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On expectations

The expectations we have in our personal and professional relationships can often become the source of conflict and discontent. We may 'expect' things from other people and when these expectations are not met, we are disappointed. Understanding expectations Not having...

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Enabling high functioning teams

What makes high functioning teams? To answer this question, we first need to recognise what we are dealing with at a very basic level — human beings who have come together from varied walks of life to form a relationship system. A system of interacting and...

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Integrating the past

The desire to set objectives, design strategies and move forward is a familiar feature of modern living. From personal initiatives to organisational targets, the focus is very much on the future. The past is so often forgotten or brushed over because our sights are...

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The duality of knowing

There is a big difference between theory and practice. Words and action. Regurgitating from memory and deep understanding. How we "know" things matters. Rationally and intellectually appreciating something is not the same as deep knowing with every fabric of your...

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Just because it’s offered

I was on the London underground this afternoon and noticed how so many people read unsavoury tabloid newspapers just because they are handed out free.  It made me think of how we can so easily lapse into passivity in different areas in our lives. We don't always have...

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The perfect way to say thank you is..

I noticed those words on a sign as I walked past a gift shop earlier today and it made me think. The perfect way to say "thank you" is to just say "thank you". And, mean it. Gestures and gifts are a wonderful way of showing someone that we care for and value them....

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Is it a smoke screen?

The use of distractions and diversion tactics is unfortunately common place in politics and in business. Designed to disguise what is really going on, such smoke screens aim to deceive and mislead. While it is one thing to be misled by politicians and unscrupulous...

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The worst case scenario

Thinking of the worst case scenario is often a natural part of planning a new initiative. What could go wrong? How bad will it be? Certainly useful questions. The problems arise when we get stuck in the worst case scenario and lose sight of the bigger picture. Stuck...

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Don’t waste your ideas

If you want to bounce new ideas off someone find a person who is genuinely willing to engage. Someone who gets you and what you are trying to do. Otherwise new ideas can end up like seeds that do not grow due to lack of attention. The right people You may have...

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I forgot I had my shades on

I was meeting a friend yesterday and looking for a particular coffee shop. Twice, I walked past what looked like a not-in-use building where the cafe was supposed to be. Feeling lost, I was about to telephone my friend but happened to take my sun glasses off at that...

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Noticing tension

My music coach often reminds me that physical tension when playing is usually a sign of mental tension. The same can be true of life more generally, particularly when we are faced with new challenges or problems. Creeping up The unfamiliarity of a particular situation...

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Know your USP

The question of USP is usually quite apparent when dealing with a physical product or a commoditised service. Identifying a USP can however be more elusive when you are the "product". By this I mean being involved in creating and offering something that has your...

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The price you pay

Sometimes we are faced with important life choices: Stay or leave, continue or re-strategise, speak up or stay silent, be courageous or not. Often, we think of reasons not to deviate from where we currently are, but what tends to get forgotten is the price that you...

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Are you hiding behind your business card?

The question of skill is fundamental to how we feel about what we do. Skill takes time to develop and is often the result of a deep interest in something that draws us further. When we have the opportunity to benefit from the halo effect of an established brand...

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Shame in disguise: A tale of parents and children

Being a parent is a tremendous responsibility by any measure and one that involves love and care. There is a danger however that parents may sometimes put a lot of pressure on their children. And, this pressure can at times be the unconscious result of shame parents...

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What works for you?

We seem to be obsessed with emulating the habits and rituals of so called 'successful' people in our culture today. Leaving aside the obvious errors of not accounting for survival bias, coincidence and luck, there is no particular reason to assume that what worked for...

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Give yourself a chance

People can change and do change. Adaptability is one of the defining features of our species and it is this supreme adaptability that creates the possibility of significant personal change. Reframing for possibility I see people grow and change time and time again in...

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But, what meaning does it carry for you?

Sometimes, we say that we need to do or be certain things. We might say we want to be more "confident", "productive" or "successful", for example. Each of these words will have a certain meaning, but what meaning does it carry for you? Overused words It is easy for us...

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Show me the money!

Some of you will remember that comical moment in the movie Jerry Maguire when Rod repeatedly shouts "Show me the money, Jerry! Show me the money". Seeing Jerry Maguire again made me think about how the tendency to equate earning power with self-worth is still endemic...

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May be it’s time to slow down

We are increasingly feeling the effects of our technology augmented fast paced lifestyles. Anxiety and mental health problems are on the rise and all this despite the so called 'progress' we are making. We seem to be in such a rush that perhaps it is time to slow...

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Understanding their truth

Only you can have a full and complete picture of your truth; what you are feeling, what you are experiencing, the journey that you have been on. The same is true for everyone else. They will each hold their own truth. Courage to understand No matter how much you might...

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How to choose a life coach

Working with an executive or life coach could be one of the most important decisions you make. Taking the time to find the right life coach for you is then crucial. Here are a few things to consider during your search. How important is the issue? Whatever question or...

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Getting out of the chair in coaching

Most traditional office environments revolve around a seated, desk-based approach to work. The same is true of coaching. As an executive and life coach, experience has shown that getting out of the chair to move beyond just sitting and talking can be incredibly...

