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FREE Podinar: Mindfulness Coaching: The New MBA – Mastering Being and Awareness

March 15, 2019

APRIL PODINAR: MINDFULNESS COACHING – THE NEW MBA – MASTERING BEING AND AWARENESS

Learning in Action’s Live Monthly Podinar Championing Transformative Change

FRI. APRIL 26, 2019. 800-9:00 am PT / 11:00-12:00 noon ET

 

MINDFULNESS COACHING:
with guest Dr. Steve Romano
Executive Coach, Managing Director of Olistica and the Center for Sustainable Leadership

 

Join Steve Romano and Alison Whitmire, president of Learning in Action, for discussion and Q&A around mindfulness coaching, and how a proven methodology for this expansive way of operating is critical for 21st century leaders and coaches.

 

This podinar (interactive podcast+webinar) will cover topics like these:
– What Being and Awareness is, and the outcomes or results they produce
– The 5 components of Being: breath, energy, investigate, navigate, generate.
– The Triple Loop Listening Model
– The Six-Point Transformational Coaching Model

 

You will leave with tools and new ideas of how you can use Mindfulness Coaching to help your coachees to experience a new level of leadership that leads to deeper, more transformative change.

 

*** Ask your questions when you register or during the live event. We’ll get to as many as we can! ***

 

ABOUT OUR GUEST PRESENTER: Dr. Steve Romano

Steve Romano is managing director of Olistica Center for Sustainable Leadership. He is an executive coach, consultant, adjunct professor, speaker, and thought leader, and has been in leadership at several Fortune 500 companies.

 

ABOUT OUR HOST: Alison Whitmire

Alison Whitmire is president of Learning in Action and a thought leader in the field of emotional and relational intelligence. Alison is a PCC, and an Executive Coach to CEOs. She is a professional speaker, TEDx organizer, TEDx speaker and blogger.

 

ABOUT OUR PODINARS:
Learning in Action’s podinars are moderated by president Alison Whitmire.
The intention of our podinars is to champion transformative change by supporting anyone who works in a role facilitating change in others:

  • To provide the best coaching possible
  • To make a thriving, successful living
  • To embrace their innate uniqueness

 

ABOUT OUR SPONSOR: Learning in Action

We offer individuals, teams, and organizations effective tools and methods for enhancing Emotional Intelligence in relationship, in conflict, in real-time. Serving leadership development professionals and executive coaches worldwide.

 

– YAY! THIS PODINAR WILL BE RECORDED. ONLY REGISTRANTS RECEIVE RECORDING. So REGISTER NOW, whether or not you can attend live. The day following the event, watch for an email with a link to the recorded podinar. Registrants will receive emails about emotional intelligence and future podinars, and may unsubscribe at any time.

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Posted in: Coaching|Emotional Intelligence|Leadership|Podinars

You Are Enough

March 7, 2019

It’s a question that’s remained largely outside of my conscious awareness, lurking in the shadows of my shame, for years. What’s the question?

Am I enough?

Am I enough for my clients? Do I know enough? Am I smart enough? Do I have enough experience? Am I a good enough coach? Do I know what my client needs from me? Can I be that? Deliver that? Bring that?

These questions get triggered when I feel like I’m failing my client. When they are struggling and our sessions don’t seem to help. When I don’t know the questions to ask, the words to say, the feelings to express to help them feel better, move forward, see a new perspective, find their way.

Am I enough?

I am Enough

Recently, I had the gift of a powerful (personal / confidential) experience that helped me realize, really for the first time, “Yes, I am enough.”

I am enough. I know all I need to know. I am all I need to be. I can trust myself to be enough for my client. I can trust my client to be enough for themselves. And I can trust that everything needed for the client to heal is in the field between the client and their story and their data and me.

Does that mean that somehow I now believe that my clients won’t struggle or that I won’t have feelings of sadness, or worry or care when they struggle? No. I do and will feel all of those things.

And I know, deep in my bones, that they are enough for what faces them, and I am enough to be with them through it.

Since I’ve started believing that I am enough (it’s still early), I sense that my clients have started believing that they are enough. When I stopped feeling that I needed to be helping them more.  That I needed to be adding more value, that I needed to be more sure, more certain, they’ve started feeling their own resourcefulness. Stepping into the knowing that they are enough.

