Tag Archives: coaching

What Is Coaching?

What Is Coaching | Clarifications Coaching LLC

Coaching IS a professional relationship between a client and a coach designed to help the client increase self-awareness, generate learning, as well as identify and accomplish meaningful goals. It helps clients recognize and identify their capabilities and available resources and apply these to their life.

Coaching IS NOT consulting, therapy, or mentoring. It is not consulting because coaches do not advise or offer solutions for the client. It is not therapy because we do not focus on the past or offer diagnosis. And it is not mentoring because the coach is not attempting to link someone learning a craft with someone who is already skilled in it.

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How To Create an Optimal Coaching Environment

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“There are numerous obstacles that can inhibit optimal cognitive functioning, especially when one is trying to learn new skills, restructure old thought patterns, or make important life decisions. These types of scenarios are often the focus of coaching sessions and thus, as a coach, it is my responsibility to create an environment in which my client can function optimally and efficiently. In this blog post, I will be discussing various methods that coaches can utilize in order to best set our clients up for success as presented using the AGES neuroscience model. AGES stands for AttentionGenerationEmotion, and Spacing, and each is an important factor for coaches to consider.

When choosing and designing the environment in which we conduct our coaching sessions, coaches must reflect on, and become familiar with, how brains store and retrieve information. Often, clients seek coaches to learn new skills or thought patterns so a successful coach needs to have a solid understanding of how to work with our clients’ brains to best guide them down the path of their personalized learning initiatives. When pursuing optimal memory retention, the AGES model provides a comprehensive guide…”

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NeuroLeadership: Self-Regulation

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“The NeuroLeadership Institute has identified Self Regulation as one of the four facets of effective and efficient leadership. Leaders must be able to effectively regulate their own emotions and actions in order to make sure their businesses operate with intentional forethought instead of impulsive reaction. Life, and especially business, is full of things that stress us out. Whether it is our daily commute, airline travel, workplace conflicts, or disagreements with spouses, serious challenges to our emotional equilibrium are many and varied.

First, we’ll go over how emotions arise in the first place. We will then discuss the five different strategies that we can use to regulate our emotions. And, finally, what all this means in regards to your leadership skills and how you interact others in your daily life…”

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NeuroLeadership: Making Decisions

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Making Decisions has been identified by the NeuroLeadership Institute as one of the four facets of effective and efficient leadership. Leaders must be able to make sound and timely decisions to make sure their organizations run smoothly. To move us beyond previous prescriptive, anticipatory, and behavioral approaches, neuroscience researchers have expanded our understanding of good decision making by using novel neuroimaging experiments to examine the neural substrates of the human brain.

They assert that “a fundamental requirement for promoting sustainable and resilient leadership in organizations, governments, and society is self-awareness and self-control” (Kirk 2015). And, in their studies, they have demonstrated that mindfulness training is the key to changing decision-making parameters, influencing competing decision-making networks in the brain, and avoiding flawed decision making…”

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The Importance of Maintaining A Healthy Mind Platter

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“In my Wellness Coaching sessions, I use neuroscience to inform and guide my client’s journey. Specifically, I use the NeuroLeadership Institute’s Healthy Mind Platter as developed by David Rock, Daniel J. Siegel, Steven A.Y. Poelmans and Jessica Payne. They posit that, in order to achieve optimal brain function, it is necessary to equally value and set aside time for each facet of a Healthy Mind Platter. This recommendation includes facets such as: Sleep TimePhysical TimeFocus TimeConnecting TimePlay TimeDown Time, and Time In. While a few of these areas may be immediately recognizable as important for everyone to prioritize, not many of us give each equal value. Yet these areas represent everyday activities that are essential to holistic, optimal brain health.

The Healthy Mind Platter encourages everyone to look beyond our socially-supported but ultimately myopic fixation on Focus Time. Instead, we are to situate our need for Focus Time proportionately within a comprehensive matrix that includes all of our needs. Focus Time, of course, is highly valued in work environments, but it is just one of the many areas that require the assignment of intentional time throughout the day in order to be optimally functional. The other areas can be divided into three categories: Physical NeedsSocial Needs, and Cognitive NeedsPhysical Needs, including Sleep Time and Physical Time, are typically focused on first since they can produce more tangible consequences when neglected…”

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Why NeuroLeadership?

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“When I first meet people and tell them about what I do, the most common question is “What the **** is NeuroLeadership?” It’s definitely a field of study that has not yet entered the mainstream leadership vocabulary, even if they are already acquainted with prevailing research. As defined by the NeuroLeadership Institute, NeuroLeadership is “a specific new field dedicated and committed to exploring the processes in the brain that underlie or influence human decisions behaviors, and interactions in the workplace and beyond” (Ringleb and Rock 2008). Specifically, it explores the neural basis of leadership and management practices and how they intersect with social-cognitive neuroscience, neurobiology, and the social sciences.

