1. Editorial: Asking for money
I continue to savour learnings from my week with CoachVille at Orlando.
I had the privilege of doing a coaching exercise with a wonderful young lady who told me that she was "The Collection Goddess". She could make people feel good about agreeing to pay their debts.
One of the problems that many people suffer when they first go into business is asking for money. The Collection Goddess gave us some advice. Give 21 people a dollar each (I guess £5 would do in the UK), and then later contact them individually to ask for your money back. She chose 21 people because she understands that 21 days is as long as it takes to change a habit.
Brefi Group associate Andrew Halfacre has another exercise for learning to ask for things without embarrassment. Go into a MacDonalds hamburger outlet and ask for a pizza. Keep a straight face and ask in the expectation that they will be able to supply you.
Regular readers will know that I have decided to give up believing that it is honourable to be a virtuous pauper. I have had two demonstrations recently of how a respect for one's own earnings has led to a positive outcome.
I have a friend who teaches presentation skills and public speaking. Last year she attended an international conference in Durban, South Africa. She was approached by a group of women from Malawi, saying that they had been impressed by her contribution and wondered whether she would go to Malawi and teach their club. Her reaction was, "But I have to earn a living," and she did not expect to hear from them again.
Some months later, she had a call. These few women, whose club had had only £70 in its coffers, had contacted the main companies in Malawi and set up five days of training for senior executives. Would she now come, and then give two days training to their club. This she has recently done and had a fantastic time. The outcome is that not only did she have her expenses and fees paid, but the local club made a profit of £2,000!
The 'Dream Coach' at Orlando, Marcia Wieder, had a similar story. Marcia is keen to pass on her training to young people. One day she met the head of the Girl Scouts - I think in the ladies' restroom - and they struck up a conversation. A few days later, the lady contacted her and asked whether she would run her programme at the summer camp. Marcia agreed but asked "Would it be OK if I found a sponsor?" In fact she obtained sponsorship from a major New York bank. So she did her value based voluntary work and was paid – and, no doubt, the sponsorship might have led to some other benefits for the Girl Scouts.
When I was in Orlando I purchased a set of CDs for CoachVille's Phoenix Certified Coach Intensive. This was a two day workshop led by Thomas Leonard and Dave Buck. It is a training that goes through the path to becoming a certified coach, which consists of: -
It is a wonderful system. We already have a set of competencies for management, developed by the Management Charter Initiative, standards for directors and boards developed by the Institute of Directors, and pre-suppositions and competencies for NLP. I had not previously encountered these CoachVille standards for coaching and welcome them in addition to the ones for coaching and executive coaching from the International Coach Federation.
In September we shall be launching our programme for successful professionals who wish to become successful consultants, incorporating an NLP consultancy practitioner certification. During the summer it is my job to devise or discover a similar set of competencies for consultancy.
By nature and training I am a systems thinker – it is part of my skills set as a consultant. I often notice occasions where systems thinking has not been applied. I was on a course at Henley Management College many years ago. Lunch was a buffet. I was just saying to someone "Why do the caterers not think and provide the wine at the end of the buffet table rather than at the beginning, which means we have to carry a full glass while we are collecting food?" when someone turned to me and knocked my glass of red wine, spilling it all!
Similarly with the wonderful set of CDs from CoachVille. They all have the same cover on the jewel case, though the CDs themselves are numbered. This means that it is difficult to pick out the next one to play from the total set of eleven. Not consumer friendly. Then I discovered after playing number three, that the next one is also three and there is no number four. An own goal, which rather proves my point. Now I have to get a replacement from the other side of the Atlantic. Never mind, it is excellent content.
One of the stories told by Dave Buck at the beginning of the series is of his wonderful working environment - his home, a house on a lake. Recently he had had an injury playing football that included a cracked skull. His doctor had warned him that he would not be able to return to work for many weeks. Dave asked "Would it be alright if I just stayed at home and spoke to people on the telephone?" "Yes, that would be OK." replied the doctor. "So I can work then," said Dave.
I listened to this and thought – that sounds to me like having a job. Fancy having to be stuck in one place all the time. I love what I do and, in particular, I value the freedom and variety. Having to be tied down to one place at specific regular times would be purgatory for me. However, for many coaches, the attraction is that they can work from home.
We are all different. And one of the advantages of the Brefi Group associates team is that we have different styles and interests, along with common skills and values.
2. Coaching notes: The keys to the CASTLE
Last week I reviewed Lance Secretan's book, Inspire, and described his thoughts on developing a Why-Be-Do.
Lance progresses his theories through the concept of Higher Ground Leadership. Later in the book, he says that the higher ground leader is guided, in life and work, by six principles; what he calls the CASTLE principles: -
Lance Secretan claims that these concepts are within us already, but yearn to be recalled. So, how far are you towards being a Higher Ground Leader?
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