Common Coaching Blocks in the Workplace

This is for the person who is leading others in a workplace.  You may be in a position of power or a position of influence.  You know the coaching process will support and bring out the best in the people in your place of business, yet there are some common blocks that can stop the best of us from having coaching conversations.

What are some common coaching blocks that can get in the way of our sticking to a coaching focus in our everyday situations?  Here are three blocks that can stop you sticking your neck out.

Let's start with micromanaging and how we go straight to our first reaction.

1. Watch the First Reaction

When you are used to providing solutions, it is easier to defer to our first reaction of offering answers or advice.  We can initially react by giving the answers rather than coaching when you face time challenges and change resistance reasons. The micro managing technique overrides your coaching skills of listening, questioning and goal setting and you revert to telling with words like, "this is how we always do it" and "just get it done". 

What to do

Choose the situations where you can coach to bring about creative and critical thought to encourage ownership and accountability.  Micro managing may get you your result but the long term aim is for the employee to accept ownership of their role and the solutions needed for the challenges and obstacles in their job.  Decide, plan, prepare which projects, jobs and tasks can be solved through collaboration, through giving space and opportunity for the person to research.  Look for opportunities to question, listen and get to agreed goal setting. 

Next is to have the courage to take the performance appraisal process to the next level.

2. Coaching and the performance appraisal process.  

The annual performance appraisal time and the ever changing forms can create a view that the performance appraisal is a superficial process, it can get confusing and we just tick the boxes and move on. The more it is seen as playing the game with no clear commitment, it is imposed and false the less likely your coaching will be accepted positive experience.  

What to do

The performance appraisal process will gain significance when you value the coaching conversation and when it is integral to the process. Don't expect any changes if you accept the performance appraisal session as just a tick in the box. Your coaching conversation is another opportunity for incremental gain to build capability and confidence, and when seen by both participants as a priority in the performance appraisal process it leads to employee self-determination, lasting change and goal achievement. 

When using the excuse of lack of time and lack of preparation for coaching conversation.

3. Coaching is time consuming

When you are busy you can perceive the coaching conversation as a time waster.  The coaching conversation is a two way communication and time is a sensitive subject and relative to how each person sees it. When you don't see instant benefits you can tend to give up, this can be for one or both of you.  Past experiences will influence your opinion to whether coaching is for you. When you look at it as a long term habit forming positive bias, you see it as an investment.  
Coaching conversations do consume time, you decide whether it is a waste or an investment. 

What to do

Begin with small, frequent coaching sessions with purpose and a clear achievable result. When you see this is working you are creating the perception that a coaching conversation is worthwhile.  You can follow a model, like GROW, to help you with coaching fundamentals and your preparation. 

There is no block big enough to hold you back from having a coaching conversation to bring out the best in your staff.  When you stick your neck out, you make progress and your coaching focus will become just a part of what you do!

Unlock your best future

My words are centred in the desire and intention to help people bring about their best and connect to their best future.


Are You Feeling Stuck?

Signs of Stuck

What is it like to feel stuck? 
Every day seems the same, you don't see a way forward.
 A hopeless and helpless feeling grabs and takes hold of you. 
The stuck feeling can develop when you are in a rut.
It can be the habit that doesn't serve you, but tough to stop, 
or relationships that drain you.  
When you are stuck, your energy levels are way down. 
Sometimes, you don't know you are there until you are in crisis.

Stuck shows up your limiting beliefs.
You can burn one limiting belief at a time.

How to bust the stuck feeling

The moment you know you are feeling stuck you will see a keyhole of imagination and optimism open.

You have recognised that you are not up to speed with how you want your life to be and you are bothered by it.   The feeling may still be around you, circumstances don't always change immediately. The difference is you know you want it to change.

This is a great first step, because we know change in our circumstances can be activated by you in two ways:  by way of crisis or pain or awareness and insight.  The stuck feeling can be painful, and it can also be a motivator for change.  Remember, the old saying....necessity is the mother of invention!