Now, that’s a mouth full! In layman’s terms, we’re talking about how to “improve leadership effectiveness within institutions and organizations by developing a science for leadership and leadership development that directly takes into account physiology of the mind and the brain.” More and more, organizations have noticed an increased need for the efficient and effective development of leaders and of processes for continuous improvement in leadership quality…”

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Well-Formulated Plans

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, I’ve been on one hell of a journey in the last two years. Shortly after my last post, I picked up a third part-time job to help make ends meet. I was working well over 40 hours a week and did not have the time and energy to keep you guys updated on my journey.

That said, I’ve had a wild ride! Post-2015, I wanted to put my health and happiness first by cleansing and purifying my life. I wanted to reduce my life down to the essentials in an effort to cultivate mindfulness, self-reliance, and self-sufficiency.

But you know how all well-formulated plans work out in the end… I thought the answer was to throw myself into anything and everything that came along. I thought the answer was to follow my immediate desires, I told myself that I would do what I want when I want how I want. As a result, I had six part-time jobs at one point in 2016 (only three of which were actually paying me anything substantial). On the plus side, I ended up losing a lot of weight but that was only because my income varied between $500-$1300 per month and I just couldn’t afford to feed myself. Whoops.

This clearly was not working out. I had to come up with a new plan, so I officially closed down my store at the end of 2016 and started to look for full-time positions. Luckily, I was able to negotiate a promotion with one of the companies that I was already working for and became their Business Development Director at the start of 2017.

This was it, I thought. This was The Job that I had been waiting for. They knew me, they liked me, they believed in my abilities, and, above all, I was finally going to get a proper living wage! They were excited for me to get to work and get their business organized, systematized, and self-sufficient. I dove into everything related to business management, I read books like:

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The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier

An excellent book for managers of all types, Stanier gives concrete steps on how to connect with your staff members in a way that focuses their efforts, saves time, and develops their potential. Highly recommend.

 

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One Minute Manager Series by Kenneth H. Blanchard and Spencer Johnson

Another excellent book for managers, Blanchard & Johnson provide three very simple, easy-to-follow steps to give both negative and positive feedback to staff members. Highly recommend.

 

After studying business management for a while, I started to notice this trend of connecting with staff members in a way that was not really taught in business school. These connections were forged using honesty and integrity in a direct and compassionate way. Successful business leaders were coming out and saying that, yes, interpersonal skills actually matter. Pushing ahead through sheer force of will and ambition was no longer seen as effective, and, in fact, could be downright destructive to a business’s success.

This idea (and the issues that I was seeing in my own job when it came to people management) pushed me to start looking a little deeper. It seemed like, at the end of the day, an organization could only grow so far as its staff members’ willingness to self-improve. Basic business skills could be taught, but there would be no growth beyond the fundamentals unless the staff members were willing to see room for further improvement within themselves. If you’re trying to get new results, you have to try new things.

I have to admit, I was absolutely enraptured by this concept. Since I was on my own Transformative Journey, I immediately saw the potential benefits in this type of approach. But, first, I had to convince everyone else of its merits, so I picked up books like:

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An Everyone Culture
by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey

A great examination of how to build successful businesses by investing in your employees. The whole concept of “An Everyone Culture” revolves around how to make growth mindsets not only encouraged at work, but a required part of day-to-day routines. How can leadership embolden and drive employees to constantly and consistently self-improve and push their personal boundaries? Highly recommend.

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Radical Candor
 by Kim Scott

Scott is a genius. She somehow manages to boil down the idea of driving employees to embrace growth mindsets to the simplest formula: care personally but challenge directly. She provides salient examples of what goes wrong with Ruinous Empathy, Manipulative Insincerity, and Obnoxious Aggression in the workplace while simultaneously displaying the merits of using Radical Candor instead. Highly recommend.

I spent a lot of time trying to translate these concepts to the people I was working with, but had limited success. Then, out of the blue, the universe blessed me with a little nugget of gold via my step-sister’s Instagram. She posted a picture of an article that she was reading as part of a work conference. I don’t remember which article it was in particular, but it was published by this organization called the NeuroLeadership Institute.

The NeuroLeadership Institute? You mean, they combined leadership theory with neuroscience? Like, they can actually see how the brain functions in leadership scenarios? I just HAD to look into this, so I googled it up and found a sole Handbook of NeuroLeadership available on eBay. Sold!

I was instantly hooked and, a couple weeks later, I found myself reading the 600 page tomb of research articles for fun! (I mean, really, who does that?) But I found article after article absolutely fascinating, from how insight happens and the neural substrates of decision making to the neuroscience of mindfulness and applying empathy and mirror neuron concepts to neuroleadership.

When I discovered that the NeuroLeadership Institute offered online certificate courses, I knew I had to enroll. But that’s a story for another time! I will cover how the NeuroLeadership Certificate course changed my life in my next blog post. Until then, love, peace, and clarity to you all!

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