Could Coaching be a Useful Life Tool?

You may want to get unstuck. Feeling stuck is very common these days, whether regarding a job, unemployment, relationship, or other area of life. It’s easy to resign yourself to uncomfortable situations and convince yourself that they’re going OK. This isn’t ultimately healthy, though.

Full Life Executive Coaching reveals that you have the potential for greatness in all areas of your life. The Full Life approach assists you in: understanding your unique obstacles and challenges, crystallizing your vision, facilitating your rise to peak performance, and creating the incremental goals necessary to accomplish your ambition.

What results could coaching yield for you at work and in your life?

  1. You could discover the motivation to design a brand new career tailored to your talents and abilities.
  2. You could create new opportunities and learn to rethink what’s possible.
  3. You could reinvigorate your relationship with your spouse or significant other.
  4. You could optimize your current job or career and reconnect to what you do as if it were new.
  5. You could actively plan your transition into a next-phase of life and receive support in enacting your plan.

Full Life offers a variety of services, from one-on-one coaching to inspirational talks for organizations and groups.

JS

Health Through the Soul

A recent article in Psychiatric News reviews Thomas Moore, Ph.D.’s book Care of the Soul in Medicine, an intriguing book concerning the idea of the human soul in healthcare. According to the author, modern medicine overlooks the important factor of caring for the patient’s soul during treatment, a practice that has its roots in ancient studies and techniques. Dr. Moore claims that modern medicine has too great a focus on the biological aspect of medical treatment, treating people like machines that need repair, not humans that need healing.

This is a very interesting approach, and while I wouldn’t want to downplay the biomedical aspect of healthcare, I agree that there is something more than biology at play in many patients, something that may well be called the soul. Dr. Moore points to the impersonality of healthcare. It is vital that we find ways to personalize the patient experience and introduce wellness approaches to education.

I’d say that Dr. Moore’s ideas overlap with my Spheres of Life® approach, especially since some clients can improve their functionality simply by getting in touch with their spirituality. Everyone’s different, but I’ve seen a lot of clients improve their workplace performance and lifestyle by devoting more time to what is meaningful for them, which in turn nourishes their soul.

In coaching, I teach clients to focus on on the soul by concentrating on two spheres:

  1. Spirit Sphere – This sphere covers your faith, religion, and values. Take some time to crystallize your beliefs and make sure you always act in accordance with your values. What makes life more purposeful for you?
  2. Self Sphere – This is your personality, development, your story, and your character. Clarify who you are by focusing on the aspects of your life that you are most proud of.

At this time of new year’s resolutions, what simple goal can improve your spirit?

JS

Possibility: 40 Years of Talk or Getting Results

Daphne Merkin’s August 8, 2010 article My Life in Therapy demonstrates how a long-term patient can become disillusioned with therapy, in part due to the discipline’s top-down and judgmental approach. Unfortunately, therapy is often more concerned with the therapist’s interests, not with your desired outcomes. Whether or not we want to admit it, the history of therapy has involved judgment, where the therapist interprets your ambitions and issues as problems or mental disorders. Also, for this reason, many minorities avoided therapy since the word spread that people were often more hurt than helped. What is needed now is a time-efficient and respectful multi-cultural approach for all clients to both manage issues and achieve goals, while implementing their own ideas of the life you want.

Like a lot of other people, Merkin’s article speaks of growing disillusionment with therapy, in part due to how the discipline is often therapist-centric, as opposed to chiefly concerned with your well-being.

Coaching is actually an “architectural” and design-oriented process with problem solving and goal-setting technologies for clients to utilize. Therapists have historically been called shrinks, and the new generation of coaches (ideally with clinical training as their foundation) are better described as “expanders”. Coaching helps you construct your career and life in order to achieve greater satisfaction and even “optimal performance”. It’s an exciting time, as coaching can combine the effective aspects of therapy with pursuit of your vision and goals. People are growing frustrated with the frequently narrow and “pathologizing” therapy process. Clients yearn for useful tools to survive in this increasingly competitive world. As the paradigm of therapy wanes, coaching provides an exciting client-centric alternative.