You are Enough

This is what I know.

You are enough. Right now. Exactly as you are. And yes, I’m talking to you.  

If you came to this work to help others, I’m talking to you. If the care you extend your clients is sometimes greater than the care you give yourself, I’m talking to you. If the primary reason that you relentlessly learn more, read more, educate yourself more is to help your clients more, I’m talking to you.

You are enough as you are. Right now. You have everything you need to change the lives of the people in your life, and in so doing, change your own.    

You don’t need to know more. You don’t need to do more. You don’t need more education or more certifications or more experience. Whether you’ve been coaching for one month, one year, or ten years. You don’t need to change in any way.

You are enough right now to secure a connection with your client that is generative to their development. You are enough to be with your client in ways no one else in their life is. You are enough to create a trusted space that allows your client’s organic method of healing to reveal itself. And for you to facilitate that healing.

We Are Enough

We are all enough. We are each enough. Just like the tiny acorn that will one day become a glorious, expansive tree, we all have inside of us more than we can comprehend. We need only accept that – trusting in our enoughness.  

So does this mean that we stop developing ourselves? That we stop leaning in with our clients?  That we are now baked, done? Of course not. Does it mean that we’ll work with every client forever? That coaching relationships don’t run their course? Don’t end? Or that we should be a good fit for every client? Of course not. Does it mean that our clients don’t or shouldn’t need us, if they are enough? That if they are enough, it means they don’t need anything? Uh uh.

Enoughness doesn’t mean all needs are met. It just means that we have the resources, the capacity, to meet the challenges that face us.  

We are designed to do this life together. We are meant to help each other. While we are all and each enough, we still grow by coming together to connect and learn. And that’s the blessing of doing the work we do. And when we bring our full selves to the work, our clients can access even more of themselves. And we access more of ourselves when we know we are enough.

Rest in Enoughness

Being enough for our clients and ourselves means that in any given coaching session, we can rest in our enoughness.

We can know with all that we are, that we are OK and that our clients are OK. That we don’t need to work hard, to “add value,” to prove ourselves. We can trust that everything the client needs to generate their own path forward is existent in the field between us.

And when we rest in the trust that we are enough, the client is enough, and that the awareness needed to create a shift for the client will rise, it does. It can. It might be during the session, between sessions or years later.  

That’s when the magic happens. Your client transforms from the acorn to the tree because they could see, feel, experience their enoughness. And that inner knowing of enoughness created the space for growth.

Thank you for reading my musings. I think in many ways, everything I write, I write for myself. And perhaps if that’s so, some of what’s in me, might be in you, too?

Join the conversation.

 

~ Alison

Alison Whitmire
President | Learning in Action

Alison Whitmire is the President of Learning in Action, a company committed to her passion of making the non-conscious conscious and revealing what’s otherwise hidden to us. Alison holds certifications from two different accredited coach training programs and is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) through the International Coaching Federation (ICF). She earned an MBA from the University of Chicago, and has worked for three Fortune 500 corporations. She has also Chaired for Vistage International, runs CEO roundtables, coaches CEOs, holds a 200 RYT yoga teacher certificate and has been a TEDx organizer and TEDx speaker. She facilitates courses on team and individual EQ across the United States and Canada.

 

 

Pssst! There’s a paradigm shift in leadership, and coaches must coach to it differently. Our guest for our free March interactive podinar (podcast+webinar mashup), Coaching for Distributed Leadership, is executive coach, speaker, author, professor Simon Western. Ask your own questions! March 13, 11:00-12:00 noon PT / 2:00-3:00 pm ET. Register – free!

 

 

Not an EQ Profile practitioner?

Click here for information on the EQ Profile. Too much to chew on? Click here for a Taste of the EQ Profile.

