Coaching for 2018

With instant and global connectivity there's really no limitation on coaching sessions - to celebrate the launch of my first book I'm therefore allocating more time in my diary to providing coaching sessions.

Contact me now if you'd be interested in finding out more about what's involved - whether for a one-off kick up the ... session, a retreat like weekend, or a more gentle programme of coaching sessions.

Or first read about the myths and benefits of coaching.

Friday, 21 September 2018

Let's hope I'm not headed for the ocean

As I write this ahead of Saturday I have no way of knowing if the weather will get the better of my plans.

I'm due to take part in the Forth Swim - which is 1.4 miles from South to North Queensferry in Fife, Scotland. (Anyone wishing to make donations to RNLI are most welcome to do so on my JustGiving page or simply text 70070 with RBCM47 £x where x is the amount you wish to donate)

Having taken open water swimming up in June last year I've been in the water over 90 times since then. I love it - who knew I could cope with the cold and enjoy it!

My book, Can't see the wood for the trees, was finally published here in the UK this week (It's been available elsewhere since August), and I am however a little worried that the chapters of my book are a premonition.

The book provides insight from nature about what to do when using some very well known sayings that refer to nature - here in the UK anyway.
 
You'll find out more about the book over on my Landscaping Your Life page.

I'll let you know how I got on next week.

Alison Smith
The Purchasing Coach
Author or Can't see the wood for the trees

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

The Benefits of Coaching

Earlier in the week I wrote about the myths of coaching. Today I'd like to explore the benefits of coaching.

I could use words like: clarity, improving situations, realising goals, changing lives, inspiring action, and transformation. Which are all words used by coachees about the impact coaching has had on them. The challenge is, it doesn't help you much as they're not very tangible and generate more questions of the coachees than they provide answers e.g. how were you inspired, what did that mean you could do, what did you have more or less of in your life as a result and so on.

As I love using metaphors in my coaching I thought I'd use a journey as a metaphor for what coaching helps us to do.

When setting out on any journey there's some fundamentals.
  • You have to know where you are (A)
  • and where you want to get to (B)
Usually we at least know where we're starting - although not always - and if we don't know coaching can act a little like GPS helping us discover the coordinates of where we're starting from.


If needed, coaching can also help us to open our eyes and to be honest about the state of the current situation - positive or negative, helpful or not, and the inner and outer resources we have available to us.


Coaching can help us get clear about our end destination, making it more likely we'll get there.


Or perhaps that's just about the first stop. With the potential of an even bigger and further away destination as some point in the future that we need to consider now.


Coaching can help us be clear about why we want to get to B,


and even invite us to consider if C or D might be even better destinations that meet more of our needs, or that act as a bigger motivator.


Coaching can help us come up with a route to get from A to B/C or D - that action plan.


It can help us decide when we set out, and when not to.
Who we don't want to come along with us, and who we do.


Coaching can help us prepare for the journey - decide what we might need to do before setting off,


or what we need to consider during our journey.
Coaching can help take the first step,


Monitor progress along our journey, and help us to make corrections to our route, or deal with things that arise.


Of course there's always things that get in the way on a journey, and coaching helps us prepare for them and work around, under, over or through them. To face what might stop us getting there and prepare for success.
Image result for learning to drive




!

Coaching also helps us take action to start covering those miles, and to celebrate when we reach each milestone.

People don't always need help for every aspect of the journey. And sometime they do - from planning, to leaving, to amending, to correcting, to arriving and celebrating.

If you know where you're headed, have an action plan to get there, have taken the first step, and are satisfied with the speed, direction, and progress you're making then you're most likely being your own coach, and may not need any additional support.

If you're: stuck, or unsure where to go, off track, wandering around, hesitant, lost, have no route map, and/or have done no preparation for the journey then coaching might be worth considering to get you on track and motoring along - or perhaps it's flying along that makes more sense.


