camelon, coach, collaboration, community, development, growing, Our Place, resilience, Support, tamfourhill, training, Writing

Past, Present, Future

Hi. Dan here, your Community Coach. Let me ask you, which of the following categories you fall into?

  1. Do you look back on things that happened in the past and wish it was like it was again? Or maybe you’re stuck because of things that happened to you, or that you did, in the past and can’t move forwards?
  2. Do you feel you’re fine as things are right now and no change is necessary, or do you feel restricted because of how things are now?
  3. Do you long for a future that is so much different to what it is now? Or maybe you have a dream of something that you could do, or that could be happening in the area or in your life generally?

Past – Present – Future. Past is Experience. Present is Experiment. Future is Expectation. So we could say that we can use our experience in our experiments to achieve our expectations. All are relevant and should be embraced but they have to lead somewhere and that’s important as we look at what can be achieved in the Camelon and Tamfourhill area.

We have a proud heritage in this area and it is important to learn from that and build on it. However, times have changed and so there is no point in generally wishing things were as they were before. We have to move forwards – to evolve with the times – but still ensuring we remain distinctives as Mariners.

And that’s where we look to the future. What does that look like? I know that’s going to be different for everyone reading this, but the simple truth is that we have a future to work towards and we must make every effort to do that. Certainly myself and John are here to help that happen and are encouraged by those who have already stepped up to join with us on this quest.

For now though, we have many good things happening in the area at present that we should celebrate. That is not to say it is all perfect but if you’re honest, was it ever perfect? Our perception of life changes as we age and sometimes it’s difficult to see beyond that. But despite the issues around at present that do seriously need sorting (and together we can work on that), we still have much to celebrate and be proud of. A strong foundation to build on.

CS Lewis wrote that “the past is frozen and no longer flows, and the present is all lit up with eternal rays”. What’s he getting at? Nathan Blackaby describes himself in his book “Going against the Grain” as often having lived in the ‘frozen past, trying to defrost past moments, hurts, failures, and stuff that I did wrong (or the wrong that other people have done to me). All of these past events and moments are slowly defrosted so that I can re-experience that hurt – because, if I’m really honest, the hurt is real and comfortable at times, and easier to live with than without.” He goes on to say, “if I wasn’t defrosting stuff from the past, I could be found wandering in my head way off into the future somewhere. Future hopes, plans or dreams, future fears or points of anxiety and concern were all mapped out.” Blackaby, like Lewis, is not saying that past reflection or future thoughts are wrong – far from it. “But whether you are stuck in the past or lost in the future, consumed with health, wealth or family what-ifs, you are being robbed of the ‘now'”

So, what about now? 2021! It promised so much back in December last year but has started with renewed frustrations and restrictions. Some plans will have to be re-thought but that’s okay. Things will still happen. It may all still look different at least for the next few months, but there is still so much to be getting on with.

As well as working on the Community Growing activity with a new group of volunteers, there are many other exciting projects brewing away. A lot focuses around training and I am building a partnership with a training provider for a wide range of personal development courses that will come free of charge to local residents. I am also building my own bank of knowledge for sharing with others (individuals and organisations) and ensuring that Camelon and Tamfourhill are more widely represented and recognised in various networks both locally and nationally.

I am developing a Creative Writing programme and will have more on that in due course. We’ll pick up the Bicycle Recycling scheme once restrictions have lifted, and I have a draft plan for celebrating some of the historical nature of our area. Aside of that, I am facilitating more discussion between all the projects funded through the Our Place scheme, namely Camelon Arts, TCV and Cyrenians (Camelon Connect), so that we can work together more where needed and make each others lives easier which in turn will make the activities we all produce greater and even more beneficial to local people.

That last part is a key focus of my role, as I am here to help develop local people and organisations. All the projects we work on will be there to enable people to get involved at their level but with the intention to help them grow and become more involved in their community. This will also enhance the training programme options and additionally, I will shortly have a coaching programme to offer that will help individuals to move towards their potential whatever that may be.

To return to Nathan Blackaby’s book, he says “the ‘now’ is where we operate, where we impact and influence change, and it is where we are forged … with a ridiculous amount of potential, courage, hope, adventure and purpose.” I am genuinely excited about what is to come this year and hope you will hop on for the ride. As Blackaby again says, let’s “get busy living in the now and … we will see some action”.

As always, if you have any questions, suggestions, general comments or even complaints, please get in touch with me (Dan) via email at communitycoach@tamfourhilltro.co.uk or call 07444 873151.

coach, community, development, Our Place, resilience, Support, tamfourhill, training

Others

Do you look out for others?
Would you help someone else in the community?

If so, why would you do that?
Is it so you can look good?
Because you are encouraged to?
Or simply because it feels right?

Many people in our community need some kind of help. Some of that help is obvious and actually quite easy to give. But a lot of the help they need may not even be known to them!

Confused?! Well again, that’s half the point! Let me quickly explain and then I’ll leave the rest to Simon Sinek again in this week’s video (see below).

Not knowing what help you actually need can be a sign of a lack of self belief or self confidence. But as Sinek explains in the video, a bizarre way to help your own lack of confidence is actually to step out and help someone else – possibly even someone in a similar situation to yourself. Helping others to help yourself to grow – and maybe for you to grow together – is a powerful thing in any community.

The danger comes when you help someone or do something good, just so you can look good. This is completely counter productive and can actually damage any self belief the person being helped has in the first place.

Where we all need to start is by celebrating who we are and what we have. No matter what that point is, it is still a starting point and something to build on. Lots of people are not happy with where they are in life but rather than settle for the status quo, there is always an opportunity to grow and develop. Even a small step forward is still a step forward.

