Nth Level Blog

Coaching for the curious

Posted on Monday, January 16, 2017 by Sara Nanayakkara

“The best advice I was ever given, was to get a Coach”

Eric Schmidt – Former CEO Google.

What is coaching?

Coaching is a process, a series of structured conversations designed to help you get the best out of yourself.

Coaching is easily misunderstood: “I don’t need a coach, I just ask my partner, my friends, people I trust…”

There’s a big distinction between coaching and asking for guidance from your network.

Your nearest and dearest will probably advise you, make suggestions on what to do. Their advice is likely to be based on what their experience is of you. They might even tell you what they would do. When you ask a friend, colleague, family member for help or advice they’ll give it. But it may not be the best choice for you….because it won’t have come from you.

A coach will help you to think out loud. Bring your awareness to the surface and challenge your assumptions and help you to recognise opportunities. They’ll hold up a mirror to let you see what you may not have noticed before. A qualified coach has been trained in remaining objective, and will help you to work out your next move- be it a small step or set some goals. They won’t advise, tell you what to do or try to steer you – you probably have enough people in your life who do that already. A qualified coach has tools and techniques that’ll help you.

How does it work?

You’ll start off with a chemistry meeting where you’ll meet up and discuss how you might work together. It’s important that you both feel comfortable. It’s informal and free, and usually face to face at a mutually convenient location. (UK based) or on Skype or Face-time internationally. You’ll discuss your overall goals, objectives and success measures for your coaching.  You can plan how often to meet, and each meeting will have a follow up on previous goals and actions.

 A coach will help you to see different perspectives, gain insight and ideas. Coaching is a process of deceptive simplicity and power. It helps you to focus on your individual growth and development.

Whilst it’s not therapy, Coaching is cathartic, it helps to unmuddle thinking and guide you towards clarity. Working with qualified coach is like investing in a personal trainer – but with less sweating.

When looking for a coach, check out their credentials, and ask if they have regular supervision- how can they expect you to be at the top of your game if they’re not themselves.

Coaching is about giving you the reflective space to consider and resolve challenges. If you want something to change, get a coach.

 More info:

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Posted on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 by Sara Nanayakkara

What have you been putting off because you’re too busy?
How many times have you found yourself saying you haven’t done this or that because you’re ‘too busy?’

I've been trading without a website for 7.5 years. I’ve been too busy to do it. I was warned that this would happen. I decided it was time for a change, but it kept dropping off the end of my list.

We all have things to do – sometimes we do something about it. When the pressure starts to mount, we write lists or resort to systems. I got a lot from David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” (GTD) principles, and Stephen Covey’s “Urgent Important grid”. I have a white board in my office and I have a productivity pad where I monitor my actions.
All very well, but with everything being ‘important’ and ‘urgent’, anything that doesn’t fall into that category gets left behind. When I’m being reactive, and not proactive the things that are not urgent or important fall off the radar.
It’s my perception. That’s the key. If I don’t think it’s important enough I will leave it. I won’t prioritise it. My perception of what is important is a choice, but because I’m tearing around most of the time I don’t realise that I have been putting things off.
At some point, you just need to notice, and then decide whether it’s time to do something about it.
When you decide, you make a mind-set shift. But you have to decide. Or rather, you have to choose to decide. Your busyness is a choice. To do, or to no do something requires a decision making process.

Whatever it is you've been putting off, maybe it's time for a shift for you?Here are some tips that helped me move towards action:

• Start to talk about it - When you start telling people you’re going to do it becomes external. Because up until now you’ve been thinking about it, it’s not until you start talking about it do people ask “how’s it going?” It’s an announcement. Say it, even before you are ready. By saying it, it creates excitement towards action. Your intention is there and that’s a starting point.
• Set a time plan - Actually write it down somewhere to be seen everyday. Set real goals, scary ones. When you write it (and I mean with a pen, not tapping on a keyboard or on a screen) it filters into your mind. Put it where you can see it every day.
• Allocate time and protect it
- Nothing more to say on this, just do it. Don’t let other stuff get in the way. Schedule.
• Invest in tools and create excitement
- Channel your inner child on your first day of school with your new shoes, your new pencil case. Go buy yourself a gift towards achieving your goal. It’ll make you want to use it because it’s exciting. Anything that helps - gadgets, new pens, a glossy note pad. If you want to get fitter, buy new trainers, a heart rate monitor, a new bike, new sports socks, book your ticket.
• Do little bit at a time & celebrate - Small changes make a big difference. Before you know it, you’ve done loads. Don’t be hard on yourself, or get irritated that you haven’t finished. Celebrate that you’ve started. You’re on your way, and it’s a hell of a lot further than you were before you started.

If you want something badly enough, if something is important to you, you’ll decide, and you’ll do something about it. You’ll find a way to shift your mind-set.

The only thing that is getting in your way is you.

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