Future Foggy? Need to Get Unstuck?

by Roberta - 0 Comment(s)

Calgary Public Library is thrilled to be hosting our second annual Taste of Coaching event on May 22–23rd. Along with learning more about what coaching has to offer, Library customers will have the chance to sit down with a coach to get a taste of the coaching experience.

I had the pleasure of working with a coach in the past year and know personally how the coaching process can create focus on personal and professional issues, provide insights into dilemmas, and encourage a commitment to personal goals. Each one of us has something we want to work on and improve in life, and sometimes there is great value in having a skilled coach meet us where we are in life and help guide and support us.

To help give you a sense of how coaching works, we talked with local coaches Gary Armstrong and Nancy Love:

What attracted you to the profession of coaching?

Nancy: I was a classroom teacher for many years. What I noticed was that when I ASKED students about things they remembered. When I TOLD, them they forgot. So I spent a lot of time finding the right question to ask to get them to think about things differently. I love coaching because it does the same thing. It provokes learning, self knowledge, and self confidence. I love to watch the lightbulbs go on and to see people believing in themselves and their goals.

Gary: I had a coach. The experience was significant in moving me forward and inspired me to learn to do the same for others. Coaching is a strong fit with the skills that I picked up in my career as a police officer and educator. Both professions required that I listen intently to what was being said and ask thoughtful probing questions, two hallmarks of great coaching. I was amazed how asking questions which reflected intent listening could uncover thoughts I had never articulated before—thoughts that were the catalyst to new and sometimes very personal discoveries about how I was being perceived by others.

Coaching can be a transformative and profound process. How does it affect your clients?

Gary: What I notice most is the impact being heard has on people. Consistently people will delve deeper within themselves to find the answer to their own toughest questions when they believe someone else is their willing to hear them through. I am awed by the progress people make in their careers when they explore their own thoughts and devise strategies they know are right for them. It is extremely rewarding to help people move forward in such a significant way.

Do you believe that many of your clients have the answers to their questions hidden inside them?

Nancy: Everyone knows what they need to do to change a situation. Most just need a nudge in that direction. I like to use time-lining. I ask the person to consider a future point or a point in the past and look at the present situation from that perspective and describe it in detail. It removes the emotional response or adds a different emotion to the understanding of the situation.

Gary: I believe we all know our best path. Early in life we develop a set of values which guide our conduct and help us chart a direction in a career, or for that matter life. Understandably we all differ and from time to time we face situations which collide with our values. In those moments we may make small sacrifices to our values for the sake of harmony. For me coaching, in part , is an opportunity to affirm my values and return to a course of action I know is right for me.

Have there been any books or articles you have read that really explained or spoke to the power of coaching?

Gary: Mary Beth O'Neil's book Coaching with Backbone and Heart stands out for me. My opinion is that for most friends the heart piece of being there for someone comes naturally. It is the backbone that can be harder to call on. However there are also friends who have more backbone than heart. They are the ones who sometimes are too willing to tell it like it is. O'Neil does a great job of showing how both are needed in a balanced coaching relationship. Moving between backbone and heart is quite similar to teaching someone a new skill or task following the old adage two steps forward one step back. Being challenged to take two steps forward at times can be quite daunting. Being able to judge when to take a step back is heart. Balancing both is an acquired skill that a coach brings that a friend may not always be able to.


 

Gary Armstrong is an Executive Coach and President of Empowered Employee Education. Gary’s services appeal to enterprises developing current and next generation leaders. Those who wish to positively implement and navigate change with a collaborative, communicative, strategically thoughtful leadership team that possesses the skills required to focus others on a clear mission and vision, centered on confirmed values. gary@empoweredee.com

 

Dr. Nancy Love, PhD, M.Ed. works in many cities across North America to present the PULSE programs to government agencies and private industry. She is the author of PULSE Conversations for Change. Her continued interest in how people use conversation and language lead to the formation of the PULSE Institute which studies People Using Language Skills Effectively. http://www.pulseinstitute.com/

Job and Career Coaching

by Janice - 0 Comment(s)

In celebration of International Coaching Week, Calgary Public Library is partnering with the Calgary Association of Professional Coaches to offer free 15-minute coaching sessions with experienced professional coaches. These valuable individualized sessions can focus on various topics such as: career, business, team and personal relationships.

