Wednesday, 24 September 2014

To develop yourself or not to develop yourself....that is the question

If you think that coaching is for poor performers to address remedial issues, please read on and be prepared to think again...

Often senior leaders seek out a coach to work with because they have the decision making authority and budget. These individuals also know that with a good coach they will accelerate their development and lead their teams to achieve good or even great results.

Equally often leaders are referred for coaching. Here there is often concern that they are not appreciated for their strengths and what they are already achieving. I can empathise with this. The immediate question is 'what is wrong with me all of a sudden?' particularly if you have been working with your line manager for some time.

Having relationships with all stakeholders in the coaching process, I have found that referring managers usually value the individual highly. In fact it is because of this value that individuals are referred - to build on their achievements with new ways of thinking and doing things that will help them to be even more effective at work.

When we ask for and receive feedback it can be seen as free development.

When we are referred for coaching it can be seen as a good opportunity to start to address those development needs that will help us perform at our best, in a calm, confident and effective way.

So if you get the opportunity to be coached I would advise that you grab it with both hands. We all have development needs, areas of our performance that can be improved upon. What are yours?

If you would like to discuss how coaching might help you please get in touch via 01761 237400/

Friday, 19 September 2014

Career/Job Health Check

Did you choose your career/job based on your values and what you enjoy or did you fall into your role?

We spend a huge chunk of our waking hours at work and thinking about work outside of work and talking about work to the people in our life.

If you hate your work and have done for some time then here are some questions to ask yourself and answer honestly to start the process of moving forwards positively

- why do you hate your work? what are the three key issues that upset you the most causing you sleepless nights or frequent rants to your partner/mother/siblings?
- what if anything past or present was/is fun, rewarding, felt exciting?
- what needs do you have in your work that are not being met? For example you like to be autonomous, whilst your boss is very directive?
- come up with ideas for possible improvements - ask what if? It is unlikely that you can completely change your role though perhaps you could speak to your boss about taking on new and different projects or responsibilities that are more suited to your values and what is important to you now.
- what suits me and my skills?
- what would feel like fulfilling work?
- can I delegate things that weigh me down and drain my energy because I am not good at them?

If you are certain that you want to change careers but do not know what you do want to do ask yourself

- what is important to me?
- what did I love doing when I was growing up?
- what magazine would I buy?
- what am I doing when I feel most energised?
- whose job do I envy?

Then go and spend some time doing 'possible jobs' - ask colleagues what their job is like, offer to work with them for free and get on the job experience of what it is really like to do that job - 'the good and the bad'. This is a great way to learn about you, what you like, what your 'must haves' are as well as what you are prepared to trade. For example, a must is a thirty minute maximum commute and you are prepared to trade on salary.

If you would like to have professional help and support to help you in your career please get in contact through or call us on 01761 237400.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Change Made Easier...

If you want to make a change in your life but are struggling then please read on.

According to all of the research we all struggle with change. The theory is that from birth we like a routine that we get used to and know well. Change literally pulls the rug or comfort blanket from under our inner child and we experience some level of stress.

Some of the stuff that we do does not serve us so we decide that we want to change it. We usually refer to the things that we do routinely as habits. Whilst there are good and bad habits most of the time we talk in the context of bad habits such as poor eating, exercise, communication or work.

Whatever we do continually becomes a habit. A strong emotional response can also result in a habit change such as always wearing a seat belt following a near fatal car accident during which you were not wearing a seat belt.

The first step to making a change is working out the best specific thing about the result of making that change. For example, 'I will take great delight in going to the meeting next month feeling and looking confident as I present my report. This will mean that I have more energy for my team and we can prioritise work optimally.'

For any change to work the current situation must be painful and the prospect of the future situation such as that outlined above sufficiently pleasurable for us to work to that.

Having identified your goal, you may, like many others before you, aim to go all out to achieve the goal now and in full. Perhaps you have experienced this before say with exercise and committed to going to the gym every night after work, only to give up after Wednesday.

The second step to making change stick is to take small action steps each day that move you in the direction of the goal. Using the example above the daily action steps might be taken Monday to Friday as follows and repeated each week before the next meeting

Monday - brainstorm what I need to do to achieve this goal
Tuesday - practice presenting my report with confident physiology including eye contact, taking notes, smiling
Wednesday - practice focusing on report highlights balancing good and not so good news 3:1
Thursday - practice calm tone and positive language
Friday - practice asking good questions

Repetition is really important to creating new habits. Every time we repeat an action a neural pathway is created and each repetition reinforces it. So the more you practice doing what you want the nearer you are to your goal.

Remember that it is the small things that you do each day - your good habits - that are the key to success in anything you choose to do.

If you would like help making the changes that will fulfil you in life please get in touch via If you would like to e mail a question then please do so through

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Getting What You Want

If you are interested in getting what you want but are unsure as to where to start and how to go about this big area of your life please read on.

Before we start it's interesting to know that research strongly indicates that when we help others and connect with those others this helps us to achieve what we want in terms of how we feel, pretty good.
So when you are using your creative mind to explore what you want it might help to bear this in mind.

Right, if you were to wave a realistic magic wand what would you have, be and do in the following areas of your life

1. In your work
2. You personally
3. With others

Research suggests that these are the 3 core areas of our life and if we achieve what we want in these areas we will be pretty happy. All good so far.

The next area to explore is how we go about achieving what we want. The main issue here is overcoming our internal critic, the area that stems from the unconscious mind which houses limiting belief and decisions. For example, you may want to get really healthy but your belief is that every time you try you last a few days at most then go back to old habits.

What can you do about this? One tip is to work at the level of your identity and start to see yourself in your mind's eye as a healthy person doing healthy things like eating whole foods primarily. Rehearsing this image of yourself every day works to 'rewire' old patterns of thing and create new neural pathways. If you repeat this action for a month you will likely experience habit change, if you are committed and the old pain of being unhealthy is sufficiently limiting that you want a new way of being and doing.

It is sometimes hard to articulate what you specifically want. Even harder to make the change and maintain it.

If you would like support in making changes to achieve what you want we are here to help you.

Please visit our website

If you would like to experience a discovery session to identify your objectives and outcomes please get in touch via or call 01761 237400.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Anxiety About Changing?

If you find yourself having the same conversation with yourself and/or others about what you want to change and not having successfully achieved the change, please read on.

What you want is a conscious choice. Consider the question 'what do I want?' for a minute and write it all down.

Run through the list. Mark a cross by the side of those items which you have wanted for some time but not achieved and then prioritise them. Say the top one is to do more exercise.

The problem is that the things sabotaging your success and getting you to not do exercise are subconscious factors. For example, one of your beliefs, stored subconsciously, is that exercise is hard work, more pain than pleasure. Beliefs are powerful determinants of behaviour. So to change you must have beliefs that work in favour of the change that you want to make such as 'I believe I will have so much more energy' from doing more exercise which will make me feel more alive and want to engage more in life which is why I am get the idea.

We know that for change to happen well and be sustained the current experience must be painful and the anticipate future, what's the worst most painful thing about not doing exercise, for example, 'I feel really sluggish....which sets of a cycle of not doing exercise!' and what is the most pleasurable thing about doing an exercise that you enjoy? 'I get to be outside walking because that's my exercise of choice because when I walk I find it easiest to be in the moment when I feel calm'.

I wish you all the best in making that change that you know will have gthe biggest positive impact on your life.

If you would like help to achieve your changes your goals please visit our website or e mail us at enquiries@westofenglandcoachingandcounselling if you have a question or call us on 01761 237400.