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MELBOURNE: October 26 & 27


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Build this powerful, influential skill to help make sense of change, communicate clearly and engage people in the most challenging situations

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    Entries in thought leadership (6)

    Tuesday
    Oct042016

    You are sooooo much more than a coach

    The commitment to being a coach runs deep. To spend time with someone, one on one. To take time to uncover the situation, identify some possibilities for breaking through and achieving that shift that is needed to help people reach their best.

    There may have been accreditations and development and courses to get you to this space of being able to do it seemingly effortlessly, artfully and craftfully.

    So when people set up their business as a coach, life coach, business coach, coach's coach or executive coach, I often twitch a little and think to myself, ‘Oh but you are soooooo much more than a coach.'

     

    Ingenious and Interlocking

    You might call yourself ‘coach' so people can find you and that explains what you do, but the art of coaching runs way deeper.

    Yes, the capabilities are complex and interlocking, layered and so very clever - ingenious even - to be able to connect with people and help them unlock or breakthrough and reach greater clarity, progress, understanding or heights.

    But why do so many coaches only deliver these brilliant services primarily as a coach?

    Many coaches have developed their own IP or curriculum, models or processes - or they’ve adapted ones they’ve learned to suit the field or industry they coach in.

    So why don’t they do more with their coaching skills?

    If they’re content and happy, great. But for many, it’s hard work, earning a decent living and having time to spare for self and others.

     

    Commodotised or Differentiated?

    If you say you coach, you coach. Actually, it can become a bit commoditised. You’re at risk of getting locked into corporate coaching panels and day rates aligned as the ‘same as’ the services of so many others. What differentiates you?

    Don’t get me wrong; this can be great, right, perfect for where you’re at. But even saying you’re an ‘executive coach’ still puts you with the others. 

    What if you had skills, knowledge and IP that wasn’t being tapped? That there was work, impact, influence, change or money 'left on the table’ or there were people you weren’t helping but could?

     

    More than...

    So what else could you do with those skills that don't involve the often labour intensive one-on-one sessions of coaching?

    There are other ways through which you can deliver your coaching prowess.

    The first most obvious is to take that knowledge and deliver it to a group, not 1 on 1.

    A group. Anything bigger than two people. Now you’re in facilitator mode.

    Not coach, but facilitator. Helping make the group’s work easier, not just an individual’s.

     

    (Hello: If you don’t like groups and you’d rather coach one-on-one, carry on. But if you’re thinking ‘hang on… maybe there’s something in this, I tried it a few times and…’ read on)

     

    As a facilitator, you’re asking questions, eliciting information, using models and processes and your wonderful capabilities to guide or help a group reach its potential.

    Not just one person at a time.

    The leverage and impact you have here is significant. Massive. More getting done, in less time, for more people. The power of the group is all powerful. The synergy (yes, synergy, a corny word but that’s what happens in a group - a mini explosion of euphoria as they bounce off each other and build a wonderful bubbling of possibility and insight) of the group is like... wow!

    Yes you still see individuals in the room. You can see their challenges, barriers and sticking points but you can see it as it affects the group, as well as the individual.

     

    Helping them with leverage

    Increasingly, businesses and organisations are needing facilitators who will help teams and groups make breakthroughs and progress and get clarity and do awesome work. Not just coach individuals.

    You can carry on being all one-on-one but it’s gonna take so long to get around to see and work with everyone. And many businesses just won’t take the time for everyone who needs it to have their on-on-one transformational journey. It's not leveraged enough; it's not productive enough and it's too pricey. Bottom line is not a good enough return on investment.

    How can you help a business leverage their people and their time AND bring your expertise as a coach?

    It’s to use your skills as a facilitator. To coach a group. To facilitate.

     

    Oh, and relax....

    And you can relax… you still have your coaching abilities to offer when individuals need your guidance and expertise. You don’t need to stop this or remove it or delete it. It's because you are more than a coach.

     

    So hey, don't label yourself just as a coach or only as a coach. It’s limiting your expertise and reducing their leverage. Plus it means there are teams and groups and businesses and organisations out there who could be benefiting from your great skills ... but they are having to wait in line until it’s their one-on-one time. 