This is the first event of its kind in Calgary and will be offered at two Library locations on February 8th and 9th, 2012.

Register online or by calling 403-260-2620. The regular Career Coaching program offered at four library locations offers further opportunities to access career advice from our experienced volunteers.


Calgary coach and human resources professional Tanya Snow answers some of our questions about career coaching:

Tanya Snow

What exactly does a career coach do?
A career coach can help you to take your career to the next level, assist you in finding a career that aligns with your interests, skills and values, or to make a small career shift to ensure a good fit.

What is the difference between an Executive Coach and a Career Coach?
A Career Coach would typically have clients from all walks of life and would be focusing on career related issues and barriers. An Executive Coach would deal specifically with senior management clients and would look at issues and barriers preventing them from achieving professional and personal goals.

When I hire a coach how much of my time is coaching going to require?
Typically Career Coaching consists of an initial assessment, and then three to five 1-hour sessions, depending on the type of change required.

Where do I find a career coach in Calgary?
The Calgary Association of Professional Coaches (CAPC) site has a Coach Referral Service that can help you find a certified coach that fits your needs.

What is price range for a Career Coach?
Prices can vary depending on qualifications and experience but typically you can expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $250 a session, or a flat rate per month of approximately $500.

What do you find personally satisfying about career coaching?
I find it very satisfying and rewarding to work with clients to help them achieve satisfying career goals and to find a career that fits their individual values, interests and skills.

Tanya Snow is a certified Human Resource Professional and with over 10 years experience in the areas of career development, job search strategies and resume development. Tanya is also a Certified Executive Coach specializing in Career Transition Coaching, Leadership Development and Career Management Coaching.

Free (that's right—FREE) Coaching Sessions at the Library

by Janice - 0 Comment(s)


In celebration of International Coaching Week, Calgary Public Library is partnering with the Calgary Association of Professional Coaches to offer complimentary 15-minute coaching sessions with experienced professional coaches. These valuable individualized sessions can focus on various topics such as career, business, team and personal relationships.

This is the first event of its kind in Calgary and will be offered at two Library locations on February 8th and 9th, 2012.

Register online or by calling 403-260-2620.



Why coaching?
If you're not sure how a coach could help you, read more about the program below and take a look at our previous blog posts in which we interviewed local coaches on the topics of Leadership and Team Development Coaching, Personal Development Coaching and Job and Career Coaching.


Leadership and Team Development Coaching

by Janice - 0 Comment(s)

In celebration of International Coaching Week, Calgary Public Library is partnering with the Calgary Association of Professional Coaches to offer complimentary 15-minute coaching sessions with experienced professional coaches. These valuable individualized sessions can focus on various topics such as career, business, team and personal relationships.

This is the first event of its kind in Calgary and will be offered at two Library locations on February 8th and 9th, 2012.

Register online or by calling 403-260-2620.


Kerry Woodcock and Sherry Matheson, both experienced professional coaches, answer our questions about leadership and management coaching:

Sherry MathesonWhat is unique about your approach to Leadership Team Development?

Kerry: Sherry and I are professionally trained and accredited coaches and specialize in CRR Global's Organization and Relationship Systems Coaching. We use a Relationship Systems Intelligence (RSI) approach to Leadership Team Development. RSI includes and transcends Emotional Social Intelligence (ESI) pioneered by Daniel Goleman and others. RSI starts with an understanding of oneself (Emotional Intelligence), moves on to include an understanding of others’ emotional experience (Social Intelligence) and culminates with the ability to identify with and collaborate with groups, teams, communities and other social systems (Relationship Systems Intelligence).

Instead of focusing purely on improving the individual performance of each member of the team, we focus on the performance of the collective as well. The latest research in the Collective Intelligence of teams tells us that the team is greater than the sum of its parts, and that merely bringing together the highest performing individuals into one group does not necessarily make a winning team.

What’s your definition of a ‘team’?

Kerry: As systems coaches we see a team as a social system...