If coaching is something you'd like to explore the first step is finding and choosing a coach. If that coach might be me then do give me a call +44 (0)7770 538159 or email alison@alisonsmith.eu

Also see the myths about coaching for a more logical explanation about what coaching is. My first book Can't see the wood for the trees is published tomorrow and provides questions from nature who is acting as our coach - particularly helpful for situations when we're in any of the situations below. See Landscaping your Life for more about this coaching tool I've used for the last 20 years:



"Alison is one of the best coaches I have ever had the pleasure of working with (and I've worked with a few!) She has a highly practical nature and combines it with strong intuition and unconventional tools to guide you to find insights and answers to specific challenges. 

She asks powerful thought provoking questions, but it's not just about coming up with answers in your mind; in my session she used various unconventional tools including something called The Transformation Game to help me connect with my intuition to gain new insights and awareness about my situation. Not only that, due to Alison's skill and patience I was able to experience a profound shift in relation to an ongoing challenge that had been holding me back in my life and I left the session with action steps to enable me to progress further.

As with any transformational coaching, you need to be prepared to take responsibility for personal change and get out of your comfort zone to find the answers you need, but Alison makes this easy with her approach.

Whether you're looking for a personal coach or you're looking for a highly skilled executive coach in the workplace for insights, awareness and more importantly a clear idea of the next action to take, if you're ready to try a powerful alternative, I highly recommend you get in touch with Alison."



Tuesday, 18 September 2018

No pain, No gain


Words have power.
Words have such power, that unconsciously they’re informing our thoughts, feelings and actions in every moment – positively and negatively.
The words and sayings we use can often become a whole universe in their own right – with their own laws of gravity, relativity, and even black holes and worm holes we can get sucked into and lost within. These universes are of our own making, with immutable and often unconscious laws that may bear no relation to how the world really works. Yet they impact our actions, and therefore the outcomes we achieve.
The key is bringing unhelpful words and sayings, and their accompanying laws, into our conscious awareness so that they may be weakened of their power in our lives.
Today's LinkedIn article explores No pain, No gain.

Do get in touch if you’d be interested in a personal, team or organisational audit of the universe of words that might be limiting your progress and success. More traditional coaching and facilitation using a range of conventional and unconventional tools is also available.
Sayings getting in the way of success, that have been covered by previous posts, include: Juggling balls or spinning plates, life got in the way, treading water, needing to be on the same page as others, turning over a new leaf, testing the water and even following our dreams. (Other universes that we can get stuck within include the words we use to describe our roles – more here.)

Monday, 17 September 2018

The myths about coaching


"I'd find that really helpful" said one delegate on a recent workshop when we spoke about coaching.

I hear this often, and yet very few people turn that desire into action.

I wonder, is that because we think:
  • Coaching is something other people do and not us. 
  • It's only about emotions.  
  • We have to know what we want before we can start. 
  • Or know what's stopping us.
  • Or have the answers.
  • Or attend multiple sessions.
  • A quick fix won't solve this.
  • We don't want someone else telling me what to do.
  • It's only for major life events after all. 
  • It's only for those with money to spare.
  • I'm not worth it.
I'm glad to tell you these are all myths, because in reality:
  • Coaching is something everyone can benefit from. 
  • Coaching can cover any or just one aspect of your life - thoughts, feeling, behaviours, actions and can cover physical and mental health, nutrition, fitness, life, finances, relationships, purpose, divorce, bereavement, setting up for own business or even procurement processes. You decide. You just need to find the right coach with experience of the area you're wanting coaching in, and a coaching style that suits you.
  • Coaching helps us understand where we are, where we might want to get to, and identify an action plan to get there.
  • To discover what's stopping us.
  • To ask the powerful questions so you can uncover the answers.
  • It can be one powerful and insightful call or a series of face to face meetings - or any mix in-between. 
  • Coaching may not be able to "fix" the problem. Coaching can however help you take control over your reaction to the situation, and identify an action plan to change your relationship to it.
  • The coach's role is to ask you the questions in order for you to decide for yourself what you want to do.
  • Coaching is for any aspect of your life - any area where you'd like something to reduce, change, improve, or transform.  
  • Coaching is an investment - it's only you who can determine if that  level of investment is worth the reward of achieving your goal. 
  • Everyone is worth it. Everyone.
The first action is accepting you're worth it, and then picking up the phone to explore how a coach might be able to help you. If that coach might be me then do give me a call +44 (0)7770 538159 or email alison@alisonsmith.eu