JS

Get It Going

Today I feel like talking about MOMENTUM.

In the blog series introduction I described momentum as:

MOMENTUM: What allows us to get unstuck? How can you become a person who sees what’s next and JUMPS into the opportunity with full force? We will discuss the Full Life Achilles® Plan which gives you a method to advance your goals in an organized, energized, and incremental fashion.

It is a pleasure for me to see a new coaching client who comes in determined to start planning and implementing the next phase of their career or life.

I think people turn to coaching when they have had it with feeling “stuck” in some aspect of career or life. “Hitting bottom” is when they are finally determined to move forward in their life. Bottom, however, is different for each person. One person’s bottom is not enough for another person to engage. Another common situation I see is when a client knows exactly what they want to do and they can’t seem to implement their next step goals (which I call their Achilles Plan). So we try to figure out what is blocking their pursuit of their vision. Together, we investigate what is holding them back. Is it fear of the unfamiliar or the new? Or just unexplainable inertia…? Sometimes they find it difficult to implement their vision of the career they deeply want; dating with the intention of a great relationship; or making a relationship a vibrant one instead of a mediocre one. One of my clients told me to add that sometimes there is resistance because one is not sure getting their goal is really going to make a big difference anyway. Pessimism she says needs to be managed as well, if it is a bad habit.

Once we make a hypothesis regarding why a client is blocked from reaching his or her next step, we use the Achilles plan to invigorate their goal implementation by:

1. Changing some environmental factor which gets them to go for new goals. For example, sometimes a 3-day vacation can inspire someone to move forward;

2. We break all goals down to smaller doable goals;

3. We simply wait for the client to go for the next step and encourage him or her to reach out for the goal they seek.

When I need more momentum in some area of work or life, I think about what is holding me back, and then make a plan to stimulate my pressing onward. It could be talking to a friend, a mentor, taking a course, reading a book, going for a bike ride, watching a great movie, working out, or putting something in place that encourages me to move forward. For example, an accountability step, like telling someone I know what I seek to do and asking them to follow-up with me and see if I did it. Another client mentioned that they find brief goal list left on the breakfast table and in the car are really helpful ways of staying focused on what you want.

OK…so take action right now in charging up your momentum with one of the tips discussed here.

How about you? In what ways do you create or maintain momentum that you can share below with others?

JS

You Can’t Prevent Disappointment

Nobody likes being disappointed. It sucks. Whether at work or in life.

During the past few days, Tony Robbins, the virtual god of coaching, was suddenly dropped by NBC, canceling his new television show after only 2 episodes. The news was unexpected for a man who takes pride in his effectiveness in helping others be successful. Suddenly, many American people were not interested in viewing the show. Yet he models resilience by still taking pride in the show: “I am grateful for the reach and experience that the specials created.”NYTimes

If you bravely open your eyes, disappointment strikes multiple times every day. It can be when you are let down by a colleague, a customer, a vendor, or yourself. It can be a sale that doesn’t close; a business plan that does not pan; a talk you give that fails to inspire.

I get disappointed all the time as an entrepreneur. For example, when my book was published this past year, with the launch parties and press, I thought that EVERYONE would get interested in coaching. Instead I found that the smaller but steady flow of clients still allowed Full Life to thrive. Also, when I opened the center 8 years ago, I thought thousands would come for coaching. Many did, but it is common for a business person to think huge things may happen right away. My experience is that usually incremental steps do occur. I never like disappointments, but I have learned to see and feel them, and then go on with a great attitude.

Many clients wonder how to develop a thicker skin. You might consider the following steps of how to modify your thinking in order to build resilience:

1. Expect disappointments and failures so you are not surprised when they occur;

2. Pursue life balance so your confidence is not based only at work;

3. Live for your passion and do the things at work you love;

4. Let the warrior in you come out so no one can bring you down; and

5. Persist, persist, persist.

So remember to take pride in all you do and weather the disappointments with courage and conviction. Don’t try to control everything. Keep going and dare to be disappointed and sometimes fail multiple times, tomorrow, and every day.

Let me know your thoughts about disappointment and share this with friends and colleagues who would be interested in this dialogue.

