1. Editorial: Passion and focus
I 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.
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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:
Here's how to meditate according to Dr Benson: -
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 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:
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