I’m not going to labour this point today. As a coach, it’s my job to help people take these steps and even to help them find people to take those steps with. I don’t do that to make myself look good but I’ll be honest and say it feels good when I see people take even the smallest step towards their full potential. I make no apologies for taking pleasure from seeing others grow because in return it helps me to grow. I learn so much from working with people and I would love to work with you in 2021.

Have a think about where you are and then think about where you’d like to be. Don’t despair at that, but take a step forwards. If you want to know more, then please give me (Dan) a shout on 07444 873151 or communitycoach@tamfourhilltro.co.uk

camelon, coach, community, development, Our Place, resilience, Support, tamfourhill

Exploring Coaching

I’m now 3 1/2 months into this new role and even with the restrictions, it’s been great to be able to provide remote support to those groups and individuals that have requested it. There’s still a few projects and on-going support happening, and I know there’s much more to tap into. However, there are still some of you out there who aren’t quite sure what it is that I do!!

In normal times I would have sat down in a cafe with you and had a chat, but that’s not been entirely possible of late, so for now, this is my best method of getting the information across. (I’ll still happily buy you a coffee in the near future though!)

My last few blogs have all been on the theme of motivation, planning and finding direction, which is essentially what my role is about – helping you to develop the skills necessary to help shape your own, and if appropriate your organisations, future. With previous local support activities, you’ve had people who will take your issue and do something to sort it for you. That is absolutely great and there are some amazing people providing this kind of support for groups across the country. But what happens if that same issue comes up again. What did you learn from that support? Would you be able to sort things out if left to your own devices? How can I, as your Community Coach, help you with that? Let’s explore the work of Coaching further:

Coaching (ˈkəʊ.tʃɪŋ). Noun. The job or activity of providing training for people or helping to prepare them for something:  Coaching helps people to self-critique and self-regulate their behaviour to achieve the things they want.

Cambridge English Dictionary

Coaching is the process of coming alongside someone to help them get clarity and confidence in addressing life’s opportunities. Coaching is not about mentoring.  It’s not about counselling. There are plenty of great mentors and counsellors that I can direct you to if that’s what you’re needing. Coaching is about asking questions and allowing people to think things through, as that’s the most profound way they will learn. Coaching is not about telling people what to do, or worse, doing it for them, but about listening well, asking insightful questions, and helping people on their way. Asking somebody the right questions, helps them to discover the answers to things inside them that they didn’t realise they had the answer to. Essentially, coaching can bring an individual or organisation fully alive into who or what they were meant to be. No matter what has happened in the past. No matter what others say. You have the right to access the opportunities that exist in order to be the person you were meant to be. We all need to grow.

If we’re honest, you probably could do this on your own, but its hard. Allowing another person – a coach – to help you look at what you’re doing, can help bring fresh perspective and open up the answers you were missing. In most cases, the things that you want to figure out will be things that you already know of or had thought about, or things for which there are resources close by but you don’t have the time or head space to make that happen.

So, what is the narrative that’s stuck in your head? Is there something you’ve been stuck in and never able to climb over? Coaching helps you to discover that and to move on and progress into your full potential. It can help you find an oasis in a desert.  Do more in less time.

All the answers are within you already.  My role as a coach is to help you draw them out, and move forwards. And that goes for organisations as well as individuals. You may be looking to move your organisation to the next level or do something different and you can’t see how it could work. You may be stuck in a rut of something that’s always worked but is beginning to struggle or fade away now. As a coach, I can help you to navigate your way out of that rut by helping you look and think about things differently.

Let me be honest with you here. This whole coaching thing benefits me as the coach as well as you, the person receiving the coaching. For years I have used the statement on my CV and LinkedIn profile that I “develop projects that enable people and communities to be developed”. I love doing this as it brings me genuine pleasure. I also learn from it too. I may have developed and assisted numerous projects but I am always learning. The coaching process helps me to continue to learn and understand communities as I assist the person being coached.

When I encountered the powerful leadership tool of coaching, everything changed. It was like a gust of wind filled the sails of my heart and life.

Tom Camacho

So how do we do this Coaching thing together? The first and biggest step is to make contact. Phone, email, social media, carrier pigeon – whatever works for you – just get in touch. That is a big step in itself but once taken, can open up the journey for you to begin to feel the joy of fruitful effectiveness that lines up with how you were made. I will then take time to listen and understand where you’re at, where you want to go, and with your agreement, begin to work with you on the steps to get there.

There are 5 steps on the Coaching journey, all helpfully beginning with the letter R:

  • Relate: Together we establish the coaching relationship and set an agenda for what needs to happen;
  • Reflect: Through questioning and conversation, we discover and explore the key issues that need tackling;
  • Refocus: I will help you to determine the priorities, what action steps are needed, and help you understand how they can be achieved;
  • Resource: I will support you, train you, connect you and provide constant encouragement through good and bad;
  • Review: Together we will evaluate what has happened, learn from any issues that occurred along the way, celebrate the result, and review plans for the next phase.

It sounds simple and essentially it is! Yes there will be some difficult hurdles to overcome but facing them with someone else who can help you, makes the process so much easier. And being part of a wider community helps too. The Kemlin Kin Group is a partnership of local residents and leaders of organisations and groups who are already active in the local area or have a passion to see things grow. You could join that group as well if you live in the Camelon and Tamfourhill area, and find the benefit of a network of people who want to bring an increase in positive activity and opportunities locally. Get in touch to find out more.

So that’s it. Coaching in a nutshell! All that’s left for you to do is contact me and let’s start a conversation. Before I go though, have a look at this short animation of what the coaching journey can be. I hope this all helps, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Dan Rous: communitycoach@tamfourhilltro.co.uk 07444 873151