Blog

The Focus Question

Have you ever found a brilliant solution to a problem that did not fix the problem because you realised that what you solved was the wrong problem!

This happens all the time in relationship consulting. Couples will often come with a list of complaints that seem easy to solve. When issues are resolved, they realise that it was not the real issue. 

It takes some experience and training to figure on that it is more helpful to focus on the real problem, not the first problem.

In The Coaching Habit, Stanier suggests that a simple and effective way to get to the real problem is to ask: "What's the real challenge here for you?"
 
The question as is it written pins the question to the person you are talking to rather than having abstract discussions about what the issue is. It brilliantly focuses on how the issue is impacting the person who is looking for a solution.
 
I find that this is also a great question to ask myself when I am struggling with an issue. It truly is "The...

Continue Reading...

The AWE Question

The next question that Stanier talks about in The Coaching Habit is even simpler than the first.

It is the AWE question: And what else?

"With seemingly no effort", he explains, these three little words "create more – more wisdom, more insights, more self awareness, more possibilities out of thin air."

Asking this question a few times, allows the real issues to rise to the surface so that you are working at a level that will make a difference. He suggests that you ask it one more time than you think you need to! The question allows more options to surface which lead to better decisions and solutions.

And What Else? The quickest and easiest way to create new possibilities. Try it.

Continue Reading...

The kickstart question

Stanier in The Coaching Habit writes that "Coaching for development is about turning the focus from the issue to the person dealing with the issue, the person who's managing the fire."
 
Such a useful concept! What this means is that as leaders our job is not to know how to solve all problems. It is not even realistic to be able to solve all problems, is it? The person who is asking the question often is closer to the situation and has more information about the issue than we do.

(As an example, think of your 6th grader who is dealing with a math problem. He has attended the class recently and heard the teacher's instructions. Who knows more about the situation – him or you who has not attended a math class in several decades?)

So our job as a leader may be simply to help people uncover the answer that they already have within themselves.

This process is so much simpler than trying to solve or pretend to know the solution to every problem that others are having. So when you...

Continue Reading...

What do I really really want?

What do I really really want?

This is a great question to ask ourselves regularly.

So very often we chase something that we think we want, and then when we get it, realise that nope, that was not really our hearts desire. It is as if, as Steven Covey puts it, our ladder of success has been leaning against the wrong wall. Only once we have climbed the ladder we realise, oops, wrong wall!!

Many of us are connecting to our wants and desires these days and getting ready to ask from the King of Kings in these blessed and holy nights of Shabaan.

And this is a really good question to get us aligned with our big picture wants and get us in touch with what we truly want with our heart and soul.

The most effective way to use this question is to ask it several times and keep writing down what comes up. It takes a few moments for the conscious mind to settle and for our deepest longings to come bubbling up to the surface.

The first few (or several) things you will write will likely be immediate...

Continue Reading...

The steps to completing relationships

As we started discussing yesterday, keeping our relationships complete is essential to living a life that matters – if we are not complete with our relationships, it robs our energies from things that we are meant to do. We cannot really focus on bigger things.

Having incomplete relationships really hinders our spiritual growth.

Why? Because we are designed to be in connection – when we are not connected to other human beings on an authentic level, we are not at peace.

Try this for yourself. Think of someone you are not at peace wit, whether you are currently in relationship with this person or not – now reflect on how much (negative) space they occupy in your mind and your heart. It is as if you are energetically connected to them with an invisible cord. Completion is about setting yourself and them free.

Keeping our relationships complete is not difficult. It involves 5 simple steps:


a. Communicating upset and resentment

b. Apologizing

c. Forgiving

d. Expressing...

Continue Reading...

Which of my relationships are incomplete?

We all have relationships in our lives which are incomplete. An "Incomplete relationship" is where there is unfinished business, unspoken hurts, resentments or things left unsaid. People whom we have hurt become part of the burden of our psyche, causing us spiritual pain that we often unaware of.

An incomplete relationship does not have to be about negative things. Appreciation or love unexpressed where it is felt also leads to the feeling of incompleteness.

Incomplete relationships weigh heavy upon the psyche. They stop us from spiritual growth and connection.

Completing relationships does NOT mean ending them and it can be done at any time during a relationship.

It is especially important to complete relationships that are ending so that we do not carry emotional baggage into future relationships.

When a relationship is complete, there is a feeling that things are okay between us and that our connection is complete as is and that nothing needs to be done or said in order for each...

Continue Reading...

Where does my time go?

The next question that we are exploring in our quest for self awareness and growth is this: Where does my time go?

It is such a cliché to say that we live in a world that is on 24/7 and that we 'don't have time'. We have more labour saving devices than ever before and less (perceived) time than any previous generation.

The truth is that time is the great equalizer. All of us have exactly the same amount every day. How we spend those moments, however, will greatly determine our quality of life now and later.

Also, how we spend our time says a lot about who we are and what we value. We may verbalize some values that we 'should' have but our clock and our calendar tell us the truth about what we value by the actions we take during the moments in our day.

A great way to become more mindful of how we spend our time is to keep a time log. I learnt this concept from time management expert Laura Vanderkam in her book 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think.

Vanderkam suggests...

Continue Reading...

What are your core values?

The second question we will explore in our quest for self awareness and growth is this: What are my core values?

Values are a part of us. They highlight what we stand for. Values guide our behavior, providing us with a personal code of conduct.

When we honor our personal core values consistently, and live in alignment with them, we experience fulfillment in our lives.

Similarly, if we are not living in integrity with our core values or when we dishonor them, we experience guilt, remorse and anger. (In fact, when we are angry at someone else, it is often because one or more of our core values has been injured – think about this one)

Other ways to ask this question and get in touch with our core values are: What is the most important thing about me as a person? What do I stand for? What are the qualities that I would like to be known for?

It is important to remember that we cannot select values that we would like or believe that we 'should' have. It is a process of discovery and...

Continue Reading...

What’s your iki gai?

The first question for personal reflection that we will explore in this series is: What is your iki gai?

Ikigai (pronounced [ikiɡai]) is a Japanese concept which means "a reason for being." Everyone, according to Japanese culture, has an ikigai. The Japanese believe that finding one's ikigai requires a deep and often lengthy search of self.

There is a reason why we need to pay attention to the concept of ikigai. The people of Okinawa in Japan are the longest living people on the earth today. They live an average of 7 healthy years longer than Americans and have the most people over 100, partly because they believe that everyone has an ikigai which gives meaning and purpose to their lives.

So strong is this belief that they do not have the concept (or even a word for) retirement in their language. Work that adds meaning and purpose to life is not something that the Japanese stop doing when they reach a certain age.

But an ikigai does not have to be purely work related.

For example,...

Continue Reading...

Using questions for self reflection

One of the most effective paths towards self growth and spiritual maturity is a consistent practice of self reflection.

Self reflection involves asking meaningful questions of ourselves and allowing the answers to emerge in their own time. It is not about easy answers or quick solutions.

In fact, when you are asking important questions, resist the temptation to accept the first answer that presents itself.

It is often more effective to let the questions "simmer" for a while. Asking the question is far more important than answering it quickly.

This can be quite challenging for some of us who NEED answers right NOW.
When we notice ourselves becoming impatient and wanting answers, it is helpful to ask the same question at least a few more times. "And what else" is a helpful prompt when you are working through a particular question.

You may find that it takes a little time for the conscious mind to settle and the answers that bubble up after a few times of asking the same question are...

Continue Reading...
Close

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.