Thoroughly Good CPD #2: Grief, Mistakes, Visualisation, and Leadership

Coaching demands learning. Being coached demands ongoing learning too. So, in the spirit of continuing learning, here are a handful of interesting things I’ve appreciated over the past seven days.

Five Minute Read: Five Stages of Grief (After Leaving a Job)

I found this Life Hacker article based Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’ work very useful this week.

Some people I know are going through difficult periods of professional transition which have kicked up all manner of unexpected emotions for them.

I’ve long looked on work, and being in the workplace, through the prism of emotional relationships, virtual and real. I’ve found it helps explain some of the stresses and strains we all experience in our day to day work. Little wonder that when people leave or are forced to leave their daytime environment, emotions run riot.

This article helps identify the stages of grief. It reminds us that no-one experiences these stages in a linear fashion necessarily. It also offers some tips on how to move forward during a period of dramatic transition.

6 Minute Watch: Top 10 Coaching Mistakes

How many of these do you do in your coaching practise? Maybe that’s an unhelpful question, brimming with implied judgement. Aside from the illustrations of personal space being invaded by an earnest colleague in this video (look out for some corkers – stock photography has a hell of lot to answer for), I found this six minute primer quite useful in reminding me of the areas of coaching I need to be mindful of when I’m in a session.

Five Minute Read: When To Call Yourself A Writer

I include this link to a fairly old article because it taps into a familiar coaching subject which frequently arises in sessions, not just for people I’m coaching but for me in the everyday.

The article talks about the various definitions falsely applied to those who write (writers), those who earn money from their writing (marketeers), and those who get bylines or credits for their work (journalists/authors).

In discussing those different definitions, the blogger reminds us how we all allow the perception of ourselves to defined by the perceptions others have of us.

Thinking beyond the article, I was reminded of two really valuable tools in reframing an unhelpful self-belief: visualisation and affirmation.

Ten Minute Read: Micro and Macro Learning

Josh Bersin’s LinkedIn Post on the Ten Things We’ve Learned from the Disruption of Digital Learning was something I read a few weeks back. It’s not specifically coaching, but it does provide some context for where professional individuals now find themselves in the coaching eco-system.

The post explores the history of professional training and learning, the systems and methods that have been deployed in the past to deliver that learning, and how learning is categorised now. Coaching is part of macro-learning – an opportunity for individuals to delve deeply into a new subject using a variety of different tools (of which coaching is one). Micro-learning is, essentially, on-demand and immediate.

But most valuable for me was understanding how deploying on-demand learning was best done after a period of intense macro-learning. Do it the other way around and you may not necessarily reach your potential.

Five Minute Activity: What excited you last week? 

My big personal insight was how what first appeared as a rather disappointing retail customer experience (mine) transformed itself into an opportunity to connect up with a senior manager and sell my services as a professional coach.

What surprised me initially was how energised I felt part-way through the process. It got me thinking about what it was specifically that had got me engaged in turning a negative experience into a positive one. It got me thinking about how I could condense it into a simple question.

So, grab a piece of paper and think for a moment.

Thinking only of last week, what excited you the most over the past seven days? How does that inform what you’ll go about doing this week? 

Four Minute Listen: Achieve more by doing less

Cynics (well, me) will say that this clip from Woman’s Hour is largely promotion for Tiffany Dufu’s book ‘Drop The Ball‘- “an inspirational and insightful guide for women who want to get it all by doing less”. If it is, then it’s good promotion because after listening to the clip, I ended up downloading the book from Amazon.

Tiffany’s appearance on Woman’s Hour begins with how she re-framed a self-belief she (and her husband) unwittingly acquired before they became parents. She explains how the belief was unhelpful to her, and what practical steps she and her husband took to make things better. Worth a listen.

The clip reminds me that one of the joys of coaching is its foundation in core principles and techniques – unhelpful self-beliefs like the one Tiffany discovered are everywhere.  The demanding part of a coach’s work is to be able to listen intently for those moments when those core techniques could be best applied.

Two Minute Read: 5 Habits That Are Destroying Your Ability To Lead

This is great post from Entrepreneur is useful in a number of different ways.

First, it reinforces the point that managers and leaders aren’t the same thing (they’re not – you can be a leader but not a manager). Second, it’s got some handy tips which might help you self-identify as a struggling leader.

And thirdly, it provides good inspiration for coaching questions. Try them on yourself:

  1. How are you isolating yourself from those you are leading?
  2. What key insights might you be missing which could help you as a leader?
  3. If your life depended on it, what tasks could you delegate tomorrow?
  4. What elements of your work are you making excuses for?
  5. If I could give a half-an-hour break on the promise that everything would continue running in your absence, what would you do to relax?


About the author

Jon Jacob is an executive coach with over three years experience specialising in leadership, career, transition and personal development coaching programmes at the BBC. Follow @TGoodCoach on Twitter.

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