 

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Posted in: Coaching|Emotion: Sadness|Emotional Intelligence

FREE Podinar: Coaching for Distributed Leadership / Developing Connected Leaders at All Levels Who Think Strategically

February 27, 2019

MARCH PODINAR: COACHING FOR DISTRIBUTED LEADERSHIP – DEVELOPING CONNECTED LEADERS AT ALL LEVELS WHO THINK STRATEGICALLY

Learning in Action’s Live Monthly Podinar for Executive Coaches

WED. MARCH 13, 2019. 11:00-12:00 noon PT / 2:00-3:00 pm ET

COACHING FOR DISTRIBUTED LEADERSHIP:
with guest Dr. Simon Western
Founder of the fields of Eco-Leadership & Analytic-Network Coaching, developing leaders who are connected and think strategically throughout organizations

Join Simon Western and Alison Whitmire, president of Learning in Action, for discussion and Q&A around coaching for distributed leadership, what it is, and how you can use it to more fully facilitate transformative change in others.

This podinar (interactive podcast+webinar) will cover topics like these:
– How leadership paradigms are changing
– How coaches must coach differently to it
– How and why to shift thinking from individual behaviorism to leaders as connectors in networks

You will leave with tools and new ideas of how you can use Analytic-Network Coaching to help your coachees to experience a new level of leadership that leads to deeper, more transformative change.

*** Ask your questions when you register or during the live event. We’ll get to as many as we can! ***

ABOUT OUR GUEST PRESENTER: Simon Western
Simon Western is the founder of the fields of Analytic-Network Coaching and Eco-Leadership. He is an adjunct professor at the University College Dublin. He is a coach, consultant, speaker, author and thought leader.

 

ABOUT OUR HOST: Alison Whitmire

Alison Whitmire is president of Learning in Action and a thought leader in the field of emotional and relational intelligence. Alison is a PCC, and an Executive Coach to CEOs. She is a professional speaker, TEDx organizer, TEDx speaker and blogger.

 

ABOUT OUR PODINARS:
Learning in Action’s podinars are moderated by president Alison Whitmire.
The intention of our podinars is to champion transformative change by supporting anyone who works in a role facilitating change in others:

  • To provide the best coaching possible
  • To make a thriving, successful living
  • To embrace their innate uniqueness

 

ABOUT OUR SPONSOR: Learning in Action

We offer individuals, teams, and organizations effective tools and methods for enhancing Emotional Intelligence in relationship, in conflict, in real-time. Serving leadership development professionals and executive coaches worldwide.

 

– YAY! THIS PODINAR WILL BE RECORDED. ONLY REGISTRANTS RECEIVE RECORDING. So REGISTER NOW, whether or not you can attend live. The day following the event, watch for an email with a link to the recorded podinar. Registrants will receive emails about emotional intelligence and future podinars, and may unsubscribe at any time.

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Posted in: Coaching|Emotional Intelligence|Leadership|Podinars

Special FREE Podinar: Team Coaching – Applying Individual Coaching Techniques to Teams

February 8, 2019

FEBRUARY PODINAR: TEAM COACHING – APPLYING INDIVIDUAL TECHNIQUES TO TEAMS

Learning in Action’s Live Monthly Podinar for Executive Coaches

FRI. FEB. 22, 2019. 8:00-9:00 am PT / 11:00-12:00 noon ET

TEAM COACHING – APPLYING INDIVIDUAL TECHNIQUES TO TEAMS
with guest Alexander Caillet, speaker, thought leader, professor and pioneer in team coaching and CEO and co-founder of Corentus, Inc., a company dedicated to transforming team performance.

Join Alexander Caillet and Alison Whitmire, president of Learning in Action, a relational intelligence company, for discussion and Q&A around  team coaching for coaches. This podinar (interactive webinar) will cover topics like these:

  • How team coaching is different from other modalities of working with teams
  • How the outcomes of team coaching are different from the outcomes of other modalities
  • Why team coaching is so desperately needed
  • The state of “being” with a team and what it enables
  • The art of “sensing” with a team and the impact of data gathering
  • The practice of “making moves” with a team to shift behavior and performance

*** Ask your questions when you register or during the live event. We’ll get to as many as we can! ***

ABOUT OUR GUEST PRESENTER: Alexander Caillet

Alexander Caillet is an organizational psychologist, management consultant, coach, and pioneer in the field of team coaching. He is co-founder and CEO of Corentus, Inc., and co-founded the State of Mind Institute. He received a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Michigan, an M.A. in Organization Psychology from Columbia University, and is an Adjunct Professor with Georgetown University’s Leadership Coaching Certificate program.

