its place.
7. OUTSOURCE I have begun outsourcing tasks which I am not great at as well as the ones that do not directly impact revenue generation. I ask myself if it’s worth spending the time learning and working it out myself. If the answer is no, I outsource it. For example, I outsourced my website and branding. That way I could spend more time working on rev-generating activities, such as consulting, coaching, serving and giving to my clients.
Another one of my business principles is to work smarter not harder. Being able to do it all efficiently and effectively means you need to learn new skills, strategies, routines and habits. Invest in courses or people that can help enhance and upgrade your skills which will help you grow and soar in your business. You don’t need to a superhero to be successful. You can achieve a lot simply by deciding, scheduling and committing.
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ARE YOU SPEAKING
Liar? WRITTEN BY
ICG International Credential Master Practitioner MARIA IS A STUDENT AT THE COACHING INSTITUTE AND A PASSIONATE COACH TO SINGERS AND SPEAKERS. SHE HAS BEEN HELPING HER CLIENTS FOR THE PAST 20 YEARS TO HAVE THE BEST-SOUNDING VOICE OFFERING TAILORED EXERCISES FOR INDIVIDUAL VOICE TYPES. MARIA IS ALSO A SINGING TEACHER AND DEDICATES HER TIME TO HELPING HER CLIENTS DEVELOP THEIR MINDSET, AND APPLY THE RIGHT TECHNIQUES TO ACHIEVE THEIR SINGING GOALS. FIND OUT MORE AT WWW.MARIAPELLICANO.COM Recent research suggests fetuses in utero begin hearing and relating to their mother’s vocal tone from about 16 weeks – which is about 6 months before they’re even born! This tells us that language comes to play a part later – the first thing a pre-born baby absorbs is how something is said.
Here’s the thing: You remember the feeling of a conversation or a presentation more than the words themselves. The feeling affects the quality of the vocal tone. Our voices expose us and you will probably never know unless you listen to back to yourself on a recording.
“The human voice is the organ of the soul”
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU, THE SPEAKER? As communicators we usually know when we’re being lied to. There is something in the person’s tone that just doesn’t sound quite right or at least does not sound like a complete truth.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Poet & Educator, 1882) You cannot assess your own vocal tone because what you hear inside your head is not what everyone else hears. It’s your skull that’s to blame.
More specifically, it’s the way your skull vibrates. This is why professional voice users have a vocal coach to assess the quality of their voice and create the vocal tone that is necessary to have. A cough, clearing of the throat, pauses, speaking too fast or too slow because you are thinking in-between your words, mumbling your words – these vocal behaviours make you believable (or not) to everyone else.
A VOCAL STRATEGY TIP I was recently coaching a client who happens to have a clenched jaw. He told me it’s because he is generally shy. He would struggle to impact audiences with a tight clenched jaw, making his vocal tone muffled and restricted. After a coaching session with him, I picked up that he was incongruent and not really releasing his voice because he was afraid of messing up. From time to time, we all feel that we may not be good enough and unconsciously be holding back our voice by showing up with a clenched jaw or a tight tongue. This is why, even though I am a vocal coach myself, I have five different master vocal coaches that I work with over time. I know I can develop bad vocal habits that will eventually affect the quality my speaking and singing. A vocal assessment of your voice can help you find out what type of restrictive and limiting vocal behaviour you may have that
impedes you from speaking freely and safely. We are all born with a unique message or song. We have an innate ability to communicate passion with conviction. It’s when we are not congruent with our message when we are not totally convinced.
“THE FOUR GATES OF SKILLFUL SPEECH” Take a moment to actually ask yourself the below four questions before you say anything, email or text anyone. 1. Is what I have to say true? Are we actually saying something that is accurate? Also, are we taking responsibility for our own subjective experience, rather than reporting what we’ve experienced as an absolute truth? 2. Is what I have to say necessary? Are you the right person to share what you have to say? Would it be better coming from another person? Is it necessary that it be expressed at all? 3. Is what I am saying kind? Twisting the knife may feel good for a moment, but only because it is what we are used to doing. When we stop hurting the other person with the truth, our expression becomes much more effective. We don’t have to force someone to get them to see where we are coming from. 4. Is it the right time? Timing is everything. If you go off on someone via email, you’re probably going to experience the reverberations of your bad timing. Give it space, then pick up the phone or see them in person.
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THE MINIMALIST’S GUIDE TO BEING
Can you recall a time when you had a “win” which should have been meaningful, yet you felt nothing? I sure have. Because success is a subjective term. It means different things to different people. For some, it is writing a bestseller book, focussing on the subjective feeling of satisfaction. For others, it could be about meeting objective metrics such as making a million dollars a year or a job title. Subjective success is a response to objective achievements. In other words, even though it may appear like you’re ticking off objectives, the drive is usually the feeling you get from achieving the goals.