Sherry: ...a set of interdependent people, with a common purpose or identity.

Kerry: Members of teams rely on one another to get results and have a sense of belonging that is discrete from those outside the team.

Kerry WoodcockWhat sort of teams do you work with?

Sherry: We work with teams who want to be even better than they currently are; teams who want to be more positive, productive and innovative; teams that are newly forming or going through transitions and want to consciously and intentionally create their relationships faster.

Kerry: We work with a variety of teams, from small business partnerships to corporate teams. What they have in common is that they understand that developing leadership potential and the collective power of the team leads to an increased ability to create a greater impact in the world. They are willing to have challenging conversations, to push creative boundaries and pursue excellence.

How often and how long do you normally work with a leadership team?

Sherry: We prefer to work with teams for 9 months or more and meet with the team once or twice a month.

Kerry: Change happens over time. Working with a team over an extended period allows the team to intentionally integrate their learning; work through the inevitable ups and downs inherent in making any behavioural change stick; and reinforce the changes.

What are the typical outcomes that leadership teams can expect having worked with you?

Kerry: Typical outcomes may include a team that has consciously and intentionally:

  • Created a clearly defined, aligned, and grounded team vision;
  • Managed effective change;
  • Developed a culture of trust;
  • Reduced their use of team toxins so that constructive communication becomes the norm;
  • Developed their ability to have constructive conflict and bridge silos, leading to more rapid resolution, innovation and productive outcomes;
  • Clarified roles and responsibilities, avoiding role confusion, role nausea and poorly occupied roles;
  • Created a culture of appreciation, positivity and meaning, leading to greater team engagement and accountability; and
  • Designed team agreements that allow the team to hold itself as resourceful and correct quickly.

Sherry: In short, a team of people who are aware, intentional and skilled in their relationship with self, others and their collective team.

What’s the best team you’ve ever been on?

Kerry: The best team I've ever belonged to is my family of origin. Whether to celebrate a success or explore a challenge, my father would sit us down together to seek out, understand and act on the thoughts, feelings and perspectives of each and every member of our family, regardless of age. To this day, and despite the death of my father, I feel a deep sense of security knowing that I have the strength and love of a 'winning' family team behind me. Work wise, I've been part of a number of dynamic partnerships—one of which is with Sherry—where I've appreciated greatly how we've worked to each others’ strengths and belonged to the mutual appreciation club!

Sherry: Teams where my strengths are valued and appreciated and there is open and honest communication.

What’s special about your partnership as co-coaches working with teams?

Sherry: We believe in the co-coaching of teams. Co-coaching offers more value for our clients. It provides a choice for our clients in terms of who they may relate to better, since we both have different learning, coaching and communication styles to offer to our clients. As co-coaches working with a team, we also model being in a relationship to our clients.

Kerry: Authentic, fun, energetic, open and dynamic are just some of the words our clients have used to describe us.

Personal Development Coaching: Free sessions

by Janice - 0 Comment(s)

In celebration of International Coaching Week, Calgary Public Library is partnering with the Calgary Association of Professional Coaches to offer complimentary 15-minute coaching sessions with experienced and certified professional coaches. These valuable individualized sessions can focus on various topics such as work/life balance and professional development in business and career.

This is the first event of its kind in Calgary and will be offered at two Library locations on February 8th and 9th, 2012.

Register online or by calling 403-260-2620.


Calgary coach Peter Kieran answers our questions about personal development coaching:

Peter KieranWhat is the difference between coaching, counselling, therapy and mentoring?

The difference lies in where the client finds the solutions to achieving want they want. In coaching we start with the assumption that the client is whole and has the skills, knowledge, ability and creativity to take the appropriate action. Compared to counselling, therapy or mentoring, coaching awakens the client to their own strengths and capabilities and is more transformational in its nature because of this. There is no attempt to fix the client or solve their problems for them. Rather than answering the client’s questions, a coach asks the questions from a place of compassion and not knowing, allowing the client to explore their own greatness and experience new perspectives in their lives that they otherwise might never have been aware of.

What are some outcomes that people can expect having worked with a coach?