 

ABOUT OUR HOST: Alison Whitmire

Alison Whitmire is president of Learning in Action and a thought leader in the field of emotional and relational intelligence. Alison is a PCC, and an Executive Coach to CEOs. She is a professional speaker, TEDx organizer, TEDx speaker and blogger.

 

ABOUT OUR PODINARS:

Learning in Action’s podinars are moderated by president Alison Whitmire.

The intention of our podinars is to champion transformative change by supporting anyone who works in a role facilitating change in others:

  • To provide the best coaching possible
  • To make a thriving, successful living
  • To embrace their innate uniqueness

 

ABOUT OUR SPONSOR: Learning in Action

We offer individuals, teams, and organizations effective tools and methods for enhancing Emotional Intelligence in relationship, in conflict, in real-time. Serving leadership development professionals and executive coaches worldwide.

 

YAY! THIS PODINAR WILL BE RECORDED. ONLY REGISTRANTS RECEIVE RECORDING. So REGISTER NOW, whether or not you can attend live. The day following the event, watch for an email with a link to the recorded podinar. Registrants will receive emails about emotional intelligence and future podinars, and may unsubscribe at any time.

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Posted in: Coaching|Emotional Intelligence|Learning in Action|Podinars

Coaching Across the Threshold: Coachee Case Study

January 17, 2019

If you’ve been following this blog, you know that for the last year, I’ve been part of Dr. David Drake’s Narrative Coaching Program. While I’m still very much getting my Narrative Coaching legs under me, it’s already brought a sense of ease, spontaneity and play to my work with coachees.

As part of the Narrative Coach Certification Program, we were asked to write up a case study of a session with a coachee in which we employed the Narrative Coach approach. As part of the case study, we were asked to:

1)      Describe the coaching space and the field

2)      Identify the stories and characters in the coachee’s story

3)      Provide session highlights, using Narrative Coaching’s four act structure

4)      Share the outcome of the session

5)      Provide reflections on the session

I’m sharing the case study here because of how rich it was for my learning. My learning about myself as a coach. My learning about my coachee. And my learning of Narrative Coaching and how it can be used to shift coachees’ experiences of themselves and their lives. I’m hopeful that it will stimulate your learning, as well.

First, a bit of background on my coachee in my case study, John, and our work together.

Background

John is the CEO of a 2nd generation family business. John and I have worked together for about 12 years. Our work has covered business, personal, professional, social, philanthropic – pretty much every aspect of life.

Some background on John that’s relevant to this coaching session:

John loves to travel and has traveled with his family all over the world. He’s less able to travel now because of his family’s health challenges.

John’s wife is in the final days of treatment for her 2nd battle with cancer. It’s been an extraordinarily difficult time, for both of them. They have differed on the ideal approach to her treatment, creating some tension in their relationship.

John has had, for many years, a keen fascination with personalized medicine and is quite educated on many aspects of health, science, medicine and wellness.
John’s mother contracted a degenerative disease which ultimately took her life when John was young. His mother and father disagreed as to how to approach her disease, and that impacted their relationship.

Frankly, it wasn’t until I wrote this case study that I recognized how salient this last point was.

The Coaching Space and Field

John showed up for our coaching session worn down and worn out. He’d been traveling and his work had heated up while his duties at home had expanded to include chores his wife usually performed. His wife’s cancer had taken a physical and emotional toll on them both.

John was traveling and our coaching session was via phone. My sense was that he was in a quasi-private space initially and then after about ten minutes, he moved to a more private space. This was reflected in our conversation. Early on, John was tentative and stayed at the surface. Ten minutes into our conversation, he was connecting deeply with himself.

Over the course of the conversation, the field changed dramatically. Initially, the field felt tentative, surface. Then it shifted to heavy, burdened, untethered. Then, as John connected more fully to himself, the field held trust, vulnerability, and courage. Towards the end of the session, the field held discovery, possibility and wisdom. We flowed through an emotional journey, supported by the trust in the field.

