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Posts Tagged ‘vision coaching’

# 1″It’s always both” in an and/both world

Monday, July 12th, 2010

I’m currently reading the book Mandela’s Way – Lessons on Life and to my great delight “It’s always both” is the heading of one of the chapters.

The book, written by Richard Stengel (who helped Mandela write his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom), lists and describes Mandela’s 15 messages for life and leadership.

More on Mandela’s 15 messages in the next Value Adding newsletter (out soon).  But for now I can’t let the sun set on today without writing a blog about Mandela’s belief in “it’s always both” because it matches my commitment to do my best to live in an “and/both” way.  Indeed, my business is called AnD Consulting to represent this way of being and doing.

However, as I’ve learned, it can be hard to live this way and to explain to others what it looks like in action.  So I was heartened to read this chapter earlier this morning.

Stengel:  Shades of gray are not easy to articulate.  Black-and-white is seductive because it is simple and absolute. .. This way of thinking is demanding … it requires us to put ourselves in the shoes of those with whom we disagree. .. But the reward, as we can see in the case of Mandela, is something that can fairly be described as wisdom.

Yes!!  As I juggle my hats of home duties and business owner on this mid winter Monday by writing this blog between getting washing in the machine and onto the line I celebrate Mandela and thank Richard Stengel for this piece.

What are your thoughts on Mandela’s “it’s always both” belief?

Enjoying the journey

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

images-1The other day I was moaning to my son about not being able to think of what to write in my next blog.  He suggested I trawl my newsletters about leadership and learning for topics.

“Great idea!” I replied.

So here I am with AnD Consulting’s Value Adding # 55 beside me.  The section most readers have commented on is right at the end.  It’s a Souza quote and here it is:

For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life.images-2 But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, a debt to be paid  At last it dawned upon me that these obstacles were my life.  This perspective has helped me see that there is no way to happiness.  Happiness is the way.  So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one.  Happiness is a journey, not a destination.

Does this quote speak to you too?

And, if you’re not feeling as happy as you would like or perplexed about where you’re heading on your journey or challenged about what’s going on in your current world, maybe some AnD Consulting Vision Coaching or Leadership Coaching support might be worth thinking about.images

Titillate your senses at a Learning Retreat

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

images-1A pre-Christmas Learning Retreat client said her stay at Byrongerry left her with a multitude of sensory memories.images

She wrote in the Cloud House guest book about the sounds of palm nuts dropping, whip birds whipping, cat birds screeching, parrots squawking and kookaburras laughing.  As well as the sounds of Ruby the dog’s barking, Dorothy the cat’s tinkling collar bells and the water pump “paying homage to the great god of water.”

images-4Her sense of sight was stimulated by the vista of trees, palms, hills, valleys – “verde, verde everywhere!”  And her sense of touch by the massage she enjoyed.

She wrote of the fragrances of “giant gardenias, frangipanis on ancient trees and the overwhelming scent of blossom on the mimosas down the road”.images-2

And all this as well as creating her vision for the next ten years of her life with the help of AnD’s Vision Coaching process!

images-5Why don’t you think about treating your senses to a similar experience some time soon?

Chooks and the meaning of life!

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

imagesI’m on chook feeding duties for the next few days while my neighbours are away.  I’ve just been shown what to do – take any compost scraps I have and scatter them together with the special chook feed into the chook house, top up their water then check for eggs.  There are three nests for the hens to lay in and this morning there was a broody hen covering the middle nest.  My friend tipped her off and extracted four warm eggs as she explained that Rocky the Rooster doesn’t seem to be doing his thing at the moment – one hen sat for 3 weeks to no avail not long ago.  Wow – I thought – how remarkable are the instincts that drive all sentient beings to keep their species going!

Feeling confident I’ll be able to manage my chook feeding duties OK I returned home where my thoughts turned to the human species.  With the help of contraception most of us have learned to curb our sexual instincts and limit the number of children we produce.  But I’m now wondering how driven are we nonetheless by our natural urges – just as that broody hen could sit for three weeks with no possibility of hatching some young?  images-1We get up, we go to work, we come home, we eat dinner, we go to bed and so the treadmill goes.  Unless we choose to function from a conscious place and think about the meaning and purpose of our actions first.  My meaning and purpose is to support others as they clarify and live their vision and purpose through my Leadership Coaching and Vision Coaching work – and, most of the time, this keeps me off the treadmill of life!

Do you ever make links between our feathered friends and the meaning of life?

A Women’s Retreat

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

images-3 15-53-17I’ve just had four women on a Learning Retreat here at Byrongerry.  I was a wee bit anxious in preparing for it because I’ve only hosted individual people or couples in the past.  Would my energy hold up – in my roles of coach, chef and host??

I’m delighted to report that my energy did hold up and, at their final review over a cup of tea on the deck, each woman said their hopes had been met and that they were leaving feeling relaxed and renewed.

The women each had some coaching time with me and also attended a Self-Leadership with a Horse session with a colleague who lives nearby.  I used a combination of Leadership Coaching and Vision Coaching processes in the women’s one on one time with me. Those I’d worked with before re-visited and renewed their vision while those who were being coached by me for the first time worked on a range of issues including, for one, that old chestnut of work/life balance.images-1

I’m still pondering whether I will promote the Learning Retreat for more than singles or couples – it was a lot of work – yet, when I remember the happy conversations and laughter coming from the Cloud House building while they were in residence, I know the shared experience for these four women was one of the highlights of their stay.