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Defaulting to the status quo

One of the main reasons why change is so difficult is the allure of what is known. The comfort of the tried and tested — the safety of defaulting to the status quo. Loss Aversion What underlies this is our human tendency to be loss averse. In short, we are afraid to...

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Us and them

The feeling of us and them is something that pervades all of human life. Whether you are standing in a queue at the postoffice collectively tutting at how slowly it is moving, or supporting your country at a sporting event, the distinction between us and them is at...

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Less is more, sometimes

There will sometimes be situations when we feel like we have not done enough or demonstrably added value. On these occasions, it is useful to remember that sometimes, less is more. Feeling the need We have to be able to distinguish between the ego's need to feel like...

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Taking responsibility

Taking responsibility for our choices and our actions is one of the most empowering things we can do for ourselves.  We can sometimes get so bogged down in pointing the finger at the world that we forget to ask, "What am I doing that is stopping me from pursuing what...

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The art of being concise

Rambling on in speech or in prose is never pleasant. As listeners, we crave for people to get to the point. And, as speakers, we crave the ability to offer them just that. Being concise is an art. It involves the ability to distill the essence of anything into simple...

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Year end reviews: Can we do better?

Many of you have probably just been through year end reviews. It is that moment when shoulders drop, sighs are let out and heads sag at the prospect of completing, collating and delivering feedback. Having been privy to numerous year end review processes, it is fair...

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Change: Reversion to the mean

We are barely into 2017 and personal change initiatives are already losing steam. I've noticed the new year fitness group in the park already beginning to lose people. New habits take time to develop and supporting ourselves during this process is vital. Otherwise, we...

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The question is not what should I do, but…

Making important life decisions can be tricky. The question to ask yourself in these situations is not what SHOULD I do, but what do I WANT to do? Identifying the 'should' The appearance of should in important questions betrays the impact of social pressure and...

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In between time

It's that odd period between Christmas and new year when everything is a bit slow. The in between time with fewer meetings, emails and telephone calls. What an opportunity this is to take a step back and consider what's important to you. Using the in between time Too...

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There will always be naysayers

We like to predict the future based on what we already know and what we have experienced. This means that there will always be naysayers to challenge anything that is new and unknown. Indeed in some cases, often in the short-term, history may be the best predictor of...

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Stuck for last minute gift ideas?

Stuck for last minute gift ideas this Christmas? Here are six powerful books from the general area of 'personal development' that I have found very useful in my life: Last minute gift ideas: 6 Books to consider The Gifts of Imperfection (2010), Brené Brown: A...

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It’s usually not binary

We can often fall into the trap of thinking that it's this or that, black or white, one or the other. Things are rarely that binary and we can sometimes be influenced by the priming effect. The mind likes to latch on to presenting options or create extreme opposites...

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Overthinking: A trick of the mind

Too much thinking or overthinking can become something that holds us back from living a life of fullness and wellbeing. Reflective thought is the great gift we possess as human beings. However, it can also become a source of great discontentment and worry. Much of...

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Systemic constellations: Uncovering hidden dynamics

Anyone who has facilitated or experienced a systemic constellation will know that it is a powerful way of surfacing deep unseen dynamics that are at play within the coachee's relationship system. Systemic constellations have been described as many things, including...

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Parallel Process in Coaching

I was recently reminded of the importance of the parallel process in coaching during a session with a bright and experienced individual who had been promoted to a new role. The coaching was to be around resourcing herself to deal with the challenges of her new role....

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Rise of the demagogue: A tale of cognitive bias

The rise of Donald J. Trump is the latest in a wave of populist, hate filled demagoguery that is emerging in western democracies. The potential consequences of a Trump victory are scary to say the least. While I usually avoid politics, I feel compelled to say...

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Blame: Why it happens so easily

We've all been part of the blame game at some point. Either dealing it out or being blamed for things we probably had little to do with. It is fair to say that human beings are too quick to look for someone or something to blame when things go wrong. But why? Blame...

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On being led astray

I was travelling around Japan recently, en route to a popular shrine. Along with the other tourists on the bus, I noticed a few uniform-clad Japanese middle schoolers going to the same place. Interestingly, they were travelling without an adult and appeared quite...

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Beyond Cynicism

We have all been cynical about something or the other during our lives. Some would say that the longer we live, the more cynical we tend to become. Indeed, cynicism can be useful. The danger with it is that cynicism can begin to affect how we view human nature and...

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The components of confidence

Self-confidence is probably one of the most overused, yet misunderstood words in the English language. It has become associated with so many different ideas that we risk forgetting what it actually is. What is confidence then, really? Confidence Defined The origin of...

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The coach as the embodiment of change

We will often move in and out of different roles when we coach, depending on the specific needs of the client. What I want to explore today is the role of the coach in embodying the very change that the coachee is seeking, so that it may be experienced directly by...

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Fear: The root of discontent

What is it that causes us to resist change? What is it that cautions us against pursuing our dreams? What is it that stops us from living to the fullest? The answer to these questions is almost inevitably, fear. Fear has evolutionary roots and is certainly helpful...

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