For example, you may value a high salary and working for a prestigious company (your objective metrics), and enjoyment at work and connection with co-workers (as subjective metrics). In your personal life, saving a good amount of money could be a measure of objective success. Subjective factors could be a happy marriage and providing for your children. Whatever success means to you, it doesn’t have to be complicated. A minimalist’s guide does not mean you lower your expectations – it means you cut out the BS and focus only on what’s absolutely necessary. Ready? Here we go.
THE MINIMALIST’S GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL: 4 SIMPLE STEPS
1. WHAT’S MY OUTCOME?
birthing a business gave me a feeling of accomplishment – I could see it taking a life right in front of me. That was something.
The Cheshire Cat was wise to say, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” The first question is obvious – what do you want? It’s setting the foundation of your goal. When answering this question, write it down on a piece of paper and make it SMART. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. So rather than saying “I want to write a book”, say: “I want to write a 200-page book on leadership using real-life metaphors by July 2017.” Then tie in your “what” with your “why”. Back when I started my marketing business, I didn’t know how to find clients, where to target my audience or how to build a social media following. But all of that didn’t matter so long as I was connected to my “why”. You have to become a child again – you ask “why” liberally. So I did the same. Why did I want to do this? Because two of my values were freedom and variety – a perfect synergy you can create in business. Plus, I loved the thrill of a challenge (get a website up and running, find new clients, convert them into paid clients and so on). And why was that important to me? Because
DO THIS EXERCISE: Ask why it’s important for you to achieve this outcome. Then “chunk it up” by asking “why” every time you get an answer, until you’re satisfied and feel pumped up to move to #2, which is…
2. WHAT IS THE NEXT BEST ACTION
OUTCOME? Most people over-complicate this. They want to take massive action, but the enormity of the steps discourages them even before they can start. Try “getting motivated”. It will work sometimes, but not always. Try setting humongous goals. You’ll almost always fail. And I get it – it is hard. It gets overwhelming. But here’s the thing: What if I told you even slow progress is progress? The most successful people take action in small steps. Imagine a leaky faucet. It drips water everyday while you’re away at work. You don’t even realise it when you come home. Just as an experiment, plug up the drain before you sleep and see what happens in the morning. If you leave it like that for a day, you’ll see more water sitting there in your sink. Keep doing it for a week and you have a bigger problem.
It’s the small things that make a difference, so better start focussing on the small steps that will soon add up and have a bigger impact.
So if your current strategy isn’t working, then you need to reconsider your plan. It’s about exercising your sensory acuity to
Following that strategy, I’ve read 5x as many books as I used to. I know someone who wrote a book using small, consistent steps. And another who got in a great shape, lost extra kilos and built muscle in a few months. The point? You can make more progress in a year with small steps as opposed to doing it all at once in five years (true story). The question to ask is: Are you moving forward every day? Is you’re not, then why not? If you are, what strategies are working for you? Can you keep running that strategy consistently? Because if you cannot consistently do something, you’ll eventually drain yourself. It’s not sustainable. And that’s what makes small, specific steps foolproof – it’s a sustainable strategy. Some people are all gung-ho to set really high standards and do more, more and more. It’s not about having high (or low) standards – it is about setting standards that are right for you. You earn your standards – and when you do, you can notch it up by a level. You’ll know when it’s time; it won’t feel like a struggle.
3. IS MY CURRENT STRATEGY WORKING? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. Running faster in the same direction isn’t going to cut it.
determine the outcome of your plan. If things are not going the way you’d like them to, there is no point in putting your head down and working on it. Take feedback from your environment, people you model, your results and objective/ subjective factors of outcomes you’re getting at the moment. Be flexible to apply this feedback and go back to #2 to devise a new strategy. Keep doing this until you’ve found a consistent strategy that works every time. (Hint: Speaking of consistent strategy, small steps work. If you want to expand your vocabulary, read at least one article every day. There is no reason to not do it.)
4. ARE MY BODY AND MIND ALIGNED? According to Meta Dynamics™, which is based on NLP, physiology creates your psychology. In other words, what you put in motion creates your emotion. It’s simple – if you want to feel confident, you hold your head high, pull your shoulders back and tighten your abdominal muscles. You align your body language with your goal. Your body language affects your success.
According to a study conducted by Kellogg School of Management in Northwestern University, posture expansiveness, or the opening up of the body in a way that you take space, activated a sense of power irrespective of their hierarchy in an organisation. If you want to feel happier, try smiling in the mirror. The only problem? It lasts for 60 seconds. Then we slip back into our old habits. Bad posture, drooping shoulders – you know, the whole slump. So how do you prevent yourself from doing the “usual”?
It goes back to starting small. Start a new habit around your physiology until it becomes second nature. You can create sticky notes as reminders or schedule a timer every hour to check-in with yourself. Get creative and find a strategy that works for you. Remember, life isn’t about running on the hamster wheel, entering the rat race or doing more, more and more. You define your own success. Go on, apply the above 4-step strategy in any area of your life – relationships, health, career, business, personal development.
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