In retrospect (and perhaps even in the moment), I sense that I shared too fully in John’s feeling of being simultaneously burdened, untethered and discouraged. (I was feeling that in areas of my own life.) Thus, at times, I feel that there was too much of me in the field. (A strong case for the classic coaching maxim, “You’ve got to do your own work before you can help your coachee with theirs!”)

Stories, Their Characters and My Roles

John told a specific story about taking a trip by himself to recharge his batteries, and coming back feeling empty instead of nourished. Only in hindsight am I recognizing that the main character in the story, besides John or his spouse or family, was Nelson Mandela.

The larger narrative of the session is about John’s questioning his life, his decisions, his priorities, his relationships, his future and himself. He’s concerned about his wife and their relationship. He’s questioning his parenting. And he’s in an unknown space and feeling lost.

I played the roles of empathetic friend, listener, witness, fellow life-traveler, Story Sherpa – the advocate for the whole story.

Session Highlights and Analysis Using Narrative Coaching Four Act Structure

The following is a high-level overview of the essence of the coaching session by Narrative Coaching (NC) Act/Phase. My primary intention with this session was to get more comfortable coaching in the Four Act structure.And in hindsight, I was so focused on working on the structure, I missed some pivotal opportunities to explore story and characters.

Below, I share the key questions I asked in each phase, what was explored, the threshold moment and my hindsight (what I see now that I didn’t see then).

I suspect when you read this, it will feel a bit like a caricature, which I suppose it is. It is the summary of the key lines of the coaching session that gave it shape. A lot more was going on, so this is only to give you the essence.

Also, if you’ve been coaching for any time at all, you might read this and think, “What’s the big deal?” And perhaps there is no big deal, except that the impact on me and my coachee was profound. We traveled an enormous distance together, very quickly. And we did it without goals, or contracts or agreements, and in a manner that was natural and organic.

Situate:

When the conversation started, John stayed at the surface, so I asked:

Alison:  “How are you really?”

This dropped him into himself and he told the story that became the backbone of the session.

John was wanting to take care of himself so that he could take care of his family. So he took a trip alone that he’d planned to take with them. (Family couldn’t go because of health issues.)

John:  “I came back feeling empty and alone. It surprised me. It wasn’t fulfilling. I realize that I’m more interested in a shared experience.”

(As much as I wanted to ask him what would be fulfilling, which I would have done before NC, instead I used the threshold to stay with his present moment experience.)

Search:

Alison: “What’s it like to feel empty?”

John:  “I feel hollowed out. It’s not what I want. I’m not sure if what I’m feeling is the effects of the cancer on our family or something deeper.”

John shared about his fears and doubts and uncertainties. About not knowing when to push and when to let go in his relationships with his wife and his kids. About feeling impatient with himself and his life. (I sensed this conversation was hard for both of us).

(I took the feeling of impatience as a threshold and moved to Shift.)

Shift:

Alison:   “What do you want?”

John:  “I don’t know. I just feel lost.”

(I made a decision to explore “lost” as a metaphor for this world traveler.)

Alison: “When you are lost, how do you usually find your way?”

John:  “I don’t know. I’m rarely lost.”

Alison:  “Really? How is that?”

John: “I can use nature and landmarks to orient myself and find my way. The sun, power lines, geography, terrain.”

Alison:  “What might you use to orient yourself now?”

John paused for a long time and started a new story about Nelson Mandela and how he’d spent years in prison, much of that time in solitary confinement. And how he came out so wise and thoughtful.

(I COMPLETELY missed an opportunity to explore Nelson Mandela’s role in the story. I could have asked, “How are you like Nelson Mandela?” or “What would Nelson Mandela say to you?” or “What did Nelson Mandela care about?” – UGH!)

John:  “He learned so much about himself.”

Alison:  “What would you like to learn about yourself?”

John:  “I’d like to be less reactive, more empathetic, more balanced.”

Sustain:

Alison:  “How would you learn that?

John:  “I’m not sure what my options are. I could find someone to help, like a therapist. I have trepidation about that. I could spend more time reading and journaling. that resonates. I can see this might be an opening, an opportunity for me to focus on myself.”

(Instead of nailing down the details of what he was going to do, like I normally would, I decided to circle the tree again.)