Of course the specific outcomes are different for each individual however there will always be some level of increased self awareness, understanding of personal values and strengths and clarity in what they want and how to achieve their desired outcomes. Coaching usually leads to some sort of transformation in the client in the form of new perspectives on who they are, what they want and how it all fits into the bigger picture of life. Hopefully this translates for the client into a shift from a “problem solving” paradigm, to one that is more positive and generative.

If I decided to hire a life coach what would be the time commitment I may consider and why?

Typically coaching takes place over several months to a year and consists of 2 or three sessions a month. Because the client is responsible to take action on their commitments, time is needed between sessions to ensure that they have the opportunity to make changes. This also allows the coaching process to build on itself, as more is learned and new topics for conversation emerge. Sessions may be anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour and usually focus and one thing at a time to get the most benefit. As personal awareness increases and as they tap into their own individual strengths, many new and exciting possibilities often appear out of nowhere, creating endless opportunities for change for the client. Just as a triathlete might hire a coach to take them to the next level in their fitness, so too might someone hire a personal coach to take them to the next level in their personal development and overall success in their lives. We all have hidden potential within us. Hiring a coach is like giving yourself the gift of greatness. How great do you want to be?

What are your credentials?

I am certified professional Core Alignment Coach and a graduate of the Demers Group Coaching Program. This program is accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF) of which I am also a member.

Who is your favourite type of client to work with?

Really anyone who is willing to be honest with themselves, is creative, open to new possibilities and able to visualize and express what they want, and especially what the future looks like for them. The ideal client is flexible and positive, and understands that to get different results you have to behave and do things differently. Most importantly they are willing to take action. Letting go of the things that get in the way and moving forward, trusting in who they are and what they are capable of doing.

Why would someone hire a coach? Please share some examples of client successes.

Anyone who is looking for change in their lives, clarity in who they are or what they want to do, or anyone trying to make a decision, improve a situation or how they relate to others will benefit from a coaching relationship. I recently coached a young man who was unsure what to do next in his life. He had a bad back, was overweight, and lived at home with no job. Together we found the path that led him to realize his passion and his strengths, helping him make a decision about where to work, leading him to move back out on his own, lose weight, change his relationship with his father and overall returned his confidence about who he was and what he brought to this world. I also coached a woman looking for what to do next in her career after having left a company where she was very unhappy. We tapped into her values and strengths creating a way for her to see future opportunities more clearly and she went on to become very active in her church and found employment at a new company where she is much happier than before.

What skills do you as a coach bring to the relationship?

Good Question! Each coach has their own style of communicating and their own strengths from which to draw. For me it’s a combination of a lifestyle of physical fitness, years of coaching in the workplace as a Team Leader or supervisor and growing up in a family of artists, giving me an appreciation for personal performance, art, nature and living in the moment. I can see, feel and admire the greatness in others and I use that ability to encourage my clients to have confidence in themselves and their ability to achieve their goals.

What attracted you to coaching?

Through some personal career coaching sessions, I attended a half day workshop on coaching in the workplace and immediately realized that this was the missing link in what I had been doing as a Team Leader in the corporate world for so long. I could see the enormous potential it held for individuals to let go of all the resisting, and embrace a new positive attitude about getting things done. The paradigm shifted from focusing on what was wrong in any given situation to what was good, positive and generative, and how to create more of that to move forward. During the workshop I personally experienced a very powerful, yet short coaching session and couldn’t help but appreciate the potential that this form of coaching held. It’s the positivity, collaboration, self awareness and the resulting endless possibilities that coaching brings to people’s lives that attracted me to it.

What qualities do you look for in a coach for yourself?

Communication style is very important to me. It’s crucial for any coach to be able to listen for what’s important to the client in any given situation, and investigate deeply through a process of appreciative inquiry and from a variety of perspectives. So I look for a natural inquisitiveness, with no personal agenda, and an honest desire to work with me and uncover my strengths and values. And finally, like many of us, I hope that through the coaching process I’ll find the support I need to carry out what I say I’m going to do. One more thing about me, I like to have a bit of fun so a good sense of humour also helps!

Peter Kieran is a Certified Professional Coach in Calgary.