Awareness creates choice.
You make the choice to see your situation as too much, too hard and now stuck.
You also make the choice to appreciate and to look at things in a different light and see opportunity.

Ask yourself lots of questions

When you are feeling stuck and not sure of which way to go, start with asking questions, any questions.   Questions propel you forward.  what do I do next? how do I make this better? What do I believe is best for me? Questions create more questions and lead to solutions.  You may not know right now what you want to do. That is all ok.  You are just starting out to get unstuck.  Each question, each step will move you farther away from feeling stuck.

A lesson from the dying

Time to get tough on yourself and take responsibility for your situation.  You are feeling stuck and you can pull yourself out.  Regrets and pulling yourself down are a waste of your life time.
Dr Wayne Dyer penned the book " Top 5 Regrets of the Dying" and the stand out was "I wish I had the courage that I lived the life I was destined to do".  To break the cycle of feeling stuck, push past the crowd of limiting beliefs and tell yourself you want better. Tell yourself you expect better.  Remember what you want to be.

Take back your mojo!  

Feeling stuck is a sure sign you lost your mojo or you gave away your mojo, your most priceless possession.  Recognise it is time to take back what is rightfully yours. Mojo sums up all things unique about you, it is your sense of place in life, your worth, your value, your uniqueness, your identity.

KungFu Panda says it best....

"I blind people with the light of my awesomeness" KungFu Panda

Mendicino Sunset
Unlock your best future
My words are centred in the desire and intention to help people bring about their best and connect to their best future.


How many times have you let yourself off the hook?

How many times?   I have lost count!!!

Especially, when it was new, when I was not sure, when I doubted if I could do it.

The oh-so inventive reasons why I could let myself off the hook.

Leave it for another day or start again on something else.
It is a common malady, one that can be cured.

You start out with such excitement and eagerness, you plan and plot your course to what you want to do and within a week, maybe a few days it all falls in a heap, ready for the next thing to come along.  You see it a lot in the life of a dieter or the new gym membership. You perhaps have seen it in a co-worker blaming the work situation, or the student looking for the next assignment extension.

No use being hard on yourself, but it is time to work out why it happens and how to stop.

It's time to stop settling for something less by letting yourself off the hook and not reaching those goals you want to make happen in your life.

It is common knowledge that we have the capability to influence our own minds and therefore our own destinies.   Neuroplasticity is instinctive to us, our brains can change the "wiring", we know to strengthen the brain, we are to challenge, dare and extend our thinking and learning.   If we stop challenging our brains with fresh and unanticipated details and information it starts to weaken. We will let ourselves "off the hook" more often and get stuck.

You mastered your mind to let yourself off the hook, you can master your mind to stay hooked.

Here are some day to day activities to strengthen your brain and increase your confidence, focus and productivity.

Make possibilities thinking a part of your day. Daydream greater scenarios for yourself and your core desires start to feel a lot easier to attain. The mind cannot differentiate between reality and imagination,  so imagine the possibilities.  Your focus is more on the opportunities instead of the limitations. Possibilities thinking for the work team stretches their creativity and synergy and you experience better results in productivity and meeting targets.

This has been around of a while and worth including, it is to increase your vocabulary, especially superlative words. Superlative words jolt your energy up.  Instead of replying to the everyday question of "how are you?' with I am fine thanks, use words like I am wonderful, I am excited about the day. Leave out any self defeating language. Be inventive with your answers and you will find you will lift the other person's energy too.

Start and finish your day in a positive manner. This is a feel good habit that spills over to your confidence and in your communication.  Your thoughts and your energy are not a private thing about you.  Your positive outlook is natural and you see things in a positive way, you look beyond your judgements and the barriers to solutions. 

When the new becomes routine and repetition, seek new ways, new paths, new challenges. Even the small gains can make a big difference.  Be aware of how much you do without much thought, when you feel you are on autopilot. When you can add even a small change to that routine you are giving your brain some unanticipated details and new information. That slight change improves your focus.

"Remember, the man at the top of the mountain, didn't just fall there"  Unknown

Unlock your best future
My words are centred in the desire and intention to help people bring about their best and connect to their best future.