I’ll spare you the details and hit the high points here.

Situate:

Alison:  “What are you aware of now?”

John:  “I’m seeing a path forward.”

Search:

Alison:  “Where does the path lead?”

John:  “To more time for myself?”

Shift:

Alison: “How will you use that time?”

John:  “To grow into the person I want to become.”

(We were near the end of the session, so instead of exploring who he wanted to become further, I moved to Sustain.)

Sustain:

Alison:  “Where will you begin?”

John:  “I’m going to start by beginning my exercise routine again. Weights one time a week and running two times a week. I’m going to reflect and journal on what wisdom is and how I might become less reactive.”

Session Outcome

By the end of our session, John had found himself and a path forward and was feeling a greater sense of self-agency. The energetic quality of the field was dramatically lighter and more positive at the end of the session than at the start. He started the session feeling like a prisoner to his situation. He ended it feeling free.

Reflections and Reminders

I tend to focus more on what I could have done better, and I’m sure I must have done something OK to have gotten the outcome we did. These are my reflections:

1)      I could have done a lot more of simply naming what I was observing. His heaviness, the similarity of his current experience with his wife to that of his experience with his mom. How when he moved into a different room physically, he moved into a different part of himself.

2)      Only upon LOTS of reflection on this session has it become clear to me that too much of me was in the field, not only because I was feeling somewhat enmeshed, but also because I feel the same way he does in some of my relationships.

3)      I was so focused on the Four Act Structure, I missed some obvious opportunities to explore stories, metaphors and characters. And once the 4 S’s become more ingrained, I’ll have more freedom to explore what shows up organically.

Epilogue

We’ve learned in Learning in Action’s EQ Certification training that objectively mirroring a coachee’s experience without the expectation of response is an incredibly powerful awareness practice. In light of that, I sent John the case study I wrote up on our session. This was John’s response, in italics:

“Your description of “The Field” was spot on:”

“Initially, the field felt tentative, surface. Then it shifted to heavy, burdened, untethered. Then, as John connected more fully to himself, the field held trust, vulnerability, and courage. Towards the end of the session, the field held discovery, possibility and wisdom. And I sense that I shared too fully in John’s sense of feeling simultaneously burdened, untethered and discouraged.”

“I might argue the last, though… your empathy helped me connect disconnected thoughts and synthesize a new path forward. Without that, I’m not sure it would’ve been as effective.

“Your idea about my Mom was interesting… it’s certainly possible, but I haven’t been consciously aware of that. I have been consciously thinking about walking a mile in my father’s footsteps, though. He had a very difficult road to travel – with decisions and feelings I could only guess at before (and didn’t very well). As always and especially as to this session, which I found deeply helpful, I’m appreciative of you.”

John and I had a coaching session this week and he was a different man! He was energized, engaged and joyful. When I asked him what shifted about his experience, he said he went from “being steered” to “steering.” And he attributed the shift to this session.

Of all of the second-guessing I do and the wondering if I make a difference with my coachees, it was nice to hear that the many hours I’ve spent in the last year learning a new approach to coaching, made a difference. Even if I’m still on my Narrative Coaching Bambi legs.

 

If you’d like to learn more about Narrative Coaching, join us for this month’s free podinar (interactive webinar), sponsored by Learning in Action. Our guest is the founder of the field of Narrative Coaching, Dr. David Drake. Register here. 

 

Join the conversation.

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~ Alison
Alison Whitmire
President | Learning in Action

 

P.S. Want to receive our blogs in your inbox? Subscribe to our Friday Conversations Blog.

 

P.S. As a coach, you know there’s value in your coachees’ stories. But do you realize how transformative those stories could be with your specialized guidance? Find out at our January podinar. Our guest is executive coach, speaker, author, and founder of the field of Narrative Coaching, Dr. David Drake. Interactive webinar Jan. 25, 11:00-12:00 PT / 2:00-3:00 ET.  Register – free!

 

Not an EQ Profile practitioner? 
Click here for information on the EQ Profile. Too much to chew on? Click here for a Taste of the EQ Profile.

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Posted in: Coaching|Emotional Intelligence|Narrative Coaching