"Alison is one of the best coaches I have ever had the pleasure of working with (and I've worked with a few!) She has a highly practical nature and combines it with strong intuition and unconventional tools to guide you to find insights and answers to specific challenges. 

She asks powerful thought provoking questions, but it's not just about coming up with answers in your mind; in my session she used various unconventional tools including something called The Transformation Game to help me connect with my intuition to gain new insights and awareness about my situation. Not only that, due to Alison's skill and patience I was able to experience a profound shift in relation to an ongoing challenge that had been holding me back in my life and I left the session with action steps to enable me to progress further.

As with any transformational coaching, you need to be prepared to take responsibility for personal change and get out of your comfort zone to find the answers you need, but Alison makes this easy with her approach.

Whether you're looking for a personal coach or you're looking for a highly skilled executive coach in the workplace for insights, awareness and more importantly a clear idea of the next action to take, if you're ready to try a powerful alternative, I highly recommend you get in touch with Alison."


Friday, 14 September 2018

Let go of your dreams

Words have power, and this week I realised how unconscious seemingly positive words can be in holding us back.

We don't have to go far to find ourselves encouraged to:
  • Follow your dreams
  • Never let go of your dreams
  • Live your dream 
I get it - visions, ambitions and goals can act as a huge motivator of action. Without them it's easy to find ourselves going around in circles, treading water and going nowhere fast.

And yet - is dream the right word to use to describe what we're aiming for? 

If you're achieving your goals, ambitions or dreams then there's no need to consider whether the word you're using is appropriate. It doesn't matter, because it's either working, or not limiting you making progress. 

If you're wondering what's holding you back, however, you might want to think about what word you're using to describe the outcome you're wanting. 

Here's my perspective on why "dreams" might not work.

"Dreams" are mainly associated with what we do when we sleep - they're surreal, fantasies, intangible, ethereal, weird, and often have no relationship to science fact and make better topics of science fiction! 

Additionally after we've dreamt we wake up and go back to reality, back to real life.  

Why would "dreams" then act as a great motivator?   

In a coaching conversation earlier in the week I heard "My dream is too ethereal and unreal, a nice thought on a bad day of something to come - one day - sometime in the future." 

As I reflected on my own dream come true of becoming a published author I realised it was feeling a little surreal and disconnected from what was happening. Changing being a published author to an ambition realised felt much more concrete, and something I needed to plan for, and take action about. (Although it required a little fantasy when taking this image to help envisage the ambition :-) )


Are you following your dreams or would following your ambition, vision or aspiration get you there more successfully?  

Do get in touch if you’d be interested in a personal, team or organisational audit of the words that might be limiting your progress and success. More traditional coaching and facilitation using a range of conventional and unconventional tools is also available.

Alison Smith

alison@alisonsmith.eu
+44 (0)7770 538159
Author of Can’t see the wood for the trees – which explores solutions to sayings that are keeping you stuck. 
Sayings such as: stuck in a rut; going round in circles; up the creek without a paddle; or can’t see the wood for the trees (or for American readers that might be can’t see the woods for the trees or even can’t see the forest for the trees).
“Alison is one of the best coaches I have ever had the pleasure of working with (and I've worked with a few!). She has a highly practical nature and combines it with strong intuition and unconventional tools to guide you to find insights and answers to specific challenges. … As with any transformational coaching, you need to be prepared to take responsibility for personal change and get out of your comfort zone to find the answers you need, but Alison makes this easy with her approach.”
Mel Sherwood, author of The Authority Guide to Pitching Your Business