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“Can coaching help me?” 7 questions to ask

Is coaching worth the investment?

Coaches can be the spark plug you need to move towards goals and become more aware of sabotaging patterns. A trained coach holds you accountable, charts your progress, and cheers as you make professional and personal strides. But how do you know which coach is right for you?

Before you choose to enlist a coach for extra support, get clear on the help you’ll receive. Research your coach’s background, training, and past success. Many coaches offer a complimentary session before you commit to working with them. Use that time to better understand the training and offerings of this professional. Here are a few questions you can start with:

Have you worked with other professionals in my industry?

Do you have a process for your work with clients?

How would you describe your coaching style?

What can I do to get the most out of our time together?

What is the most common struggle you see with clients?

Tell me about a time you helped a client and felt proud of their progress.

Do you provide outside resources — books, podcasts, worksheets?

Have you worked with a coach? Let me know @redheadlefthand.

The case for risk

We’re afraid of making our desires known. It’s scary to show pieces of ourselves to another, parts that make us vulnerable, the gentle spaces we perceive as fragile. It’s easier to hide behind accomplishment and labels and somebody else’s dreams.

what if I’m alone

what if I can’t make rent

what if it never happens

what if I’m found out

what if I fail

Fear morphs into competitive comparison as we scan the lives of colleagues and peers, anxiously wondering if we measure up. Our minds stop us from living, from allowing ourselves to just be.

Imagine if all that watching and playing it safe on the sidelines turned into focused energy.

Who do you want to be?

What do you want to do?

When I finally pushed doubt to the side, I became a writer. I became generous, forgiving, loving, and daring because I stopped caring about what didn’t matter in the first place and started paying attention to moments that made my heart swell.

I’m scared often.

I’ve had to get comfortable living with little in my bank account and not having a neatly packaged answer when people ask, “What’s next?”

But because of that, I’ve experienced beautiful mysteries I would have otherwise missed.

Life shouldn’t be neatly laid out.

Not the life I want to live.

Modified from this original post.

Become the student

As systems and communities continue to evolve and change, the need to learn and listen is paramount.

Where is the line between advocacy and appropriation, and how can you appreciate groups you’re not a part of?

Appreciation is grounded in honor and respect, a genuine curiosity for a group and its people. This rides on the wings of earnestness; a desire to explore and understand.

Appropriation, however, has personal gain buried into action. Attention-seeking behavior has the power to hurt and harm both individuals and groups. More often than not, a negative stereotype is reinforced.

The divide between cultural appreciation and appropriation is a delicate perimeter outlined by intention.

Failing to identify intention can turn any well-meaning action into a divisive mechanism. If your intention isn’t clear, chances are high that you may unintentionally play into harmful stereotypes.

Revisit the reasons behind what you’re doing and why — and who your behavior might reach. The more you understand yourself and the factors that contribute to the way in which you see the world, the better you’ll be at developing empathy and authentic respect. Once you’ve assessed the role of your actions and your relationship to the culture or group of people you’re interested in, set out to learn.

Bring curiosity and kindness into your interactions. Let others guide conversations. It’s important to remember that having an experience does not equal true understanding. Questions open doors. 

Genuine curiosity and kindness are roots from which appreciation and reverence can blossom. From intention, humility and respect grow.

The business of attraction

Chemistry is frequently considered in terms of human relationships, yet brands and businesses must also evaluate the chemistry they bring to their offerings.

Similar to personal relationships, initial sparks of excitement intensify interactions between business and consumer. From completed projects to the seal of a sale, emotion is embedded into business transactions. Skipping hearts and genuine smiles aren’t just for new loves; chemistry influences buying behavior.

How can brands weave chemistry into business?

As certain people are more open to the thrills of chemistry — those who are self-aware, thoughtful and personable — brands exhibiting similar traits can benefit from mindful demeanors.

Interest

Curiosity is how connection begins. When a business showcases what a client needs (or wants), the foundation for a relationship is set. To move prospects through the complete client journey, brands can plan for pleasant experiences to increase attraction and compel customers to engage in subsequent encounters.

Communication

Clear communication builds trust and rapport between entities. Communication is key for both business and relational development, ushering in assurance and confidence into business dealings. When communication is straightforward, expectations are fixed and boundaries for deliverables become reliable and well-defined.

Warmth

People and brands who present genuine, authentic traits are more likely to be perceived as considerate and understanding. Trust and loyalty hold weight in business circles, and positive dispositions enhance brands, attracting customers and keeping them returning for more.

Attraction

To be desired and perceived as desirable is something individuals and companies strive for. The most successful companies understand the value of appeal: They take time crafting beautiful products and experiences through careful branding and strategy.

Values

Values represent what you, or your company, stand for; they define why we do what we do. Businesses who match or try to amplify the values of their customers have an easier time setting long-term streams for revenue and profit.

What other traits contribute to brand chemistry? Tweet me @redheadlefthand.

Last year it was 35 acts of kindness. This year: 36 letters.

Getting older isn’t always looked upon favorably, but I’d like to think I’m becoming more confident and more thoughtful each year. On August 6, I turn 36.

Leading up to my birthday, my goal is to write 36 letters. The hope is to share gratitude and inspire generosity and love within my friend circles.

Consideration should be the norm, not the exception, and I believe — now more than ever before — it is our responsibility to make the communities in which we live more tolerant and kind. That’s my birthday wish.

You can teach one thing. What is it?

This question is a favorite at dinners. My answer is always the same: Empathy.

“Empathic connection is an understanding of the heart in which we see the beauty in the other person, the divine energy in the other person, the life that’s alive in them.” —Marshall Rosenberg

What is empathy?

Now, more than ever, empathy is an essential teaching. Empathy is:

  • The capacity to consider another’s perspective
  • Learning about another’s worldview to better understand their behavior and intentions
  • Recognizing perspectives and experiences different from your own
  • Trying to minimize the distance between self and other
  • Choosing to “put yourself in their shoes”
  • A prelude to compassion
  • Essential for collaboration, understanding, effective discussions, and conflict resolution

It is our duty to find ways to listen, to converse, and to respond in ways that are respectful of the person sitting across from us. Trouble begins when we are unable to see us in them.

What do you need to practice empathy?

Empathy is NOT sympathy or pity.

We need empathy. We need it in our schools, our relationships, our governments, our businesses. The ability to connect reminds us of our shared humanity. Empathy requires:

  • Self awareness
  • Confidence
  • Openness
  • The ability to listen
  • Communication skills
  • Patience

When empathy is involved, relationships can flourish. Conversations become more meaningful, and solutions focus on what really matters.

Empathic intention influences those around us.

How can you bring empathy into your daily interactions?

Modified from original post Empathy 101.