camelon, coach, community, development, Our Place, Support, training

GOLD!

For this week’s blog, I want to return to the idea behind my role – to coach people to be the best they can be. One source of information for me that I have referenced a lot lately, is the book Mining for Gold by Tom Camacho. This idea of mining – or looking – for gold is exactly what my role can do. Sadly not actual gold (although that would be nice!), but the talents, skills, passions, dreams, desires and abilities that currently lie hidden and unused within people in the community. The leaders of the future that don’t know it yet.

Gold is rare and has great value. It costs a lot to mine it and refine it to a usable condition. The same is true when we look for leaders or those with hidden skills. There is a human cost to stepping out from the comfort of where you are and putting your head above the parapet to reveal and develop whatever you have kept hidden.

Some facts about Gold:

Of gold usage globally, 80% is used in the making of jewellery. Gold bars are held by large banks as reserves to guarantee their ability to repay depositors and trading partners. Gold is also used in coinage, medicine, dentistry, computers and even aerospace applications. And, of course, gold is used in making the highest Olympic medal. Gold is a universally accepted substance of the highest value.

Tom Camacho

Gold is beautiful. It is pure. It is soft. It is rare. Did you know that all the gold on the planet could fit into a cubed space the size of a tennis court!

Those 4 characteristics – beautiful, pure, soft and rare – can also be applied to great community leaders. We have many in our community already, some of whom have been pure gold for many years. But I know there are many more still to be found. Those who either don’t realise what they could achieve, have told themselves they’re not able to do anything, or worse still, they’ve been told by others that they can’t do it. Let’s get rid of all those thoughts. There is gold here in Camelon and Tamfourhill and it lies within you!

Camacho, in his book, starts and finishes by taking the letters of Gold and applying meaning to each. So, allow me to take those thoughts for us to apply here:

G is simply for Gold. It is everywhere. It could well be within you. Take some time to think about how this could be true for you. Think through those dreams that lie within you.

O is for Open your eyes to see it. Chat to a trusted friend. Or chat to me if you want. But chat to someone who can help you see what it is that is hidden within you.

L is for Learn the skills to draw it out. Coaching is a great way to do this so that you can be guided and supported to uncover the skills you believe are within you.

D is for Develop continuously. You can’t just identify the skills and hope they will just grow within you. You need to work at them continually and even when you’ve got to the point that you’re living out those skills, you still need to develop them.

So will you join me in searching for GOLD in Camelon and Tamfourhill? I know it’s out there. It could be in you! Give me a call on 07444 873151 or email communitycoach@tamfourhilltro.co.uk to start the digging!

coach, community, development, resilience, Support, training

Passion, Wiring and Fruit

Last week I wrote about finding your strengths and suggested ways to identify yours if you didn’t know.  Check back on last week’s blog if you need a memory jog here.

For this week’s blog, I wanted to build on that a little, as I look to work alongside local residents to help them achieve what they were designed to be and do.  After Christmas we’ll be able to do this through coaching sessions (probably online to start with unfortunately) but this blog will help a little for now with getting a better understanding.  For reference, some of the content here is influenced by the book Mining for Gold by Tom Camacho.

You don’t need me to tell you that everyone is different.  If ever there was a sentence that stated the obvious, that is a strong contender!  But it’s something we often forget especially when people don’t see things as we do.  If you’ve ever been in a discussion, on or offline (but usually on Facebook!), where someone completely went against your point of view, in the main they didn’t do so just to annoy you or to start an argument, but they simply saw the subject differently because of the way they are designed.  Where strength comes in a community is when people of different viewpoints, skills and abilities can come together, harness their unique differences, and work towards a common goal.  That doesn’t mean being something we are not – it simply means recognising who we are as individuals, allowing others to do the same, and using the mix of skills to achieve whatever is needed.  I know that is far from easy – but it can be done.

We all have what is often called a ‘sweet spot’.  It is the key to being who you were designed to be and will show up when quite simply, everything you do reaches a point of success.  It’s a bit like what is often called the Midas touch – when everything we do, or get involved in, turns to gold (not literally – sadly!!).  There are three parts to this:

  1. Our Passion – what really drives you.  What do you absolutely love doing that means however tired you are, you’ll always find that extra energy to get it done? What activity or issue really strikes a chord with you and gives you determination to tackle it head on?
  2. Our Wiring – how your mind works.  Some of us excel at numbers, some at words, some at getting their hands dirty.  But what is it that just comes naturally to you so that whatever you do around this is successful and effective? 
  3. Our Fruit, or our Positive Output if you prefer.  What do you do that brings the greatest impact around you for the least amount of effort?  What do you do that people near to you say is really helpful?  That may be an activity you’re involved in, or something you do in your street, or something you do to help out?