7 Things about Mindfulness your Boss wants to Know

If you and your workmates were practising mindfulness, it is just what you do, what difference would it make in the workplace?

Research shows that mindfulness can:

  • Reduce stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms
  • Increase resilience and peace of mind
  • Enhance cognitive performance
  • Improve study and work performance
  • Improve relationships and overall wellbeing

With all the scientific research that has been done and is being done about mindfulness, and more research specifically on practising mindfulness in the workplace,  your boss wants to know the answer to that question.

What is mindfulness and why would your boss want to know?

Mindfulness is becoming aware of your here and now experience, you are learning to pay attention with the objective to develop and improve who you are.
Many of my previous posts focus on designing your best life, unlocking your best future with the key idea of mindfulness, the self awareness and objective self-observation to help you change your thoughts - change your mind, build your resilience, manage your emotions, new connections in your mind and new connections in your life. Here are links to some of the posts ...

When you are not mindful it can look like this....remember if you do some or even most of these things at times, you are very much normal.

  • Breaking things, spilling things, clumsiness, accidents because of carelessness, inattention or thinking about something else.
  • Failing to notice subtle or not-so-subtle feelings of physical discomfort, pain, tension etc.
  • Forgetting someone’s name as soon as you hear it.
  • Listening to someone with one ear while doing something else at the same time.
  • Getting so focussed on goals that I lose touch with what I am doing right now.
  • Getting lost in my thoughts and feelings.
  • Being preoccupied with the future or the past.
  • Eating without being aware of eating.
  • Having periods of time where you have difficulty remembering the details of what happened – running on autopilot.
  • Reacting emotionally in certain ways – feeling like an emotion just “came out of nowhere”.
  • Doing several things at once rather than focussing on one thing at a time.
  • Distracting yourself with things like eating, alcohol, pornography, drugs.
Why your boss wants to know, is that the connection mindfulness can make to a positive and productive organisational culture and climate. A workplace with improved working relationships, collaboration, less stress, more creativity, more focus and change ready individuals.

Here are 7 things about mindfulness your boss wants to know...

Mindfulness practice...

1. Can improve performance

You will notice clarity in your thoughts and a focus to the end result. No more need for time management courses, you can do away with procrastination and get on with the job.  You are calm and confident and can deal with each obstacle as it comes to you.

"I get everything done I have to get done today"

2. Can lessen emotional reactivity

When you are mindful, you are in charge of your mind, you are in charge of your results. You are present in the moment and can discipline your emotions.  Leadership is a part of your character, you seek collaboration and look for ways through rather than ways to block. You are developing the skill of self-observation and there is a clear, concise vision and values.

"Everything is always working out for me."

3.  Can improve focus and memory

Your mindfulness practice is showing results in your short term memory.  You focus more on achieving and completing. Your mind and your thoughts are not wandering as much and your attention is focused on now.

 "Let go of small thoughts. See yourself succeeding"

4. Can improve observation and listening skills

Because your awareness is heightened, it stands to reason your observation and listening skills are set to improve.  Your mediation skills are sharpening as you focus on alignment and building empathy.

"Win the heart to change the mind."

5. Can increase your solution focus and creativity

When you are in an anxious environment your brain does not store positives, you only recall what has gone wrong.  When you practise mindfulness you create an environment of stability, an opportunity to see solutions from a creative point of view.

"Our own limitations are those we set up in our own mind."  Napoleon Hill

6. Can improve your stress management

We know excessive stress and our lack of awareness of what triggers us to suffer will show up in our emotional responses, our performance and our productivity. It shows up in less work days and in our physiology. If the practice of mindfulness can take the sting out of your response to situations that cause stress, it is worth it to invest the time and improve your health and wellbeing.

"To be conscious of one's own shadow is the first step to self awareness. " Carl Jung

7. Define your own  motivation

If the boss needs to motivate you, they probably don't want to hire you or keep you on.
A spin off from improving your focus and clarity is that you know what will motivate you.  An extrinsic motivator, such as goals help to concentrate the mind. The vision and goals map out the why, what and how.  When you match this with the intrinsic motivators of creativity and you find your work is something to pursue even in the absence of a return.