Vision Coaching

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009
images-1“What is it?” a colleague asked me while I was in Sydney last week.

“Well, it’s a process my late partner Des created for me a long time ago when I was feeling stuck in my career, and it helped me work out what I wanted to be when I grew up.  And here I am over 20 years on still loving being a Leadership and Vision coach!”

Des and I then wondered whether this visioning process would be of value to some of our coaching clients and this is when AnD’s Vision Coaching service was born.

Vision Coaching takes a minimum of 6 hours and, with the help of a work book, clients are facilitated through a process that helps them get in touch with their ideal future and then set action plans and timelines to make this dream a reality.  Some clients do their visioning as an intensive during a Learning Retreat at my home inland from Byron Bay while others do it over a series of sessions in their home city.

I have facilitated dozens – maybe even hundreds – of clients through AnD’s visioning process and the feedback I get from people is that it works.  Some tell me it reassured them they were already on the right path and enabled them to take the best next steps, while for others it helped them move in a totally new direction.images

Here’s what happened for Mary Keely, former Director of HR for Pacific Brands, after she did AnD’s Vision Coaching process:
“With the appointment to this role I exceeded my original career vision because this was the HUGE role in a very large organisation that I once would not have dared stretch for.  This is what is possible, this is the power of vision!”

The power of an and/both way of viewing the world

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

I’ve recently experienced a first for me – I’ve had the privilege of providing a Vision Coaching session for three generations of a family: a mother, her son, his wife, their adult daughter and her partner.  The mother/grandmother and the adult daughter and her partner live in Canada.  The son/husband is Canadian and lives with his Australian wife in Australia where the session took place. This couple met in Canada, married in Australia and then lived in Canada for ten years.  For the past ten years they have been living, together with their three younger daughters, in Australia.  At this coaching session they articulated a five year vision of living a two hemisphere life in Canada and Australia.Australia2

To help them resolve what was feeling like a geographical impossibility I showed them a Dilemma Resolution model. This model suggests that with a clear vision of the future. we can let go of our western conditioning and embrace an and/both (yin/yang) way of being in the world.

The shift in mindset that this enabled around the coaching table led to some creative planning on how the Australian based members of this three generational family can make their  vision a reality and live in both Canada and Australia over the next decade.

CanadaPostscript: This is a family of talented entrepreneurs who already share business interests in both the northern and southern hemispheres (see wwwbushmarketing.com) so, in my view, the sky’s the limit for them once they turn their and/both plans into reality!

The power of vision!

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

I’ve just coached a long term client who told me she has resigned from what all those around her saw as her fabulous corporate role.  Between this role and her last equally big corporate role she’d explored her vision and values at a Learning Retreat at my home inland from Byron Bay.  The primary focus of her vision was to ‘enjoy the journey’.

Enjoy the journey

Over the past few months, as the scope of her role grew and she found she was being expected to do more and more tasks that didn’t play to her strengths, she told me she began dreading Monday mornings and longing for the next weekend – in contradiction to her commitment to enjoy every day.  In fact she said she’d begun to feel she was gathering “black soot on her soul”.  She made it clear to me that it wasn’t the fault of the organisation – she was just not a good fit.

Oh “the power of vision,” I proclaimed then added that it takes courage to have a vision, yet once you do it sure helps you be clear about whether you’re on the right path for you!  No more “black soot” for this woman – she’s off to Earth and moonexplore the possibilities of a portfolio career having thanked me for the clarity she got from AnD’s Vision Coaching process.

Can women ‘have it all,’ ie motherhood and a career?

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Work and familyAt the Byron Bay Writers Festival last weekend I attended a session at which Cheryl Kernot (ex leaders of the Democrats) talked about how hard it was having to commute regularly to Canberra as a Federal politician whilst raising her daughter, and Anne Summers (women’s advisor to Bob Hawke and Paul Keating) said she chose not to have children because she reckoned she couldn’t have been a good mum and fulfilled her career ambitions.

Anne and Cheryl are now in their 60s so ‘praps things have improved for women I thought to myself.  But then my mind went back to the piece I wrote in the current Value Adding newsletter about the McKinsey Centred Leadership program for their emerging leaders, especially their younger women.  The article about the program suggested that “women more often opt out (of corporate life) because they carry the double burden of motherhood”.

This suggests it’s still tough for women who  want to ‘have it all’ in terms of a successful career and being the kind of mum they want to be.  Sure there is now parental leave embedded in policy and practice.  Sure there are more flexible working hours that makes the juggling act of career and parenting more do-able than in Cheryl’s, Anne’s and my day. But both these women declared, and I agree that, until organisations are led by more women and the kind of men who truly embrace the value of work places that are genuinely family friendly, it will continue to be tough for women to ‘have it all’.

And, just for the record, we AnD coaches support quite a number of executive and high potential women to be the best they can be at work and at home through our Leadership Coaching and Vision Coaching.

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