JS

SELF Magazine for May is on the shelves: Giving a counselor the pink slip

It’s a challenging task to figure out if your therapy is not working. Assessing whether to move on is difficult because often the counseling was helpful in the past, but for different reasons, it no longer feels like a good match.

In SELF Magazine (May 2010) this month I am quoted twice on page 175 in the “Get Happier Guide” on how to ‘move on’ if YOU think it is time.

“Gauge your progress. After three months, think back to the original reason you started seeing a counselor and assess whether you are closer to reaching your initial goals, says Joe Siegler, M.D., a psychiatrist, coach and author of Fire Your Therapist (Wiley). You can’t expect changes overnight, but that’s enough time to notice progress. “After every session, you should ask yourself if you are getting results,” Dr. Siegler says.

“Make a clean break. When you decide you’re ready to wrap up, it’s best to be direct, gracious and final. You may be tempted to disappear, but don’t just stop showing up,’ Dr. Siegler advises. “Try saying, ‘I appreciate all the work you’ve done and I thank you for it, but now it’s time for me to move on.'”

What do you think?

HBO In Treatment This Week: April

Session 7:

April lets Paul know it is her last session. Before letting him know she believes he saved her life, she loses her temper at one point and calls him an a******. He takes it with his head down and she asks him why he allows her to mistreat him. She wonders how can he teach her about the real world if he takes her abuse. She is right to point out his unnecessary masochism; he could be setting limits on her abusive behavior, but then he would be a coach.

What he does demonstrate as well- a quality of the best therapists and coaches- is a tremendous caring and empathy toward April. It is almost a love that creates a healing cocoon for April to help her move through chemo and hopefully back to wellness. Paul does have a coach inside him, but he comes from the school of the “talking cure” of therapy. April corrects him and carries out the “walking cure”; she is actually leaving therapy. It appears that Paul’s wounded self made her feel safe, but also got her to take responsibility for healing and getting on with life.

JS

Launching the FYT Book

Fire Your Therapist (FYT) will be launching in bookstores July 6! It is difficult to believe after so many years of it being a work in progress. It is available for pre-sale on amazon.com at the present time. The publisher says that anyone buying the book now helps out a lot because larger numbers of books will be ordered if they see people are buying it now. I deeply appreciate anyone doing this.

Some good news came in this week: FYT will be available as a book on CD and in downloadable form. The only challenge here is I now have to spend four or five full days reading the book in a studio. I did the first day today…

Lastly, the Chicago launch party for FYT will be on a summer’s night in July. More on this later…

JS

Launching Fire Your Therapist (FYT)

Just received the final edits for the book. It came by email today, out of the blue. We were not even supposed to get any more versions to edit but I am pleased because it gives one more chance to make sure it’s ready. I will do one more read-through over the weekend.

We are trying to secure a venue for the book launch party in Chicago on July 9, a Thursday night. The day it is to go on sale in bookstores is July 6. I will let you know the details of the launch party when they are decided. The good news is that FYT is up on amazon. com (under Siegler, or Fire Your Therapist). You can order it now if you like. The word is that Amazon orders more books if people start to pre-order. I appreciate all the help you can give.

It’s cool to see the book listed on amazon.com. I am starting to believe this is happening.

JS

Launching Fire Your Therapist (FYT)

Hello all,

It looks like we have identified the venue for the book party on July 16 in Chicago. I will give you more details soon. It is going to be at a very cool hotel in all likelihood.

The challenge of the day/week/month/year is to develop a way to amplify the relationship of FYT and you. You will see my staff figure out how to integrate facebook/twitter/our blog/and our websites. Our FYT website (FYTBook.com) will launch soon. For now check the Full Life Web site (FLCenters.com)

I am so excited to get the word out about FYT. It is vital for the world to move forward and not backward. This is the choice. If you look at the news, some are ashamed of our involvement in torture and others want it exposed. It is vital our country be a beacon for greatness; we must show the world how high our standard has become once again.

FYT will show you and others how to aim for greatness in your life. Hopefully this will spark enthusiasm and many will get interested in this quest.

Night all.

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