29 Sep

Coaching should always be client-centric

I was chatting with a business owner the other day and they commented that they were not too sure if their business goals would “fit” into the coaching model.
When you operate in the coaching world and you are continuously in the coaching mode it can be very easy to slip into a comfortable position and think that everyone around you absolutely, one hundred percent gets what coaching is all about.
When I heard this comment it was yet another reality check for me of how some people perceive coaching and how they believe it works. Here was a great opportunity to move out of coaching mode and shift into educator mode.
My response to this business owner was that it is not the responsibility of the business to fit into the coaching model. Firstly, because there isn’t just one coaching model. There are many techniques, tools and styles that can be used to coach businesses.
Secondly, and very importantly, it is the responsibility of the coach to identify which strategies would best suit that specific business’s needs at that particular time. The coaching would need to “fit” into the business.
A point that needs highlighting here, is that it’s not actually about the coach. It’s not what’s best for them or how they think your business should be operated. Coaching or the coach’s mindset should always be  client-centric, always putting the needs and goals of the client first.
Working with a coach can be hard work. The process will cause you to step outside of your comfort zone, challenge you and stretch your thinking in many ways, but the coaching process should always operate in a safe space and never force you to do something you don’t want to do. You are in charge of your own destiny, your own business and your own success. It is your choice, and your choice alone.
15 Sep

Two common questions I get asked as a coach

When people ask me what I do for a living, I often get one of three reactions from them after I tell them I am a professional coach. They either glaze over and have no idea what coaching is; or they comment vaguely that they know what the profession is, but actually they don’t know (which is perfectly okay); or they have a good idea and most likely have previously experienced some form of coaching in their lives or business.
Depending on their response the conversation will either move onto their coaching experience or something completely different as people will either buy into the concept of coaching or not, that’s just the way it is, and I am happy with that. I would probably be totally blank too if someone told me they were a Dendrochronologist.
However, what I do find fascinating is the regular barrage of questions that get asked by people who are toying with the idea of  utilising the services of a coach. Here are the two questions I’m asked most often.
My favourite question is “How long will my coaching process take?” For me, asking this question is quite similar to asking, “how long is a piece of string?” It just depends on the person, their goal and very importantly how committed the person or business is to the coaching process. Some people are not ready to be coached as they do not have enough time or they are not mentally prepared and therefore their coaching may be incredibly drawn out and painful, for both parties.
There is no quick fix, no instant gratification or no magic bullet. There is however huge reward during and at the end of the coaching process when the goal(s) have been achieved. The clarity, focus and motivation that comes with working with a coach effectively and knowing that the hard work and dedication to the process has paid off, is undoubtedly a huge win for everyone.
Another question I’m often asked is “How does the coaching process work?” Well when you work with me I am quite structured in my process and I believe any good coach would be as well. Our main focus is for you to reach your goal. Therefore, we simply won’t be sitting around drinking tea and having a chat. Every session has a format and there will always be a desired outcome for every session, which is usually work that needs to be completed in between the coaching sessions.  Yes, there is homework!
I can tell you right now that the coaching process doesn’t work if the coaching process isn’t taken seriously. There is an expectation that both parties are 100% committed to the relationship. So before entering into a coaching relationship consider these three things.
1) Is the coach a good match for me? Will I be able to work with this person?
2) What will I need to give up in my life or business in order to fit the coaching in?
3) Am I mentally prepared for my coaching journey? Am I able to step outside of my comfort zone in order to grow and develop?
There are many other questions, so if you wish to find out some answers please feel free to contact me. nicole@tikumu.co.nz or check out my website www.tikumu.co.nz for more information.
By the way, did you find out what a Dendrochronologist was?
01 Sep

Is work-life balance achievable?

Last weekend was a productive one for me, decluttering my kitchen cupboards. In our home we are avid followers of Marie Kondo’s philosophy of “If it doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it.” Whilst decluttering and celebrating our new found space, I thought about her mantra and realised that one could apply the same philosophy to life itself, and specifically to work-life balance.

Finding work-life balance in our modern busy lives often feels like searching for the holy grail, completely impossible. However, unlike the holy grail, work-life balance can be found. It is achievable. You just have to know where to look.

Instead of trying to cram so much into our work and personal lives, and desperately trying to “make it work”, think about what you can remove. Ask yourself this question, “How is this task/job/action serving me?” If the answer comes back negative, then why are you still doing it?

How can you remove the task/job/action from your life? Do you need to delegate the task, apply for another job or stop performing a certain action? Whatever it is, if it is not working for you, if it is doing you a disservice, then find a way to remove it.

By removing “stuff” from our lives we start to create some breathing space. We start to create a balance. Making a choice to keep something in our lives also reminds us of its importance. We cherish it more.

Now here comes the trick. Once you have eliminated and decluttered unnecessary things from your life, be incredibly mindful of adding any new things.

When embarking on a new project or task ask yourself these questions:

  1. What joy will I get out of taking on this new task?
  2. Will this new task fit into my existing lifestyle and work-style?
  3. What have I removed from my life to make space for this new item?

Trying to achieve work-life balance is ongoing. It is not a quick fix, but something we are continuously managing in our lives. Remember you are in control of what comes into your life, so if it doesn’t serve you, get rid of it.

Need some assistance with finding your work-life balance? Why not take on the service of a coach to help you? Contact Nicole at nicole@tikumu.co.nz to set up a free consultation.