    Friday
    Jan152016

    The power of a book, no matter your job or role

    Books have become a powerful marketing and branding tool of today. They're better than a business card and can become a key part of your social media content. A book authored by you is an immediate way to show that you've got a point of view and that you have some wonderful expertise.  

    Yes, authoring a book shows you have a story to tell, advice to give or you want to provide an accompaniment to your services. This is ideal if you’re a coach, trainer or business or management consultant or have your own business. 

    Imagine being able to drop a book on the desk or table of a prospective client… it's powerful, influential and impactful.  You’re saying ‘here’s my thinking on the topic’, and 'this is why we know what we're doing'!

    But writing a book is a big deal. There are plenty of people who start but can’t finish. Or they don't start because they’re not sure of what's really involved ... it can be a tricky process to think, write and publish!  So, yes, a book is a BIG project.  

    Starting and then fizzing out...

    Many people start with great intentions, some clever ideas and a few words here and there with their initial attempts to write a book.

    I sure did! Several times. I think I had six different books that I'd started - and none of them finished, published or available for sale or put out into the world to go to work for me! That's a missed opportunity. A BIG one.

    A book can seem insurmountable at times; especially if you start with a flurry and then it all fades away and other things in life seem to take a higher priority. You might feel like you lose that initial spurt of energy or enthusiasm. You might even wonder if writing a book is a bit of a 'brag'. 

    Having a book (a hard copy book or an e-book or digital download) with your name on it isn't an ego thing at all. In fact the opposite is true; it's saying 'here is my thinking', 'here's what I'm working on' or 'here's where I'm heading next'. It's helpful, instructive, supportive and clarifying. 

    A book is a vital marketing tool for today. With social media available for you to share your thoughts, ideas and opinions, a book is the perfect way to bring these - and other -  ideas together in a focused, professional and contemporary way. 

    From average to leverage

    Having your own book published can help take you from being lost or hidden in the crowd.

    With so many businesses, consultants, entrepreneurs, marketers and job hunters looking to stand out and have a profile, it's too easy to slip into a space where everyone else is. Being a commodity or the same as others doesn't give you a competitive advantage. You're lost, hidden. 

    If you appear the same as every other consultant or coach, business owner or entrepreneur, how do you get ahead, build your profile or get known for your unique offer, services or expertise?

    Whether you're starting up your own business - or hope to in the future - having your services clearly positioned early on in the journey is smart thinking. And if you're already along the journey of being a freelancer, sole trader, entrepreneur or business guru, the best time is always ...now. 

    Getting the leverage of a book looks like this...

    Break clear

    Writing and publishing a book is a strategy to help you break clear from average. 

    You'll build your profile in the fields or industries you're interested in, strengthen your identity and be able to leverage the power of having your thinking, ideas and knowledge in print and able to be shared.

    This powerful combination helps position you in the market or industry in which you work - or would like to work. And if you're writing a book for the pleasure of it, you'll position your unique thinking and ideas in a way that no one else has. 

    You'll move from commodity to identity; from average to leverage

    Once your book is published, you have incredible opportunities to build on the profile and positioning that come from authoring. 

    Make 2016 the year you write and publish your book. 

    Friday
    Jan022015

    A Visual Map for your 2015 Planning

    Happy new year to you for 2015!

    To help you on your way - no matter what you're doing with resolutions, resets, reviews or renews .... here's a visual map to plot out some 2015 intentions. 

    This is the visual map I use each year and this year it's a gift to ya! 

     

    It's a one-pager for a reason. It has the 'big picture' in one visual snapshot. Once I've completed it for the year, I put it up on the wall in my office or have it as the screen lock or screen saver on my devices. I want it to be there in front of me to act like a display or dashboard or map to remind me what I'm doing this year. 

    A big distractor for us achieving what we want is ... well.... distraction. Lack of focus is .... oh look, a cute dog running along the beach .... yes, that's me, I'll turn my head at the first fluffy jumping four-legged dog I see. Whatever your distraction is, let's get some focus in front of that distraction via this visual map. It's a quick and clear tool in the war against distraction. 

