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Transforming ourselves with coaching

“I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else.”

Winston Churchill

Our resident coaching guru Danielle ran a webinar session for one of our clients yesterday and I wanted to capture and share some of the key ideas with you all.

The focus was on positive mindset, something we all need right now and on tips, tricks and techniques you can use to coach yourself.

I opened the webinar and framed it based on my opinion that many of us are currently full of fears and doubts and this may result in a lack of self-confidence.  Admittedly, many of us would be gold medalists if there was an Olympics in procrastination. I, for one am guilty of that. We are great at complaining and quick to criticise others

Have you ever been quick to blame others when something goes wrong?, When you miss a deadline? Or a client is unhappy? How would things be different if you shifted the focus from what went wrong to… What did I learn? What will I do differently next time?

Notice the ‘I’ in those questions.

For many of us we would have to admit that we should always strive to do better and be better versions of ourselves, we’ve all seen the popular hashtag living your best life after all?!

In this blog we’re going to look at four key themes

  • Coaching model
  • Applying a coaching mindset
  • Reframing our thoughts
  • Self-coaching tips and techniques

Coaching is for all and not just reserved for high powered executives.

First let’s start with a few quotes:

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves

Carl Jung

Always remember your focus determines your reality

George Lucas

Dreams are free goals have a cost

Usain Bolt

These are the types of things you can get from coaching. Coaching requires looking inward, to reflect and learn about yourself. Why you look at things as you do. Why you react as  you do and why.

Why apply a coaching mindset?

Working with other people and having good relationships requires looking inward. Often the frustrations we feel coming from the outside, in reality, represent our own frustrations from within. Coaching is a learning process and the more we learn about ourselves the better equipped we are to be our best self with others.

Often the way we view things and the meaning we assign to situations is a reflection of our past experiences. Coaching enables us to examine the stories we tell ourselves about events and write a new story to unlock or potential and change our internal narrative.

Having a vision is important but having a plan for achieving your vision and sticking to it is necessary. How many times have you set a goal for yourself, only to realise you have no idea how to go about achieving it? Like a GPS, we need to know where we are starting and where we want to get to

What is coaching?

Coaching is a set of skills and behaviours but it is also a mindset.

It is a learning process and in many organisations may sit in and among Learning & Development, but ownership sits with us, the one to be coached.

Naturally it is human centered and self-driven – ultimately the work and progress is undertaken by the individual and not the coach.

Coaching helps the other person to unlock their own potential and maximise their performance.

Coaching is not

Managing, training, mentoring, directing or counselling.

How do you coach?

GROW is the most widely known and established models for unlocking potential and improving performance.

Goals – this should be at the start of any journey, an established goal – what are you looking to achieve, what is the issue (personal or professional).

When setting goals, ask yourself:

  • Where would I like to be in 3 months’ time? 6 months’ time? A year?
  • What would be a successful outcome for me?
  • How does success look and feel for me?
  • What am I want to be working towards?

Setting SMART goals is important. Success can be defined through many lenses, promotion, autonomy – but make it tangible.

Be careful about being too open ended. Visually a goal can be difficult, trying to express it can be hard if you have not done this before.

If you have a hard time visualising your goals – imagine it is a year from now. What would you want to be different from today? What are you doing differently? Feeling? Saying? Write it down, in as much detail as possible to jump start your work on establish well-crafted SMART goals.

Chunking: Climbing a mountain starts by putting one foot in front of the other….

Once you have a defined a goal, break it down into smaller milestones so you know exactly what you are striving for.

Example: By age 55, I would like to

  • Retire from full-time employment and fix up my country cottage
  • Spend 3 months travelling Asia with my partner
  • Gift £20,000 to each of my 3 grandchildren towards their University education

Once our goal is defined, we need a reality-check:

  • What is happening for me right now?
  • If my ideal situation/goal is a 10, what number best represents where I am right now? (great for the more analytical or number based folks out there)
  • Describe the present situation…
  • What issues or challenges are you facing?
  • What impact is not achieving this goal/current situation having on you?
  • How do I see the current situation? Why might I see it this way? What do I gain/lose from seeing it this way?

One on the benefits of writing this down can be to simply see it on the paper and not floating around in your head. Sounds simple but it works.

When considering options, it is sometimes a challenge to not jump directly to actions. Allow yourself time and space to consider as many ideas as possible without qualifying them. Set a timer and for that given, team come up with as many ideas as possible without judging them.

Options – a collection brainstorm:

  • What could I do?
  • What ideas do I have?
  • Who might help me? What resources do I have?
  • What else could work?
  • Who do I know who has achieve this / been successful at this?
  • Which options or ideas might give me the best results?
  • Which options or ideas excite me most?
  • What haven’t I considered?

There are lots of options here. Some ideas might be obvious but they need to motivate us to try them.

Taking Action

The last part of our self-coaching model is the Way Forward – taking action. The part we all want to jump to.

  • What is the first step?
  • How will you measure success?
  • When will you take that step?
  • What else do you need?
  • Who will help with that?
  • How will this achieve your original goal?
  • How will you do that?
  • What changes will you make?

Way forward – scaling

Using numbers can be a tangible approach, take your actions and ash how confident am I on a scale of 1 to 10 …with 1 being not confident at all and 10 being extremely confident?

Why is it not a 10? What’s holding me back..?

How committed am I on a scale of 1 to 10..?

How confident and committed are you? For example, if you decide to run a marathon next year you need to be committed to training but also confident you can actually achieve it. It is it no good to be confident but not committed, and this can work both ways.

If we score low, we will need to go back and reassess.

Finally some tips for ‘self-coaching’

  • Write it down – writing down your goals and even thoughts, ideas and feelings not only increases your motivation but increases likelihood of success
  • Be solutions focused Move towards the solution – not towards the problem.
  • Be open to new ideas, things you haven’t tried before and looking at things in a different way
  • Celebrate successes
  • Be comfortable saying NO – this is so important, time is precious and don’t give it away easily if it does not align with your goals.
  • Love your mistakes as much as your successes
  • Treat time as your most valuable resource
  • Be grateful to foster a more positive mindset
  • Take care of you – mindfulness, relaxation, health, wellbeing, ‘self-care’

Some further resources to check out:

Tony Robbins: The Power of Belief

Brene Brown: The Power of Vulnerability

And of course check out our coaching page:

About this author

Matt Fotherby

Financial Markets, Compliance & Regulations

Matt Fotherby

Matt is our Founder and a passionate trainer.

His interest in education stems from his 10 years as an Account Executive looking after Global Hedge Fund and Asset Management clients. This led Matt to join the coveted Financial Markets Education team at UBS, a unique in-house education team that specialised in running a curriculum of financial market and product classes for both UBS employees and clients. Matt was responsible for building out the client offering; managing programs, creating content and teaching courses.

As financial markets entered a significant period of regulatory change Matt pivoted to take his client experience and market knowledge to focus on Regulations and Compliance topics.

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