If we take the time and effort to deeply understand how we are wired, what we are passionate about and what we do naturally that helps others, we are discovering our sweet spot.

Doing this is not a quick or easy process and takes effort, but can be incredibly rewarding for you and those around you.  It also doesn’t mean that you’ll never have to do things that you don’t necessarily enjoy! There is always going to be something to do where you really have to push yourself to do it.  The problem comes when that is taking up the majority of your life – that is when you start to feel pressed down all the time because you are trapped working outside how you are designed.  Some have even said it feels like a punishment.  Believe me, I’ve had to lead personnel meetings or budget reviews (to name just 2 examples) that have made me want to run for the hills – but they were a necessary part of what I had to do at the time.  Where I’m happiest is when I’m coming alongside people to make a difference either for them or with them for the benefit of others.  Happily, that is a huge part of this job!

Coaches often talk about the 80/20 principle, where people will thrive when they spend 80% of their time working in what is their sweet spot.  That means they are doing what they do best for the majority of the time.  Work is no longer a chore but brings real excitement and success.  To get to this point takes hard work though and might mean stopping doing some of the things that aren’t within our sweet spot.  (Sorry, housework and ironing are exempt from this!!)  The 20% section is often called the challenge spot.  Some things just can’t be avoided at home or work and might mean learning some new skills, but when your life is taken up with more than 20% of challenging things, it becomes an uphill struggle.  And that is where coaching can help.  What amongst those challenging things could you let go of, or what do you need training on? 

A key part of working within your sweet spot is when you realise you have the power to make the changes that can make a positive difference in your life. You are not trapped in this life and where you live certainly does not define your future.

The short (3 mins) video below takes this a bit further by looking at our individual character strengths.  This is a great place to start by first understanding your inner self which then helps to move on to identify your passion, wiring and fruit/output.  I’d love to work with you more on this.  If you want to as well, then give me a shout.

Dan Rous, Community Coach 07444 873151 communitycoach@tamfourhilltro.co.uk

camelon, coach, community, development, lockdown, Our Place, resilience, Support, training

What are your strengths?

While I was away, I spent time reflecting on what I’m doing both in and out of work, although to be honest, the line is often a bit blurred between the two settings! We’re coming up to 6 months of being in post for Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill so it seemed as good a time as any to reflect.

It is said that you will know that your job is your ‘calling’ when you do what you love, and love what you do. Philanthropist and industrialist Andrew Carnegie said:

‘The average person puts only 25% of their energy and ability into their work. The world takes off its hat to those who put in more than 50% and stands on its head for those few and far-between souls who devote 100%.’ 

He obviously never knew candidates for “The Apprentice” who routinely say they give 110% or more!

You may be totally set on what your strengths are and may also be in the enviable position of living them out in what you do.  That’s brilliant.  But you may also be at the other end of the scale where you haven’t got a clue what you want to do or even what you could do.

To me help in this, I took a strengths test at www.high5test.com which helps you discover what you are naturally good at.  I’d really recommend this test that will take about 15-20 minutes to complete.  You’ll be shown a list of statements describing a certain behaviour and all you have to do is move the slider along the scale from 0% on the left to 100% on the right.  Research shows that when we use our strengths, we’re happier, more engaged and more likely to achieve our goals.  This doesn’t just benefit you, but also people, groups, teams and organisations that you’re around and involved with.  Stats back this up too, as an average of 74% of people who have a chance to use their strengths are more engaged.

So what were my High 5 strengths?  Well, I was quite pleased with the results as it backs up why I thought doing this job would be a good idea! Of course, these questionnaire things can sometimes be a bit subjective and our answers can be determined by our current situation, but I tried to answer as honestly as possible.  My strengths, together with the headline description (there’s more background in the results you’ll get) are:

  1. Coach
    • My objective is to develop people’s potential;
  2. Believer
    • My objective is to believe and to do the ‘right thing’;
  3. Problem Solver
    • My objective is to solve problems;
  4. Catalyst
    • My objective is to act and to initiate action;
  5. Strategist
    • My objective is to see the big picture.

I’m not sharing this to show off or anything like that at all.  This is purely showing you what is possible from these kind of questionnaires.  Whether you’re just starting out with looking for work, getting going again now the kids are sorted, or have been forced to rethink following a lockdown redundancy, finding your strengths is a great place to start.  Stop focusing on what you can’t do and discover what you can do.  The short video below explains that further.

When you believe that what you do makes a difference, you have a different feeling about what you do.  I am certainly beginning to see my work make a difference and if I can help any of you along that journey too, even to guide you through this strengths process, then that would be great.  Give me a shout and let’s make it happen. You’ll get me (Dan Rous) at communitycoach@tamfourhilltro.co.uk or on 07444 873151.