    Get focusing on this visual map each day, at times throughout the day, to get it embedded in your mind so that soon you'll know what it looks like without looking at it. 

    How to complete the Visual Map

    Here's how I use it - of course you can put whatever you like wherever your like - or create your own:

    1. I print it out and get myself a nice black marker; (yes for those that know me, it's probably a chisel tip marker!) ;-)
    2. Starting with the yellow circle-y - cloud shapes I write in my big 'WHYs'. Why do I do what I do? What's important to me? Is it family, health, freedom, independence, giving... think about what is important to you. These are written in first for me to look at and I know they are always part of why I do what I do. I write one in each yellow shape. You'll see the centre yellow one is bigger - that might work for you with one being above all others. So why do you do what you do? What's important to you?
    3. Below the big '2015', in the blue cloud shape I write a key word for focus. At Thought Leaders Business School, founder Matt Church suggests setting yourself a 'big word' to give you context and focus for your year ahead. Write it in there. Maybe it's about growth, productivity, clarity, love, balance, community - what's the one word that you're gonna be about this coming year?
    4. Along the road between now and the horizon, there are four grey segments. Think of these as 90 day blocks or quarters for the year. Set some goals for those 90 day blocks. What's the key word for each of those? What will each quarter be about for you? What do you want to achieve, think, feel, do, have, be? These spaces are purposely not too big - I don't want clutter and confusion there for you. There's space to write some key goals and targets and some key intentions. Sometimes, I keep it simple and then fill in more details for the latter 90 days as the year progresses.

    OK, get going on it...!

    How are you feeling about committing some of this to paper? 

    Sometimes I take the time to be quiet, listen to some music, sit at the beach or under a tree and complete this visual map as a real planning session. Other times, it's a quick and clear brain dump of what I've been working on and thinking over recent weeks. 

    Relax... it's not set in reinforced concrete - it's flexible, changeable and maleable.

    Use this as a kickstarter, a hack to get you focusing on what's important and why you do it, and breaking down the year into manageable chunks. 

    Let me know how you go... email me photos of your Visual Maps; I'd love to see them and know more about what you've got your sights set on for 2015.

    Friday
    Aug152014

    Diversity Input : Innovative Output

    Eleven men, three women - all aged 50+ - and from the same industry. That's about all I can tell from their photos and titles.

    This is the composition of a leadership team being charged with leading and creating a dynamic and vibrant community project.

    What are they thinking?

    Where is the diversity that will give them the innovation that the project and region needs?

    Where is youth? Where is the diversity of talent, skills, thinking and backgrounds? Where is the lateral thought, from related or totally different fields? Where is the willingness to learn? Where is the leadership?

     

    In an inspiring contrast, yesterday I spent a thrilling day at the Future of Leadership event in Melbourne. 

    Several presenters spoke about leading without a title, without a position and simply doing what needs to be done. 

    Most of all, our current world, climate and communities need different ways of thinking and working to solve the challenges we face. 

    A key lesson is that you must get diversity plugged into the 'input' part of your project, program or event to ensure you get innovative responses in 'output'. And leaders can make this decision, source the diversity and encourage it. 

    There are long paths to travel for many communities and organisations, where diversity hasn't been considered or thought of or it's simply been forgotten. Sometimes people get allocated to leadership teams from the positions they hold, rather than the experiences and diversity they will bring.

    We need to encourage teams, communities and groups so they think, invite and act with diversity, are not afraid of it and see it as an opportunity to go further and do better than they have before. 

    That is what will bring a dynamic and vibrant result to that community or project!

     

    Thursday
    Apr032014

    It's an Education Evolution

    Education is Evolving from Lynne Cazaly on Vimeo.

    The way we're learning is changing; education is evolving. Whether you're in a business in the learning and development or capability area, in organisational development, or in the business of providing advice, training, coaching or mentoring… this shift is already affecting you.

    Thought Leaders Global founder Matt Church and business partner Peter Cook are heading up the newThought Leaders Business School in Australia. They spoke recently about how education is evolving. Mysketch video this week is a visual take on their comments.

    Be sure you're on the right side of the evolution!