"Every man is what he is because of dominating thoughts which he permits to occupy his mind. Thoughts which he deliberately places in his own mind and encourages with sympathy and with which he mixes emotion constitute the motivating forces which direct and control his every moment and deed. ' Napoleon Hill

How to practice mindfulness

Here are a few I use, please discover more practises that will work for you.  There are certainly many to apply, it has been around for many centuries.  

  • Self awareness practices like yoga and meditation are my first go to as it helps me to pay attention and to focus my deep breathing. This will quieten the mind, slow down the beta brain waves and critical buzzing thoughts and to move to the alpha state when the brain waves are slower and I appreciate the creative and imaginative mind I have. As I am in this state I am learning to acknowledge my thoughts, no judgement and then let them go, no reaction or emotion.  
  • Wake up to gentle music, drink water before any coffee or tea. Appreciate that the day is my best day.
  • I give myself the space, so when the negative gets me down or the thoughts I have are not to my benefit, I use the word change as the trigger to observe my thoughts.  This usually catches me to raise my empathy.

It doesn't matter what happened yesterday what matters is what you are going to do today.   

Unlock your best future
My words are centred in the desire and intention to help people bring about their best and connect to their best future.


Attention Seeking

You live in a universe of attraction, not in a universe of exclusion.
Give your attention to it, and that will be the result of your experience.
Embrace the contrast, the good and not so good,  that is in your life.

Be more friendly about the components of your environment.
Even though they are not the way you want them.

Ease up
Be more friendly to yourself, more easy with yourself, more aware. 
Approach your life acknowledging that it is all good and among the good there is that which you prefer.  
If I make peace with the fact that where I am standing is the place not yet where I want to be, yet,
I know the place I want to be is stretched out before me. 
Make peace with what is and what is will begin showing you.

The only thing that is necessary for me is to
continue to define what I want and believe what I want can be. 
I know for sure there will be never ending evidence of getting to where I want.

You can make a better place by your standards.
You can add to this world in a very positive way but it is your concern about things that are not going well that keep you from doing that.

Never stop reaching for more, reaching for more on purpose.

Everything is always working out for me

Things are always working out for me

Apply my attention to things that are working out for me.
Define what things to be working out for me
What is the evidence.
What rings my bell.

Looking for things that we want to see
 Make lists

Never stop reaching for more, reaching for more on purpose.

Everything is always working out for me

Things are always working out for me

Define - Make Lists

  •    There is a confidence about me, and the confidence guides me to where I am to go.
  •    My timing is right for me and I am riding on momentum.
  •    I know the Universal forces are working with me
  •    A full sense of who I am.
  •    Look into this world and appreciate all that has been before that has led to what is right now.
  •    I would like to live in a constant state of appreciation.
  •    I am an uplifter, anyone who comes into contact with me, to feel better after contact with me.  
  •    Trust in the law of attraction and trust the information it gives to me.
  •    I want to be all that I was born to be.
  •    I want to have fun.
  •    I want to have clarity.
  •    I want to wake up eager for the day.
  •    I want to sleep well.
  •    I want to eat well.
  •    I want others to eat well.
  •    I want all children to go to bed with a full belly.
  •    I want children to know their value. 
  •    I want opportunities to help them know it.
  •    I am a catalyst to others to feel good.
  •    Consistently in my own joy.
  •    I would like to control my good and not so good times better.
  •    It is better to see the problem come in the form of a question to seek an answer.
  •    I am going to take good care of me.
  •   I am going to do my best to feel good more of the time.
  •    My intention is to keep my promise to myself more of the time.

These words are from the Abraham-Hicks Meditation Video, and the wisdom in these words lit a fire in me.  I am excited to share these words with you here.  There are many kind and wise people in our world who are more than willing to guide us on our journey. Look out for them and be open, in turn, to be the guide for others.

Unlock your best future
My words are centred in the desire and intention to help people bring about their best and connect to their best future.