CorporateCoach eNewsletter

Issue No. 49, 8th March 2004


  1. Editorial: Passion and focus
  2. Coaching notes: Learning to meditate

1.     Editorial: Passion and focus

Richard Winfield - editor and principal consultantI have just completed six days of learning - four days with John and Robert Dilts on entrepreneurship and two days with Suzi Smith on health and longevity.

An interesting theme emerged with Robert - the difference between passion and enthusiasm. Passion comes from within and enthusiasm relates to projects. I say that I 'suffer from enthusiasm'. I am enthusiastic about many things that come along. It is a great disincentive to focus and has cost me greatly - and been great fun.

I was struck when Suzi introduced herself. She said "My passion is for learning and I love to share my learning with others." I, too.

Robert Dilts is the developer of the concept of the neurological levels, which is a major plank in my consultancy work. The top level is 'purpose'. My purpose is to help individuals and teams in organisations to discover and achieve their potential. The next level is 'identity'. This is more difficult for me. As a process consultant I can apply my processes in any context and as a coach I can help in most situations – because the resources are within the client. What I am for you depends on what your needs are. So what is my business identity?

Last month I received an email from Coachville containing an interview with Deborah Brown-Volkman, author of Four Steps to Building a Profitable Coaching Practice. She is strongly in favour of specialisation. She recommended that coaches should pick a niche and specialise. "Once you specialise, it gives you focus and direction", she says. She thinks that coaches are "afraid that if they say, 'I only do this', they're walking away from something, and you are. If you specialise, there are clients you will walk away from, but what's great is that you're walking towards something that's greater. You have that focus and clients will be able to identify you, they'll be able to get what you do. And once people get what you do, they'll hire you."

This was a breakthrough for me. By ignoring many of the things that I can do, I can now build an identity for what I most want to do. No longer need people be confused, and now they will know when and where to recommend me.

So, "Richard Winfield offers strategy consultancy and leadership coaching to help directors, boards and partners achieve successful change."

If you could be known for only one thing, what would it be? And if you were known only for this, would it help people to understand you better, and would it help you fulfil your passion?

Sometimes less means more!

We have been studying longevity. I would like to pay homage to Alistair Cooke, who has been broadcasting his weekly Letter From America for the whole of my life; wisdom and humour condensed into 15 minutes. At the age of 95 he has agreed to retire. What a role model. And what a loss to my Friday evenings.



Calling consultants, coaches, trainers and potential associates

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2.    Coaching notes: Learning to meditate

There are two things that I think would make a great difference to life. One is to keep a journal. And the other is to meditate.

I was delighted, therefore, that Suzi taught us the Relaxation Response. This is a meditation developed by Herbert Benson.

Meditation is more restful that sleep, because it drops the body metabolism by 16%, whereas sleep only reduces it by 12%. It improves thinking and impacts on high blood pressure. In addition, it helps you live longer. If you meditate for 10-20 minutes a day for less than five years it causes your body age to be five years younger than its birth age - and if you meditate for more than five years it can reduce your relative body age by 12-24 years.

Seems a pretty good thing to do. You just need to know how - and to get into the habit.

There are four basic requirements or conditions necessary:

  1. A comfortable position - sitting is best. Relaxed muscles work best.
  2. A quiet environment - as free as possible from outside distractions.
  3. A "mental device" - a sound or word silently repeated.
  4. A passive attitude - this is the key element. When distracting thoughts occur, calmly return to the repetition of the sound, without thoughts of how well you are doing.

Here's how to meditate according to Dr Benson: -

  1. Close your eyes, take two or three deep breaths, exhaling slowly.
  2. Relax your muscles as deeply as possible. The deep breathing will help accomplish this.
  3. Breathe easily and naturally. Repeat the word "one" to yourself as you breathe in, and again as you breathe out.
  4. Sit quietly in a comfortable position. Ideally your feet should be flat on the floor, one hand over the other in your lap.
  5. If you notice that you are daydreaming, calmly return to repeating the word "one". Thoughts, even occasionally disturbing thoughts, may occur. This is a normal part of the exercise and is to be expected. When you become aware of them, let them go and simply focus upon the repetition of the word "one". Maintain a "let it happen" attitude.
  6. Continue for 10-20 minutes. Set your internal time clock, or you may peek at your watch. When you finish, sit quietly for a couple of minutes, first with your eyes closed then with them opened. Be fully in your body before you stand up.

It is recommended that you practise the technique once or twice daily for no more than 20 minutes per session. Digestion interferes with the elicitation of the relaxation response. Wait at least two hours after eating a major meal before practising.


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We aim to make the Brefi Group web site the premier developmental site for teams and individuals in organisations, so do please send us your suggestions and requests for further development. And let us know what you think of this newsletter, and comment on the content.

THIS IS A FREE PUBLICATION! Please SHARE it willingly with a friend or colleague who could benefit from knowing more about corporate coaching.

Copyright 2004 all rights reserved.

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We hope you enjoyed this issue of CorporateCoach. If you would like to learn more about how we can work together, then please contact me, Richard Winfield:

Telephone: 08450 678 222, or +44 (0)121 704 2006 (international)