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

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

What kind of mindset do you have?

Welcome to my latest Community Coaching blog. It’s been encouraging to receive some interaction from these posts – it’s good to know at least some people are reading them and finding them helpful!

The text on this week’s Monday Motivation graphic said “Focus on doing right thing for the right reason and don’t buy into the lie that it can’t be done”. This got me thinking – and so the theme for this week’s blog was born!

It’s so easy to listen to others who try to put you down and tell you it can’t be done. As a result, you could potentially miss out on a great opportunity for yourself. It’s also easy to listen to the voice in your head saying you’ll never be able to do something. Your surroundings can also affect your way of thinking. Okay, statistically Camelon and Tamfourhill is an area of deprivation. So what! You are still you and deserve the opportunity to reach your fullest potential. Just because others around you, even your friends and family, have chosen not to pursue a dream, does not mean that you have to go down that path too. The Camelon and Tamfourhill area is full of assets – and you are one of them.

We could leave this blog right there! Be encouraged to be the person you were made to be. But if you’ve got the time, please stick with me for a few more minutes as we look a bit deeper at this.

Whether you’ll be able to achieve what you want or not, is partly down to how your brain is geared – what your mindset is. In short, do you have a fixed, or a growth, mindset? It’s relatively obvious which mindset is better but here’s a little further analysis:

Fixed MindsetGrowth Mindset
A belief that intelligence, skills and talents are fixed – “I’m not good at this now, and never will be.”A belief that intelligence, skills and talents can be developed – “My skills have come a long way, and I know they can be better with some guidance.”
A focus on outcomes or targets rather than progress – “I’ve failed completely. I missed my sales target by 10%” (ignoring your much improved sales pitch).Everything is a learning opportunity – “This is going to be a challenge, but I’ll break it down and tackle a bit at a time.”
Talking yourself down, feeling threatened by others or giving up in the face of setbacks or failures – “Clearly all this feedback means I’m no good at writing. I’ll ask someone else to do it next time.”When you fail or suffer a setback, you believe you just can’t do it yet – “I can see now that the way I set this up wasn’t quite right, so I’ll take an alternative approach next time.”

Now if you find yourself in one particular column, don’t presume that you will stay there. We all shift between a fixed and growth mindset, depending on our situation. Someone coming at a completely new task or role might be prepared to learn, and expect some setbacks as they go through that process. They have a growth mindset. On the other side, in promoting someone who has used a growth mindset to learn and progress, this might mean they now see themselves as an expert with little more to learn. Suddenly, they have a fixed mindset.

I like to consider myself as someone with a growth mindset and as such I can recognise this problem. In previous development roles, I have recognised a point where you can actually create so much growth that you end up being in danger of creating something or someone that is unmanageable. But you still need people that are at least willing to learn or change – as the need arises. People that are so fixed in their ways – the ‘aye been brigade’ – need to be shown a better way and often that happens best by ignoring their criticism and committing to your own growth. Actions – and results – speak much louder. Their attitude is the enemy of progress, encouraging us to cling to what we know even when it falls so far short of our expectations and potential. It has been described as a self-imposed straight-jacket disguised as a safety net that in short, simply restricts and fails others. Use your determination to grow to show them a better way.

Our brain’s structure is not fixed. It constantly changes in response to our external and internal experiences, and we can choose to make use of this to improve our skills and intelligence. By adopting a growth mindset, we decide to use a range of strategies to tackle tasks or challenges, and find learning opportunities in mistakes, setbacks and failures. Confidence and resilience are the consequences of a growth mindset. Developing a growth mindset is a journey of self-awareness and of conscious learning. It takes time and practice, so set your expectations accordingly, and regularly take some time to reflect on the results.

Let’s recap with the help of this short video:

In time, we’ll be developing some training courses that will help you with this and other personal and organisational development topics. For now though, we have this blog and the chance for me to engage directly with you to help you grow. If you want to know more or simply want to chat through an idea, then please get in touch.